The all-new Subaru Legacy has been revealed at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, and the model moves to the Japanese automaker’s global platform that underpins the rest of the lineup. The redo comes as the Legacy nameplate is marking its 30th anniversary, and compared to the current family sedans from Honda and Toyota, the latest version looks pretty darn normal. Who would have thought we’d say that about a Subaru?
Torque-vectoring all-wheel drive is standard across the board, as is EyeSight Driver Assist with lane-centering tech. Fresh options include a big, portrait-orientation 11.6-inch infotainment screen, driver-distraction detection, and the upscale Limited XT and Touring XT models.
The XTs pack a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat four that offers 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same powerplant used in the Ascent SUV and Subaru claims a zero-to-60-mph sprint of about 6.1 seconds. The brand touts an estimated EPA fuel-economy rating of 24 mpg city and 32 mpg for the XT models.
The base, Premium, Sport, and Limited variants use a carry-over 2.5-liter inline-four that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft and what Subaru estimates is an 8.4-second zero-to-60 time. Thanks to help from standard active grille shutters, 2.5-powered cars are expected to be rated for 27/35 mpg. Both engines mate to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and both feature automatic engine stop-start tech to help save fuel.
Tech goodies include the aforementioned anti-distraction setup, which is marketed as the Driver Focus Distraction Mitigation System. It’s optional on the Limited and standard on both XT trims, and uses a camera and facial-recognition software to identify signs that the driver is tired or occupied with a task that isn’t driving.
A front-view monitor is standard on the Touring XT to help reveal blind spots in front of the sedan. Additional options include LED swiveling headlamps for Limited and Touring trims, reverse automatic braking, blind-spot detection with lane-change assist, and rear-cross traffic alert.
A 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system is also available, while the new Legacy features four USB ports—two in front and two in the rear—as well as one auxiliary input jack up front. Finally, all Legacys except for the base model have two 12-volt DC power sockets.
The Legacy offers 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space for all your gear and can accommodate four full-size roller bags. (For reference, last year’s model also had about 15 cubic feet of trunk space.) If you have more stuff, the new Legacy features standard mounting brackets on the roof for an optional rack, box, or tray. The 2020 Subie sedan arrives this fall and pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date. While this introduction is a key one for Subaru, more important is that this basic package will provide the basis for the upcoming next-generation Outback wagon/crossover, the vehicle that forms the vital core of the brand’s U.S. sales. Based on what we see here, fans of that one should have much to look forward to.