Subaru Legacy vs Subaru Forester (Latest Model): 11 Big Differences

subaru-legacy-vs-subaru-forester

The Outback crossover SUV gets all the attention on the showroom floor, but the 2021 Subaru Legacy sedan does not deserve to be overlooked. The 2021 Subaru Forester is the most practical compact SUV on the market. It’s a fantastic value, roomy, and loaded with features, including standard all-wheel drive and a smooth pavement player. 

The 2021 Subaru Forester has a standard with adaptive LED headlights and a rear seatbelt reminder. The SUV stands out thanks to standard AWD and generous ground clearance. Furthermore, an extensive list of standard and optional driver assistance technologies enhances Forester’s value proposition by providing an extra set of eyes that can warn you of danger.

The Forester SUV has succeeded by combining Subaru’s outdoorsy image with the practicality of a compact crossover, but its mediocre flat-four engine delivers tepid acceleration, tempering its desirability.

Engine & Horsepower 

The 2021 Legacy models come with an all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). A 2.5-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower is standard. The 2.4-litre turbocharged engine in the Limited XT and Touring XT models produces 260 horsepower. We’ve now put both engines through their paces, and what a difference a turbo makes: The Touring XT reached 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, while the non-turbo Sport took a disappointing 8.0 seconds. Regardless of engine, the new Legacy has slightly improved handling dynamics over the previous generation and a similarly compliant ride.

The 2021 Forester test vehicle took 8.0 seconds to reach 60 mph on our test track—not precisely thrilling performance, but it will suffice for most buyers. On the other hand, The same 2.5-litre flat-four-cylinder engine powers all Forester models, producing 182 horsepower and towing 1500 pounds. The engine’s power is routed to Subaru’s trademark all-wheel-drive system via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Interior 

Though the measurements may not reflect it, the Legacy’s cabin feels significantly more significant than the previous generation model, especially in the back. While the Legacy’s exterior design is still shabby, the interior is functional, with well-chosen materials. Cloth upholstery is standard, but leather is optional on the Limited and Touring models. The front seats are well-sculpted and comfortable, and the upper trims include a manual thigh extension for the driver’s seat, which is helpful for long-legged buyers. In our tests, the trunk held eight carry-on suitcases, one more than the Accord and two more than the Camry.

All controls in the 2021 Subaru Forester are clearly labeled and easily accessible. There will be no fussing or overdoing. The available 8-inch center touchscreen is clear and easy to use. Everything about the Forester appears to be well-thought-out. Tall doors and an SUV-style ride height make getting in and out easier. There is enough seating for four, possibly five, adults. The driver’s seat is highly adjustable, and the steering wheel has plenty of telescoping range.

2021 Subaru Legacy Interior
2021 Subaru Forester Interior

Specification & Features 

The base trim of the 2021 Legacy costs only $23,820. It’s a great bargain and well-equipped, with standard all-wheel drive, twin 7.0-inch infotainment, vehicle-function screens, active safety features, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Legacy’s warranty and options aren’t particularly noteworthy, but its larger available infotainment screen is, earning the Legacy an 8 in terms of features.

Subaru sells a $26,070 Legacy Premium from that base model, which we believe is the best buy. It has 17-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control, four USB ports, an 11.6-inch touchscreen, options for a sunroof, navigation, keyless entry, and blind-spot monitors.

The 2021 Subaru Forester offers a slew of standard safety features; it’s also reasonably priced for the basics. The warranty is average, the base infotainment screen is small, and the options are limited—but it’s still one of our top crossover SUV picks in terms of features.

The 2021 Subaru Forester will be available in five trim levels: base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring. The base Forester starts at $25,845 and includes 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a split-folding rear seat, adaptive LED headlights, and a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Fuel Economy / Gas Mileage 

The 2021 Legacy receives a good score; both of its available engines achieve a combined fuel economy of more than 25 mpg. The more popular flat-4 gets 27 mpg city, 35 highway, and 30 combined. It gets 24/32/27 mpg with the turbo-4. There are no hybrid or plug-in versions available.

Subaru sacrifices the highest fuel economy ratings for all-wheel-drive traction in the Forester.

According to the EPA, the 2020 Forester gets 26 mpg in the city, 33 on the highway, and 29 on the road. That’s roughly the same as all-wheel-drive versions of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, which combine 28 and 29 mpg. Both of those crossovers, however, can be equipped with hybrid power, with EPA combined ratings in the 40-mpg range.

Read More: 2021 Subaru Forester Review + Specs, Price & All FAQs

Maintenance 

A Subaru Legacy will cost approximately $6,073 in maintenance and repairs during the first ten years of ownership. As for the Subaru forester, it is recommended that Subaru Forester is serviced every 6,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.

Common Problems 

The most common issue with the 2021 Subaru Legacy is windshield cracking. Electrical system issues, as well as forward collision avoidance and back-over prevention, are also highlighted. As for the Forester, its everyday problems include issues with the powertrain, electrical issues, and the engine.

Price

The 2021 Subaru Legacy sedan is priced from $22,895 to $36,145, so there is something for every budget. If you’re happy with the power the base 2.5-liter engine provides, the Legacy Premium is a good option. The Premium model adds just enough features over the base model to make it a pleasant daily driver without breaking the bank.

The starting MSRP for the base  Forester is $24,795. That places it in the middle of the compact SUV pack. The Touring trim starts at $34,895, slightly higher than the top-trim price of many competitors in this class.

Safety & Reliability 

These models are considered to be relatively safe. The 2021 Subaru Forester’s safety features were an essential part of the engineering process, and Subaru did its best for the vehicle. Safety checking systems also demonstrate Legacy’s superior safety. Subaru Legacy manufacturers make significant efforts to ensure the safety of their customers. People who are looking for a safe vehicle frequently choose Subaru. Legacy’s solid braking and steering equipment add to its security.

Space 

Subaru covers the base Legacys in durable cloth upholstery, but the more expensive models are wrapped in soft Nappa leather. The front seats are wide and comfortable, with extendable thigh cushions and adequate bolsters on higher-end models. The front small-item storage has a few flaws: the cubbies are small, and the one ahead of the cupholder is too small for most of today’s larger smartphones.

Backseat passengers enter through wide doors to a bench seat that seats three. The Legacy’s back seat has 40 inches of leg room, but the headroom suffers slightly compared to the related Outback due to a lower roof. Backseat passengers enter through wide doors to a bench seat that seats three.

The 2021 Subaru forester is built for a wide range of bodies and minds, and Forester’s tall and wide doors make it simple to get in and find a comfortable driving position. Some models have manual seats, but most have power adjustments that take advantage of Forester’s generous knee and headroom. It’s so tall that 6-footers can get at least a few inches under the sunroof, which is an impressive feat even for some crossover SUVs. The only restricted area is the hip, which meets the big center console.

The rear seat of the Forester has nearly 40 inches of legroom. The bench is wide enough to seat three people, though it does not slide like some competitors’ benches.

Why Choose Subaru Legacy vs Subaru Forester

The 2021 Subaru Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive, so you don’t need a tall vehicle to get home safely. It has Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical AWD system for all-weather capability. You don’t have to worry about driving through snow, ice, or mud.

2021 Subaru Legacy

Why Choose Subaru Outback over Subaru Legacy

As one of our most recommended crossover SUVs, the 2021 Subaru Forester scores big wins in utility and safety. Also, the Forester has a high fuel efficiency rating. The Forester has a combined real-world fuel economy of 28 mpg.

2021 Subaru Forester

Conclusion 

These models are considered to be relatively safe. Subaru Forester’s safety features were an essential part of the engineering process, and Subaru did its best for the vehicle. Safety checking systems also demonstrate Legacy’s superior safety. Subaru Legacy manufacturers make significant efforts to ensure the safety of their customers. People who are looking for a safe vehicle frequently choose Subaru. Legacy’s solid braking and steering equipment add to its safety.

The Forester, like most other Subarus, comes standard with all-wheel drive. Both are available with more powerful gasoline and hybrid powertrains, making the Forester feel underpowered in comparison. Still, the Forester will be a good choice for buyers who like Subaru’s adventurous image.

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