2017 SUBARU LEGACY SPORT UPDATE 1: TRACK DAYS

Not long after I was handed the keys to the long-term Legacy, I took on a new role as Motor Trend’s associate road test editor. Keeping track of #MTGarage keeps me busy most of the time, but once in a while I help out road test editor Chris Walton and testing director Kim Reynolds with vehicle testing. So what better (and safer) way to learn the ropes of the drag strip and figure eight than with a modest midsize sedan that has all-wheel-drive grip and less than 200 horsepower?

Because we opted for the Legacy’s boxer-four engine instead of the more powerful six-cylinder, I fully expected modest performance numbers. And that’s what we got. Running to 60 mph took 9.1 seconds, tied with a 2017 Ford Fusion we recently tested with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbo-four. A 2017 Toyota Camry XSE and 2016 Mazda6 GT, both powered by 2.5-liter naturally aspirated I-4 engines, were quicker at 8.5 and 7.9 seconds, respectively. The Legacy feels adequate off the line, though passing maneuvers at highway speeds requires a bit of patience. Its braking distance from 60 to 0 mph comes in at a 119 feet, on par with the Fusion and shorter than the Camry by 7 feet.

There were no surprises at the figure eight, either. All attempts to induce oversteer were quickly squashed by the undefeatable stability-control system, leading to slight understeer at the limit. Obviously this sort of thing won’t matter to most Legacy buyers. What’s important is that the Legacy is composed and balanced during most driving situations and that it’s supremely smooth on the highway. I wouldn’t mind more lateral support for the front seats, but at least they’re comfy.

After we handed the keys to our Emissions Analytics team, they reported strong results across the board. Numbers for our Legacy came in at 27.8/36.6/31.1 Real MPG city/highway/combined, which are all higher than the EPA’s 25/34/29 mpg rating. Combine that with the Legacy’s giant 18.5-gallon fuel tank, and there’s a good chance you could travel over 600 miles before needing to stop for gas.

READ MORE ABOUT OUR 2017 SUBARU LEGACY SPORT:

2017 Subaru Legacy Sport
BASE PRICE $24,815
PRICE AS TESTED $28,998
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 2.5L/175-hp/174-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve flat-4
TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,499 lb (59/41%)
WHEELBASE 108.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.8 x 72.4 x 59.0 in
0-60 MPH 9.1 sec
QUARTER MILE 17.0 sec @ 84.7 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 119 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.85 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.5 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 27.8/36.6/31.1 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 25/34/29 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 135/99 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.68 lb/mile