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Is The Sedan Dead? Buyers Are Walking Away From The New Upgraded Subaru Legacy

The 2023 Subaru Legacy received new upgrades, but sales continued to drop to start the new year. Is there a problem with the Legacy sedan, or is it a much bigger issue? Check out the midsize sedan report here.

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Is the 2023 Subaru Legacy a good vehicle choice for midsize sedan shoppers? The Legacy received new upgrades for the 2023 model year, and it's a good value for shoppers looking for an all-wheel-drive sedan. There are no significant problems with the Legacy, but it's underperforming. Is there an issue with the Legacy that midsize sedan customers should be aware of now?

Subaru of America reports 1,269 new 2023 Legacy sedans were delivered to its U.S. customers in January. Last January, Subaru sold 1,492 of the 2022 model-year sedans before it received any further upgrades. That's a 15.0 percent drop from the previous January to start the new year.

2023 Subaru Legacy
photo credit: Premier Subaru

The Legacy is only the seventh best-selling model in Subaru of America's all-wheel-drive lineup. The BRZ and Solterra EV were the only vehicles with fewer sales in January.

The 2023 Legacy midsize sedan has a redesigned front fascia and the latest EyeSight safety technology. Subaru also updated Legacy's multimedia system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2023 Subaru Legacy

Other new upgrades for 2023

The refreshed 2023 Subaru received 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 dropped the Limited XT trim level. A new wide-angle Mono Camera is added to the 2023 Legacy Touring XT trim level.

Is there a problem with the newly-improved Legacy sedan, or is it a much bigger issue?

Buyers are generally buying fewer sedans and making the switch to SUVs. Subaru customers are the same and are choosing the automaker's SUVs instead. You can buy the 2023 Outback midsize SUV that rides on the same platform and chassis, rides like a car, and has the practicality and utility of an SUV.

What is the price of the new 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 top-of-the-line Touring XT ($38,715). Destination and delivery fees are included in the pricing above ($1,020).

What sets the Legacy apart from other sedans? 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. But it's not enough to sway new car shoppers to the Legacy. Sedans are on the way out, and Subaru of America could drop the Legacy if it doesn't perform better in the next few years.

Legacy buyers are harder to find than hen's teeth. Sales of the newly-upgraded midsize sedan dropped, and it's underperforming. Subaru dropped the Impreza sedan; will the Legacy be next? Is this the begging of the end for the Legacy sedan in America?

The 2023 Outback received the same upgrades as the 2023 Legacy, and it's about the same price. Which model would you choose, the Legacy or the Outback? Let us know in the comment section.

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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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Comments

userloser (not verified)    February 7, 2023 - 9:56AM

Subaru is not making lots of them. Their stock is low nationwide. Looks like they're pushing production of Outback instead.

Steve Mormando (not verified)    February 7, 2023 - 10:14AM

I ordered a '23 Legacy Sport in mid-September and still don't have it. Something about a supply issue on the wheels.

Mizzou Bob (not verified)    February 7, 2023 - 1:44PM

I believe I bucked the trend—-I traded a 2017 Outback for a 2023 Legacy. The Legacy ride is better, there is actually more cargo room, and I’ve received many compliments on the looks of the Legacy inside and out. Hopefully the sales will pick up so Subaru doesn’t kill off this new and improved Legacy.

J (not verified)    February 7, 2023 - 8:26PM

Outback and Legacy are not the same price.
$4,000 more for the outback. If you can sell all the outback’s that are made then that’s a financial decision on Subaru. We have a 2022 Legacy and love it. Great car! They are hard to find.

db (not verified)    February 7, 2023 - 9:00PM

Just purchased a 2023 Subaru Legacy Premium with level 3 option package. Terrific vehicle! CR rates the 2023 Legacy higher than the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, citing the much improved interior features and safety features along with the proprietary Subaru symmetrical AWD system.

Broad (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 8:17AM

The reason sales are down is they haven't produced any cars. I've been trying to get a new subaru legacy limited... for 8 months! No one has them and claims they can't get them. I'm currently looking at a Mazda cx 30 instead. I've heard too many excuses to continue to do business with them. It's a shame. Subaru has been a part of my family for 30 years. I guess that's over.

Subaru associate (not verified)    February 10, 2023 - 3:36PM

In reply to by Broad (not verified)

We made well over 30,000 legacies last year maybe more. You cant find them because they are so far behind on orders that it can take up to a year after ordering to get yours. Sorry for the delays, parts have been slow to come in. Thank covid and the media lol

Warren Glover (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 8:56AM

I am on my 3rd Legacy ('14,'17&'20) I prefer having a trunk as opposed to the rear of a station wagon. I golf and in the warmer months carry my golf clubs in the trunk. The Legacy is able to carry a golf bag cross wise and away from prying eyes, where i dont have to fold either of the rear seats down. I drive 100 miles a day in NE OH, where the weather can be pretty sketchy and the Legacy has never failed to get me through snow and rain with pretty good gas mileage.

E.Nickens (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 12:16PM

The Legacy's competition is the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, two long term marques in the auto marketplace.
The best kept secret of the Legacy is it's comparative similarity to the Audi A3 and A4. The Legacy has many of the same features; it's only difference is that it is not a high performance luxury car. Value wise it's a great bargain, and is not as high maintenance as Audi, or other high end midsize sedans, (BMW, M-Bs, etc.)

People buy cars more as tokens of prestige than for utility. The SUV trend is a good example; marque preferences have been a staple of that for years.

J. Murphy (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 6:31PM

I'm looking for a 3rd Legacy, but have not been able to find the right one with my local dealer, who doesn't keep many in stock because "people don't buy them" -a self-fulfilling prophecy. Any Limiteds show up with a moon roof that I don't want. For several years, the colors offered are largely black, white and shades of gray. I'd like a red but its not available. The dealer only has two on the lot, with a few more "in transit". No wonder Legacy sales are down.

Daniel Masterson (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 7:22PM

I have a 2022 Legacy XT and it's fantastic. I hope they don't stop making them. It's got power, the seats are very comfortable and does great on road trips. My dad visited me over the weekend and he couldn't stop saying how comfortable the ride and seats were.

Ash Hi (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 9:07PM

I'm just disappointed that there is no manual transmission here. If there was I would have gone for the top trim.

JeffM (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 9:45PM

I have a 2021 Legacy Touring XT and recently I had it in the dealership fixing several rattles. It took days to chase them down and they gave me an Outback loaner. I really liked it. I enjoyed sitting up a bit higher and it was nice to just slide in the seat instead of sitting down into it. Plus it seemed to handle a bit better. I think next year I'm going to trade the Legacy for an Outback.

Rachel (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 10:07PM

We have an Ascent. We love it, nice vehicle & great on gas. We went back to Subaru to get our son a Legacy. There were none on the lot except a later 2021 model in black, same price as a 2022, no discount for being an older model. We do not want a black car in Florida heat.
This dealership is full of Outbacks, then Ascents, then CrossTecks, but no Legacy. I really want to see the Legacy come back in the spotlight.

Dima (not verified)    February 9, 2023 - 10:55AM

They don't sell them because there are none for sale. Actually I wanted to buy a new sport model but there were none in stock and only one with different trim so I could not look or test drive them. And of course Subaru wanted MSRP + for the car that they don't have.

Alex (not verified)    February 9, 2023 - 11:18AM

the new Legacy is UGLY, the new WRX is UGLY. It's almost like they want their last Sedans to fail so that they have a reason to stop selling them.

Johnny (not verified)    February 9, 2023 - 1:20PM

Subaru let customers down when they started having problems, they refuse to honor their warranties the Forester really destroy them with the engine problems the 2019 Subaru legacy feels top heavy at high speeds you hit a bump it feels like you are going to lose control,it rides like a fake Jeep with a tiny engine The best Subaru Subaru made was a1995 Subaru legacy lower to the ground and way more stable

Andy (not verified)    February 9, 2023 - 9:48PM

I bought a new 2017 Legacy and love it, still drive it daily! My wife bought a new 2022 Legacy and we don’t like it, we plan to trade it in by the end of this year. We dislike the new touch screen display. In the old legacy it takes one button push to turn on or off the heated seats. In the new legacy, it takes no fewer than 5 button pushes to do the same. The display is difficult to navigate and takes our eyes off the road for too long while driving. The performance of the car is great but in our case, the tech has gone too far and hinders our enjoyment of the car. We drive the 2017 and leave the new one at home when we go anywhere.

NMK (not verified)    February 10, 2023 - 7:39AM

The "practicality and utility" of an SUV is a myth. On rare occasions when you need to fold down the rear seats to haul some ikea furniture is the only time they are beneficial. During those trips you also have to sacrifice passenger seating. U der normal, family use situations a sedan actually has more USEABLE space. A sedan with 4 passengers still has a large amount of trunk space for carrying all your junk. Most SUVs and the silly little baby crossovers have basically zero storage space when all the seats are in use. It really is just a case of crazy herd mentality. All these people THINKING they need all these big rugged, "do it all" rolling refrigerators, when in reality they rarely if ever see any benefit from it.

Lisa (not verified)    February 10, 2023 - 9:16AM

I have a Subaru Legacy Outback from 2005. It’s been a terrific car. I look forward to purchasing a new one this year. Drove ‘bubble cars’ all the years I had kids, dogs, small boats, sports equipment and musical instruments. I was so happy to move on to a grownup car and have no intention of going backwards.

Keep making the Legacy. There is a market for sedans.

Roberto Segado (not verified)    February 10, 2023 - 11:51AM

Good car. Had 2 legacies. Will only keep buying if the following features are available: 360 camera, drive modes (sport, normal, eco), hands-free trunk, hybrid power train.

Stan (not verified)    February 10, 2023 - 12:30PM

I have a 2016 Legacy, the plant was there when I had first sales add ons. that weren't on car when I got it...I asked why it did not have heated/ cooling steering wheel, vented seats and parking assist like the closest competitors. he the first two would probably be in next upgrade and parking assist would only need a couple more cameras, as tech. already there.....yet it STILL NOT THERE that and the fact that there is too much road noise keeps me from getting another. and the fact that the send me an email showing how much my trade in is worth and with it, a new one would still be 50 to 100 more in cash per month even with the trade in. why what anyone do a worse deal fir a car not worth it and not that luxurious. for approximately the same $, I can get a better car....Subaru needs to do much better to earn my trust.....plus in my area, eyesight keeps turning off everyery time get off freeway and turn up a dark street at night...that is not safe. and eyesight shows calibrated. Subaru needs to get its act together

Stan (not verified)    February 10, 2023 - 12:31PM

I have a 2016 Legacy, the plant was there when I had first sales add ons. that weren't on car when I got it...I asked why it did not have heated/ cooling steering wheel, vented seats and parking assist like the closest competitors. he the first two would probably be in next upgrade and parking assist would only need a couple more cameras, as tech. already there.....yet it STILL NOT THERE that and the fact that there is too much road noise keeps me from getting another. and the fact that the send me an email showing how much my trade in is worth and with it, a new one would still be 50 to 100 more in cash per month even with the trade in. why what anyone do a worse deal fir a car not worth it and not that luxurious. for approximately the same $, I can get a better car....Subaru needs to do much better to earn my trust.....plus in my area, eyesight keeps turning off everyery time get off freeway and turn up a dark street at night...that is not safe. and eyesight shows calibrated. Subaru needs to get its act together