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The Beauty Of AWD

2013 Subaru Legacy Sedan: A Mid-Size Ride With Practical Tech
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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.

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  • 2 Hide
    soundping , April 9, 2013 11:10 PM
    Subaru 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited: $25,895 isn't that bad for a nice ride.
  • 9 Hide
    ukee1593 , April 10, 2013 1:34 AM
    Nice to see Toms doing car review now, especially with so many cars having computer based interfaces now.

    Very good to see manufacturers installing driving aids such as collision detection and adaptive cruise control now. These are the precursors to completely autonomous cars and the more advanced these systems get, the closer we may get to fully autonomous cars in the near future.

    My question is; when are manufacturers going to give us the option of installing a 3rd party tablet such as an Ipad or a Nexus 7/10 in the dashboard rather than putting up with their pathetic built in "infotainment" systems. I would definitely choose a car with just a blank space in the dashboard (plus charging port) for a tablet rather than buying one with a built in system. Heck I might even pay more for it. All we need is a standardized connection to interface speaker systems and steering wheel controls to the tablet.

  • -5 Hide
    apache_lives , April 10, 2013 2:59 AM
    no.
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , April 10, 2013 5:12 AM
    But does it have a big back seat (if you know what I'm saying?)?

    Seriously, though, within the past 5-10 years I've found many mid-sized cars these days to be small from a height standpoint in the back seat. If you're over 5'9" and sit in the back, you have to bend your neck to fit. If populations are trending toward taller people, why are car companies making back seats for shorter people?

    If you want to have a vehicle where adults can sit in the back these days, they almost force you into full-size or CUV/SUV options. As a result, this seems to discourage carpooling. Maybe this is how they can push to sell more cars?
  • -7 Hide
    Onus , April 10, 2013 5:59 AM
    Please stop this. Form a partnership with an automotive site for cross-coverage, but please stop direct coverage of automotive news.
  • 2 Hide
    thebigt42 , April 10, 2013 6:19 AM
    Needs a wrx or sti option :) 
  • 2 Hide
    wysir , April 10, 2013 6:20 AM
    I'm waiting for my BRZ to arrive in August. Such a long wait... =(
  • 1 Hide
    gxpbecker , April 10, 2013 7:13 AM
    I am still sad to see the 2.5GT. The 07 Spec B was an amazing car. I am hoping the beef up that 3.6R or bring it in the 2.0GT fasion with their new turbo engine based of the BRZ's. (and redesign the car... still a bit ugly and this is coming form a person who has owned 6 subarus)
  • 2 Hide
    gxpbecker , April 10, 2013 7:14 AM
    **Still sad to see teh 2.5GT go*
  • 0 Hide
    ericjohn004 , April 10, 2013 7:25 AM
    The only thing that worrys me with these types of cars is that what if one of these things fails? Or worse, what if it causes the gas pedal to be smashed or the brakes to be smashed while your driving? I'm sure they make sure these things are functional, but anything can happen with electronics.

    I love Tom's reviews. Your not going to find a better review site in the world.
  • 2 Hide
    tuanies , April 10, 2013 7:26 AM
    Quote:
    Nice to see Toms doing car review now, especially with so many cars having computer based interfaces now.

    Very good to see manufacturers installing driving aids such as collision detection and adaptive cruise control now. These are the precursors to completely autonomous cars and the more advanced these systems get, the closer we may get to fully autonomous cars in the near future.

    My question is; when are manufacturers going to give us the option of installing a 3rd party tablet such as an Ipad or a Nexus 7/10 in the dashboard rather than putting up with their pathetic built in "infotainment" systems. I would definitely choose a car with just a blank space in the dashboard (plus charging port) for a tablet rather than buying one with a built in system. Heck I might even pay more for it. All we need is a standardized connection to interface speaker systems and steering wheel controls to the tablet.



    They probably won't because of liability / legality problems. Scosche teased an iPad double din mount with amp but cancelled the product. The problem is tablets have no lock out while driving, which opens the doors up to legal troubles for them. We did just get the Parrot Asteroid Smart double din with Android 2.3 in and will have a review of that soon.

    Quote:
    But does it have a big back seat (if you know what I'm saying?)?

    Seriously, though, within the past 5-10 years I've found many mid-sized cars these days to be small from a height standpoint in the back seat. If you're over 5'9" and sit in the back, you have to bend your neck to fit. If populations are trending toward taller people, why are car companies making back seats for shorter people?

    If you want to have a vehicle where adults can sit in the back these days, they almost force you into full-size or CUV/SUV options. As a result, this seems to discourage carpooling. Maybe this is how they can push to sell more cars?


    Its a styling trade-off. Sloped backs look better than boxy ones so its a trade off made to appeal make cars more visually pleasing. I'd always take a station wagon over a sedan though, crossovers are just more expensive station wagons with less practicality.

    Quote:
    Please stop this. Form a partnership with an automotive site for cross-coverage, but please stop direct coverage of automotive news.


    The type of coverage we do on automobiles is completely different from the usual 0-60, skidpad and performance based coverage of automotive outlets. We still focus mostly on the tech.

    Quote:
    I'm waiting for my BRZ to arrive in August. Such a long wait... =(


    Very jealous, great cars.

    Quote:
    I am still sad to see the 2.5GT. The 07 Spec B was an amazing car. I am hoping the beef up that 3.6R or bring it in the 2.0GT fasion with their new turbo engine based of the BRZ's. (and redesign the car... still a bit ugly and this is coming form a person who has owned 6 subarus)


    The 3.6R is still an automatic though. I would love a 6-speed manual on the 3.6R. I wanted to buy a Spec B when they were new but the Subaru sales guy was so persistent that it turned me off the brand. The 2.5GT is still sold in Japan iirc. My best friend's dad has a manual 2.5GT wagon, loved that generation. I wish they still had manual wagons that aren't Outbacks >_<
  • 2 Hide
    basketcase87 , April 10, 2013 9:04 AM
    thebigt42Needs a wrx or sti option

    Please no. The reason wrx still means something is because it's not an "option" that they've decided to add onto every car in their lineup. Keep it where it belongs, as a small rally-size car.
  • 0 Hide
    tuanies , April 10, 2013 9:11 AM
    Quote:
    The only thing that worrys me with these types of cars is that what if one of these things fails? Or worse, what if it causes the gas pedal to be smshed or the brakes to be smashed while your driving? I'm sure they make sure these things are functional, but anything can happen with electronics.
    H
    I love Tom's reviews. Your not going to find a better review site in the world.


    I believe the brake should override the gas pedal on newer cars.
    Quote:
    thebigt42Needs a wrx or sti option

    Please no. The reason wrx still means something is because it's not an "option" that they've decided to add onto every car in their lineup. Keep it where it belongs, as a small rally-size car.


    They've made Forester STIs in the past but the hot Legacy was the B4 Blitzen or just Legacy GT
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , April 10, 2013 9:25 AM
    This is pretty cool, I always like seeing new automotive tech. Maybe you could review the Dodge Dart next.
  • 0 Hide
    tuanies , April 10, 2013 11:15 AM
    Quote:
    This is pretty cool, I always like seeing new automotive tech. Maybe you could review the Dodge Dart next.


    They don't have one available in the PNW fleet. The 2014 Grand Cherokee Diesel is support to make its way up here this summer though...
  • -1 Hide
    sanilmahambre , April 11, 2013 2:04 AM
    Nothing so special about this car in this price range. The opponents are racing ahead already!
  • 0 Hide
    gggplaya , April 11, 2013 4:44 AM
    ukee1593Nice to see Toms doing car review now, especially with so many cars having computer based interfaces now. Very good to see manufacturers installing driving aids such as collision detection and adaptive cruise control now. These are the precursors to completely autonomous cars and the more advanced these systems get, the closer we may get to fully autonomous cars in the near future. My question is; when are manufacturers going to give us the option of installing a 3rd party tablet such as an Ipad or a Nexus 7/10 in the dashboard rather than putting up with their pathetic built in "infotainment" systems. I would definitely choose a car with just a blank space in the dashboard (plus charging port) for a tablet rather than buying one with a built in system. Heck I might even pay more for it. All we need is a standardized connection to interface speaker systems and steering wheel controls to the tablet.


    Yes, because that's not a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    (Police officer) - "So what was so important that caused you to cross lanes and kill a family of 5?"
    (You) - "I was playing angry birds."
  • 0 Hide
    RobAC , April 11, 2013 7:02 AM
    Nice article.

    Good to see other sectors served by various tech covered.
  • 1 Hide
    tuanies , April 11, 2013 8:15 AM
    Quote:
    Nothing so special about this car in this price range. The opponents are racing ahead already!


    Its a car built for the purpose of AWD, some people need it year round and this car is still worlds ahead of other midsizes for AWD. But yes the others are racing ahead in terms of styling, infotainment, etc... The mid-size segment is very exciting and competitive IMO.
  • 1 Hide
    V B , April 11, 2013 1:24 PM
    T G tried reviewing cameras, it did not work now cars, looks like grasping for the straws to save the site. What next? Baby's pacifiers ?
    Just saying...
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