2020 Subaru Legacy Adds Tech, Turbo Engine

February 08, 2019 at 9:35 AM

Subaru Corp. says its redesigned Legacy midsize sedan is lighter, faster, quieter and more fuel efficient than the outgoing model.

The carmaker unveiled the 2020 model at this week’s Chicago auto show. Sales are due to launch this autumn in the U.S.

The seventh-generation Legacy moves to Subaru’s global platform, which also carries the Ascent, Crosstrek, Forester and Impreza. The new structure uses 13% more ultra-high-strength steel to help reduce weight and improve structural rigidity.

Subaru says the architecture boosts torsional and front-suspension rigidity by 70%, while doubling front lateral and rear subframe rigidity. The Legacy also benefits from a nearly fourfold increase in weight-saving structural adhesive and a unique inner frame construction.

The 2020 Legacy also has a lower center of gravity and gets a new suspension setup, featuring MacPherson struts in front and double-wishbone layout in rear. Exterior tweaks include wider fenders and softer edges.

Buyers will have a choice of two 4-cylinder “boxer” engines. A turbocharged 2.4-liter mill that makes 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque replaces the current 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine.

The base 2.5-liter engine makes 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Both units are paired with a continuously variable transmission and standard all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring.

Automatic stop-start and active grille shutters help boost fuel efficiency to an estimated 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway with the 2.5-liter engine. The turbo 2.4-liter is expected to get 24/32 mpg, which Subaru notes is significantly better than the current 6-cylinder engine.

The interior is highlighted by an optional 11.6-inch tablet-style (vertically oriented) center console display. The base model gets a 7-inch display. The larger unit also has smartphone integration and, in some cases, connects to premium Harman Kardon speakers.

High-end trim levels include 12-way power front seats wrapped in Nappa leather with heating and cooling functions, plus a heated steering wheel. Other available goodies include as many as four USB ports, a wireless charging pad and a wi-fi hotspot.

New door weather strips and improved sound insulation help reduce cabin noise by 3 dB at highway speeds, the carmaker says.

Among the available driver-assist technologies are automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, rear cross-traffic alert and a 180° front-view monitor. An optional driver detection system can warn of driver fatigue or distraction.