Fortunately or unfortunately, at some point in life, we all have to grow up. Whether it’s finding out about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or professional wrestling, there comes a day when childhood takes a big step towards adulthood. This too can be tracked and observed through one’s choice in automobile. When someone like yours truly gets their driver’s license, the only thing that matters is speed. Quarter mile times may as well be the Gospel of Luke, horsepower numbers, the book of Genesis, torque figures, 1st Thessalonians and, well, you get the idea. Cars like the Subaru WRX STI are plastered to walls of children everywhere, in the hopes that one day they will get to power slide around some unsuspecting corner, and blast off down a long back straightaway into an S-curve that would make Superman jealous.
But after some years, things begin to change. We get tired of having our teeth rattled out of our head thanks to a cement-block-stiff suspension. We grow weary of having our ear drums buzzing long after the ride is over thanks to a much-bigger-than-necessary exhaust. And suddenly things like heated seats and fuel economy start to mean as much, or more, as cornering numbers and brake rotor size. All of a sudden, the cafeteria-sized wing on the back of that Subaru WRX STI starts to look less cool, and more obnoxious. It seems though, that Subaru has a plan to help our transition to adulthood. Enter: the 2020 Subaru Legacy.
Sure, we can feel the skeptics already typing away, but the 2020 Legacy is a little different than the car it replaces. A front and rear fascia redesign gives the new Legacy an understated sportiness that may be subtle, but it is impossible to ignore completely. It retains that distinctive Subbie squat stance, and is eerily reminiscent of the Acura ILX from its profile view.
The new Legacy is built on Subaru’s updated global platform that has been beefed up in just about every way imaginable — more high strength steel, more structural upgrades, and even a higher density floor crossmember. The result of which is an incredibly rigid chassis that has a lower center of gravity. The biggest news is the the old, boring, anemic 3.6-liter NA motor is gone, and in its place, a much more fun 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four that makes a wonderful 260-horsepower, and is rumored to get a much better 24/32 city/highway mpg. There will also be a standard 2.5-liter flat four as a base engine, but we’ll stick with the turbo thanks, though it should be noted that the 2.5 will probably get better gas mileage to the tune of 27/35 city/highway, we aren’t willing to sacrifice all of our childhood speed addiction. Sadly, the only transmission that will be available will be the less than exciting CVT, but we’ll keep sending Subaru recommendations for a stick.
Inside, the Legacy is still very much a Subaru, but grown up. A 7-inch touchscreen rules the infotainment, while an 11.6-incher is optional. There will also be the usual Apple/Android car apps, a rearview camera, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Nappa leather as well as heated and ventilated front seats, and even heated rear seats. How about a power moon roof? Yup, got it. Fit and finish in the cabin is definitely improved, as is the diminished road noise — all pluses in our book.
What would a Subaru be without its requisite safety features? Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear auto emergency braking, an optional front camera, and even Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance package comes standard. The company’s somewhat controversial DriverFocus system, which uses a camera and alarm system to monitor the driver’s eyes to determine if he/she is not focused on the road will also be available.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but we expect a base price of around $23,000 going up to the mid-30s for all the bells and whistles. So while childhood may be over for some of us, it seems that Subaru has given us a way to still enjoy some of the things that made us smile as a very young driver, and not feel guilty about it, or have to explain to our wife why her tennis shoes are melting to the firewall anymore. The 2020 Legacy may have changed our religious views, because it seems in growing up, we’ve stopped worshipping just power and speed numbers, to actually enjoying some creature comforts. If that doesn’t belong in the book of automotive Revelations, we don’t know what does.