We were excited to take the 2014 Subaru Legacy for a spin for a simple reason: We’ve never tested out a Subaru before.

In the automotive world, just like many others, it’s easy to keep returning to the same sources for news and information without ever exploring a different company’s offerings.

Naturally, we’ve heard a lot about Subaru. During another test drive, we were regaled with stories about Subaru’s legendary all wheel drive and how critical it is for navigation ice and snow.  We didn’t have much need for that during our Nashville, TN test drive but, no matter. The Legacy impressed us in other ways.

As is our custom, here are six of the lifestyle features that stood out to us about the Subaru Legacy in our latest 6 Speed Test Drive.

  1. Star Light, Star Bright. The Subaru Starlink system adds something new to the usual conversation about in-car navigation. Namely, Starlink gives the user a a step-by-step visual aid with background colors and motion to prompt your next move. If, for example, you start entering a destination address, the screen will turn green and a large arrow will literally point to what you need to do next. Pretty nifty. That said, the screen graphics look a bit old school, like those from maybe an older computer. We liked the functionality but the sexy factor could use a little work.
  2. It’s Getting Hot In Here. Inside the Subaru Legacy, leather and wood accents abound. The aptly named Legacy certainly has the look and feel of a luxury offering. Our guess? The Legacy is probably intended for young, male car buyers looking to step up in class (read: swag) without too much of a buy in, price-wise. Another inside feature worthy of a mention: We really dug the extra large seat warmer buttons. I’m sure many reviews of the Legacy will skip over this small detail but having seat warmer buttons which are easy to find and press, even when your fingers are numb from cold, is a subtle but important feature.
  3. Need For Speed. The Legacy’s all wheel drive automatically makes the car grippy and fast. In an age of instant gratification, the Legacy’s insta-torque is sure to impress. Speaking of which, the Legacy we drove had paddle shifters.  Just push the gearshift over to M (for “manual”) and you’ll be able to use the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters to zip through the Legacy’s gears. Usually seen on much sportier cars, the paddle shifters fit here because the car has so much torque, which more or less translates to speed from a complete stop.
  4. The Postman Always Rings Twice. In new cars, it’s always nice to see a little touch of the old school, like the open space in front of the dashboard clock. It reminds me of my grandparents car– a vehicle that had lots of nooks and crannies to stuff your life into. Is is a letter bin? A wallet holder? A spare change repository? We used it as all of the above during our extended test drive. Plus, the placement of the clock at the edge of this area ensures that your eyes stay close to the road and, by extension, whatever you happen to put in the tray.
  5. Buckle Up. The Legacy is serious about safety. Sit in the car too long without buckling up and it will really (!) let you know that it’s time to put your seat-belt on. Frequent passengers in our test-drive Legacy were quick to complain about it but they were equally quick to buckle up. So, this feature makes our list for sheer effectiveness.
  6. Listen Up. You don’t have to say much to get the Legacy to understand what it is you want. Relatively normal speech commands like “Audio, channel 45” will tune the XM radio to Shade 45 on the XM dial. While most of the car manufactures are pushing towards normal speech recognition, Subaru seems to be ahead of the curve.

Overall, we found the Legacy to be a fun, quick and sporty alternative for your average entry-level luxury vehicle. We’d like to see the on-screen graphics improve a bit but, at the same time, the inclusion of visual directives was a touch we haven’t seen in any other vehicle so it balances out.

If you’re a practical shopper and you want to end up with some speed and some sexy without breaking the bank, the Legacy is your ride.

2014 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited (EAF)
Combined MPG: 27
Price: Starts $26K
Test drive model: $29K

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