PINEHURST, NC — March 8, 2020 — I have to tell you that the image of the 2020 Subaru Legacy Limited XT above doesn’t do it justice. Whoever decided in Subaru marketing to use a picture of a Magnetite Gray Metallic car on a gray street, with gray buildings around, and with a gray sky in the background, needs to have their photographic licenses reviewed. The car is actually quite sharp looking. Yes, Magnetite Gray looks like something from an old Leave It To Beaver TV show, but the car itself represents a ton of technology wrapped up in a fuel efficient, economically attuned package.
This is a true sedan, with seating for four, comfortably, and enough bells and whistles to make it really, really nice. It comes with a Double Overhead Cam engine, a 4 cylinder, 2.4L turbo charged, BOXER engine. That gives the car 260 HP and a zippy feel for pulling out into traffic seamlessly. The transmission is the “High-torque Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) 8 speed and was smooth as could be. Oh, and for you that like shifting yourself, simply pull the stick into Drive, move it left to “M” (I’m guessing for ‘Manual’) and your paddle shifters are at 10 and 2 for acceleration and deceleration purposes. For fuel economy, the Legacy Limited XT gets 24 mpg around town and 32 mpg on the highway for a 27 mpg average. Not shabby.
On our “What’s New” sheet, provided by Subaru, the first item was “Built on Subaru Global Platform”. Being the curious sort and not knowing what that meant, I took a Google look at the concept. Here is what I learned – The Subaru Global Platform (SGP) is the underlying platform that will underpin next generations of Subaru vehicles. The SGP’s advancements throughout the chassis—higher rigidity, higher strength, lighter weight, better rolling resistance and responsive steering—particularly benefit the safety systems. Soooo, a chassis that has futuristic qualities, which will maintain and improve safety in later models, and probably reduce manufacturing costs since the platform will remain the same while body styling and models can change? – hmmm, pretty intelligent design and forward thinking to me.
I had to include a picture of the interior because the second “What’s New” item was the “All New tablet style Subaru Starlink multimedia systems feature 11.6 high resolution touchscreen with on-screen controls for audio, HVAC, and other features”. I’ll add Map, Radio, Media, Car Info, Phone, Apps, My Subaru, and Settings to their list. Touch any button and you are taken to the screen(s) that pertain to that particular choice. What I want you to comprehend is that this is a ‘tablet’ sized screen, almost 12 inches, about the size of some of the tablets out there today. Subaru is making ‘tablet computer users’ feel right at home. Wow! Touch the Map button and program where you want to go easily, plus the big screen makes the map very visible to driver and passenger, plus the trip directions are displayed on the dashboard for the driver. Touch the Radio button and choose your AM, FM, or XM stations to see the song, the artist, the album – all the information. And so on.
You can also see that you get outside temperature, time, individual temperature controls for driver and passenger, seat heaters, and one button push climate control. The steering wheel is heated and the control is very conveniently located inside the steering wheel, bottom right. One pull turns it on and the second pull turns it off. Loved that feature on the cold mornings of late.
The Legacy Limited XT comes with a Standard Auto Start-Stop, which they tout as helping improve fuel efficiency. Probably so, but it doesn’t reduce my stress when every time I come to a stop, the car dies. I am not a big fan of this feature as many of you know, and, personally, I would really like a way to turn it off other than lessening your pressure on the brake.
Let’s talk Safety features for a few minutes. Here are some NEW features you might like to know about on the Limited XT. EyeSight Assist Monitor is standard and offers a head-up display on the wind shield for EyeSight warnings and EyeSight Status information. When we got the car, the driver had come from Atlanta. Since these guys, and girls, drop one off and pick one up in very efficient time, when I got in the car, the first thing it said to me was – “Ding! Would you like to rest?”, followed shortly by, “Ding! Would you like me to find you a rest area?” While Laurie and I were driving slowly around our wonderful living area here in Pinehurst (also known as Camelot, since it only rains at night) on Sunday, simply looking at the beautiful houses and their locations, I got a “Ding! Keep your eyes on the road!” warning. Good for highway driving but not so necessary for 10 mph house looking. Of course, I know it wasn’t designed for house lookers. New also are the LED headlights with High Beam Assist standard. Once you put the lights on High Beam, it monitors for oncoming cars and street lighting and adjusts your lights accordingly. Really high-end cars back in the late 50’s and early 60’s actually had that feature I remember, but it went away for a long time, and now, thankfully, is becoming more and more standard. LED lights on bright can blind an oncoming driver, but they sure light up your surroundings when you need them and are great for night driving when deer are feeding near the road. Most of the time, if you can see them, you can avoid them. Also, now, standard on the Limited XT, is a Front View Monitor that displays a 180-degree view in front of the vehicle on the multimedia display by using a camera located in the front grille. Oh, and standard too is a moon roof for those wonderful warm Spring and Fall days.
And speaking of Standard Safety Features, we have Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, Driver Focus Distraction Mitigation System, Blind-Spot Detection with Lane- Change Assist and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Steering Responsive Headlights, LED Fog Lights, and Reverse Automatic Braking.
Subaru also has the Front door sound-insulation glass to dampen noise. It works, especially for the driver and front seat passenger. How do I know? When Laurie and I ride together, we generally don’t listen to the radio – because we love chatting while we are driving …, okay, maybe because we have trouble agreeing on radio stations. I like XM 32, The Bridge, while she prefers, XM 148 Radio Classics. Anyway, with the radio off, we noticed a little road noise but it really did sound like it was behind us. When you are driving with the radio playing, you have great sound and no external noise to bother you. Probably what Subaru was thinking was going to happen.
I think I saved the best for last. What do you think a really well designed, family oriented, safety driven, smooth riding, responsive vehicle like would cost? It starts – starts – at $22,745 and ours with everything was only $35K – Everything – $35K. Subaru is trying their best to rock the sedan market for the All-American family. Give them a look.
For more information and pictures, go to https://www.subaru.com/vehicles/legacy/gallery.html, and then go for a ride. You won’t be disappointed.