The 2009 Subaru Legacy remains one of TheCarConnection.com's favorite all-weather sedans, despite a few issues that keep its overall review rating to 7.4 out of 10. Depending if it's equipped with the base flat-four, the more exciting turbocharged four, or the smooth flat-six, it can take on a wide range of personalities, from frugal and basic to sporty or even a bit luxurious.
With fuel economy ratings that don't get any better than 20-mpg city, 27 highway, the 2009 Subaru Legacy isn't the best on gas in any of its versions. Stepping up to the top 3.0-liter six and five-speed automatic earns a so-so 17/24 rating. Admittedly, the additional driveline drag of all-wheel drive typically saps a mile or two out of every gallon, but c'mon, Subaru can do better, right?
Well, they have. The all-new 2010 Subaru Legacy achieves 23 mpg city, 31 highway in base 2.5i trim with the available CVT automatic transmission, while both the 2.5GT, with its turbocharged engine and the 3.6R with its smooth flat-six go up 1 mpg, to 18/25. The only exception to this trend is the base six-speed-manual model, which gets 1 mpg less than before in the city, at 19/27.
All said, Subaru points out that the new 2.5i CVT model gets better fuel economy than the front-wheel-drive Honda Accord, Mazda6i, Volkswagen Passat, and Hyundai Sonata—and that it's the highest-rated mid-size all-wheel-drive sedan for 2010, when you look at the EPA combined figures.
The new 2010 Subaru Legacy has grown in nearly every dimension, and is slightly heavier than the last-generation car, so the mileage boost is quite a feat. The Legacy gets a new platform, a new double-wishbone rear suspension, a host of upgraded safety and interior features, and a completely different look that—like the Impeza family introduced two years ago—does away with the frameless windows.
Yet the Legacy's base price will start at a bargain $19,995. There's a lot to talk about, but we'll save some of it as we'll be driving the new 2010 Legacy in just a few days. Stay tuned.