2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i
2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. Click image to enlarge
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Subaru Canada

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

Introduced as a 2010 model, the current Subaru Legacy mid-size sedan receives its first refresh for the 2013 model year. And while the visuals aren’t altered much, there are a few significant changes under the skin.

But first we must state the obvious. The main reason, and perhaps the only reason, for purchasing the Legacy over the other offerings in this red-hot segment (see our Family Sedan Comparo) is to get Subaru’s clever and standard-issue symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive.

This is not to say the Legacy is a bad car. It’s just that there is such a bumper crop of fresh metal now, this Subie is relegated to also-ran status in almost every category. And I realize styling is completely subjective, but try as I might, I couldn’t find anything that actually resembled styling here, perched as this drab grey tester was on its undersized 16-inch alloys.

That said, when the snow fell, the Legacy, shod with snow tires provided effortless mobility and a sense of security that brought into sharp focus what the Subaru ethic is all about.

For 2013 the Legacy gets a front facelift that includes new headlights, a grill with more bling and a new bumper. The look is a bit more aggressive but it appears tacked on – as do the side sill extensions.

Under the hood of the $26,695 Legacy 2.5i Convenience PZEV is a new 2.5L four-cylinder boxer engine. Named the FB-series, it replaces the outgoing engine of the same displacement. This unit gets dual overhead cams (previously single) and power rises from 170 to 173 hp while torque bumps from 170 to 174 lb-ft, with more of it available lower down. Fuel economy improves slightly. Officially rated at 8.4 L/100 km city and 6.0 L/100 km highway (with CVT), this tester returned a respectable 9.5 L/100 km over my wintry week.

2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i
2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. Click image to enlarge

In comparison, models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission (available on base car and $27,295 Touring trim) are considerably less efficient, posting Transport Canada ratings of 7.0 L/100 km highway and 9.8 L/100 km city.

The 2013 Legacy’s chassis has been stiffened and a host of suspension tweaks that include altered spring and damper rates, a larger diameter front anti-roll bar and changes to bushing stiffness are claimed to provide a smoother and quieter ride as well as reduce body roll.

I will say this. The car does feel stable in the corners, it has linear steering and the ride is quite supple, although a fair amount of suspension noise enters the cabin on rough surfaces. On the highway, however, there is very little wind noise or engine noise and it tracks well.

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