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

The Infotainment Hardware

If you choose to pay $2,645 for the Moonroof + Navigation System package, you're greeted by a seven-inch wide-screen LCD display built into the center stack of your new Legacy. Unlike other Subaru models, such as the Forester, BRZ and Impreza, the Legacy 2.5i Limited has an integrated infotainment system that cannot be replaced as easily as the double-DIN units used in the other vehicles. Subaru touts the display as high-resolution, though it's the same 800x480 shared by the first-generation Asus Eee PC 700-series. The display connects to the infotainment system through an old-school VGA interface, which does the job but lacks the clarity of newer systems.

The platform's brains are much more interesting. Subaru employs a Renesas system-on-chip (SoC), but does not divulge the exact part number. We're told it's an older SoC that's not particularly fast, though. 

Performance doesn't seem to be an issue, particularly given Subaru's break from industry standards with its software. While most companies utilize QNX or Microsoft Windows Automotive, Subaru uses ITRON, a Japanese real-time operating system designed for embedded systems. ITRON is a sub-architecture of the TRON project and an open standard with support for virtually every CPU, including ARM, MIPS, x86 FR-V, and others. The embedded OS can be found in mobile phones, fax machines, and of course Subaru's navigation system.

The company sources Fujitsu-Ten, which used to manufacture aftermarket car radios under the Eclipse brand, to build the 2013 Legacy's navigation system. Harman Kardon delivers the premium sound system, which Subaru claims delivers 440 W from nine speakers. In reality, we're looking at a standard two-way component system up front with two-way coaxials in the rear doors and a subwoofer in the rear deck.

  • soundping
    Subaru 2013 Legacy 2.5i Limited: $25,895 isn't that bad for a nice ride.
  • ukee1593
    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.

  • apache_lives
  • ubercake
    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?
  • Onus
    Please stop this. Form a partnership with an automotive site for cross-coverage, but please stop direct coverage of automotive news.
  • thebigt42
    Needs a wrx or sti option :)
  • wysir
    I'm waiting for my BRZ to arrive in August. Such a long wait... =(
  • gxpbecker
    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)
  • gxpbecker
    **Still sad to see teh 2.5GT go*
  • ericjohn004
    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.