2020 Subaru Legacy wields 260hp turbo and huge touchscreen dash

Chris Davies - Feb 7, 2019, 12:11 pm CDT
2020 Subaru Legacy wields 260hp turbo and huge touchscreen dash

The 2020 Subaru Legacy has had its big reveal in Chicago today, and it promises more refinement, more power, and more tech in this, its seventh generation. Packing Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard, the 2020 Legacy sedan also offers up to 260 horsepower and standard EyeSight driver assistance technology.

It’s a quietly handsome car, unmistakably a Legacy but smoothed out and grown-up for the 2020 model year. Based on the Subaru Global Platform – which the automaker says should result in a car 70-percent stiffer in torsional and front-suspension rigidity, and 100-percent stiff in front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity – it uses more ultra-high-tensile-strength steel than before, not to mention plenty more structural adhesive.

As well as being stiffer, the 2020 Legacy also has a lower center of gravity. Subaru says it should be safer, too, with the ability to absorb more than 40-percent more energy if involved in front or side crashes. Eight standard airbags are included, and Subaru is predicting a IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating after testing later this year.

Outwardly, the panels have been bolstered and the trunk surface made thicker, which Subaru says was done with visual solidity in mind. Wider fenders cover 17- or 18-inch wheels, while at the front there’s a frameless hexagonal grille. Revamped side mirrors boost aerodynamics and cut wind noise.

Subaru will offer two engines. The naturally aspirated option is a revamped version of the 2.5-liter BOXER we first saw in the 2019 Forester. That has 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque, and will be combined with a CVT transmission. Subaru says the car will do 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds, and is estimating 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. In the 2020 Legacy Sport, it’s paired with an SI-DRIVE switch for adjustable drive modes.

The second engine is the first turbo since 2012 under a new Legacy hood. It’s a 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER, with 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The CVT has a manual mode and steering wheel paddles, and the car should be good for 0-60 mph in around 6.1 seconds. Economy is estimated at 24 mpg in the city or 32 mpg on the highway.

Either way, the 2020 Legacy uses an all-new suspension system for this seventh generation sedan. That has MacPherson struts at the front, and a double-wishbone layout at the rear. Four-wheel ventilated disc brakes are standard.

Inside, the dashboard is dominated by a 11.6-inch Full HD touchscreen: it’ll be standard on the Premium, Sport, and Limited trims. The Touring trim throws in navigation as standard. With a split-screen UI, two features can be shown simultaneously – such as navigation and multimedia – and there’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. 4G LTE with WiFi hotspot is optional, as is a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

The rest of the cabin gets an upgrade, too. There’s more soft-touch material on the dashboard, with optional double-stitching; that’s echoed on the seat fabric too. Limited and Touring trims get 10-way power front seats and seat heating front and rear. Those seat heaters now have three levels, rather than two, and the heating elements now extend up to the shoulders.

Touring trim adds front seat ventilation and a heated steering wheel as standard. Four USB ports – two up front, two in the rear – are included. As for trunk space, there’s 15.1 cubic feet on offer, and Subaru outfits the 2020 Legacy with roof mounting brackets as standard.

On the safety side, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is standard across the 2020 Legacy range. That adds a lane-centering feature, which works with the adaptive cruise control to keep the sedan in the center of the lane. DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation is optional on the Limited and standard on the XT, using a camera and facial recognition software to spot if the driver is looking distracted or tired.

Subaru says the 2020 Legacy will begin to arrive in dealerships in the US this fall. Pricing for the new AWD sedan will be confirmed closer to that point.

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