Subaru Legacy debuts at Chicago auto show

2020 Subaru Legacy Liberty

Subaru's Legacy has never truly stood out in the mid-size sedan segment but that doesn't stop it from being a solid option, especially if you're in the northern states where the car's standard all-wheel drive can be a boon.

It switches to the Subaru's new global platform which is shared with the latest Forester, Impreza and XV.

But enough about what we don't yet know. Unavoidable is the 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen display - the biggest to date in any Subaru model. Its portrait orientation apes tablets, and it includes a split-screen function that can show two types of information at once, such as navigation and audio. It's flanked by climate control vents and a smattering of conventional buttons and knobs for volume, tuning, and some climate controls.

While the exterior may be a little too familiar, the new Legacy's cabin undergoes a more significant overhaul.

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On the inside, a giant new screen dominates the center stack - a tablet-style 11.6-inch HD screen that controls pretty much everything in the auto, including the HVAC system.

High-spec Legacys are available with heated and cooled front seats wrapped in nappa leather trim, 12-way power front seats including an adjustable cushion for the driver, and a heated steering wheel. Four USB ports - two up front, two in the rear - are included.

The new Legacy's 15.1 cubic-foot trunk is slightly larger than the outgoing model's. The standard engine is an upgraded 182-hp 2.5L Boxer engine. It makes 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque and can propel the 2020 Legacy from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.6 seconds.

All 2020 Legacy models get a CVT transmission and auto start/stop technology. Active torque vectoring, which brakes the inside front wheel during hard cornering to enhance grip, is standard on all. Subaru says the 2.4-liter Boxer launches the Legacy XT from 0-60 miles per hour in an estimated 6.1 seconds.

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With the turbo engine, Subaru said that the Legacy XT sprints to 60 miles per hour from a stop in 6.1 seconds, while the base engine jogs at a more leisurely 8.4 seconds.

The most dramatic interior change is the 11.6-inch infotainment screen in all versions except the base trim.

The all-new 2020 Subaru Legacy doesn't just feature a wide range of active safety systems, it's also much improved compared to its predecessor when it comes to passive safety. That adds a lane-centering feature, which works with the adaptive cruise control to keep the sedan in the center of the lane. An optional new feature that will be offered as a part of this system is the new DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, which uses facial recognition tech to spot driver distraction and fatigue.

The 2020 Subaru Legacy will arrive in dealerships this fall and will be available in Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, Limited XT and Touring XT trims.

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