OJAI, Calif. — No brand has benefited more from the crossover boom than Subaru. Subaru's spectacular rise – from fewer than 100,000 sales in 1995, to a record pace of roughly 700,000 this year – was fueled largely by all-wheel-drive crossovers like the Outback and Forester, as the American market basically fell into Subaru's lap. But unlike some competitors, Subaru is keeping full faith in sedans, as evidenced by the all-new 2020 Legacy. Its impressive redesign underlines the advantages of the humble family sedan, from a more-affordable price to superior fuel economy. In true Subaru fashion, or perhaps anti-fashion, the Legacy's self-effacing styling that's hard to distinguish from its predecessor won't blow anyone away. But look past the workaday sheetmetal, and you'll find a decisively improved sedan. It's roomier than any class rival save the Accord, notably quiet and lavishly appointed, too. Consider the standard Eyesight suite of accident avoidance tech and a driver-monitoring system that's still AWOL on most luxury cars, including Teslas. And the 2020 Legacy is a solid value, at $23,645 to start. That undercuts the most-affordable Accord by nearly $1,000, and the Camry by $1,120 – and that's despite the Legacy's standard, full-time all-wheel drive, which has few peers in this segment. The 2020 Nissan Altima S AWD starts well north of the base Legacy, at $26,345, and although it's slightly more powerful than the Subaru, it's not enough to justify the premium. So if you buy a Legacy, it's like getting AWD for free, if you'd care to look at it that way. (Subaru certainly would).
In this "Top Gear" clip, host Chris Harris and "TG" magazine deputy editor Jack Rix share their thoughts about the new Toyota Supra. Jack Rix puts Harris on the defensive right away by asking him to explain a line he wrote in a previous review of the car: "This is one of the strangest cars I've ever driven." Harris initially seems to admit that his perspective may be unique to someone who tests cars so frequently, then explains that what he meant is that he's very used to individual brands and expects certain things from them. "... When I get into an Audi, there's a smell to an Audi, there's a feeling to the seats, there's a feeling to the steering wheel." But when he got behind the wheel of a Supra, it just didn't feel like a Toyota. The two discuss the history of Japanese sports cars and what Harris thinks of the Supra's segment overall. To get the full scoop, you'll have to watch the clip above and don't forget that "Top Gear" airs on BBC America Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
Pricing for the 2020 Subaru Legacy sedan and Outback crossover are now available. Both models were completely redesigned for the model year, but base prices have barely gone up. The 2020 Subaru Legacy starts at $23,645, just $215 more than the old model. The 2020 Subaru Outback now starts at $27,655, which is $335 more than the 2019 Outback. Price differences vary depending on trims, but for the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder models, the prices have only gone up a few hundred dollars. You can see the breakdown of Legacy prices below, and the Outback prices below the next paragraph. As for the turbocharged models, the price increase is quite a bit more compared with equivalent 3.6R 6-cylinder examples from 2019. The cheapest turbocharged Legacy is $35,095, which is $2,665 more than its flat-six predecessor. With the Outback, you can technically get a turbo model for less than the cheapest 2019 six-cylinder model. It starts at $35,905, whereas the entry-level 6-cylinder Outback for 2019 started at $35,970. But keeping trims matched up, the same trim turbo model is $38,755, an increase of $2,785. Regardless of Legacy or Outback trim, buyers will get more power and torque. The base 2.5-liter inline-4 makes 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque, up from 175 and 174, respectively. The turbo engine makes 260 horsepower versus 256 from the old 6-cylinder, and 277 pound-feet of torque instead of 247. Both vehicles are completely redesigned boasting lighter, stiffer chassis and a much nicer interior with a massive center touchscreen available. Be sure to check out our first look articles on the Outback and Legacy for additional details on the new cars.
The Outback is Subaru's best-selling vehicle, and for good reason. It's capable, it's versatile, it wears inoffensive looks, and it offers plenty of modern tech in a relatively affordable package. So when it came time to rework the model and introduce a new generation, Subaru took the less-is-more approach to the aesthetic redesign, which only has subtle tweaks. The major changes come inside the cabin and beneath the sheetmetal by introducing a more premium interior, and an all-new XT trim with a new 277-lb-ft 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine.
Similar to the approach used to update the 2020 Legacy, Subaru refined the Outback at every level. That started with the car's bones and the Subaru Global Platform. Subaru says the 2020 Outback is 70 percent stiffer in torsional and front-suspension rigidity and 100 percent stiffer in front lateral flex and rear subframe rigidity. The improved structure is also said to be 40 percent more absorbent in front and side crashes.
The completely redesigned 2020 Subaru Legacy just took the stage at the Chicago Auto Show, and it looks like a ... Subaru Legacy! We tease, because while Subaru has ever so subtly changed the metalwork everywhere you look, it's not obvious at first glance. Creases turn in slightly different directions, the fenders pop out just a bit more, and the wheels are different. To really see the difference, you should look at the cabin, underpinnings and mechanicals, where Subaru gave the seventh-generation Legacy a thorough overhaul.
Subaru hasn't changed the Legacy's identity, but we're glad to report that this "all-new" Legacy represents a significant step forward for the model. The midsize sedan hops onto the Subaru Global Platform introduced a couple years ago with the Impreza. This structure is much more rigid than the 2019 model year car's platform, and also increases the use of ultra-high-tensile steel and structural adhesives. All this basically means that the new Legacy is stiffer, lighter and safer than the outgoing model — all good qualities to inherit.