SUBARU unveiled its seventh-generation Liberty mid-size sedan at the Chicago motor show overnight, but a question mark hangs over whether the advanced new model will make it to Australia. Gone is the naturally aspirated 3.0-litre flat six - an engine that never hit the highs enthusiasts wanted it to - and in its place is a new 2.4-litre direct-injection turbocharged flat four, producing 194kW and 375Nm in USA trim, and capable of 0-97km/h in a claimed 6.1 seconds.
Even though the 2020 Legacy doesn't look all that different to its predecessor, it is actually a brand new vehicle. "Wider fenders emphasize tire and wheel presence, while a frameless hexagonal grille and a lower grille intake that is molded to evoke the image of an aircraft add width and sportiness to the Legacy's aggressive stance".
Subaru has now redesigned the Legacy, with the covers having come off the latest model on Thursday at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.
It is, however, more practical than before, with 15.1 cu.ft (427 liters) of cargo capacity and 1.4 inches (3.55 cm) of additional cargo floor length.
It was black, it had a spoiler, AWD, looked racy and with its 160-horsepower, it was quick at the time.
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Inside, there are aluminum pedals and red stitching on the instrument panel, door trim, seats, shift lever boot and on the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Legacy also gets the driver-attention monitor that debuted in the Forester. There's also available in-car Wi-Fi connectivity, which you'll need in order to utilize features such as the Starlink Concierge package, allowing you to make restaurant and hotel reservations, purchase tickets, schedule appointments and so on. Limited and Touring trims get 10-way power front seats and seat heating front and rear. The greater body rigidity, lowered center of gravity and strengthened suspension promise to contribute to more responsive handling, a smoother ride and increased steering precision.
With the new architecture, the new Legacy is 70% stiffer in both torsional and front-suspension rigidity, and 100% stiffer in both front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity compared to the previous Legacy's platform. The current vehicle launched in 2015, which gives it no more than 18 months before it needs to be updated.
Torque-vectoring all-wheel drive is standard across the board, as is EyeSight Driver Assist with lane-centering tech. DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation is optional on the Limited and standard on the XT, using a camera and facial recognition software to spot if the driver is looking distracted or exhausted.
In terms of design, the new Legacy remains largely similar to its predecessor, with a few defining cues to set it apart.
The base engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer with 136kW of power at 5800rpm, and 239Nm of torque at 4400rpm. This welcome news is tempered a bit by the transmission with which it is paired: The Lineartronic CVT with a manual shifting mode. Equipped with this engine, Subaru claims the Legacy will do 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.4 seconds, and achieve Environmental Protection Agency-rated fuel economy of 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.
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