Thu. Sep 16th, 2021
2020 Subaru Legacy XT

2020 Subaru Legacy XT Drivers’ Notes

The 2020 Subaru Legacy is completely new in all of the places that can’t be seen. Subaru transitioned the redesigned sedan onto its Subaru Global Platform and gave it an entirely new interior, but the drab sheetmetal hardly looks changed from the previous generation.

There’s a new 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four thrashing away under the hood, replacing the flat-six as the upgrade engine for the Legacy. The boosted XT version of the sedan is the one that we spent a week driving. In this configuration, the Legacy offers 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, routing it through a continuously variable transmission.

Our Touring XT was the most expensive Legacy that money can buy at $36,795. Being the highest trim, it presents well inside with tan and black high quality leather all over the place. Subaru is finally starting to put together some great interiors, and it shows. A whole list of luxury and tech features sweeten the deal even more for the Legacy. Additions like the 11.6-inch infotainment system, driver-monitoring system, power sunroof, front view monitor, satin finish mirrors, heated everything and much more all add up to make a surprisingly luxurious Subaru sedan.

The split screen function when using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is nice, but I prefer a widescreen format so that the phone app can take over the entire screen. Both Apple and Android now offer screen modes that allow you to see navigation and the current music playing on the same screen.

Even though it is turbocharged, the XT never feels especially fast. The CVT picks up the revs and gets it into the meat of the boost after a quick second, and then it’s steady acceleration from there. A 6.1-second 0-60 mph time is swift, but don’t get any ideas about this being a sports sedan. This engine felt happiest when I was trying to jockey about in rush hour traffic, providing plentiful acceleration when called upon.

While Zac honed in on the tech, I’m going to take a step back and look at the interior as a whole. The materials and layout are a noticeable upgrade over old Subarus, and it’s a pleasant place to spend time. The color scheme is tasteful with tan leather and black structural pieces. It’s sort of a subtle woodsy vibe. The visibility is solid, and the steering wheel feels just a bit larger than other sedans in this segment, which I like. The infotainment system, which is the anchor of the dash, is colorful, but a little dense. My main takeaway from that: Don’t make seat heaters part of the touchscreen.