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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport

      It's hard out there for midsize sedans

    The 2018 Subaru Legacy finds itself in a difficult spot. Like other midsize sedans, the Legacy has been seeing its sales fall down as more buyers are trending towards trucks and utility vehicles. But Subaru is trying to stop the bleeding somewhat by introducing an updated Legacy with various improvements to the exterior and mechanical bits. Is it enough?

    • Compared to the last Legacy I drove in 2015, the 2018 model has some minor changes. The front now comes with a wider grille, updated design for the headlights, and a new bumper. The 2.5i Sport adds blacked-out trim, fog lights, and a set of 18-inch wheels with painted inserts. This helps makes the very plain design stand-out slightly more.
    • Subaru’s safe approach to design continues inside. There are only a couple of changes like a new steering wheel and updated controls for the climate system. While it lacks in overall excitement, the Legacy’s earns top marks in overall usability as controls are easy to find and reach. Material quality sees an improvement as Subaru has added more soft-touch plastics throughout.
    • The Legacy’s interior feels quite spacious thanks in part to a large glass area and thin roof pillars. Those sitting in the front will find the seats to be a little too firm, but they do provide an excellent amount of support for any trip. The back seat has more than enough legroom for tall passengers. The same cannot be said for headroom as those over six-feet will find their heads touching the liner.
    • Open up the trunk to find 15 cubic feet of space, slightly smaller than the Hyundai Sonata I reviewed a few weeks back.
    • My Sport tester came with an 8-inch touchscreen featuring Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system. The system gains an upgraded processor to address complaints of Starlink being somewhat slow. It makes a big difference as the system starts up much faster and is more responsive when going to different functions. The system also earns points for being easy to use with large touchscreen tiles and shortcut buttons on either side.
    • I did have an issue of Starlink not recognizing my iPhone 7 Plus. The system saw something was plugged into the USB port, but couldn’t figure out what it was. It took a reset of my phone and restarting the vehicle before it would work. After this, Starlink had no issues finding my phone and bringing up the CarPlay interface.
    • Under the hood is a 2.5L boxer-four producing 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT and Symmetrical all-wheel drive. Around town, the engine is very responsive and gets up to speed a decent clip. On the highway, the 2.5 struggles to get up to speed at a decent clip. A lot of the slowness can be attributed to the Legacy’s weight. My 2.5i Sport tips the scales at 3,538 pounds. This is 143 pounds heavier than a 2018 Toyota Camry XSE four-cylinder that I recently drove.
    • The CVT Subaru uses is one of the best in the business. It doesn’t have the rubber-band issue - engine RPMs rise at a quick rate before falling during acceleration - and has been calibrated to have ‘steps’ to mimic a regular six-speed automatic.
    • EPA fuel economy figures for the Legacy 2.5i are 25 City/34 Highway/29 Combined. I saw an average of 28.2 mpg on a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving.
    • Despite this model being badged as a ‘Sport’, the Legacy doesn’t fully live up to this. There is a fair amount body lean when cornering and the steering is a bit too light in terms of weight. At least the AWD system provides tenacious grip to keep you on the road.
    • You would be forgiven if you thought the Legacy was a luxury sedan due to its ride quality. Most bumps and imperfections are soaked up by the suspension. This comes down to a new set of dampers being fitted for 2018.
    • Another improvement comes in the form of noise isolation. Subaru has added more sound-insulating material and acoustic glass for the 2018 model. The end result is barely any tire of wind noise coming inside. Some engine whine does come inside during hard acceleration.
    • Subaru still leads the pack when it comes to active safety. The optional EyeSight driver-assist suite uses stereo cameras to see the road ahead and feed that data to the adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and pre-collision braking systems. The adaptive cruise control system is one of the best as the system is able to adjust the speed and distance in a very smooth manner whenever the system detects a vehicle in front. 
    • The 2.5i Sport begins at $26,345. My tester came equipped with an option package that included the EyeSight suite, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Rear Active Braking, and Navigation for $2,095. That brings the as-tested price to $29,300. Taking into consideration the long list of standard equipment and the sporty touches, the Sport offers a lot of value.
    • Subaru’s changes to the 2018 Legacy help improve what we would consider being a competent midsize sedan. There lies the problem with the Legacy. Unlike other manufacturers that have stepped their efforts in terms of design, features, and other elements to try and draw people back to midsize sedans, Subaru just did the basics and didn’t bring forth something compelling. Previously, you could argue that all-wheel drive was the Legacy’s trump card. But considering how many crossovers have that as an option, it just doesn’t work anymore. Subaru better have something special for the next-generation model due out in 2020 or we might have another casualty.

    Disclaimer: Subaru Provided the Legacy, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Subaru
    Model: Legacy
    Trim: 2.5i Sport
    Engine: 2.5L DOHC Boxer-Four
    Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,800
    Torque @ RPM: 174 @ 4,000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/34/29
    Curb Weight: 3,538 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Lafayette, Indiana
    Base Price: $26,345
    As Tested Price: $29,300 (Includes $860.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    EyeSight + Blind Spot Monitoring + Reverse Automatic Braking + High Beam Assist + Navigation - $2,095

    Edited by William Maley



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    CVT sucks and as such this auto will never be on my to consider list. Sad as there is much I do like about the Subaru products. CVT Burned makes it a nonstarter for me on any OEM.

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    Take off the Subaru badging and you would hard pressed to tell what it is.  Looks so generic and old.  Like something from 2005 rental car hell.  

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    33 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    It looks so much smaller in this pic

    Tiny car, built by tiny people for tiny people. :P 

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    9 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Take off the Subaru badging and you would hard pressed to tell what it is.  Looks so generic and old.  Like something from 2005 rental car hell.  

    Ya know that a Ford badge would fit in the same place and people would think it was the second coming of Jesus from Ford Motor Co. :P;) 

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    The styling makes me think of a mix of the old Mitsu Lancer, first gen Chrysler 200, and some random Toyota and Hyundai parts.  And it has that deplorable, lazy stylist touch that I loathe—the pointless little bit of C-pillar trim that goes behind the door upper with the little black wedge of despair surrounded by chrome. 

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    Eyesight, the driver aides and AWD are the appeal for safety, I think especially for senior citizens that maybe don't have the reaction times they use to or drift out of a lane or live in the snow belt, etc.

    But it sounds like there are a lot of shortcomings with this car and the CVT issue also, that there are better choices out there.

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    9 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Ya know that a Ford badge would fit in the same place and people would think it was the second coming of Jesus from Ford Motor Co. :P;) 

     

    I always and still to this day wonder why Subaru’s logo is not called the Blue Oval or Japan’s blue oval.

     

    also like thematically Ford and Subaru, now that I think about it...Like the perfect marriage of brands that sell utility and lots of it?

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    5 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

     

    I always and still to this day wonder why Subaru’s logo is not called the Blue Oval or Japan’s blue oval.

     

    also like thematically Ford and Subaru, now that I think about it...Like the perfect marriage of brands that sell utility and lots of it?

    Agree, I have honestly thought if it was not for our second depression in 2007 when GM went bankrupt and Ford leveraged everything to the sky, Ford would have bought up GM's controlling stake in Subaru. Good match I think.

    All things Utility car married to all things Utility Truck / SUV.

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    On 7/31/2018 at 4:39 PM, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Take off the Subaru badging and you would hard pressed to tell what it is.  Looks so generic and old.  Like something from 2005 rental car hell.  

    Exactly. 

    On 7/31/2018 at 4:39 PM, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Take off the Subaru badging and you would hard pressed to tell what it is.  Looks so generic and old.  Like something from 2005 rental car hell.  

    Exactly.

    My biggest problem with this is the lack of power. I really want at least a six with the next car.

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      Engine: 3.6L V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
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      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
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    • By William Maley
      Expectation can be a very dangerous thing. You come into something thinking it will blow your mind and more often than not, it comes up short. That’s how I felt during the first few days into a loan of a 2019 Buick Regal GS. What was being presented didn’t match up with my experience. But over the week I had the vehicle, it began to grow on. That isn’t to say some issues need to be addressed.
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      There lies the overall problem with Regal GS as Buick doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sport sedan or a luxury sedan with grand tourer tendencies? This confusion will likely cause many people to look at something else which is a big shame.
      How I Would Configure a 2019 Buick Regal GS.
      My particular configuration would be similar to the vehicle tested here with the Driver Confidence Package #2, Sights and Sounds, and Appearance packages. The only change would be adding the White Frost Tricoat color, which adds an additional $1,095 to the price. All together, it comes out to $44,210.
      Alternatives to the 2019 Buick Regal GS:
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      Year: 2019
      Make: Buick
      Model: Regal
      Trim: GS
      Engine: 3.6L V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
      Torque @ RPM: 282 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Rüsselsheim Germany
      Base Price: $39,070
      As Tested Price: $43,115 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Confidence Package #2: $1,690.00
      Sights and Sounds Package: $945.00
      Appearance Package: $485.00
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      14,106
      17,051
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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Subaru has announced pricing for the 2020 Subaru Legacy and 2020 Subaru Outback. Both get modest price increases, but also increases in base equipment.  The Legacy starting price is $200 more than last year at $24,995, and the Outback is $300 more at $26,645. 
      Some of the biggest equipment upgrades is that Subaru's Eyesight now features Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, a heads up monitoring system, LED headlights for low and high beam, and high beam assist. 
      Both cars are built on Subaru's new global platform that offers increased safety, and reductions in noise, vibration, and harshness. The base engine is a revised 2.5 liter boxer-four that produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. An upgraded 2.4T boxer engine is standard in Limited XT models and produces 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm.  Both engines come with start-stop to improve fuel efficiency.  
      Fuel economy figures are as follows:
      Legacy 2.5 - 35 MPG highway
      Legacy XT - 32 MPG highway
      Outback 2.5 - 33 MPG highway
      Outback XT - 30 MPG highway
      The only transmission available is Subaru's Lineartronic CVT that now has an 8-speed manual shift mode via paddles on the steering wheel. 
      Six different trims are available on the Legacy and seven different trims available on the Outback. Inside, the infotainment system features dual 7.0 inch touch screens.  The upper screen controls the audio with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, while the lower screen controls climate control, controls for Eyesight, and other vehicle systems. 
      Both the Legacy and Outback are built in Lafayette, IN, and will go on sale this fall.
       
       

      View full article
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