During our time behind the wheel, the 2020 Subaru Legacy continually ticked various check boxes that you would find on a "fleet wants" checklist.
It has affordable acquisition cost, with the base trim starting at $22,545 MSRP and topping out at $31,545 for the highest trim.
Residual values for sedans have been getting better in more recent months, and are projected to improve as the used-vehicle market continues to grow more saturated with SUVs/crossovers, so fleet managers are likely to see a good return when it comes time to remarket the vehicle.
At 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, the Legacy isn't at the top of fuel efficiency for its class but it's also not lagging terribly behind competitors; add in the fact that all Legacy models come with all-wheel drive and its mileage numbers are even more respectable.
But most importantly, the Legacy comes with numerous safety features to keep drivers safe.
And that's the aspect of the 2020 Subaru Legacy most stood out during our time with it. Like a growing list of other manufacturers, the legacy comes with advanced driver assist technologies as a standard feature.
A Safe Driving Experience
Subaru's suite of safety technology is called Eyesight Driver Assist Technology and it includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and sway warning, automatic pre-collision braking, and pre-collision throttle management.
The adaptive cruise control, in particular, was one of the features that I walked away thinking "I'd want that in my own car."
As its name implies, it's a feature similar to a traditional cruise control system — set a speed for the vehicle and it'll stay at the speed. However, unlike a traditional cruise control system, Subaru's adaptive cruise control will automatically decelerate and accelerate based on the speed of the vehicle in front of it. So, while the vehicle won't exceed the maximum speed set by its driver, it'll also do the work of slowing down and speeding up for you based on the speed of traffic.
This made long highway treks a simple affair. I simply held the wheel to keep the Legacy steady, the lane keep assist also helped with this, and the car essentially drove for me. It's a sort of middle ground of vehicle autonomy that very much improved the driving experience.
A new feature that has come to the legacy — and a feature that Subaru says is a first for a mainstream vehicle brand — is one that Subaru is calling its DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System.
For this technology, Subaru has installed a camera in the multi-function display in front of the driver. The camera will analyze the driver's eyes and determine whether or not the driver is paying attention.
So if the driver is looking down at their phone, or opening and closing their eyes due to drowsiness, the vehicle will alert the driver that they're not paying attention.
In a controlled environment, I tested to see how long it took the system to determine inattentiveness. In most instances it took between three to four seconds for the system to give an audio and visual cue that I was not paying attention.
Apart from this safety aspect, the DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System also includes a convenience component. The same camera that tracks whether a driver is paying attention to the road or not can also remember the driver's preferred driving configuration.
After I drove for the Legacy for the first time it asked me if I wanted to setup a driving profile. The vehicle instructed me to adjust my seat to my preference, adjust mirrors to my preference, and adjust climate control features to my preference. It then asked me to look forward to presumably give the camera a clear picture of my eyes. I finished the setup process by entering my name for the profile.
The next time I entered the vehicle; the multi-function display greeted me with my name and adjusted the vehicle to the settings I set during the setup phase.
It worked flawlessly most of the time, there was only one instance where the vehicle didn't recognize me, but according to Subaru, this could be caused by the glasses I wear, as glasses are known to sometimes interfere with the camera's ability to scan a driver's eyes.
The 2020 Subaru Legacy allows up to five driver profiles, so this feature may particularly benefit fleets who have multiple drivers in a single vehicle, as drivers won't have to constantly adjust their seats every time they get in the vehicle.
2020 Subaru Legacy Specs
- Engine: 2.5L 4-Cylinder (182 hp, 176 lb.-ft.)
- Transmission: Lineartronic Continuasly Variable Transmission
- All-Wheel Drive: Standard
- Cargo Space: 15.1 cu.-ft.