Flash Drive: 2010 Subaru Legacy
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2010 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited is a legitimate contender in the midsize sedan category, offering perhaps the best continuously variable transmission that I have experienced to date. The redesigned Legacy is larger than its predecessor, and rear-seat passengers benefit the most, with plenty of additional legroom and headroom. The CVT makes the most of the 170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque from the 2.5-liter flat-four and delivers combined fuel economy in the mid-20 mpg range. At times, the transmission feels more like a step-gear transmission than a CVT, particularly in manual-shift mode, with six predetermined ratios that can be selected with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. The Limited's interior, with leather, brushed aluminum-look trim and wood trim, has a nice design consistent with its Tribeca and Impreza siblings. The new Legacy is a really nicely done car that drives well, with an efficient drivetrain and a nicely finished interior, giving the impression that it has been improved in all these areas. –Mike Meredith
Subaru did a great job with the redesign of the 2010 Legacy sedan. In addition to the updated styling inside and out, the Legacy is considerably larger than the previous generation. The passenger cabin is roomy, especially with the added legroom in the rear seat. The trunk is spacious, as well. The trunk opening is quite small, however, making loading large boxes difficult. Our test car was the decked-out 2.5i Limited, which bucks the trend of pairing the most luxurious trim with the most powerful engine. With power output no more than an Impreza, I was surprised that both performance and fuel economy exceeded that of the smaller car. The key is the excellent CVT in the Legacy, one of the best I've ever experienced. Acceleration is more than adequate, and I saw better than 21 mpg in mainly city driving; the Legacy is rated at 31 mpg highway. A bonus: The Legacy is a partial zero-emission vehicle (PZEV), doing its part to keep the air clean. With full-time all-wheel drive and a price around $28K, the new Legacy is a great choice for an all-season fuel-efficient family sedan. –Perry Stern
Surprisingly, in a tough, competitive segment, the Subaru Legacy stands out at the top of the stack. It's better to drive, sit in, and look at than a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. The boxer engine is extremely smooth-running, typical of most Subarus. What is not so typical is the almost unbelievably good CVT. It took some time for me to be convinced that the transmission in this Legacy is actually a CVT. Like other continuously variable transmissions, it is completely smooth. However, the engine never races for the red line in order to provide reasonable acceleration, as is common among competitive CVTs. I was amazed and impressed. –Paul Hagger