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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
“Interior space benefits greatly from the wheelbase stretch”
Car and Driver
“Offers a 14.7-cubic foot trunk—one of the largest in the segment”
“Though interior plastics look upscale, most of them are hard to the touch”
The Subaru Legacy mid-size sedan has always lagged somewhat behind its competition in terms of passenger room, especially in the rear bench seats, but for 2010, Subaru has bumped up the size and, correspondingly, the interior passenger volume. The extra space, combined with an increased emphasis on materials and noise cancellation, makes the 2010 Subaru Legacy a serious competitor to sedans like the Mazda6 and Honda Accord.
Inside the Subaru Legacy’s passenger compartment, Car and Driver reports that front seat occupants will be treated to “additional head, shoulder and hip room” than those familiar with the 2009 Subaru Legacy. TheCarConnection.com’s editors found plenty of space up front, even with one tester measuring 6’6”. The real change, however, can be found in the rear seats, where JDPower.com observes that the Subaru Legacy’s stretched wheelbase provides “almost 4 inches of additional rear-seat leg room,” which is “sure to be appreciated by those in the back on a long trek.” The only major criticism of the 2010 Subaru Legacy’s seating arrangement comes from Cars.com reviewers, who assert that “the front seats have less padding than the Fusion’s or Camry’s chairs,” with the end result being that their tester’s “back grew sore over a few long interstate trips.”
Although the 2010 Subaru Legacy sedan features a significantly vaster passenger compartment, not all of the additional volume afforded by the new dimensions has gone to passenger room. In fact, JDPower.com says the Subaru Legacy 2010 lineup’s cargo space has grown to include a “14.7-cubic foot trunk—one of the largest in the segment, according to Subaru, and a significant achievement considering that the car’s design requires packaging a rear differential and drive axles.” Automobile Magazine reviewers break out the measuring tape as well, noting that “interior volume is now 103 cubic feet, just larger than the Toyota Camry’s 101.4 cubic feet, but still a bit behind the Honda Accord’s 106 cubic feet.” Inside the cabin, Autoblog is pleased to note that the 2010 Subaru Legacy offers “a deep storage pocket for odds-n-ends,” while smaller nooks and storage crannies abound.
Despite Subaru’s best efforts, TheCarConnection.com’s research shows that attempts to bring the interior materials quality up to the top of the class fall a bit short. While JDPower.com reviewers report that the Subaru Legacy’s designers “placed an emphasis on refinement, using richer-looking materials on the seats, dash and controls,” Edmunds feels that the improvements are more for show than substance: “though the interior plastics look upscale, most of them are hard to the touch and lack the more upscale feel found in models like the Ford Fusion and VW Passat.” Cars.com reviewers agree, attesting that they “can’t shake the feeling that the interior feels low-rent,” since “too many areas…look trendy, chintzy almost.” Autoblog reviewers are decidedly more moderate in their assessment, noting that the “plastics are nicely grained and solid fit-and-finish [is] in evidence, but greater use of soft-touch surfaces and more sincere-looking faux wood trim on Limited models wouldn’t go amiss.”
Aside from the questionable materials choice, the 2010 Subaru Legacy does benefit from solid overall build quality, a fact clearly on display once you go for a ride at highway speeds. Compared to the outgoing Subaru Legacy, Autoblog says Subaru’s latest sedan offers “a quieter, more comfortable ride,” and Cars.com agrees that overall “wind noise is low,” although they find “road noise with…[the] 17-inch wheels seemed loud.” One of the reasons for the reduced cabin noise levels is the Subaru Legacy 2010’s new door design, which features fully framed windows that Automobile Magazine claims “bring noise, vibration, and harshness levels down considerably.”
Ride quality in the 2010 Subaru Legacy is excellent and refinement is a huge step forward compared to past models; materials are nice but not spectacular.