2020 Subaru Legacy Plays It Safe With Styling, Gains 260HP Turbo Boxer

Subaru has unveiled the all-new 2020 Legacy at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, and will combat the likes of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Mazda6 with a car that’s technically superior to its predecessor.

Among its highlights, we count the new XT models with a 260 HP 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine, an upgraded 182 HP 2.5-liter boxer, an 11.6-inch tablet-style infotainment display, higher quality interior and new active safety tech.

Resisting change

Even though the 2020 Legacy doesn’t look all that different to its predecessor, it is actually a brand new car. For starters, it has wider fenders and a higher trunk surface for a more dynamic stance. There are also new side mirrors, in case anyone noticed. Overall, though, this new model is recognizable as a Legacy, which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on perspective and sense of style.

It is, however, more practical than before, with 15.1 cu.ft (427 liters) of cargo capacity and 1.4 inches (3.55 cm) of additional cargo floor length.

Perhaps more important than its minor styling updates are the new Touring and updated Sport models. The Touring comes standard with the new 2.4-liter turbo, boasts genuine Nappa leather (a Subaru first), high-gloss black molding for the pillars, chrome for the door handles and satin tone plated side mirrors. Meanwhile, the Sport has the 2.5-liter unit as standard and features an exclusive rear bumper, front grille with high-gloss black bar, high-gloss black side mirrors, a trunk lid spoiler and dark metallic 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, there are aluminum pedals and red stitching on the instrument panel, door trim, seats, shift lever boot and on the leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The most advanced Legacy ever

Not only is the interior of the 2020 Legacy more upscale than in any other iteration of the mid-size sedan, but it also features loads of safety and connectivity systems that are accessible through a large tablet-style 11.6-inch full HD touchscreen display, which comes standard on Premium, Sport and Limited spec models.

Buyers will also enjoy Subaru Starlink in-vehicle tech, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Autoa connectivity, new Starlink SmartDeviceLink apps, Bluetooth, audio streaming, AM/FM stereo, Rear Vision Camera, Sirius XM radio and Travel Link, HD Radio and over-the-air updates as standard. There’s also available in-car Wi-Fi connectivity, which you’ll need in order to utilize features such as the Starlink Concierge package, allowing you to make restaurant and hotel reservations, purchase tickets, schedule appointments and so on.

In terms of specs, the Limited and Touring grades come with 10-way power front seats with lumbar support, and seat heaters with three levels of temperature adjustment. Touring models add ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel (optional on Limited), while a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system makes good use of the 3 dB quieter cabin, which has grown to boast more shoulder room, front/rear hip room and rear legroom.

Keeping you safe

The all-new 2020 Subaru Legacy doesn’t just feature a wide range of active safety systems, it’s also much improved compared to its predecessor when it comes to passive safety. Its new platform is 70% stiffer in both torsional and front-suspension rigidity, and 100% stiffer in both front lateral flex and rear subframe rigidity. The car also has a lower center of gravity, and the body is said to absorb over 40% more energy in front and side crashes than before.

Moreover, systems such as EyeSight Driver Assist with Lane Centering Function are now standard. There’s also a DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation system (optional on Limited and standard on both XT trims), a Front View Monitor, LED Steering Responsive headlights, Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Subaru expects the new Legacy to receive a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when it’s tested later this year.

Turbo power is very welcome

The new turbocharged engine has a displacement of 2.4-liters and produces 260 HP and 277 lb-ft (375 Nm) of torque. It’s paired to a Lineartronic CVT transmission and can take you from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in an estimated 6.1 seconds. As for fuel economy, Subaru expects around 24/32 mpg (9.8 / 7.3 l/100 km) in the city and highway respectively.

You can still get a non-turbo Legacy, of course, if you opt for the revised 2.5-liter boxer engine that debuted on the 2019 Forester. It puts down 182 HP and 176 lb-ft (238 Nm) of torque for a 0-60 acceleration time of 8.4 seconds and a 27/35 mpg (8.7 / 6.7 l/100 km) city/highway rating.

The 2020 Subaru Legacy will arrive at retailers this fall, with pricing to be announced at a later date.

Update: Live photos from the Chicago Auto Show added to the gallery


more photos...
  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen


    Unless you absolutely have to have AWD, I see no point in buying this over an Accord or the much MUCH cheaper Sonata. The 2.5 in this vehicle, while competitive in horsepower, feels absolutely anemic in practice.

    • EM1

      I’m sure Honda has thought about adding AWD to the Accord as that is the new trend with sedans.
      I still wish Chrysler did something to keep the 200 C alive. A new engine too would have solved the issue and it does have AWD.

      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

        While I loved the looks of the 200, it wasn’t competitive in the segment and it wasn’t just due to engine choice. The rear seat was inhospitable due to a sloping roofline and lack of rear seat space. People buy D-segment sedans for practicality, not for their form.

  • MarkoS

    A nice clean properly proportioned Sedan, it is actually very nice and hits where its customers want it. Nice interior too. I wish they would have done this with the new Forester instead of adding the dorky bling elements. This also looks good for the next Outback.

  • DMax

    Couldn’t even tell without the badges what it is. Maybe a Corolla, maybe a Sonata. Just another appliance, nothing to see here.

    • Ilbirs

      It may have an appliance appearance, but what is important sits below this shape, as it has a longitudinal boxer engine coupled to an AWD system that works permanently, instead of a transverse engine that sends power to at most an on-demand AWD system.

  • PhilMcGraw

    For the first time in over a decade a Legacy will come with a turbo engine?

    Gotta give props to Subaru.

    • charlotteharry57

      But, bye-bye V-6. Think it’s the right move.

  • Matthijs

    Looks a lot like the current one. Nothing special, although not ugly. Interior looks in these top spec pretty good. I’m not from the NA but who buys these cars? Isn’t a Camry or Accord a better car?

    • willhaven

      Anyone that may need AWD, but yes, the Camry and Accord are demonstrably better cars.

    • Ilbirs

      I’m also not from NA, but by what I know it’s the main market for Subaru, to a point that the Pleiades’ brand outsells VW in that part of the world.

  • jfalckt

    Trying to remember what the last one looked like now, and the one before that.

  • Mike anonymous

    I Personally preferred the Last Generations’ Exterior Styling in comparison to this one. It borrowed a lot of it’s (in my opinion) good/decent looks from the 2013 Legacy Concept. (both show below).

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/14256c764e5600b85983e9b8185163316812b8faa8d7c12dcb91caabd7868836.png https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fdfb12ab9a7ce20232a69dec8eb2780e80e2e924a9eb85727a362f326a7627fc.png

    The last generation received a facelift for the 2018 Model year which (at least for me) simply ruined the vehicles original good looks that it debuted with for the 2015 model year.
    With the facelift they changed; the grille, lower bumper, and the headlights. (A Comparison shown below)


    I personally prefer the 2015 version (in terms of exterior styling) to the 2018 Facelift and all new 2019 revealed here.

    The new 2019s’ interior takes the cake, but the Pre-facelift 2015 still is my favorite version of the legacy we’ve received since 2004, if not, this century.

    • charlotteharry57

      The last one and the ’15 Sonata nearly looked identical in the front. Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen again (’20 Sonata due in New York next month).

    • designer_dick
      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        You look at one of those on the street as you pass it by and say to yourself:
        “Hmmm, a clean 3.0R….”

      • Ilbirs

        These Subarus with frameless windows were great. They were from times when the brand didn’t matter in being some kind of “Japanese Citroën” and had some uncommon solutions that went beyond the simple fact of putting a boxer on the front to power four wheels.

        • Jp

          I upvoted for the “Japanese Citroën”, that’s an spot-on analogy for sure.

  • Rocket

    I’ll take bland over trendy “look-at-me” Japanese styling any day. Well done, Subaru.

    • MarkoS

      This will age well as most Subarus do.

  • designer_dick

    The headlights look like they were designed by someone with a shaky hand.

  • Ishliss

    ‘This 7th-gen Legacy is the first-ever Legacy to feature a turbocharged engine’
    Didn’t the 3rd and 4th gen offer a turbocharged engine?

    • Anders Gustav


    • Andy Casagranda

      Sure did, I owned a 2006 Legacy GT with 2.5L turbo. Loved that car!

      • willhaven

        It was a great car. It was easily the nicest car in its class at the time.

  • Dennis Scipio

    I do find the interior part attractive.

  • Anders Gustav

    Well proportioned, nice interior, finally the turbo is back, and a brand new one at that.
    Only thing missing is manual, but still good😊

    First turbo cant be right though, they had those two generations ago.

    • JohnCarscoop

      No, it’s not the first turbo, we’ve since corrected the article, but thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  • salamOOn

    i like the current exterior more, i dont like missing 6cyl and i dont like tablet inside…. so i guess this car is more no than yes for me right now.

  • ErnieB

    So they just completely ripped off the Volvo interior..

  • mick

    looks like the ascent’s center stack was designed for this new display, so it should show up on the refresh if not sooner.

  • DM

    I REALLY miss my old 2008 3.0R. Frameless windows, sleek silhouette, SI Drive. The most reliable car I have ever owned. Quite a head turner too. Subaru please stop with the CVTs so I can be a Subie owner again.

    • Blinka Bot

      U right.
      these are the best looking and very refined inside out.
      the best insulated and quite subaru I’ve ever had.

      But! she is Drunk, loves to dry the tank.
      also Auto trans. is too trigger happy on the kick-down

  • TB

    A bit bland but…it’s a nice option to the Accord and Camry.

  • eb110americana

    The interior looks really nice in the upper trims pictured–other than the chunky/plastic/dated steering wheel. I like the integrated infotainment screen and its lower bezel, and the leather wrapping everywhere looks very plush.

    Subaru seriously needs to hire some exterior designers and fire whoever is running the show over there though. This thing looks like they phoned it in. And who debuts a new vehicle in “rental car white?!”

  • Ben

    Subaru is the Khaki pants of the car world. You can’t dump on them, but you really can’t complement them either. They exist and serve a purpose. Majority of Subaru’s cars fit that billing.

    • alexxx

      Yeah…no nonsense cars.

  • Bash

    Play it safe on the exterior, seriously, Put this and ongoing model next to each other 100 yards away from you and won’t know the difference.!!

    • dumblikeyou2

      I wasn’t sure if it was just a refresh even after I read 2020.

    • alexxx

      Are you talking about Subaru our vw? ☺️

      • Bash

        Now since you’ve mentioned vw, it’s Both, both my friend.

  • Blinka Bot

    OMG.. It got Curves..
    getting older and rounder
    be careful subaru – you might end up as pretty as mazda..

  • dumblikeyou2

    Better wheel designs could elevate the look of this car. It’s innocuous for sure, but a lot of cars are and it’s the wheels that actually can make or break the car’s overall attractiveness.

    • Momogg

      You’re right.


    Bravo Subaru. Classical interior

  • Bo Hanan

    Only Subaru would start adding styling features from a prototype of 10 years ago.

    • donald seymour

      And that’s real.

  • Althea Later

    “Overall, though, this new model is instantly recognizable as a Legacy” LMAO

    Dear author: Are you for real??? I saw the photos before anything else and HAD ZERO CLUE that it is a Subaru.
    I thought “Is this a Mazda 6 with new ugly tail-lamps???” It looks like they made the Mazda 6 bland” That’s what I thought.

  • Momogg

    It’s not so bad…

  • ksegg

    Did I miss something. When was Subaru ever avant-garde or edgy or daring with any of their designs in the past 10 years?

    • NoMan2015

      The B9 Tribeca comes to mind…as does the SVX.

      • ksegg

        B9 Tribeca was 13 years ago.

        SVX was 23 years ago.

        In the past 10 years, Subaru has played it safe every single time. That was the point of my original comment.

        • TRB0T0Y

          Playing it safe has worked rather well for ’em, ay?
          10 straight years of sales growth ain’t too shabby.
          And they still have a little fun on the side… ahem… $50k STis n’ at.

        • KareKakk

          The pun goes that since Toyota got a little too much ownership in Subaru, all models got the design that came second in the contest of being a new Toyota model. Legacy could have been a nice Avensis, but instead became a dull Subaru. And with framed windows! All heritage went south when Toyota knocked on the door.

        • NoMan2015

          Well you didn’t give a timeframe until you edited your comment after I responded, so I was answering the question you actually asked, not reading your mind.

          • ksegg

            My bad.

  • Jason Panamera

    And I thought that Mazda has one of the most ,,almost premium brand” interior like.

  • KareKakk

    First Legacy came with turbo in 89/90… 200Hp fra a 2,0 B4, manual tranny and Momo steering wheel ++.


  • Perry F. Bruns

    If only Malcolm Bricklin’s career had lived to see this…

  • Jp

    Proportions wise that huge front overhang kills the profile for me. Otherwise looks very conservative, but it’s worked for Subaru recently so they probably know what they’re doing.

  • Six Thousand Times

    There more hate than there needs to be for Subaru styling. The new Legacy isn’t a design classic but with the boxer turbo and awe, I’d consider one. And it’s better looking than that nasty Camry.

  • Liam Paul

    shouldn’t a refresh look newer and not older ?

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Just another generic 4 door. You’d only really get one if you got a great deal and a good warranty.

  • Dmonic

    Was reading the article and then saw the photos…..falling asleep zzzzzzzzzz

  • SteersUright

    In Subaru tradition, its generic as hell and some would say, ugly. Probably competent. Don’t know who buys this crap though.

    • ksegg

      1.) People who couldn’t be bothered with shopping/researching cars and buys them by watching car commercials.

      2.) People with no sense of humor.

      3.) People who pride themselves on being overly practical.

      4.) People who use reuse old orange juice containers to plant things in.

      5.) People who own dogs, and need to tell you how you’re a giant piece of shat for not being a dog owner.

      6.) People who make “Sunday Brunch” dates a thing. Every week.

      7.) People who hate change and hate performance. They want to go 40mph and are happy doing so. Everywhere.

  • Marek Andrzejak

    I really like it.
    Shame that this car will not be available in EU.


    the driver display is so 2009

  • CarbonPhiber

    Ladies and gentlemen: Introducing the 2020 Chrysler 200. Thank you very much. Good night.

  • CarbonPhiber

    No Legacy turbos in the US for the last 10 years. Just super slow, ugly sedans. Awesome.

  • Kagan

    It looks better than 7-series.

    • ksegg

      That’s a stretch. I get the grille on the 7er is terrible, but this Subie looks straight out of 2001. Subaru literally didn’t even try.

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