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Subaru Legacy Sales Are Declining Just When the 2020 Model Is Peaking

There are a number of midsize cars available to choose from, including the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry. The 2020 Subaru Legacy is one option that is very comfortable and provides a fantastic ride. The earlier generation was showing declining sales in recent years, but the 2020 Legacy is the first new model in the seventh generation. The redesigned Legacy has been well received. Here’s a look at the new Legacy and its sales.

The 2020 Subaru Legacy

With strong scores in the road test and for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction, the 2020 Legacy earned the No. 1 spot among midsize cars from Consumer Reports. It received an 87 out of 100 for the overall score as well as an 89 out of 100 in its road test and four out of five for both predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction.

The 2020 Subaru Legacy’s redesign includes a new platform supplying a great ride, a comfortable and spacious interior, a new engine option, plus new safety and technology features. Consumer Reports says the 2020 Legacy has a “superbly smooth ride.” It comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is unusual for its class although common for Subaru models.

The standard engine for the Legacy is a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder, generating 182 hp, which is matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The car accelerates a bit slowly, going from 0 to 60 MPH in 8.5 seconds. The Legacy does have a new, stronger engine option for 2020. That engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter, producing 260 hp. However, it’s only available on the top two trim levels, the Limited XT and Touring XT.

Despite the many positives, Cars.com calls the interior’s design “nondescript.” Consumer Reports describes the Legacy generally as “sensible.” There’s plenty of modern tech within the unassuming appearance though. The 2020 Legacy has an 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen on most of its trim levels. The base model has two 7.0-inch screens instead.

The 2020 Legacy comes with lots of standard safety and driver assistance features. It includes the EyeSight suite of driving aids: front collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure alert. New for 2020 is the lane centering feature. Driver attention is an optional feature, which shows warnings if the driver doesn’t appear attentive.

The sixth-generation Subaru Legacy

2018 Subaru Legacy is on display at the 110th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Subaru Legacy | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2020 Legacy supplants the previous sixth generation. The car has been around for several decades, but the most recent designs appeared for model years 2005, 2010, and 2015. The sixth generation of the Subaru Legacy lasted from 2015 to 2019.

Its reviews from Consumer Reports were uneven over those years. Reliability ratings ranged from two-to-five out of five, and owner satisfaction was a three or a four out of five.

The Subaru Legacy’s sales figures

Looking at data from GoodCarBadCar, the Subaru Legacy had peak sales years in 2005, 2009, and 2016, roughly corresponding to when new generations were released. Sales since 2016 have declined each year, with 65,306 units sold in 2016, 49,837 sold in 2017, 40,109 sold in 2018, and 35,063 sold in 2019.

Sales for 2020 started strong, with more than 2,400 units sold each month for January and February. That was similar to the first two months of 2019. With the pandemic’s appearance in the U.S. in March 2020, sales that month were just 1,630.

While the Subaru Legacy has had declining sales in recent years, the 2020 Subaru Legacy is the first of a new generation. It’s one of the best options in its class with its all-wheel drive and comfortable ride, so it’s worth consideration from new-car buyers.