2012 Subaru Legacy (2.5GT, 2.5i, 3.6R, Premium, Limited) review, specifications, photos, features

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The new 2012 Subaru Legacy mid-size sedan

Subaru of America, Inc. has introduced the 2012 midsize Legacy sedans featuring upgraded audio technology and additional standard equipment.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photoFind more new 2012 Subaru Legacy pictures in our 2012 Subaru Legacy photo gallery (39 photos)

The wide selection of models and powertrains, along with generous interior room and standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive have driven the Legacy to significant sales increases since the third-generation models were introduced for the 2010 model year.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

Reflecting Subaru’s focus on value, the 2012 Legacy remains priced similarly to its primary front-wheel drive midsize competitors. The 2012 Legacy continues is available in 4-cylinder, 4-cylinder turbo and 6-cylinder performance levels, with the 4-cylinder/Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) combination delivering an EPA-rated 31 mpg highway. Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines are offered, with the turbocharged 2.5GT model available exclusively in Limited form. The 2012 Legacy models continue with the “Top Safety Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

New for 2012, the Legacy 2.5i base model offers a new Alloy Wheel Package that includes 16-in. alloy wheels, fog lights and the All-Weather Package (2-stage heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer). Previously, the All-Weather Package was available only on the Legacy Premium, where it remains optional, and Limited, where it remains standard. On Limited models, fog lights are now standard for 2012.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

New Legacy Audio Choices for 2012
The Legacy line offers two new audio choices for 2012. In the 2.5i and 3.6R Premium models, the new standard audio system includes AM/FM stereo, single-disc CD player with Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), iPod® control capability, USB port, 3.5mm aux. input jack and 6 speakers. In addition, the vehicle comes pre-wired for XM® / Sirius Satellite Radio, which is available as a dealer accessory and requires a subscription.

Newly standard for the 2012 Legacy 2.5i and 3.6R Limited models and optional for the Premium models is a new harman/kardon® display-type audio system that includes all of the versatility and connectivity features in the Premium models’ new standard audio system (described in previous paragraph) and adds a 4.3-inch LCD display, HD Radio, standard XM Satellite Radio and plays through 9 harman/kardon speakers, including a subwoofer. All factory-equipped models with XM Satellite Radio receive an additional free month of the XM Select package.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

Three Levels of Legacy Performance
The 2012 Legacy features three powertrain choices: Legacy 2.5i models are powered by a 170-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine (with available PZEV rating) and equipped with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). The CVT is standard in the 2.5i Limited. The Legacy 2.5GT Limited is powered by a 265-hp turbocharged / intercooled DOHC 4-cylinder Boxer engine teamed exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission. The Legacy 3.6R models are powered by a 256-hp 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine and are exclusively equipped with a 5-speed electronic automatic transmission.

Midsize Standout
The new-generation Legacy offers one of the roomiest interiors in the midsize category yet preserves the agility and fun-to-drive spirit that have long been hallmarks of this model line. The Legacy offers more total passenger room than some of its competitors offering 103 cu. ft. total and featuring 37.8 inches of rear seat legroom. The 14.7 cu. ft. trunk is a significant achievement considering that the Legacy’s AWD system requires packaging a rear differential and drive axles.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

As are all 2012 Subaru models, every Legacy is equipped as standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, an invaluable performance- and safety-enhancing system that sets Legacy apart among midsize sedans. All-wheel drive is rare in the midsize segment, and only Legacy makes it standard on all models and trim lines.

The current Legacy introduced a new Subaru design language that is also featured on the all-new 2012 Impreza models. The Subaru badge is the focal point of the grille, which features a squared off lower edge. Character lines arc from the grille and form power bulges on the hood, tapering off into the A-pillar. The coupe-influenced silhouette incorporates a large, airy greenhouse, and the powerful wheel arches and a short deck give the vehicle a sporty stance.

Confident, Agile Handling and Safety for any Road -- or any Weather
The Legacy retains the crisp handling and balance for which Subarus are known while providing exemplary ride quality. Legacy 2.5i and 2.5i Premium models feature 16-in. wheels (alloy with 2.5i Alloy Wheel Value Package and on Premium trim level); the 2.5GT Limited is exclusively equipped with 18-in. alloy wheels with 225/45R18 performance tires. All versions of the 6-cylinder Legacy 3.6R come with 17-in. alloy wheels and 225/50R17 tires.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

MacPherson-type strut front suspension is mounted to an engine cradle, and the engine is attached to the cradle using hydraulic mounts. The cradle is designed to also enhance crash-worthiness in front. A double-wishbone rear suspension, mounted to a sub frame, provides an optimal combination of ride comfort, handling agility, noise isolation and interior roominess.

Like all new Subaru models, the 2012 Legacy features standard Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which stability and traction control capability. Likewise, all new Subaru models are also equipped with a standard 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Brake Assist safety system.

High Level of Comfort and Convenience in All Models
Inside the Legacy, a four-dial instrument panel is augmented by a multi-information display with a trip computer located in the center of the dashboard. Rich looking appointments and details abound, including a sporty 3-spoke steering wheel (leather-wrapped in all but the base 2.5i and 3.6R models). An electronic parking brake with an electronic Hill Holder System eliminates the traditional parking brake handle, freeing up space in the center console.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

The generous roster of standard features in the 2012 Legacy 2.5i includes steering wheel cruise control buttons, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, electronic parking brake, automatic headlights, overhead console with holder for sunglasses and a 3.5mm auxiliary audio jack. The electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle to pull away from a stop.

Legacy Premium models add more amenities including steering wheel Bluetooth controls, a 10-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar support adjustment) and driver’s auto up/down window, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio switches, instrument storage bin with door, ambient light for overhead console, chrome exhaust tips and body-colored mirrors.

The Premium models also offer additional comfort and convenience options, including new-for-2012 display-type harman-kardon Audio Package, a power moonroof, and the All-Weather Package that adds heated front seats and mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.

The Legacy Limited models feature standard leather upholstery, dual zone automatic climate control, the new-for-2012 display-type harman-kardon® Audio Package, and a 4-way power front passenger seat. The Limited models also exclusively offer an available voice-activated GPS navigation system with an 8-in. LCD display and rear-view backup camera, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and audio streaming for smartphones.

Torque-Rich 2.5-liter Boxer Engine
Legacy 2.5i models are powered by a 2.5-liter SOHC 4-cylinder Boxer engine teamed to a new 6-speed manual transmission or the available Lineartronic CVT with 6-speed manual shift mode. The CVT is standard in the Legacy 2.5i Limited. The 2.5-liter engine, which is available as PZEV-certified, delivers 170 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The i-Active Valve Lift System (AVLS) ensures a broad torque curve and smooth response at all engine speeds, while also helping to improve fuel efficiency.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

Equipped with the Lineartronic CVT, the 2012 Legacy 2.5i achieves 23 mpg city / 31 mpg highway / 26 mpg combined EPA fuel economy ratings. An 18.5 gallon fuel tank yields excellent driving range.

Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Subaru’s chain-type CVT was the world’s first longitudinally mounted CVT system for AWD production vehicles. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, which uses fixed gear ratios, a CVT provides infinite variability between the lowest and highest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range for improved fuel economy and performance.

Because a CVT does not shift gears, the driver enjoys smoother performance in all driving situations. The selectable manual mode of the Lineartronic CVT uses six pre-set ratios to allow the driver to “shift” manually using steering wheel paddle controls.

Legacy 2.5GT Limited: 265 Turbocharged Horses
The 2012 Legacy 2.5GT Limited comes equipped exclusively with a 265-horsepower 2.5-liter intercooled/turbo Boxer engine teamed to a 6-speed manual transmission. This sporty performance sedan, which also features the Legacy range’s top luxury feature content as standard, can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in under six seconds.

3.6-liter 6-Cylinder Boxer Engine: Premium Performance with Regular-Grade Fuel
The 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine in Legacy 3.6R models produces 256 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,400 rpm. This smooth engine sustains at least 225 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, making the Legacy 3.6R feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving. Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves optimizes power delivery across the engine’s speed range while helping to reduce emissions. The 3.6R models use recommended regular-grade fuel.

The 3.6-liter engine is teamed exclusively with a specially tuned five-speed automatic transmission that significantly reduces “hunting” between gears when driving in hills. A downshift “blipping” feature adds a touch of sportiness when using the steering wheel paddle shifters in Legacy 3.6R models.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive A Key To Brand Identity
Subaru offers three different versions of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive in the 2012 Legacy – Continuous, Active Torque Split, and Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) – each tailored to the type of engine and transmission.

In all Legacy models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the Continuous AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute power 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either the front or rear wheels will cause the system to send more power to the opposite wheels. Legacy 2.5i models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT use the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to driving conditions.

Legacy 3.6R models exclusively feature Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) All-Wheel Drive with a 5-speed automatic transmission. A planetary center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally sends more power to the rear wheels to enhance handling agility, and it continuously adjusts power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.

Exemplary Safety
The Legacy, like all Subaru current models, has consistently earned top scores in government and insurance industry crash tests. Subaru’s Ring-Shaped Frame Reinforcement safety structure, proven over a decade in all Subaru models, forms the foundation for crash protection and occupant safety in the new-generation Legacy. A front subframe (engine cradle) helps improve front impact safety. The new-generation Legacy features extensive use of high-tensile steel, which helps enhance safety without adding bulk.

2012 Subaru Legacy photo2012 Subaru Legacy photo

The 2012 Legacy models include as standard equipment front seat side impact air bags and side curtain air bags that offer additional head protection for front and rear occupants. Intelligent dual-stage deployment front air bags use sensors to detect the presence and weight of a front passenger and also the driver’s distance from the steering wheel. The system determines front air bag deployment strength for optimal occupant protection.

The front seat frames are designed to provide enhanced protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. With the entire seat optimized for a rear-end collision, Subaru was able to replace the previous model’s active front head restraints with a more comfortable design.

Find more new 2012 Subaru Legacy pictures in our 2012 Subaru Legacy photo gallery (39 photos)

New 2012 Subaru Legacy specifications, photos and images courtesy of Subaru.

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