2020 Subaru Legacy: Design, Technical Details And Everything Else We Know

To say that Subaru plays it conservatively with major redesigns is quite the understatement. Just look at the new Forester and XV/Crosstrek for example – both saddled with styling that arguably resembles previous iterations of each car.

This trend with the Japanese automaker shows no sign of abating. Next in line for a total refresh is the Legacy sedan, which means that a new Outback is on its way too.

Now entering its 7th generation, Subaru once again appears to be playing it safe, but is this the right move? Let’s illustratively delve further.

Handsome, Yet Restrained

Looking somewhat of hybrid between the current car and Mazda6, the all-new Legacy has a fastback profile with all-wheel drive proportions. In fact, the glasshouse, chrome side window moldings and rear quarter glass is almost a dead-ringer of its Mazda rival.

Frontal styling is attractive enough, with revised LED headlights and wide corporate trapezoidal grille. Side surfacing has an interesting character line that curves up at the front fenders, then flows towards the rear. Lobster-claw LED taillights and black lower bumper treatment are fairly generic, with dual exhausts visibly present on turbocharged variants.

Under The Skin

Legacy will finally move to Subaru’s global modular architecture, which already underpins the Impreza, Forester and Ascent. This move should make for a better driver’s car, whilst allowing for potential electrification down the track.

2019MY Subaru Ascent infotainment system

Occupants will be well catered for, with further improvements in rear leg and shoulder room. Features include Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and EyeSight driver assistant system with a suite of active driver aids; including Lane Keep Assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.

Boxing On

As for engines, expect the FB25 2.5-litre, direct-injection petrol with start/stop, cylinder-deactivation from the new Forester, and the 260-horsepower (194 kW), FA24DIT 2.4-litre turbo that serves duty in the Ascent 3-row SUV (return of the GT anyone?). As with most other current Subaru’s, power will be channeled through an updated CVT transmission and symmetrical all-wheel drive system.

What isn’t likely to box-on is the 3.6-litre flat six; unless Subaru have invested heavily in updating it, it’s unlikely to reappear. Which is a shame – because how many mainstream brands offer a flat six? None.

The Disappearing Act

Staying committed to a segment being deserted in favor of crossovers is a risky strategy. U.S. Legacy sales have dropped 16 percent as of June this year – mirroring a similar slowdown of the total midsize sedan market.

Some competitors, like Ford’s Fusion will be exiting the segment all together; will Ford’s withdrawal benefit Subaru? It’s hard to say, especially with Subaru’s conservative styling and Toyota Camry & Honda Accord still sticking around.

Other worthy rivals include Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and recently updated Mazda6.

Launch Timing

The Legacy (or Subaru Liberty for our Aussie readers) is expected to debut early next year, with sales starting late 2019 as MY2020 model.

Do you think Subaru has done enough to keep interest in the mid-size sedan segment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

  • charlotteharry57

    Well, until I see depictions of the interior and rear end, I really can’t say. I didn’t expect the V-6 to stick around; that’s OK. This one depiction though, screams NOT enough. Unless folks finally tire of all the boxes out there (knowing Ford’s “brilliant” luck, probably just as it ditches all its cars) and revert back to sedans (wagons maybe too), this wouldn’t move the needle enough.

    • KareKakk

      Subaru has never had any V6, but plenty of B6, or H6 as some say. Quite a difference.

      • Earl Scheib

        But they always wanted one.

  • Paul

    It looks a bit like a Chinese knock off of the old Honda Accord would.

  • Bo Hanan


  • Brent Morrison

    Rendering looks about right surprisingly.

  • Rocket

    As a former Subaru owner, I’ve been waiting for Subaru to offer something to bring me back to the brand. But every time I drive one, I walk away disappointed. I don’t care for the CVT, but more disappointing is the lack of engine refinement and the overly aggressive throttle response. With such a jumpy throttle, it is impossible to drive a modern Subie smoothly at low speeds. I get that they’re trying to make it feel more responsive, but they can certainly do better.

  • Antonio Bošković

    i just can’t get over cvt’s
    maybe for europe they will offer a diesel with a manual and a wagon and just maybe be priced against mazda6 wagon

  • Earl Scheib

    Model looks good, cvt = fail, boxer v6 would offer uniqueness.

    That said, I’ll pass.

    • KareKakk

      A boxer V6?? How on earth will that engine look like… Subaru deals with boxer engines: B4 and B6. No V4, V6 or V8 ever.

  • Marty

    I mistook it for a rendering of an Opel Astra sedan. But they of course are more elegant than that.

  • xDRAN0x

    First gens CVTs were horrible indeed. Current’s Impreza/ Ascent etc are pretty good.

  • KareKakk

    Still the design that did not win the design contest of being the next Toyota Avensis. And still framed side windows. Boring.

    Once they were the japanese Citroën in all its quirkeness and unusual designs and solutions, and not to forget that they actually sticked with it over decades despite journalists mocking them regularly for their strangeness.

    • Marty

      Yes, once they had something.

  • ErnieB

    Nice Buick

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Some parts are more original than some luxury EU brands. Some parts remind of the Nissan Teana (C pillar area on the rear side). I’d still get one most probably because i find it more interesting than other models.

  • Able

    Great rendering but it’s hideous. Every new Subaru just gets worse and worse!

  • c3vzn

    That’s a great looking car for 2010.

  • Bash

    Sorry guys but I think it’s bland and not inspiring at all. It does t stand out imo.

  • Earl Scheib

    I prefer a Circular 4 cylinder, or an ‘O4’.

  • mckillio

    Like a V8 cut in half.

    • Earl Scheib

      More like A Conical 3 banger. C3

  • mckillio

    If they were to update the H6 it would be smaller.

  • SkyBill40

    I see a Ford Taurus with a Pleiades badge.

  • MadFerret9

    I bought a 2018 Legacy a few months ago and it’s boring. The steering is vague and the CVT is so annoying especially when it does fake “downshifts”. Why TF does this car have paddle shifters? Very bland car inside and out.

  • SteersUright

    CVT’s are for grandmothers. So is Subaru’s formula of conservative (boring) design, boring interiors, and underpowered engines. Subaru makes great, reliable, economy cars for the masses but has failed enthusiasts for the last decade or so. And yes, this includes the underpowered, poorly-styled, adolescent BRZ and vastly outdated WRX/STi.

    • alexmcyd

      You are right, it isn’t a Porsche so it must be junk.

  • greg

    The lease to my ’15 crosstrek is up on April2019 – that leaves me with 9 months left and 9000km remaining till 80k.

    Would you wait it out and get a new 2020 Subaru? Thoughts?

    • alexmcyd

      April is too soon for a new model release. Drive the 19 Crosstrek and Forester. Both are great cars with the new global platform and electronics.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    Decent so far!

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    ..now when’s the render for the 2020 Corolla showing up…?…

  • Rocket

    It’s not just me. Reviews of the various Subaru models by Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and others have indicated the same behavior. The behavior is well documented.

  • Marty

    It used to look like a Saab or a Ford, but nowadays it mostly looks like this: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5bb016a52c9c9e6deb63c75bf9dccf088ee3ad5286f9591fe924967a089ecac4.jpg

  • pngrant54

    I think it is the last generation of the Legacy. I believe that neither Honda or Toyota will replace the Accord or Camry. Midsize sedans sales have been going down because compact SUV/CUVs are taking over the market. The only sedans available in the next 5 years will be the luxury and near luxury models from the Europeans, Acura, Genesis. Lexis, Cadillac, Lincoln and Infinity. Their profit margin is a lot higher so they can afford to stay in the market. I would say the next generation Legacy will be slightly better than the current one but only slightly. The turbo 2.4 should have some reasonable power and torque and probably will perform slightly better than the flat six along with much better MPG’s. However I seriously doubt that the driving experience will differ that much from the current Legacy. The update is conservative and so will the driving experience.

  • Squeaky_1

    Be perfect with a 3.6 Turbo – can’t imagine why they don’t have the thing now! That’s all it needs really.

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    Why does it need that?

    The Accord with the 2.0t still runs 0-60 faster than the V6 Camry despite the HP advantage.

  • klowik

    No matter how hard Subaru try, it won’t be their main bread winner model. I think Subaru should discontinue the sedan model and concentrate on SUV and off-road centric cars.

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