Mid-sized sedans have continued to lose in popularity with alacrity in recent years at the expense of the crossover.
Nonetheless, some good sedan offerings remain and the 2019 Subaru Legacy is definitely one worth considering.
Especially when you consider it has a terrific all-wheel drive system and the Legacy’s trunk space is spacious to say the least, easily swallowing an entire Costco run with room to spare.
Add to that the fact it comes with all the passive, active and preventative safety systems that make Subaru a leader in terms of crash testing results.
The systems include automatic emergency braking, active lane control and adaptive cruise control.
And our tester, a fully equipped Legacy 3.6R, also came with the optional EyeSight package that has a suite of preventative collision systems, high beam assist, reverse automatic braking, proximity key with push-button start and a 5-inch LCD display.
The Legacy has two engine choices, with the base engine being a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder Boxer engine (175 horsepower, 174 lb-ft of torque).
Our tester had the larger 3.6L V6 that has an output of 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, which makes the Legacy a pretty potent sedan.
The V6 is paired to a high-torque CVT transmission that does a good job moving that power without sounding or acting too much like a CVT.
Opting for the V6 does come with some extra time at the fuel pump, with a combined average of 10.3 litres per 100 kilometres. However, our week with the Legacy 3.6R returned an average of 12.6 L/100 km.
Styling-wise, there’s nothing spectacular about the Legacy that really makes a wow statement, but there’s also nothing inherently wrong with the design.
It has clean lines and the design is straightforward, although the 3.6R does have a very attractive set of 18-inch wheels that give the look a little punch.
For 2019, there’s also a new colour available called Abyss Blue Pearl.
The passenger cabin is spacious and offers plenty of room for occupants, including in the rear seats.
Like the exterior, however, the styling on the interior is mundane but functional.
The tester has Subaru’s larger touchscreen display (8.0-inch) that is front and centre, with all the other essential controls grouped together right below the screen.
The Legacy’s seating is comfortable, with a standard 10-way power adjustable driver seat, including power lumbar support and two memory settings.
There’s also a 5-inch LCD display in the gauge cluster in the 3.6R rather than the standard 3.5-inch display.
And for those of you who like to combine music and driving, the Legacy 3.6R has just the thing for you: A Harman Kardon 12-speaker system with 576-watt amplifier that is divine.
It is powered through the aforementioned 8-inch infotainment screen that offers satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Starlink smartphone integration.
The system also includes a navigation system and SMS text messaging capability.
Response time did appear a little sluggish at times, but it was nothing too concerning.
With the optional V6 under the hood of our tester, the Legacy 3.6R is definitely a notch above the rest of the lineup in terms of fun behind the wheel.
It gets the Legacy moving in no time and makes you want to hit the twisty roads to test out its power and grip. In other words, it makes you want to let it be a Subaru.
The bonus here is that the CVT doesn’t feel like a CVT thanks to the simulated gear steps that make it appear to be a more traditional automatic gearbox.
Anything that is done to hide the feel of a CVT is a win.
Whether in the city or on the highway, the Legacy 3.6R gets the job done and doesn’t shy away from jumping into action when called upon to pass slower traffic on the highway.
And let’s not forget that it comes with an all-wheel drive system that means the Legacy can do more than just drive on the highway – it won’t be bothered if you decide to take it for a spin on some dirt-covered country roads or some snowy hills.
It’s the best of two worlds in the Legacy, with a four-door sedan that offers lots of features and cargo room, and an all-wheel drive system that makes it as versatile as many crossovers out there.
2019 Subaru Legacy
Price as tested: $38,560.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.6-litre horizontally-opposed 6-cylinder / high-torque lineartronic CVT
Power/torque: 256 horsepower/ 247 ft-lb of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (70 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 10.3 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 12.6 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/60,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Mazda6