Subaru gives its Legacy a mid-life refresh with styling tweaks, a new motor, and Eyesight driving assistance technology. We spent a week with the car in the rainy Pacific Northwest to see how well Subaru's Eyesight system and Symmetrical AWD work.
All-wheel drive became standard on Subaru vehicles in the late '90s. The only exception is the BRZ, which was co-developed with Toyota. Naturally, then, the 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited comes standard with the renowned Symmetrical AWD system shared with other Subaru vehicles. It comes as no surprise that up here in the wet Pacific Northwest, where we conduct most of our automotive testing, Subarus are a common sight.
Symmetrical AWD delivers power to all four wheels for maximum traction in every situation. Most AWD systems found in cars typically operate part-time, driving the front or rear wheels continuously and diverting power to the opposite wheels when slippage occurs. Audi's implementation is the only exception. Subaru instead transfers more power to the wheels with the most traction.
We were fortunate to receive the 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited during a week of heavy rain in Washington, allowing us to put its AWD system to the test. Needless to say, the Legacy handled copious rain like a champ. While my personal vehicles (2011 VW Routan and 2000 BMW 528i Touring) spun their drive wheels from a stop, or fishtailed around corners if I wasn’t being careful, Subaru's 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited was able to launch with full throttle from a stop. I didn't lose any traction while cornering either, even on wet surfaces.
I only wish we were able to test the Legacy in the snow. Unfortunately, only Eastern Washington had snow on the ground during our loan period. High up in the mountains, chains are required, even for vehicles with AWD.