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.
Subaru has an interesting history as a car company. As a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries (the Japanese conglomerate equivalent of General Motors), the first Subaru vehicle came to life in 1954 as the 1500. Nissan managed to snag a 20-percent stake in Subaru and held onto it for over 30 years, until its merger with Renault where it was sold off to General Motors. Under GM ownership, we saw the Subaru Impreza rebadged as a Saab 9-2x. But the brand was left untainted otherwise. The company changed hands yet again to Toyota in the mid-2000s.
Subaru of America, on the other hand, started as a distribution channel for Subaru vehicles established by Malcolm Bricklin in 1968. In case you're unfamiliar with Mr. Bricklin, you might be more familiar with the Yugo, a vehicular plague he unleashed on the United States through International Automobile Importers (IHI), a company he founded. Fuji Heavy Industries managed to acquire complete ownership of Subaru of America in the mid-'80s to form the car company most are familiar with today.
Nowadays, Subaru sells over 300,000 vehicles a year in the United States alone. Toyota sells more Camrys than that, but it's a respectable number nevertheless.
That brings us to the focus of today's review, Subaru's 2013 Legacy, the recipient of a refreshed look, a new base motor, and new driver assistance technologies. Unfortunately, the Subaru Legacy 2.5GT with its turbocharged motor and manual transmission went the way of the dodo bird, and is no longer available. Drivers looking for more performance from a Legacy are left with the 3.6R that packs a larger six-cylinder motor and a five-speed automatic transmission.
We received a 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited with the navigation and Eyesight driver assistance systems, and spent a week with it in the rainy state of Washington.