2017 Subaru Legacy is the right choice for winter in Portland
The Legacy is Subaru's mid-size sedan, and it carries Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive. That's what sets this sedan apart from the crowd. For roughly the same price as any other imported or domestic family car, you can drive with confidence no matter what winter throws at you.
There's an old saying that it's better to be lucky than to be smart. I was lucky enough to have the 2017 Subaru Legacy sitting in my driveway when the snow started falling last week. I'll just say this: If everyone in Portland drove a Subaru, we wouldn't have the traffic problems we encounter every time it snows.
The Legacy is Subaru's mid-size sedan, and it carries Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive. That's what sets this sedan apart from the crowd. For roughly the same price as any other imported or domestic family car, you can drive with confidence no matter what winter throws at you. That's the selling point for Subaru, and after the last week, it's a point that hardly needs repeating.
The Legacy I'm driving is still wearing summer tires, but it goes through deep snow drifts and over packed snow and ice without any drama whatsoever. Subaru's traction control system will get you going, and the anti-lock brakes will stop you safely. I tested hard braking on an empty, ice-covered space and the Legacy came to a well-controlled stop every time. As long as you don't do something stupid, this car will get you home safely.
While we're on the subject of safety, you can get your Legacy with Subaru's Eyesight system, which gives you automatic pre-collision braking and adaptive cruise control. You can also get blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and reverse automatic braking in combination with the standard rear view camera. That's on top of all the basic safety features you expect on a mid-size family car.
Under the hood, the Legacy comes with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to drive the continuously variable transmission with good performance, and the Legacy still returns 25 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway.
Subaru also offers a good technology story. The STARLINK system will integrate your smart phone if you want it, and there's optional GPS navigation. But Subaru also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so you can bring your phone's interface to the 7-inch touchscreen display.
I've driven the Legacy in the summertime, and it's a delightful car. When the streets are dry, the Subaru offers plenty of power, nice handling, and a comfortable interior. When conditions are bad, the Legacy really shines. The safety features all come together to make the car handle predictably, and the Legacy keeps you in control at all times.
We can't always count on being lucky, but with the 2017 Subaru Legacy it's easy to be smart.
2017 Subaru Legacy
Base price: $22,815
Price as tested: $28,910
Type: four-door sedan
Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (175 hp, 174 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Continuously Variable
EPA estimated mileage: 25/34
Road noise: Average
Curb weight: 3,459 pounds
Final assembly: Lafayette, Indiana