One of the main safety features of the 2014 Subaru Legacy is its standard all-wheel drive system, offered as an option only by one other mid-size sedan and not at all by the rest. A number of active safety systems were added for the 2014 model year to keep the car competitive as electronic systems proliferate as both standard and optional equipment.
All 2014 Legacy models include front and side airbags, side-curtain airbags that cover the window opening, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, and electronic stability control. One valuable feature is Subaru's characteristic Hill Holder, which prevents the car from rolling when stopped on inclines by setting the brakes until the driver begins to accelerate away.
While the Legacy received top scores for years in crash-safety tests, one new and tougher test mean it no longer gets uniformly the best ratings in every test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Legacy five out of five stars in all its tests: overall, front impact, side crash, and rollover.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), on the other hand, awarded the Legacy its top rating of 'Good' across all categories--including front, side, and rear impact tests, plus the roof strength test. Models for 2013 and 2014 (built after August 2012) earned only an 'acceptable' rating in the new and tougher small-overlap frontal test--but the IIHS kept the Legacy as a Top Safety Pick+ model for the year anyway.
New last year was the optional EyeSight system, which uses images from a stereo camera system to provide lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision braking. At 19 mph or less, the EyeSight system can even detect pedestrians or other objects in the road ahead of the vehicle and brake to a stop automatically. Above that speed, the system reduces the force and speed of any impact. Lane Departure and Sway Warning not only alerts drivers if they drift out of their lanes, but serves as an indicator that they may be getting drowsy.