2022 Subaru Legacy

By November 3, 2021

The 2022 Subaru Legacy sedan is made in Indiana, and has a Midwestern kind of sensibility. It seats five comfortably, and the sedan has a generous 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space. It gets 30 miles per gallon, and comes standard with automatic emergency braking and smartphone capability.

A further example of the Legacy’s value-based design is the seats. The standard power-adjustable seats may be cloth, but the fabric is rugged and doesn’t make the Legacy feel like a budget car. But if you want more, that’s available. There is a Touring XT model with cooled nappa leather seats.

The Legacy hasn’t changed for 2022, except for some features including 17-inch alloy wheels on the base model, and an 11.6-inch touchscreen on upper models. Its unflappable flat-4 engine offers 182 horsepower. All-wheel-drive is standard, of course—Subaru’s trademark—and its CVT is one of the most driver-friendly units made, with simulated gears and paddle shifting that make it feel like an automatic.

The ride is calm, handling is secure, and the throttle is lively even with that base engine and its modest horsepower. The high-end Touring XT uses a turbocharged engine with 260 hp that accelerates 60 mph in about six seconds.

The 182-hp base model earns EPA ratings of 27 mpg city, 35 highway, 30 combined, while the turbo-4 gets 24/32/27 mpg. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control are standard.

There’s much for Subaru to show off in the safety department. The IIHS calls the Legacy a Top Safety Pick+, while the NHTSA gives the sedan five stars in every crash test it performs or calculates.

Model Lineup

The Legacy comes Sport, Limited, Limited XT, and Touring XT editions.

The Sports starts at $23,955, and it can finish there because it’s very well equipped, including the automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. It has twin 7.0-inch infotainment and vehicle-function screens, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Its 17-inch alloy wheels are new for 2022.

The $26,205 Legacy Premium adds an 11.6-inch touchscreen and dual-zone climate control. It unlocks options for navigation, a sunroof, keyless start, and blind-spot monitors.

The $37,155 Legacy Touring XT brings the 260-hp turbo engine, heated and cooled nappa leather front seats, blind-spot monitors, a forward camera for parking, navigation, 18-inch wheels, and thicker sound-insulating front windows. Rear automatic emergency braking is optional.

Every Legacy gets a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Exterior

The Legacy is tasteful to a fault. It blends into the background among more aggressively styled rivals. Its grille splits in half with a band of chrome. Its trim LED headlights tuck into the corners. The roofline is straightforward. The taillights have perfectly clean and regular outlines.

Interior

This is the nicest Legacy interior ever, softer, plusher prettier, but it’s not luxurious. The cabin is simple, with nice texture and trim. It’s also fairly quiet. The Limited XT and Touring XT are even quieter, with thicker side glass that damps noise better.

The shield-like design of the dash is plain, although the 11.6-inch touchscreen in upper models shakes up the shapes a bit. The tablet-style touchscreen displays functions arrayed in bands, with some hard buttons for core operations. As a result, the CarPlay and Android interfaces shrink to fit in a screen-within-a-screen format that’s a bit awkward.

Almost a large car by EPA standards, the 2022 Legacy has excellent interior space. Wide, well-cushioned front seats come with cloth upholstery and a good range of adjustment on the base Legacy, while top models add power, heat, nappa leather, and extendable thigh cushions. The ample space around the front seats gets carved into small-item storage, although the bin is too small to hold today’s biggest smartphones.

Wide rear doors ease access to a back bench seat big enough for three adults. There is a generous 40 inches of leg room, with good head room although less than the Outback wagon. The big trunk carries 15.1 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The acceleration of the 182-hp 2.5-liter flat-4 is adequate, good enough for transportation chores; it helps a lot that the throttle response is perky. The 260-hp 2.4-liter turbo-4 in the Limited XT can hustle to 60 mph in about six seconds; it’s quick without the responses of highly tuned cars like Subaru’s own WRX.. Naturally, the gas mileage suffers.

The Legacy’s CVT,with its paddle shifters and simulated gear ratios, combined with that responsive throttle tuning, works well at low speeds and doesn’t feel strained at 75 mph. The CVT is free of the rubber-band feel of too many others.

Steering isn’t the Legacy’s forte. It’s light, almost devoid of feel, and doesn’t build up force in a linear way. But takes corners at a flat attitude, with very little lean. The all-wheel drive lends a stable, well-planted feel and traction in foul conditions, but the tires—either 17-inchers or 18-inchers—feel as if they should have more grip.

The ride is composed, even buttery. The Legacy slips along ribbons of rural roads, and maintains its well-tuned feel even on rough pavement. When pushed to the limit, there is some bouncing over high-speed bumps, but it’s a family sedan, after all.

Final Word

The 2022 Subaru Legacy’s character is plain Jane: it delivers the goods, nothing more, nothing less. And those goods are plenty, for the price of the base model: Decent acceleration, an excellent CVT, beautiful ride, superb safety, and plenty of room. It’s easy to spend more for upper models, but it’s not necessary to get a great car with no lapses or flaws.

 

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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