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2020 Honda Accord vs. 2020 Subaru Legacy: Which Is Better?

2020 Honda Accord vs 2020 Subaru Legacy

  • 2020 Subaru Legacy is all-new.
  • Accord offers both a hybrid model and an optional manual transmission.
  • Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive, while Accord is front-wheel drive only.

The 2020 Honda Accord and Subaru Legacy are two of the most compelling midsize sedans on the market. The Legacy is all-new for 2020 and boasts standard all-wheel drive, while the Accord was last redesigned for the 2018 model year and is front-wheel drive only. Aside from their drive wheels, though — admittedly a major consideration for most buyers — the Accord and Legacy have a lot in common, so we’ve compared them below to help you understand their major differences.

Exterior

While both of these vehicles wear conservative styling, the Accord is easily the more interesting out of the two. Its styling is futuristic, with lots of horizontal lines integrated into its front and rear ends, plus a long, sloping roofline that gives off strong 4-door coupe vibes. The Legacy, on the other hand, is pretty mundane. It has great sedan proportions and looks sporty with the right exterior color and wheel combinations but is otherwise pretty generic, especially in a segment that has moved to more aggressive styling in recent years. See the 2020 Honda Accord models for sale near you or See the 2020 Subaru Legacy models for sale near you

Interior

On the inside, neither the Accord nor the Legacy has an offensive nor inspired interior. The Accord uses a push-button gear selector, assuming you don’t opt for a Sport model with a manual transmission. A 7- or 8-in infotainment screen sits atop the dashboard like a tablet computer, a popular design trend today that allows for a lower dashboard height, which in turn allows for greater outward visibility. The Legacy uses a traditional gear selector for its standard continuously variable automatic transmission. While its infotainment screen resides entirely within its center stack, it does measure a whopping 11.6 inches on all but the base model, making for the largest screen in this segment.

In terms of space, the Accord has 40.4 inches of second-row legroom to the Legacy’s 39.5. Cargo room for the Accord is an impressive 16.7 cu ft., while the Legacy has 15.1 cu ft.

Mechanicals

The Accord can be had with your choice of two different gas engines or an available hybrid powertrain. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder putting out 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. The Accord’s optional powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 252 and 273 lb-ft of torque. A CVT comes standard with the base engine, while the larger one gets a 10-speed automatic. That said, Honda makes a Sport model available that can be optioned with a 6-speed manual transmission and either engine, making a great option for those who want to row their own gears. With the 1.5-liter engine and the CVT, the Environmental Protection Agency rates the Accord at 30 mpg city/38 mpg hwy/33 combined, while 2.0 turbo-equipped models with 10-speed auto return 23 mpg city/34 mpg hwy/27 mpg combined.

The Accord Hybrid used a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Total output is 212. The EPA rates the 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid at an impressive 49 mpg overall.

The Legacy is offered with two different gas powerplants. The base engine is a familiar 2.5-liter flat-four that puts out 182 and 176 lb-ft of torque. A turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is available as well and makes 260 and 277 lb-ft of torque. AWD and a CVT come standard across the board. The base engine is rated at 27 mpg city/35 hwy/30 combined, while the turbo returns 24 mpg city/32 hwy/27 combined.

Features & Technology

Either of these vehicles can be had with a healthy array of equipment. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard on the Legacy and are included on all but the base trim of the Accord. The Accord tops out with an 8-in infotainment screen, while most trims of the Legacy get a massive 11.6-in screen. A sunroof, wireless charging, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, 4G LTE capability with Wi-Fi, premium audio and more are all available. The two do differ some when it comes to premium features, though — only the Accord is available with a head-up display, rain-sensing windshield wipers and rear automatic braking, while only the Legacy offers an available heated steering wheel and 180-degree front-view camera.

Both vehicles perform quite well in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Legacy earns a Top Safety Pick+ award, while the Accord gets a basic Top Safety Pick+ rating, missing out on the top award due only to an imperfect headlight score. Active safety features offered on both models include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic assist, along with other active safety features, are available as well.

Pricing

The base price of a 2020 Honda Accord is $24,975, while a loaded Touring model comes in at $37,205. A base 2020 Legacy comes in at $23,645 and a loaded Touring XT model tops out at $36,795. Again, keep in mind that the Legacy offers standard AWD. While it’s not offered on the Accord, competitors like the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry typically charge around $1,500 for their optional AWD systems.

Conclusions

Aside from their drive wheels, these two vehicles are pretty evenly matched. Both offer great safety ratings and most of the features a buyer could want in a midsize sedan here in 2020. You really can’t go wrong with either one. Our take? The Accord strikes as the more sophisticated of these two vehicles, thanks in large part to its stately exterior design and refined driving dynamics, especially when paired with the manual transmission or 10-speed automatic. If you don’t care much about AWD, then the Accord is probably the better option. That said, if you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, then there’s no match for the Legacy’s AWD system paired with a set of snow tires. Our recommendation is to test drive both the Legacy and Accord to see which one fits you better. Find a Honda Accord for sale or Find a Subaru Legacy for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More

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