Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,900 – $27,100*

2010 Subaru Legacy front

2010 Subaru Legacy rear

2010 Subaru Legacy interior

2010 Subaru Legacy

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Fuel economy
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride comfort
  • Acceleration (2.5i)
  • Manual-transmission performance

This latest Legacy may be the most mainstream Subaru ever. These midsize cars are pleasant to drive, and all versions have a lot of equipment at reasonable new-car prices. The sporty 2.5GT models have the best handling. They’re on the pricey side, and you can only find them with a manual transmission. Standard all-wheel drive is a bonus for snow-belt states. If you prefer a manual transmission, look for a Legacy with the optional short-throw shifter. While any Legacy is a solid choice, our Recommended nod goes to the 3.6R Premium, which has good power and surprising fuel economy.


Subaru’s Legacy was redesigned for 2010 with freshened styling, a revised model lineup, and a new six-cylinder engine. Entering its fifth generation, this midsize car was about 3 inches wider, taller, and longer in wheelbase than the 2009 Legacy. Three engines and eight trim levels were offered, all with horizontally opposed engines and standard all-wheel drive. The 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, and 2.5i Limited had a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission was standard. Optional was a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaved like an automatic. Legacy 2.5GT Premium and 2.5GT Limited models had a turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter engine with 265 horsepower. Those models had only a six-speed manual transmission. The top-line 3.6R, 3.6R Premium, and 3.6R Limited got a new 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine that teamed with a five-speed automatic. Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, and front-side airbags. A sunroof was optional on Premium and Limited models. Heated front seats were optional on 2.5i Premium and standard on all except the 2.5i and 3.6R. Leather upholstery was standard on Limited versions, while a navigation system was optional. Legacy rivals included the Buick Regal, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Toyota Camry.

Yearly Updates

2011 Legacy
The Legacy got a few minor changes following its 2010 redesign. The 2.5GT Premium model was discontinued. Folding mirrors became standard on all models. Satellite radio was newly standard on Limited variants.
2012 Legacy
The 2012 Subaru Legacy received only minor trim changes.
2013 Legacy
All 2013 Legacys wore new front-end styling with a redesigned grille, bumper, and headlights. There was also a reinforced body structure. Legacy 2.5i models received a new, more-powerful 4-cylinder engine and a revised continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaved much like an automatic. Standard equipment on all Legacys included a Bluetooth hands-free cellphone link and audio streaming, iPod control capability, and a USB port. Steering wheel control buttons for the Bluetooth functions were also included across the line. Limited models could be equipped with a harmon/kardon audio system with navigation, a 7-inch touchscreen display, and rearview camera. Subaru’s EyeSight safety system with pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, sway warning, and adaptive cruise control was newly available.
2014 Legacy
There were only minor tweaks for the 2014 Legacy. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) received adaptive transmission control that the company said resulted in smother transmission performance and response. The available navigation system now included Aha-based smartphone connectivity.


longitudinal front-engine/all-wheel drive

All Subaru engines have been horizontally opposed, with either four or six cylinders. The 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, and 2.5i Limited held a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). Legacy 2.5GT Premium and 2.5GT Limited models had a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine generaing 265 horsepower, offered only with a six-speed manual transmission. The 3.6R, 3.6R Premium, and 3.6R Limited got a 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine that teamed with a five-speed automatic. All Subarus have all-wheel drive.

ohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 170
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
CVT automatic

dohc H6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/221
Engine HP 256
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 247
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic



Turbocharged dohc H4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/150
Engine HP 265
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual


Road Test

The 2.5i’s non-turbo engine pulls cleanly at low speeds, but there’s little reserve power for passing or merging. The 2.5GT’s turbocharged engine is much stronger at all speeds. Shift and clutch action are vague on 2.5i models. Most testers have found it difficult to differentiate between third and fifth gear when shifting. The 2.5GT has better clutch feel, and the optional short-throw shifter (if installed) is more precise than the standard unit. The 3.6R’s engine is not as strong as most rival six-cylinder motors, yet it’s more than adequate for daily driving and its automatic transmission is responsive.

Consumer Guide testing averaged 23.4 to 25.4 mpg with manual-transmission 2.5i models. A 3.6R averaged 24.3 mpg with slightly more highway driving than city use. Non-turbo versions use regular-grade gas. Premium is required for the turbocharged GT.

Ride comfort is a highlight on 2.5i and 3.6R models. The 16-inch tires on 2.5i and 2.5i Premium and 17-inchers on the 3.6R absorb all but the sharpest bumps. These Legacys are very pleasant cruisers. The 2.5GT with sport suspension and 18-inch wheels has a firmer ride, but it still absorbs bumps well.

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.

Wind rush is well squelched, even at highway speeds, but tire noise is always present. The horizontally opposed engines (a Subaru characteristic) make a distinctive growl at any speed, but they are never unduly loud.

The main gauge cluster is easy to read, but the same cannot be said for the too-small central dashtop readout for outside temperature, clock, and fuel economy. The standard climate system places controls conveniently high and close to the driver. Subaru’s available navigation system does not complicate controls. Cabin decor is on par for the midsize-car course, with plenty of hard plastic and few soft surfaces. Still, the base Legacy interior doesn’t look cheap, and the faux-metal trim adds a touch of class. The Limited models add leather upholstery for a more up-market look.

Legacy front seats offer excellent headroom, with or without the sunroof. Legroom is outstanding, even for those who are well over six feet tall. The roof line and somewhat tall rear deck slightly crimp vision to the right rear and dead astern, but overall visibility is quite good.

This model’s back seat is markedly more spacious than the previous-generation Legacy–and indeed, it beats many of its midsize rivals. Knee and foot space are ample, and legroom is better than adequate for six-footers. A tall-for-the-class build eases entry and exit.

A Legacy sedan’s trunk is surprisingly long and, despite some wheelwell intrusion, decently wide. Useful under-floor storage is an added bonus. Cabin storage consists of large door pockets, several handy open bins, and a bi-level console box.


Model Tested: 2011 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium w/manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 6
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 7

Total: 62


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.3 186.4 71.7 59.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.7 18.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.3 37.5 43.0 37.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Legacy 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Oil consumption
Description: Exhaust smoke and high oil consumption may result due to improperly machined valve guides in the cylinder head which must be replaced. (2011)
Steering problems
Description: Shake or vibration in the steering wheel may require an improved steering wheel and numerous front end parts. (2010-11)
Description: The sunroof may bind or make noises due to misalignment. (2011)
Transmission problems
Description: The “Map” “Dest” “Menu” and “Info” buttons on the infotainment system may quit working if the transmission is put in reverse then quickly taken out of reverse (manual or automatic) unless the firmware was updated. (2010-11)

Recall History

2010 Legacy
Description: On vehicles manufactured from July 31 through December 1, 2009, a crack or split could occur in CVT cooler hose, resulting in fluid leakage.
2010 Legacy
Description: Wiring in steering-column electric roll connector may develop stress cracks and eventually break, causing certain electrical components to operate improperly.
2010-11 Legacy w/manual
Description: A lubrication hole within the six-speed manual transmission system was omitted, preventing proper lubrication, which could result in broken gears.
2010-11 Legacy
Description: Vehicles may have been equipped with accessory puddle lights that can short circuit under salty and moist conditions and potentially cause a fire.
2010-12 Legacy
Description: Components in the wiper motor bottom cover may overheat, melt, and potentially catch fire.
2010-13 Legacy with Audiovox remote starter
Description: with Audiovox remote engine starter (RES) — If the RES fob is dropped, the fob may malfunction and start the vehicle. The vehicle will run for up to 15 minutes and may continue to start and stop until the fob battery is depleted or until the vehicle runs out of gas.
2011 Legacy
Description: Moonroof glass may come loose or detach during driving.
2012 Legacy
Description: Vehicles may have a malfunctioning brake master cylinder that requires the driver to press harder than expected on the brake pedal.
2012 Legacy
Description: Side-curtain airbags may have an incorrect propellant mixture, resulting in insufficient compressed gas output. The airbags may not deploy.
2013 Legacy
Description: Certain 2013 model Legacy vehicles made between February 15, 2012 and June 15, 2012 may have inner and outer shafts in the steering column assembly that can come disengaged from each other. If the shafts become disengaged, it is not possible to steer the vehicle.
2014 Legacy
Description: Certain 2014 model Legacy vehicles equipped with the 3.6-liter engine and 5-speed automatic transmission and made between June 12, 2013 and June 28, 2013 may have parking rods inside the transmission that can become loose. If the parking rod detaches it may not be possible to either engage or disengage the parking mechanism.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.