Subaru Legacy and Subaru Outback 


 I was pleased to see the Subaru Legacy waiting for us. I’m pretty familiar with the Subaru model line and hadn’t until now had the honor of spending time with their sedan. We’ve also recently had time for a quick look at a Subaru Outlook. Both are fine representatives of the Subaru brand. 

First off, we spent a couple of weeks with the Legacy. Like I said earlier, this was a treat as we hadn’t had an opportunity to live with their more mainstream vehicle. We purely mean “mainstream” in the context of an everyday sedan for the masses.  

Of course, these models shared the renowned brand elements. Elements such as the Starlink and Eyesight systems which work great and make Subaru such a bargain. Besides Subaru being known for their wonderful all-wheel drive systems, they are also known for the tech they offer at a surprisingly reasonable price. The gadgetry and conveniences both of these models offer performed wonderfully as they should. 

During our extended highway driving in the Legacy, we were able to utilize essentially all of its driving aids and safety features. All worked as promised. However, there still seems to be a bit of aggressiveness to the lane keeping operation. 

It works pretty well. As promised in fact. It just seemed to take a stern hand in bringing you back to the opposite direction of the lane marker you’re exceeding without using a turn signal. This is fine, but it can get a bit scary and have you ping-ponging back and forth between opposing lane markers.  

My son has been known to turn his lane assist off. He had a scare while driving down the highway in his lane when a huge 18-wheeler that was alongside him, started to cross the into my son’s lane. My son had to take evasive action and jump out of his lane of travel to avoid the encroaching semi. Well of course since he hadn’t time to turn the turn signal on, the lane keeping system aggressively was turning my son and his Subaru back into the lane that the semi was half way in. It took some force, but my son was able to override the Eyesight correction and exit the lane that was now occupied by the semi. 

True, the Eyesight system worked as designed, as any other lane keeping system would. But this was a suddenly alarming correction. Though I personally haven’t had any close calls, I can only say it takes a moderately strong manual correction to override the system. 

I have absolutely no reservations about the comfort, interior space, or controls of the Legacy. It’s a sedan and not a truck nor sport utility vehicle. It drives like it should for a sedan. The Nevada and Arizona roadways are smooth as silk and the Legacy allowed us to comfortably soak up the miles.  

The Starlink system offered us all the connectivity options we needed. We utilized the familiar interface of the Android Auto system. It worked as designed of course. Any suggestions we had on making it a better system has to do with the actual Android Auto operation rather than from Subaru. 


The primary difference between this sedan and the Outlook is of course the third-box of the vehicle and how its presented. The Legacy had more than ample trunk space. Not as much as the Outlook of course, but a very well-designed area. Typical ease of access and placing and removing items from the bootspace. Interior space was also fine. Ample width and legroom in the rear seating area made that space comfortable for three if needed. Front seating had generous legroom and had enough seating adjustments available to suit most any driver. 

Both models had the smaller four-cylinder power plant. The Legacy managed the power as needed a tiny bit better than the Outlook. Most likely because the Outlook is a bit larger. Neither had any real or noticeable power deficit if you understand what you’re working with and the overall purpose of the vehicle. The CVT transmission has no gears of course, but it does incorporate a system that “shifts” at points to make it seem like a traditional geared box. It worked great. 

Because these were the smaller engine and the CVT transmission, if you “squeezed” the accelerator rather than “floor-it” you seem to get better power usage. At least we did. So, though Subaru is known somewhat for being a bit down on power, it is more than adequate for what these vehicles are designed for. 

The Outlook was another welcomed opportunity to learn what makes this America’s best-selling wagon. I guess that admission helps me decide what this vehicle truly is. To me, it’s a sport utility vehicle albeit a bit smaller than most crossovers. But then again if you really look at it, it’s really a sports wagon. I think that’s the true designation of it. I’m thinking the fact that this Outlook sits a bit higher off the ground makes it seem like a crossover rather than a wagon. 

In any event I like it. The design is growing on me more and more.  

This Outlook drove more like a wagon than any crossover vehicle I’ve been in. Believe it or not the rear seat legroom was more than the typical full-sized SUV I’d been in lately. Once again, these Subarus may not be the most luxurious vehicles but they do what they do very well. Exceedingly well considering the price point. 

Both of these models are great at what they do. The Legacy is a perfect daily driver for anyone that still wants a sedan and not a crossover. The Outlook is streamlined enough that it is refreshing in the sea of SUVs. Though Subaru seems to have a recall every other week, it’s fine. Stay on top of anything and we’ll be happy, even if a bit inconvenienced. 

Again, the pricing is king in these vehicles. For what you get in technology and safety features, you’d expect to pay quite a bit more. Like you do in the competition. I’ve now spent time with the Impreza, Legacy and Outlook. Each has its own merits and fit a certain demographic. I think they’ve hit their mark on each. Provide us with a little bit more power and Subaru will be even more an unbeatable option amongst the competition.