Buying Guide

2012 Subaru Legacy

Fair Market Price $11,686 2.5GT Limited Sedan


23 City / 31 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick

Horse Power:

170 @ 5600

The Legacy is a hidden gem in the mid-size-sedan segment. New in 2010, the Legacy offers a class-leading ride and handling package along with standard all-wheel drive, which isn’t even an option on most of the Legacy’s mid-size competitors. The Legacy is available in a large range of models, from the basic 2.5i powered by a 170-hp horizontally opposed four-cylinder to the sporty 265-hp 2.5GT, which is outfitted with a turbocharged engine mated to a slick six-speed manual gearbox. Subaru also offers six-cylinder power in 3.6R models. The 3.6-liter six-cylinder makes slightly less power than the turbocharged 2.5-liter in the 2.5GT, but the six doesn’t require the use of premium fuel. Buyers who don’t want to deal with the manual transmission in the 2.5GT might instead enjoy the five-speed automatic transmission in the 3.6R. The automatic provides paddle shifters for those times when manual control of the transmission is beneficial. We like the Legacy and its wagon cousin, the Outback, and we greatly appreciate the increase in rear-seat legroom that came with the changes for 2010. Overall, the Legacy competes well with better-known mid-size cars such as the Honda Accord, the Volkswagen Passat, and the Toyota Camry. It’s worth a test drive, especially if all-wheel drive is on your wish list.

Drive: 4-wheel

Trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited,
2.5GT Limited, 3.6R, 3.6R Premium, 3.6R Limited

Body style: Sedan, 5-passenger

Engines: 2.5L flat-4, 170 hp, 170 lb-ft
2.5L turbo flat-4, 265 hp, 258 lb-ft
3.6L flat-6, 256 hp, 247 lb-ft

Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, continuously variable

Passenger volume: 100.0-103.0 cu ft

Cargo space: 14.7 cu ft

A variety of audio changes are the big news for the 2012 Subaru Legacy. All Premium models now have a standard audio system with a single-disc CD player with MP3/WMA capability, Bluetooth, iPod and USB connectivity, and six speakers. Available audio enhancements include a 4.3-inch LCD, iTunes tagging, satellite radio, and nine speakers, including a subwoofer.

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; traction and stability control; ABS; electronic brake-force distribution; brake assist; and tire-pressure monitoring are standard. A rearview camera is optional.

All: 18-23 mpg city/25-31mpg highway

  • Fun to drive
  • 31 mpg with AWD
  • Several models to choose from
  • Interior materials are lacking
  • Nav system needs an upgrade

A hidden gem in the mid-size-sedan segment.

  • Ford Fusion
  • Honda Accord
  • Toyota Camry
  • Volkswagen Passat

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