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The Case For Keeping The Subaru Legacy Sedan - It's Not Black And White

Should Subaru drop the Legacy sedan? The 2023 Subaru Legacy finished the year down in sales. There are a few reasons why Subaru should keep it in the lineup, but it’s not black and white.

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With SUV sales making the bulk of Subaru of America's sales (about 90%), should Subaru drop the Legacy sedan like the Impreza compact sedan? Before you say yes, check out where the Legacy finished the year.

The refreshed 2023 Subaru Legacy is down just 0.7 percent for the year, with a 22.9 percent increase in new model sales in December. SOA reports 2,125 sales in December compared with 1,729 in December 2021. The Legacy sedan finished in sixth place in the lineup for the year. The Legacy finished ahead of the WRX (18,662), BRZ (3,345), and Solterra (919 in one full month of sales).

2023 Subaru Legacy

Sales of the Legacy sedan are down, but it still has a place in the lineup.

Why will Subaru keep the Legacy?

Subaru will likely keep the Legacy sedan even with the shift to SUVs. It's built on the same platform as the popular Outback midsize SUV, so Subaru of Indiana Automotive doesn't have to develop a new sedan model every time it gets a remake or refresh. They use the Outback upgrades and drop them into the next-generation Legacy.

Subaru isn't afraid to buck conventional wisdom. While other automakers drop many sedan offerings, Subaru will keep the Legacy to satisfy its loyal customers and possibly pick up buyers from Ford and others.

2023 Subaru Legacy

Ford has dropped the Fusion sedan, and the only traditional passenger car they have left in America is the sporty Mustang. Other manufacturers are also moving away from sedans. Buick is now an SUV-only brand, and Chevrolet's only remaining four-door passenger cars are the Spark subcompact hatchback and midsize Malibu sedan, which will likely be phased out soon.

How does the Legacy compare with other midsize sedan sales?

The Subaru Legacy does not compare well in sales with the midsize sedan leaders. Toyota Camry is the leader with 295,201 sales in 2022. It's followed by the Honda Accord (154,612), Nissan Altima (139,956), Chevrolet Malibu (115,468), Kia K5 (66,310), and Hyundai Sonata (52,140).

The 2023 Subaru Legacy gets a refresh which will help sales. The Legacy midsize sedan gets new updates with a redesigned front fascia, the latest EyeSight safety technology, and a new wide-angle mono camera. Subaru also updated Legacy's multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other new upgrades for 2023

The refreshed 2023 Subaru receives a new front fascia, a more prominent grille, and redesigned LED headlights. The big jump in price for the Sport trim is because it now comes standard with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. Subaru will drop the Limited XT trim level. A new wide-angle Mono Camera is added to the 2023 Legacy Touring XT trim level.

What is the price of the 2023 Legacy?

The 2023 Legacy sedan now comes in five trim levels. The 2023 midsize sedan starts at $25,415 for the base trim, Premium ($27,715), Limited ($32,465), Sport with a new 2.4-liter turbo engine ($34,915), and Touring XT ($38,715). Destination and delivery fees are included in the pricing above ($1,020).

What sets the Legacy apart from the competition?

All Legacy trim levels come standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive for all-weather performance. The Legacy also gets the highest safety scores from the IIHS.

What is the 2023 Subaru Legacy's fuel mileage?

Customers who don't want an SUV can still have an all-weather vehicle with excellent fuel mileage. The EPA says the Sport and Touring XT 2.4-liter turbocharged engine trims return an estimated 23/31 mpg city/highway and 26 combined mpg. The standard naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine gets an EPA-estimated 27/35 city/highway mpg and 30 combined mpg fuel economy.

Which trim is the best value?

The 2023 Subaru Legacy Premium and Limited trim levels are where many buyers will land and offer the best value with the smallest price increases. Unless you need the Sport and Touring XT's 2.4-liter turbocharged engine's extra power, you will pay around $7,000-$11,000 less for a comparably equipped 2.5i trim level.

The refreshed 2023 Subaru Legacy finished the year with a 22.9 percent increase in new model sales in December. Customers liked the upgrades and responded favorably to the sedan. Subaru will keep the Legacy sedan in the lineup because it fills a small niche in the all-wheel-drive sedan market.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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Comments

PacoMartin (not verified)    January 11, 2023 - 9:39AM

2023 Legacy tops out at Touring XT $38,715 (with shipping) while the Impreza 5-door tops out at Limited at $28,415 (with shipping). So even though the Impreza sells 36.5% more vehicles than the Legacy, I can't believe profits on the Impreza are that much higher than the Legacy. By 2030 when Subaru wants to see zero highway deaths involving a Subaru, it may make sense to discontinue all cars and just keep the 4 gasoline SUVs plus electric SUVs, but until then they should give the gasoline cars their final generation.