Used Car Review

2013 Subaru Legacy: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo August 2016

A used 2013 Subaru Legacy sedan makes a great choice for anyone who values safety, reliability, economy and the bonus of year-round driving confidence. The Legacy is a large, roomy sedan with a big back seat and trunk. Every bit the equal of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu, the Legacy one-ups all these competitors with its standard symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD). Thanks in large part to its available continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and flat 4-cylinder boxer engine, the Legacy doesn't punish at the pump, achieving an impressive 32 miles per gallon on the highway.

Those who like to row their own gears can opt for a 6-speed manual, but its long throws and tall gears make it a poor choice versus the more fuel-efficient CVT. You can also buy the 2013 Legacy with a 6-cylinder engine in the 3.6R. This model forgoes the CVT in favor of a traditional 5-speed automatic, but it's still competitive with other V6 sedans in this class.

For 2013, the Legacy received freshened exterior styling, an improved 4-cylinder engine, stiffer suspension settings and standard Bluetooth. The EyeSight driver assist system was offered this year, but only on the Limited trim. The GT and 3.6R Premium models were dropped for 2013, and a new 2.5i Sport was added.

What We Like

Standard AWD; good fuel economy with the 4-cylinder; roomy rear seat; powerful 6-cylinder option; excellent safety ratings; strong resale value; EyeSight driver assist system

What We Don't

4-cylinder model feels slow; complex navigation and audio system; beige-colored cloth seats are a magnet for stains; driver assist technology only offered on Limited trim

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

Subaru outfitted the base 2013 Legacy 2.5i with a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed boxer engine that's good for 173 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy with the 6-speed manual is a respectable 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the CVT earns an even better 24 mpg city/32 mpg hwy.

The Legacy 3.6R features a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder boxer engine paired with a traditional 5-speed automatic transmission. Producing 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, this engine is rated at a mere 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2013 Legacy is offered in two models: 2.5i and 3.6R. 2.5i models include the base, Premium, Limited and Sport trims, while the 3.6R is offered only in base and Limited trims.

The Legacy 2.5i comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, 16-inch wheels with plastic covers, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with Bluetooth and an iPod/USB port, air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, remote keyless entry and a manual height adjustable driver's seat. Standard safety features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic traction and stability control and front, front side-impact and side-curtain airbags. The CVT automatic is the only available transmission.

The Legacy 2.5i Premium adds a 10-way power driver's seat including power lumbar support, 17-in alloy wheels, a 6-speaker upgrade, a driver's-side auto up/down power window and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Optional equipment for the Premium trim includes the CVT, steering-wheel paddle shifters, a 9-speaker 440-watt Harman Kardon audio system with Bluetooth capability, a power sunroof and the All Weather package, which adds heated front seats, heated side mirrors and a windshield-wiper de-icer.

The 2.5i Sport adds fog lights, carbon fiber dash trim, 18-in alloy wheels, aluminum pedal kit and the All Weather package.

The 2.5i Limited brings leather seats, the All Weather package, 440-watt Harman Kardon audio with a 6-disc CD changer, 17-in alloy wheels, a 4-way power passenger seat, Bluetooth, upgraded instrument cluster, wood trim, automatic climate control, fog lights and the CVT.

The 3.6R is powered by a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine teamed to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 3.6R carries the same equipment as the 2.5i, but it rides on 17-in alloy wheels and has body-colored side mirrors and an auto up/down driver's window.

The 3.6R Limited includes the same equipment as the 2.5i Limited.

Optional on the Limited trims are a power sunroof, voice-activated touchscreen navigation with rearview camera and the EyeSight driver assist system (adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane-departure warning).

Pricing

The Subaru Legacy holds excellent resale value, on par with the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry and far better than the Chevrolet Malibu, the Ford Fusion and the Nissan Altima. The 3.6R holds slightly stronger values than the 2.5i, with the Limited trims holding slightly higher values than the Premium. For a good idea of the Legacy's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recalls for the 2013 Subaru Legacy:

A recall was issued for cars equipped with the Audiovox remote starter. The engine may inadvertently start and run for up to 15 minutes or until it runs out of fuel.

A recall was issued due to the possibility that the inner and outer shafts of the steering column assembly may disengage from one another.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2013 Legacy a 5-star overall rating, with five stars in the rollover, front- and side-impact crash tests. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2013 Legacy its highest rating of Good in all categories but the small overlap front crash test, which earned it an Acceptable rating. Once again, IIHS named the Legacy a Top Safety Pick, giving it a Superior rating in the crash avoidance and mitigation test when equipped with the EyeSight system.

All Subaru Legacy models left the factory with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. If you purchase your Legacy through Subaru's certified pre-owned vehicle program, the powertrain warranty period is extended to 7 years/100,000 miles, and owners have the option to buy plans that will cover electrical issues, steering, suspension, brakes, air conditioning and the fuel system.

Other Cars to Consider

2013 Honda Accord -- The Accord remains the gold standard in this class, offering excellent safety, resale and reliability ratings, as well as superior fuel economy, but no AWD or advanced collision-avoidance system. There is, however, a sporty coupe version.

2013 Ford Fusion -- The Fusion is also highly rated and was all-new for 2013. AWD is optional, and we like Ford's navigation and audio setup better than Subaru's. The Fusion offers a choice of two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines but no V6. There are also hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

2013 Toyota Camry -- The 2013 Camry is more exciting to look at than the Legacy, plus it's a solid performer that can match or beat the Legacy in every category that matters. Although the Camry doesn't offer AWD, it does come in a hybrid version.

Autotrader's Advice

If power isn't a big priority, we think most people will be quite pleased with the performance and fuel economy of the 2.5i Premium with the All Weather Package. We strongly suggest avoiding models with the beige cloth interior, as the seats are prone to showing stains and dirt. If you want leather, the Limited trim is the only way to get it.

Find a Subaru Legacy for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2013 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
Used 2013 Subaru Legacy
$19,844
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium
Used 2013 Subaru Legacy
$8,900
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Subaru Legacy: Used Car Review - Autotrader