Subaru has traveled a long way in a few years when it comes to improving user experience.
Small displays and limited infotainment features were once common in its vehicles.
But things have changed. Last year, Wards 10 Best UX judges found the new Outback CUV a revelation for its big, vertical central display screen, easy-to-decipher menus and standard advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) technologies.
Our judges once again are dazzled by another new Subaru, this time the Legacy midsize sedan, which lands on the 2020 Wards 10 Best UX list for excelling on many fronts.
Judge Dave Zoia, as well as this judge, finds the Legacy’s ADAS confidence inspiring – some of the best-performing driver-assist tech in any vehicle evaluated.
“The adaptive cruise control function (packaged within the EyeSight suite along with lane-keeping) works well, maintaining distance and slowing the car to a stop in a linear fashion,” Zoia says.
On the other end of the spectrum, this judge loves the ability to fine-tune the Legacy’s acceleration after a stop. So many vehicles resume in a pokey fashion when ACC is on – and you can still get that in the Legacy if that’s what you prefer.
But select “Cruise Control Acceleration Characteristic: Level 4 Dynamic” from the menu, and you’ll leave trailing vehicles in the dust.
Judge Steve Finlay gives kudos to the Legacy’s DriverFocus technology, which in conjunction with EyeSight aims a camera at the driver to detect drowsiness or distraction.
“It is one of the first-of-its-kind systems, able to recognize drivers’ faces and adjust the seats and temperature for up to five people – very cool if a vehicle has multiple users,” Finlay says.
The same big, bright, high-resolution touchscreen from the Outback, with its easy-to-navigate menu and large app tiles, is present in the Legacy. We still don’t miss all the physical switchgear thanks to this infotainment system’s user friendliness.
The Legacy also has great connectivity with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Wi-Fi on board, plus plenty of USB ports and outlets (see picture above). We find the phone pairing intuitive and one of the quickest pairing processes we’ve ever experienced.
Meanwhile, Zoia rocks out to the car’s Harman Kardon audio system and Judge James Amend (pictured below in car) has a quirky favorite feature of the new Legacy: its eBird app in the navigation system to facilitate bird watching.
“Who else would think of that other than Subaru?” Amend says.
Judge Tom Murphy summarizes our feelings on the Legacy perfectly, noting, “By new car standards, this is modestly priced at $36,795. It’s harder for mainstream brands to shine in our competition, but I think Subaru, by improving its display screen, its voice controls, its ADAS and its overall user friendliness has certainly caught up with, and in some ways exceeded, its competitive set.”