The 2012 Subaru Legacy is a very roomy mid-size sedan, thanks to a wheelbase stretch two years ago that was largely devoted to rear-seat room. It can accommodate four full-sized adults in comfort, even on a day-long road trip. Our 6'6" road tester was able to ride in back without compromise--there's just enough headroom for him in back. Not only is the rear seat comfortable, but the rear door opening is large and wide.
Up front, there's plenty more headroom, and the seats are among the better offerings in the class--yes, that includes the seats in the base 2.5i model--with long cushions and extensive adjustment for legroom. The steering wheel not only tilts but also telescopes, and the net effect is to provide comfortable accommodations for drivers of a wide range of heights, shapes, and sizes.
Inside, Subaru caters to the real-world driver, with eight cup holders, cubbies in the doors, map pockets and console bins, and an overhead console for sunglasses on all models. The standard cloth upholstery is comfortable and sturdy, and did not attract pet hair on our test. While the stated trunk capacity is 14.7 cubic feet, it appears vast, with a large lid opening and the ability to drop the rear seat backs from within the trunk itself. When folded down, the load floor is flat, making the Legacy sedan among the most practical in its class--and halfway to its hugely capacious Outback crossover sibling.
The 2012 Legacy provides a firm but comfortable ride, soaking up potholes, road-surface imperfections, and general coarseness. Compared to competitors--and especially to previous Subarus--the new Legacy has very little road noise. The framed door windows provided in the 2010 redesign may help there, as earlier Legacy models had frameless side glass.
Our one concern with the Legacy is the plainness of some interior materials. Subarus have never been the most luxurious of vehicles, there's a profusion of hard plastic and--on the 3.6R model--glossy faux wood trim that isn't quite up to the best. Some portions of the interior have plain, flat expanses of black or silver plastic. They might work on a smaller model, but the Legacy is large enough that you notice the sheet of hard plastic. Build quality, however, is excellent. And for those who pay attention, all Subaru Legacy models sold in the States are built in Indiana.