Really, road trip in a sedan? Yup!
I’ll be the first to admit, sedans don’t generally excite me. I’m much more inclined to go for something sporty or luxurious over something practical, even an AWD car. So when I was invited to drive-review the 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport, I was pleasantly surprised to experience such a comfortable, classy, and sporty ride all in one unpretentious vehicle. The Crimson Red Pearl paint color hinted of a bit more flash to be discovered…and indeed, there was plenty!
I’d read that the Subaru Legacy was engineered “for the long road ahead.” While that is meant as a testament to the longevity of Subarus, with models still on the road after 10 years, I decided to put it to the test literally. Route 66 from Los Angeles to Albuquerque is a good long road, so I set out on a solo road trip. The 2018 Subaru Legacy proved to be hands-down the most comfortable vehicle I’ve ever driven for long stretches at a time.
Standard Feature: Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
So what’s special about the 2018 Subaru Legacy sedan? Probably most significant is the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. In fact, it’s the only midsize sedan with Symmetrical AWD as a standard feature.
That means the power is balanced between all four tires, providing engagement with the road and quick responsiveness. For the most part my drive didn’t entail much in the way of severe weather conditions. But a sudden downpour of hail as I was going through a mountain pass was enough for it to demonstrate a safe and reliable connection with the road.
The rest of the time, I experienced maximized acceleration with the gripping traction of all four wheels. It’s nice to be in a sedan and have good reliable accelerating power entering the highway.
Sound Insulation Glass and Amazing Audio System
Once the windows were rolled up and I was on my way, the ride was remarkably quiet! That’s because the 2018 Legacy comes standard with front door sound insulation glass.
It really made a difference, especially on the freeway. I think other drivers on the road could appreciate it too, for they didn’t have to listen to me singing with the (optional) Sirius XM All Access Radio. I love to sing while I drive, especially when there’s an awesome audio system. I felt like I was in my very own recording studio! No doubt others would just assume I’m having a very animated hands-free conversation since, from the outside, they couldn’t hear anything happening on the inside. That’s pretty impressive glass to be sure.
The Cool Factor(s)
Perhaps it was because I was driving through the southwest in mid-summer, or perhaps the air-conditioning in this car just totally rocks, but I was blown away (in a refreshing, literal sense, too)! After the car had been parked outdoors in over 100 degrees heat, the A/C powerfully cooled the interior to a pleasant temperature by the time I was backing up.
A key feature of the Legacy 2.5i Sport is the dual-zone climate control system, allowing a passenger to adjust their temperature setting independently of the driver. Plus, I could flip down a back seat to cool items in the trunk, surprisingly effective with the backseat A/C vents.
For when it’s cool outside, drivers will appreciate the all-weather package, which includes heated front seats (back seat heating can be added), heated exterior mirrors, and de-icing windshield wipers. The mirrors were easily adjusted by power controls, and had integrated turn signals as well as blind spot detection (optional package).
Regardless of the climate, feeling cool in a Subaru was effortless. The Legacy 2.5i Sport comes with a Power Moonroof, which is always a contributing factor to an enjoyable drive.
I especially loved being illuminated by a full moon, and having a full view of the Arizona skies and clouds. Additionally, the black 18-inch alloy wheels, sport grille, and sport trunk spoiler complete the look of a sedan that pushes the edge of ordinary well into the coolness zone.
Most Helpful Features 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport
- EyeSight Driver Assist Technology – Like having an extra set of eyes, two forward-facing cameras scan the road to monitor traffic activity. When driving solo, this technology lets you drive with confidence. It maintains distance to the vehicle ahead of you when using adaptive cruise control. The car ahead slows down, and the Subaru reacts without you having to tap the brake. Pre-collision braking is added security, though I never had to test it. I did, however, appreciate the Lane Departure and Sway Warning provided with Lane Keep Assist. Every warning displays right on the dash, providing a great visual monitor of where I was in the lane and in relation to other vehicles on the road.
- STARLINK 8.0 Multimedia Navigation System is a comprehensive option neatly packaged in an 8-inch hi-resolution display. The navigation maps worked as they would on a smart device, allowing you to zoom, swipe, or rotate the display. Better yet, the hands-free voice command navigation was perhaps the smoothest interface I’ve experienced in a vehicle. The direction-giving volume was perfect, quieting the music to the background just enough to clearly hear the directions.
- STARLINK smartphone integration via Bluetooth allows hands-free phone calls, music, and will even read incoming texts if set to do so.
Subaru Legacy “For the Long Road Ahead”
I drove very long distances for very long periods at a time. I was able to track both my time and miles. In the end I had averaged 33.3 MPG, mostly highway, but some city driving, too. The 2018 Subaru Legacy surprised me with how effortless it was to cover so much road.
I was extremely comfortable! My back never got sore, as I was able to make adjustments to the driver’s seat, from adjusting the incline and seat position to lumbar support.
I was reminded to take a break! I don’t know how or where this was set or controlled, but I would get an alert when I had been driving over 2 hours since the last stop. It was a welcome reminder to stop for a coffee, take in a viewpoint, or stretch my legs and give my driving eyes a rest.
I had everything I needed right at hand! The center console easily housed my purse, two beverages, and a nook with USB charging port for my cellphone. Controls for adjusting things like climate, cruise control, and music were intuitively integrated in the steering wheel. And voice-command functions kept my hands from ever having to leave the steering wheel. Except to sip my coffee, of course!
What I Loved:
- Spacious and Roomy: 100.9 cubic feet of passenger volume; 15 cubic feet of trunk volume. Comfort-inducing 10-way power driver’s seat.
- Keyless Access and Push Button Start
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Incredible audio system
- Sound insulating glass
Video Tour of the 2018 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport
What You Need to Know
The specific model I drove was the Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sport, with a base price of $26,345. The optional package including EyeSight, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Reverse Automatic Braking, High Beam Assist, and STARLINK Navigation was an additional $2,095. Even with destination and delivery charges, the total price still came in under $30,000, at $29,300.
Disclosure: Subaru provided the Legacy for my test drive. All opinions are my own.