What is it? Subaru has announced a restyling, engine upgrade and new features for the 2013 Legacy sedan, as well as the Outback. The front end has been restyled with new headlights, grille, and front bumper moving the appearance in line with the new Impreza.
The sedan will be powered by an updated 2.5-liter flat-four engine producing 173 hp—up three horsepower from the current version. Final fuel economy numbers are not yet available, but Subaru projects 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. These figures show an increase compared with the EPA-ratings of 23/31/26 for the previous version. A CVT and six-speed manual transmission will be available. The 3.6R models keep the existing 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. All Legacy sedans are equipped with all-wheel drive.
What’s new or notable? The Outback and Legacy models show off Subaru’s new EyeSight driver-assist system, with adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning. The new system uses a stereo camera to provide a detection angle claimed to be wider than radar-based systems.
The Legacy offers a new option with keyless access and start where the driver can unlock the car with a touch of the button, as long as the remote is in their pocket or purse. The base trim now has an upgraded audio system with Bluetooth capability, iPod and USB port.
CR’s take: The 2013 Legacy looks to be an effective update to a strong-performing sedan. In our tests, we found the engine to be noisy when pressed and the Legacy demonstrated pronounced body lean and tendency to fishtail if the throttle is lifted midturn. Powertrain upgrades promise a welcomed increase to the already impressive fuel economy, and may change other characteristics. In addition, Subaru cites suspension changes that may help on that front. We look forward to finding out.