2012 Subaru Legacy

The 2012 Subaru Legacy is an affordable midsize car, sister of the Outback wagon, but the Legacy is only offered in sedan body style. This edition has been upgraded from the outgoing generation, by including more space to the rear seats and improved fuel efficiency.

The 2012 Legacy becomes the only affordable midsize car that comes available in standard AWD.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $19,295.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons (70l) MPG: 24 city / 32 hwy
Length: 187.2 in. (475.4 cm) Wheel Base: 108.3 in. (275 cm)
Height: 59.3 in. (150.6 cm) Width: 71.7 in. (182.1 cm)
Curb Weight: 3315 lbs (1504 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.9 in. (14.9 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 14.7 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER® Displacement: 2.5 Liter
Horsepower: 173 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 174 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed M/T
Available Trims & Engine
Option:2.5i PZEV CVT MSRP: $21,295; MPG: 23 city / 31 hwy
Option:2.5i Premium CVT MSRP: $21,295; MPG: 23 city / 31 hwy
Option:2.5i Premium PZEV MSRP: $22,595; MPG: 23 city / 31 hwy
Option:3.6R V6 A/T MSRP: $25,095; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:2.5i Limited CVT MSRP: $25,595; MPG: 23 city / 31 hwy
Option:2.5i Limited PZEV MSRP: $25,895; MPG: 23 city / 31 hwy

Engine & Performance

The Legacy is available with a choice of three engines and three types of transmission. The base engine is a 2.5 L turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 170 hp and 170 lbs-ft of torque. This engine comes with the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, although you can go for the optional CVT.

The second engine is a 2.5 L turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 265 hp and 258 lbs-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, netting a fuel economy of 18/25 mpg city highway.

The third option is a 3.6 L 6-cylinder that produces 256 hp and 247 lbs-ft of torque. This engine is combined with a 5-speed automatic transmission, to enable the car to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds. Its fuel economy is estimated at 18/25 mpg city/highway. The Legacy receives kudos because of its composed ride, precise handling, and responsive natural steering.


The Legacy is available in 7 trim levels including: 2.5i, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Premium, 3.6R, 3.6R Limited, 3.6R Premium and 2.5GT Limited. The 2.5i trim is fitted with 16-inch steel wheels and automatic headlights, while 2.5i Premiums are offered in 16-inch alloy wheel and fog lights.

The 2.5GT comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, summer tires and a sunroof which is an optional exterior feature on all other trims. The style is complimented with a grille that has the constellation symbol and wing-shaped crossbar.


The interior is also thought of, with most of the surface having a metallic-looking trim. Standard features in all trims include: 60/40 split folding rear seats, audio system with a CD changer, auxiliary audio jack, keyless entry and tilt and telescoping steering column mounting cruise and audio control buttons.

All seats are very comfortable, and offer ample leg and head room even for tall adults. Higher trim levels come with extra features including dual-zone climate control, Satellite radio, Bluetooth, and USB jack. This sedan provides a 14.7 cubic ft of cargo hold which is an average capacity for its class.

Safety & Reliability

Standard safety features in the 2012 Legacy include: daytime running lights, emergency trunk release, child safety locks, driver and front passenger airbags, side head airbags, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, 4-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, and 4-wheel ABS.

Subaru covers this sedan with a 3-year or 36,000 miles limited warranty, as well as 5-year or 36,000 miles engine warranty. Rust perforation is covered for the first 5 years, in addition to road assistance during the first 36,000 miles or 3-years whichever comes first.


  • Roomy cabin
  • Standard AWD
  • Powerful 6-cylinder and turbo 4 engines
  • Excellent outward visibility
  • Top safety scores


  • Below par fuel economy
  • Few standard tech features
  • Fussy navigation system
  • underpowered base engine

The 2012 Subaru Legacy is a good choice for people shopping for midsize sedans, especially those looking for composed rides, a spacious cabin and lively performance. This five passenger vehicle is a good choice for small families.


It will face competition from rivals like Honda Accord (MSRP $21,680; 24 city / 34 hwy), Toyota Camry (MSRP $22,055; 25 city / 35 hwy) and Ford Fusion (MSRP $21,700; mpg NA).

Overall Rating
77 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Subaru Legacy remains the only mainstream, mid-size sedan to offer all-wheel drive; it’s also among the better-handling models in this class, and a strong value in 2.5i form.”Car Connection

“Non-GT Legacy models are mild-mannered, slightly heavy-feeling sedans, with responsive, well-weighted steering, and reassuring stability. Body lean is noticeable in tight low-speed corners and fast turns. The 2.5GT also has excellent steering and eliminates most of the body lean.”Consumer Guide

“This roomy, all-wheel-drive family sedan has a nice interior, very comfortable ride, and good fuel economy.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Whether you appreciate the handling virtues of all-wheel drive or need to navigate winter’s worst, you’ll find the 2012 Subaru Legacy to be a roomy, comfortable sedan with an edge in confidence over its front-wheel-drive competition. ”KBB

“With standard all-wheel drive, big-car comfort and lively performance, the 2012 Subaru Legacy is a solid choice among midsize sedans.”Edmunds