2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

When you think of some of the safest cars on the road, which ones come to mind? If you didn’t think Subaru, you should think again. The 2017 Subaru Legacy competes in the ultra-competitive mid-size sedan segment, but if it’s not on your test drive list you could be making a mistake.

Now that our winter weather has arrived, all-wheel drive is a big plus. And nearly every Subaru that rolls off the assembly line has it as standard equipment. So if you’re shopping any other car without AWD, you should add about $2-grand to the bottom line when you compare it with the 2017 Subaru Legacy.

The 2017 Legacy is a comfortable – and more importantly safe – family sedan. Further enhancing the Legacy’s appeal is Subaru’s terrific EyeSight crash avoidance system, a comprehensive safety technology package designed to keep you from experiencing airbag deployment and other undesirable conditions.

And when you look at the government’s safety scores for the 2017 Legacy, you see nothing but 5-Stars across the board. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which in my opinion is an even better measure of a car’s safety, gives the 2017 Legacy it’s coveted “Top Safety Pick +” award. It’s the top award from the IIHS.

The new Legacy is available with either a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine mated to a CVT automatic transmission. Trims include 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, a new 2.5i Sport, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The trim names correspond to the size of the engine in each. The 2.5i trims get a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that develops 175 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque. The 3.6-liter 6-cylinder kicks out 256 horses and 247 lb.-ft. of torque.

Our test car – a 2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport – was very nicely equipped and had an out-the-door price of $28,910, which included freight. For my money, that’s a real bargain for a car with AWD as well as 34 highway miles per gallon.

New for 2017, all Legacy Limited trims with the EyeSight option get high beam assist and reverse automatic braking, which is something I could definitely use. More than once I’ve backed into things unseen below my field of vision in reverse. Reverse automatic braking combined with the rearview camera should just about eliminate that from happening.

On the road, the new Legacy is a capable hauler with a generous cabin. The little 2.5-liter engine in my test car offered enough power for everyday driving, but the Legacy is certainly not overpowered. For a car with AWD, though, the Legacy’s fuel economy numbers are impressive: 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. The larger engine is rated at 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 combined.

The Legacy’s cabin is comfortable and roomy if not plush and luxurious. Visibility is excellent and the seats are quite comfortable. Headroom in front is 40 inches and rear seat legroom is 42.9 inches. The trunk is generously-sized at 15 cubic feet.

On the road, the obvious benefit is Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system, which can make this winter’s slick roads more manageable. During a weeklong test drive, the Legacy felt sure-footed and planted on the road. The Legacy is not a sports car and doesn’t pose as one. It’s solid, safe, reliable and comfortable carriage from here to there.

Connectivity and infotainment is via Subaru’s Starlink 7.0 Multimedia and Navigation system, which had clear, crisp graphics on a 7-inch display.

If you’re shopping for a mid-size sedan, you should absolutely take a spin in the 2017 Subaru Legacy before you make a final decision.

2017 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport

Engine:

2.5-liter 4-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque:

175 / 174 lb.-ft.

Transmission:

CVT automatic

Base price:

$23,995 ($28,910 as tested including freight)

EPA mileage estimates:

25 mpg city/34 mpg highway/29 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

629 miles