The 2012 Subaru Legacy
is the best car for you if you want an attractive, entertaining all-wheel-drive midsize sedan built to handle Mother Nature's wrath.
The 2012 Subaru Legacy is expected to get a revised base engine but will otherwise carry on with a successful basic design introduced for model-year 2010. This five-passenger midsize sedan will continue as the only car in the class to come standard with all-wheel drive (AWD). The 2012 Legacy will remain available with a choice of two four-cylinder engines - one of which is likely to be re-engineered - as well as a smooth, powerful six-cylinder. Styling:
The 2012 Subaru Legacy isn't expected to change its exterior appearance aside from perhaps a fresh wheel design or a new paint choice or two. Legacy's styling dates to a well-received redesign for model-year 2010 and the 2012 will continue that fairly bold look front to rear with muscular wheel arches, deep lower front air dams, cat's eye headlamps extending into the front fenders, and a tall rear deck.
Its basic dimensions won't change for model-year 2012, so it'll remain 186.4 inches long overall. A vehicle's wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles and is a determining factor in how large an interior designers can provide. Fortunately, Subuaru designers did fine work: with 37.8 inches of rear-seat legroom, Legacy beats Altima by a few tenths of an inch and is only a half-inch short of the segment-leading Accord.
The 2012 Subaru Legacy's interior should remain comfortable and well finished in high quality materials. Highlights should again include metal-look trim on the steering wheel, dashboard, and other areas. Cloth seats should stay standard with leather upholstery available. The dashboard will retain Subaru's corporate winged-design motif, with straightforward round gauges and easy to use buttons and dials on the center stack of controls. When fitted with the available navigation system, this area will again feature a color LCD touchscreen display. Silverthorne Subaru
dealer, Vista Subaru, can outfit your Subaru with all the latest accessories.
Expect the 2012 Subaru Legacy lineup to again divide into three tiers based on engine type. The Legacy 2.5i tier consisted of the base 2.5i model, plus 2.5i Premium and 2.5i Limited trim levels for model-year 2011. The 3.6R tier featured base 3.6R version as well as 3.6R Premium and 3.6R Limited models. The 2.5 GT Limited was the sole turbocharged model and the most expensive 2011 Legacy.Mechanical:
The 2012 Subaru Legacy will largely carry over mechanically with the likely exception of an updated version of its base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It should show up in the 2012 Legacy 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, and 2.5i Limited versions, having debuted in the 2011 Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV. The updated version again rounds off to 2.5-liters of displacement, and horsepower should remain unchanged at 170. However, internal revisions boost torque by a nominal four pound-feet, to 174. And both horsepower and torque peak at lower rpm than before, which should give the updated 2.5 a slightly livelier feel. (Think of torque as the force behind acceleration and horsepower as the energy that sustains momentum.) It should also bring minor gains in city and highway fuel economy.
This base 2.5-liter four-cylinder should again come mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). A CVT does the job of an automatic transmission but with a belt-and-pulley system instead of a finite set of gear ratios. The idea is to more precisely match engine speed with optimal acceleration and fuel economy, though the seamless delivery of power under full throttle is a sensation some drivers may find initially unsettling. Subaru calls its CVT "Lineartronic" and steering wheel-mounted paddles that replicate the feel of manual-type gear control.
The 2012 Subaru Legacy 3.6R, 3.6R Premium, and 3.6R Limited models will likely continue with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder that should remain rated at 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. On paper, the six-cylinder pencils out a bit slower than the 2.5-liter turbo, but it's a smoother running engine for those favoring a serene ride over hot-footed launches. To that end the only transmission offered with the six is a five-speed automatic with a manual shift mode.
The 2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT should again come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a peppier 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Expect the 2012 Legacy 2.6GT to continue only with a six-speed manual transmission.
As in all other Subarus, the 2012 Legacy's engines will continue with a horizontally opposed, or "boxer" design, in which in which the cylinder banks face each. This is in contrast to being aligned in a vertical row (as with other four-cylinder engines) or in a V-shaped configuration (like most sixes). Porsche is the only other automaker to embrace this type of configuration, primarily because it affords a lower center of gravity, which in turn helps improve a car's handling abilities.
Front-wheel drive is the rule for midsize cars and while a few offer optional AWD, standard AWD should remain one of the 2012 Subaru Legacy's main attributes. Unlike a traditional four-wheel-drive system (4wd), which must be manually engaged into four-wheel mode, AWD is always operational. Engine torque automatically shifts between the front and rear axles in response to wheel slippage to help maintain traction on wet, snowy, or loose road surfaces.
Subaru's developed multiple AWD systems individually configured to particular engine-transmission combinations. In the 2012 Legacy, two slightly different AWD systems should again be included with the 2.5-liter engines: basically, the one used with manual transmission locks into a 50/50 front/rear torque split upon wheel slip while the one used with the CVT reapportions the split constantly. The 2012 Legacy 3.6R models will continue with a more sophisticated version that normally splits engine power on a 45/55 to maintain a slightly sportier rear-drive feel, then reapportions constantly if traction is compromised.
The 2012 Subaru Legacy should continue to ride on 16-, 17-, or 18-inch tires, depending on the model. The suspension will remain a nicely designed setup that uses MacPherson struts in front and a double-wishbone design at the rear. It should continue to combine a smooth ride, with capable handling. Stability control should again be included across the line to help prevent fishtailing during extreme or emergency handling maneuvers, with traction control included to help the car manage wet or snowy surfaces at lower speeds.Features:
The 2012 Subaru Legacy should again come standard with all the basic necessities of a modern midsize car. Passive safety features will include thorax-protecting side airbags for the driver and front passenger and head-protecting side-curtain airbags for all outboard riders. Other standard equipment will likely include air conditioning, power locks and windows, keyless entry, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted buttons, a CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack, alloy wheels, and 60/40 split folding rear seatbacks to expand cargo carrying abilities.
Expect the 2012 Legacy 2.5i Premium and 3.6R Premium models to again include such standard touches as a power driver's seat and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Top-of-the-line 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited versions will likely again add leather upholstery, automatic climate control, and a power front passenger seat.
Subaru likely will continue to position the 2012 Legacy 2.5 GT as a luxury-performance model and equip it with Limited-trim-level equipment, plus fog lamps and a power moonroof.
Other 2012 Legacy features that'll be standard or optional depending on model include a voice-activated touch-screen navigation system that includes a rear backup camera, a 440-watt harmon/kardon audio system with Bluetooth mobile-phone connectivity, power moonroof, and an All-Weather Package with heated front seats and side mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.
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