The SUBARU LEGACY is a mid-size car built by Japanese automobile
Subaru since 1989. Part of the original design goals for
the Legacy model was to provide
Subaru a vehicle in which they could
compete in the lucrative North American midsize market against
Honda Accord ,
Toyota Camry ,
Mazda6 , and
Nissan Altima .
Higher performance variants of the Legacy are offered as competitive
alternatives to compact executive cars such as the
Audi A4 , Alfa
Romeo 159 and
BMW 3 Series . The Legacy also serves as Subaru's
flagship car .
In 1996, a variant of the Legacy with heightened suspension called
the LEGACY OUTBACK was introduced to compete in the burgeoning
sport-utility vehicle class and proved to be a sales success for
Subaru. The Outback line was split into its own model in 2000, known
Subaru Outback .
It is unique in its class for offering all wheel drive as a standard
feature, and Subaru's traditional boxer engine . The Legacy bears the
name LIBERTY in Australia out of deference to
Legacy Australia , an
organisation dedicated to caring for the families of military service
veterans. As of 2008, 3.6 million Legacies have been built since its
* 1 First generation (1989–1993) – BC, BJ, BF
* 2 Second generation (1993–1999) – BD, BG, BK
* 3 Third generation (1998–2004) – BE, BH, BT
* 4 Fourth generation (2003–2009) – BL, BP
* 5 Fifth generation (2009–2014) – BM, BR
* 6 Sixth generation (2014–2019) – BN, BS
* 6.1 Engines and drivetrain
* 6.2 EyeSight "> Pre-facelift
Subaru Legacy sedan (US)
Subaru Liberty LX wagon (Australia) Pre-facelift
Subaru Liberty LX sedan (Australia) Facelift
Subaru Liberty LX
The introduction of the Legacy was a notable departure from Subaru
products in the past. The Legacy was formally released January 23,
1989 in Japan, with an introductory price of ¥2,550,000 for the
turbocharged RS (approx. USD $18,800 at 1989 yen exchange rate). The
first Legacy was available at Japanese dealerships on February 1,
1989, with worldwide distribution starting in 1990.
Subaru had earned a reputation of building vehicles that were
regarded as quirky and other Asian manufacturers were bringing more
upscale and conventional appearing models to the market. The Legacy
broke with many
Subaru traditions, such as no longer locating the
spare tire in the engine compartment, behind the engine and above the
transmission, a tradition started with the 1966
Subaru 1000 . The
Legacy was an all-new model, and positioned above the Leone , XT ,
Justy , and kei cars Rex and Sambar in Subaru's model range at the
time. The Legacy also introduced an entirely new flat-4 engine series,
Subaru EJ engine , which was quieter and more powerful than
Subaru EA engine .
The Legacy began with a 5-door wagon or 4-door sedan body styles with
FWD and an optional full-time AWD package, and was introduced in North
America, the UK, Germany, the
Benelux region of Northern Europe, Japan
and Australia. Options included 4-channel ABS , licensed from Bosch
and air suspension height control, which lowered the vehicle at speeds
above 50 mph (80.5 km/h), and also allowed the driver to increase the
vehicle's ground clearance for off-road conditions.
The USA-spec included the passive restraints (motorized seat belts)
through the 1994 model year with exception to the right hand drive
Postal model which was only available with conventional seat belts.
Driver's side airbags were an option midway through the 1992 model
year and became standard in 1993. Passenger airbags weren't available
until the 2nd generation arrived in 1995.
The USA models included the Legacy Sport Sedan, from 1991-1994 and
Legacy Touring Wagon from 1992-1994. Both were turbocharged with the
EJ22T closed-deck block engine. Unique to the USA market, it was SOHC,
with different pistons, oil squirters, oil cooler on the '91 model
year, and other enhancements. Although it had the same displacement as
the non-turbo/naturally aspirated (NA) EJ22E engine used throughout
all other Legacy models, it was not simply a turbocharged version of
the EJ22E. (As a side-note, the 1994 Legacy GT trim used the non-turbo
The sedan was available with strengthened 4EAT Automatic transmission
or a stronger 5-speed manual transmission. The wagon came equipped
with only the 4EAT.
These were the last turbocharged
Subaru models sold in the USA until
the 2002 WRX debuted.
These model codes are designated in the VIN of each vehicle, such as
* BC=89–94 Sedan
* BF=89–94 Wagon (raised roof)
* BJ=89–94 Wagon
SECOND GENERATION (1993–1999) – BD, BG, BK
Subaru Legacy (second generation)
2.5GT Limited (USA)
Second generation sales in Japan began October 7, 1993, and an
introductory price of ¥2,753,000 for the twin turbo GT (approx USD
$25,250 at 1993 yen exchange rate), with an introduction for model
year 1995 in North America with a full body and chassis revision. The
exterior was designed by
Olivier Boulay , who was hired by
Subaru on a
short-term basis. The tail light appearance on both the sedan and
wagon was influenced by the taillights on the SVX . In 1996, Subaru
decided to make AWD standard equipment in all vehicles produced for
the North American market from that year to 2012.
Subaru still offered
a choice between FWD and AWD for its domestic market vehicles for this
generation. The increased ground clearance Outback was introduced with
this generation in 1995 with AWD only internationally, and the air
suspension with height control was no longer offered.
USA-spec GT models, first offered in 1990 as a turbocharged sedan or
wagon in Japan, and as a trim package for the USA version in 1994,
became a top level model upgrade in 1996, using the new EJ25D
L naturally aspirated engine . "Limited" trim level editions were
introduced, offering heated leather, or cloth, seats and trim and a
tinted, glass moonroof. The term "Limited" appeared on the "GT", known
as the "GT Limited" in 1998. The term "Limited" was used by itself on
the Outback in 1998. Driver and front passenger airbags were added
with the redesigned interior as standard equipment in accordance with
USA Federal Government regulations. 1999 marked the 30th anniversary
Subaru in America, and the last of the second generation in North
America. There was a special 30th Anniversary Edition offered in the
USA with upgraded interior and sunroof, spoiler, alloy wheels on the
"L" trim level cars. The USA-spec "Brighton" trim level also carried
over from the facelifted first generation version that was priced
below the "L" trim option.
In Japan, the GT/B-Spec was introduced in 1994 with lowered and
stiffened suspension and a higher performance rear differential. The
next generation of the GT-B was introduced June 1996, with the front
and rear struts supplied by Bilstein, with the upgrade also available
on the RS. The "B" designation stood for Bilstein. Turbocharged
versions continued to be available in markets that used
right-hand-drive configurations. Specialty touring and racing versions
were available in Japan, as well as the
DOHC 2-liter twin sequential
turbocharged EJ20H version on both the Legacy GT sedan and wagon with
an automatic transmission and the RS sedan and GT-B wagon with the
EJ20R and a manual transmission and a slightly higher horsepower
rating, both identified as "Boxer 2-stage Twin Turbo" on the engine
Subaru Legacy Touring Wagon GTB Limited (Japan).
Subaru Liberty LX station wagon (Australia) with clear rear turn
signal lenses and amber bulbs.
Subaru Legacy Brighton wagon (USA) with amber rear turn signal
Subaru Liberty RX Bilstein Edition Sedan (Australia) with clear
rear turn signal lenses and amber bulbs, Bilstein badge .
For the Australian market, the
Subaru Liberty was offered in LX, GX,
RX, and Heritage model grades. In 1998 the special edition "Bilstein
Edition RX" was offered. It could be identified by a Bilstein badge on
the right rear boot lid and a lower stance due to front and rear
Bilstein struts. It also featured Leather seats and door inserts along
with MOMO sports leather steering wheel and 16in BBS alloys as
With the introduction of the Legacy second generation in Israel, the
Legacy name was replaced by the B4 brand.
These model codes are designated in the Applied Model code of each
vehicle, such as "BD'9A4D":
* BD=Sedan; North America 1995–1999, Japan 1993–1997
* BG=Step-roof Wagon (Raised Roof); North America 1995–1999, Japan
* BK=Standard-roof Wagon (Used only in North America); North America
THIRD GENERATION (1998–2004) – BE, BH, BT
Subaru Legacy (third generation)
GX wagon (Australia)
Subaru launched the third generation Japanese and world-market Legacy
in June 1998, while the North American model started production in
late 1999 as a 2000 model, also known as the BE for sedan models and
BH for wagons. European-market and Japanese models ranged from a
normally aspirated 2.0 L flat-4 to the
EZ30 flat-6 in the 3.0R model
(European and Japanese trim level designation), with the twin turbo
that was offered in the previous generation still offered on
performance models. In the US market the third generation Legacy went
on sale with the 2.5 L EJ251 Engine standard. In 2001 the
EZ30 , a
newly designed 3.0 L H6 was offered in the Outbacks. The engine now
met California's LEV emission standard.
Flat roof wagons were no longer manufactured worldwide, and instead
the raised roof is used for both the Legacy wagon and Legacy Outback .
Daytime running lamps were introduced on US models starting with the
2000 Model Year. Cabin air filters were available starting with 2001
models installed underneath and behind the glove compartment door.
Japanese-spec vehicles with the twin turbo had a choice of manual or
semi-automatic transmission called SportShift, that allowed the driver
to push the automatic gearshift selector to the left, and then allow
the driver to shift the automatic like a manual transmission.
US models ended in 2004 instead of 2003.
Subaru Legacy Limited Sedan (USA).
Subaru Legacy 2.0 GT-B E-Tune II Touring Wagon (Japan)
with clear rear turn signal lenses and amber bulbs.
Subaru Legacy L Wagon (USA) with amber colored rear turn signal
Subaru Liberty RX Sedan (Australia).
FOURTH GENERATION (2003–2009) – BL, BP
Subaru Legacy (fourth generation) 2003–2006
Subaru Liberty sedan (Australia) 2006-2009
Subaru Liberty 2.5i
sedan (Australia) 2003-2006
Subaru Legacy sedan (Chile)
Subaru Liberty 2.5i sedan (Australia)
On May 23, 2003,
Fuji Heavy Industries
Fuji Heavy Industries debuted the redesigned Legacy,
known as the BL for sedan models and BP for wagons. It was released
worldwide in 2004, with
Subaru Indiana Automotive commencing
production in February 2004 for the North American markets for 2005
model year. The Legacy was presented the 2003–2004 Japan Car of the
Year , Subaru's first win for the award after fighting off stiff
competition from Toyota Prius and
Mazda RX-8 . When sales began in the
USA market, the Lafayette Factory built Legacy won 2005 International
Car of the Year for Most Dependable/Sedan from Road "> 2014 Subaru
Legacy 3.6R Limited with EyeSight technology cameras next to rear view
Production of the fifth generation 2010
Subaru Legacy began the last
week of May 2009 at the Indiana location, and was unveiled at the
New York Auto Show . According to the
Subaru website in Japan,
the Legacy was introduced in Japan on May 20, 2009. The Legacy B4
2.5GT tS tuned by STi was introduced to Japan June 12, 2010.
On May 2010, the "EYESIGHT " collision avoidance feature introduced
on the previous generation Legacy was re-introduced on the Japan-spec
Touring Wagon and Outback, and was awarded the "Best Technology" award
from the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame at the Japan Museum of Nature
and Science . For the 2014 model year, the EyeSight driver safety aid
has been installed optionally on all international Legacy and Outback
Subaru Legacy wagon (Japan)
The new for this generation
Lineartronic continuously variable
transmission is used internationally on the EJ25 2.5 L flat-4 engine
and the EJ20 in some markets, with a 6-speed manual transmission also
offered only in North America and Australia. The 2.5GT uses a
turbocharger with a 6-speed manual transmission used exclusively in
Japan and North America with Australia being able to choose between
the 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission; vehicles
identified as "3.6R" use the EZ36 flat-6 engine with a 5-speed
SportShift conventional automatic transmission. The
transmission is also shared with the JDM-spec
Subaru Exiga on AWD
models. The North American PZEV Legacy 2.5i continues to be available
in all 50 states, unlike other manufacturers who only sell PZEV
certified vehicles in states that have adopted California emission
Subaru Legacy 2.5i Sedan (US)
Internationally, the EZ36 flat-6 engine is used in the Outback only,
but is also available in the Legacy sedan in both North America and
Australia. The Japan-spec vehicle has discontinued using the EJ25
engine which increases vehicle tax liability for Japanese buyers,
offering the EJ20 in both turbo and non-turbo versions. "SI-Drive" is
standard equipment on all Japanese-spec vehicles, and both the
Australian 2.5GT and the 3.6R sedan, but not in North America.
SI-Drive is standard on the international Outback with the EZ36 except
North America. The Legacy wagon is only available as an Outback in
North America, whereas both a Legacy and Outback wagon are available
in Japan, the UK, Australia, and Europe. In the UK, only the wagon is
offered, with engine choices limited to the
Subaru EE20 turbodiesel or
the EJ25. The EZ36 engine was available in the UK in 2010 MY Outbacks
only. In Europe and certain Asian countries, the EJ20 is still offered
in both the sedan and a wagon, alongside the EE20 turbodiesel and the
EJ25. The EE20 turbodiesel is available in Australia in the Outback.
The European and UK Legacy EE20 diesel, the EJ20 and the EJ25 gasoline
Euro5 emission standard compliant.
This is the ninth
Subaru vehicle to offer a CVT transmission; the
first was the
Subaru Justy (1987–1994), followed by the
Subaru Vivio (1992–1998), the
Subaru R1 coupe (2004–current), the
5-door hatchback (2003–current), the
Subaru Sambar (1990–1995
only), and the
Subaru Exiga starting September 2009.
SIXTH GENERATION (2014–2019) – BN, BS
Subaru Legacy (sixth generation)
The sixth generation of the
Subaru Legacy made its debut at the 2014
Chicago Auto Show
Chicago Auto Show , and went into production for the 2015 model year.
Subaru Liberty 2.5i Premium 2015
Subaru Liberty 3.6R
ENGINES AND DRIVETRAIN
A 2.5-liter flat-four FB25 and a 3.6-liter flat-six EZ36D are
carried over from the fifth-generation model. Output is slightly
increased on the four-cylinder model to 175 PS (129 kW; 173 bhp). The
six-cylinder model remains unchanged from the 256 PS (188 kW; 252 bhp)
The Legacy still uniquely offers standard all-wheel drive and
horizontally opposed engine layouts, but discontinues the manual
transmission for the US market in favor of the
Lineartronic CVT on
both engine configurations. The US Market variation of the 2016
Legacy achieves a notable 36 highway MPG when equipped with the
EYESIGHT & DRIVER\'S ASSISTANCE TECHNOLOGY
Subaru 's active safety system that uses twin CCD cameras
, simulating stereoscopic vision. It was first introduced in Japan
only as Active Driving Assist (ADA) in 1999. When activated, it
actively monitors the road through the windshield-mounted cameras, and
can react to driving conditions and possibly avert collisions. Models
equipped with EyeSight earned the highest possible rating in the IIHS
front crash safety test. Unlike other manufacturers offering
stereoscopic cameras for drivers-asset purposes, the Eyesight system's
cameras are not bonded to the windshield. Thus, if the windshield is
dirty on the inside, it may affect the system's performance.
The Adaptive Cruise Control function senses the speed and pace of
vehicles ahead, and can automatically adjust the speed the car is
traveling at accordingly to maintain one of four user selectable gaps.
Pre-Collision Braking uses the same cameras to monitor the activity of
the vehicles ahead, and alerts the driver visually and audibly. If the
driver fails to act, more alerts will be sounded and the car will
actively brake itself. According to the IIHS, the Legacy prevented a
collision while traveling at 25 mph towards a stopped obstacle. When
the car was first released for the 2015 model year, Lane Departure
with Sway warning was included in the Eyesight package. This function
watched the driver's position within the lane lines, and alerted the
driver if they were drifting out of the lane (if a turn signal was
used, this alert was not activated), with Sway warning notified the
driver if they appeared to be unable to stay centered in the lane,
suggesting they may be overly drowsy. For the 2016 model year, a Lane
Keep Assist was added, which applied steering torque to prevent the
driver from drifting from the lane. This function is active above 40
miles an hour. Also standard on all cars with the Eyesight system are
adaptive fog lights aid in turns and cornering and is based on the
steering wheel degree.
The Legacy also incorporates Subaru's side monitoring system as well.
These systems include Blind Spot Alert, Lane Change Assist, and
Cross-Traffic Alert System. An amber light is located in the
respective side-view mirror stays steady if a vehicle is detected in
the blind spot or is approaching at a fast enough pace to interfere
with a lane change, or flashes with an additional audible alert if the
driver is indicating a lane change or backing out of a parking spot
with an object approaching.
All of these features are available on the 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Sport,
2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited models, with some standard on the 2.5i
Limited and 3.6R Limited models.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND MOTORSPORTS
In 1990, the Legacy was declared the number one selling 4-wheel drive
car in the USA by
R.L. Polk ">
Subaru Legacy GT Wagon
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Subaru Legacy RS Turbo
The Legacy was campaigned by the
Subaru World Rally Team in the World
Rally Championship and
British Rally Championship , with the help of
Prodrive , beginning in 1990. It wasn't considered a truly competitive
model at first, but showed promise under the command of
Markku Alen ,
who in 1991 managed a third-place finish at the Swedish Rally. 1992
debuted the combination of experienced
Group B , Pikes Peak
International Hillclimb , and WRC driver
Ari Vatanen , paired with the
up-and-coming Scottish driver
Colin McRae for Subaru's WRC effort. Two
second-place finishes, one by each driver, strengthened the commitment
Subaru to the
World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship , the Legacy, and their
drivers. The Legacy's primary competitor, with a turbocharged engine
and AWD, was the
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 .
1993 became a breakout year for
Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen
pushed the Legacy to a third-place finish at the Swedish Rally and a
one-two placing after the first leg of the Acropolis Rally. Prodrive
boss David Garraway was eager to prove the potential of the new
Impreza WRC car, but was charged with gaining a victory in the Legacy
Impreza could debut. At the round eight
Rally New Zealand ,
Subaru finally struck gold when McRae managed to hold back François
Delecour in his
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Ford Escort RS Cosworth for the win. This was the last
WRC year for the Legacy, as the
Impreza debuted at the following
event, where it placed second in the hands of Vatanen.
Richard Burns was successful in numerous events with the car during
1992 before joining the World Rally team to drive the
Impreza in 1993.
Alister McRae ,
Per Eklund ,
Possum Bourne and
Hannu Mikkola also
competed in the Legacy during its WRC participation.
The Legacy remains an ever-present competitor in rallies around the
SCCA ProRally and
Rally America participation from many teams
has been impressive. The Legacy and the
Impreza have many
interchangeable parts which makes for a very competent and reliable
The Legacy, and its Outback stablemate, has won the Alcan Winter
Rally several times; the first win was in 1990 followed by another win
in 1992, 2002 and 2006.
A 1990 Legacy was the first Group N car to ever finish the WRC Safari
Rally . This rally is considered the world's most gruelling rally
under the World Rally Championship. In 1990 the 38th
Safari Rally had
59 competitors total, only 10 of which were able to reach the finish.
The Legacy was the only Group N car able to reach the finish and was
in 8th place overall.
The R&D Sport Legacy B4 in the
2009 Super GT season .
Similar to the
Impreza that Team Cusco ran in previous years until
2008 , a Legacy grand tourer car based on the fifth generation model
has been built by R -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
* ^ Nunez, Alex (2009-01-11). "
Subaru Introduction of 2009 Legacy
Concept vehicle". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
* ^ A B "Database for cars introduced at Tokyo".
Db.tokyo-motorshow.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
* ^ "Bilstein". Bilstein. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
* ^ "SUBARU : 車種紹介 > レガシィ
ツーリングワゴン". Subaru.jp. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
* ^ Gardiner, Justin (2008-09-04). "Retrieved from Autoblog
September 4, 2008". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
Legacy Diesel Review retrieved 01/22/08
* ^ http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/01/subarus-first-b.html
Legacy Diesel Announcement retrieved 01/23/08
Legacy and Outback diesel announcement retrieved 02/08/08
Subaru Legacy Concept Archived March 12, 2009, at the Wayback
* ^ Nunez, Alex (2009-01-11). "Detroit 2009:
Subaru Legacy Concept
shows its face". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
* ^ Nunez, Alex (2009-05-31). "Production begins for 2010 Legacy at
Indiana location". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
* ^ Nunez, Alex (2009-04-08). "New York: 2010
Subaru Legacy all
grown up". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
* ^ "Legacy introduction in Japan". Subaru.jp. 2009-05-20.
* ^ Joseph, Noah (2009-03-31). "New York Preview: 2010 Subaru
Legacy revealed ahead of Big Apple debut". Autoblog.com. Retrieved
* ^ "Revised FB25 for 2015 Outback".
subaruoutback. External link in website= (help )
* ^ "2015
Subaru Legacy Sedan – Models & Specs to Build Your
* ^ "2016
Subaru Legacy Performance". subaru.com.
* ^ "Vehicle details". www.iihs.org. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
* ^ http://www.subaru.com/vehicles/legacy/special-features.html
* ^ "2015
Subaru Legacy Sedan – Eyesight Safety Technology".
* ^ "2015
Subaru Legacy Sedan – Eyesight Safety Technology".
* ^ "
Subaru Legacy sets new world speed record". 2015-04-27.
* ^ "Generation II
Subaru Legacy record".
* ^ "20 Years of Legacy Heritage". Retrieved 7 January 2015.
* ^ "\'\'Legacy Makes 3 Million\'\'". Subaru.co.nz. Retrieved
* Information listed for the first and fifth generation Legacy above
was sourced from
Subaru sales brochures for the noted model years from
the USA, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Australia.
Information obtained from Japanese Legacy brochures was translated
into English from the original Japanese printing.
* SUBARU:Legacy B4
* SUBARU:Legacy Touring Wagon
* SUBARU:Outback legacy
* SUBARU:Legacy GLAENZEN
* (Channel SUBARU)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to SUBARU LEGACY .
* Japanese Car portal