Levorg vs Legacy (2004-2009)


New Member
Aug 10, 2021
Legacy Outback RX8
Hi all

I currently own an Outback and a Legacy. Both are 4th generation BP cars (so estate, 2003-2009 MY). The Outback has the 245BHP H6 engine, the Legacy has the 165BHP flat four. I was very curious how the Levorg stacks up against those cars and today I got to testdrive a 2020 Levorg with the non-turbo engine (2.0, 150BHP, 198Nm). These are my first impressions. I hope they are usefull for others who want to make the same change.

It was a 2020 car with 6000 miles on the clock, GT-S trim (so all the fancy bits on it).

About the CVT: in normal traffic and when entering the highway it does what it has to do. If you didn't know it was a CVT, you would really notice. When using the manual mode on the steering wheel, the box responds immediately. There is no delay. If you don't continue using the manual mode, it goes back to 'D' (auto).

About the suspension: many reviewers and owners have said the suspension is out of balance. Compared to my Legacy R with Bilstein, it's 'soft and forgiving', compared to my Outback, it's 'firm' (in a good way). The one time I found the front 'crashy' was when going over a speed bump at 20-ish mp/h. Which would not be a problem with the Outback.

About the power (so 150bhp and 200Nm): Comparing with the 165bhp engine from the Legacy, it seems like a stronger engine. I much more prefer this one over the EJ20 in the Legacy. For normal traffic and even for a spirited drive on a B-road (which I did not test), it's plenty. For normal overtaking on the highway, once more, it's plenty. But you notice that at around 130km/h (so 85mph) it's no where near the torque coming from an H6. But so is the Legacy R I sometimes take for a spin, so it's no 'downgrade'.

The interior - space: It's better than a Gen 4 Legacy in every single way. The seats have a similar feel, but the lumbar support is adjustable, the rear seats fold down 40/20/40, the rear seat back rest folds down (5 steps - like on the JDM Legacy) and there is room for the rear occupants to put their feet underneath the front seats (if you've never tried this with a Gen 4 Legacy with power seats, please do, there is no room and seating is cramped). The boot on the Levorg is bigger.
The steering wheel is telescopic, something I miss on the preface-lift Legacy and it sure enhances finding a good seating position immensely.

The interior - quality: I can't say for sure it's better. It's on par with the feel you get in a Gen4. Yes, there is some nice 'leather' on the dash and gear selector, but in some areas the plastic feels (and looks) cheaper.

The interior - ergonomics (buttons and switches): it's very intuitive. If you often drive Japanse cars, there is nothing silly about the Levorg (I did not try the satnav). All basic buttons and controls are where you would expect them to be.

Looks (yes, very subjective): I like the Levorg from most angles, but it can be a bit 'bulky' to look at. The Legacy 4 is sleeker and I prefer the elongated shape it has. Interior-wise the Legacy 4 looked amazing (to me), esp. if you consider the car is 21 years old. The Levorg looks good but there is nothing amazing about it. Something to bitch about: I do not like the wheels for one bit. I don't like the stance, I don't like the design.

So, overall the Levorg is a good car and is indeed what a successor to the Legacy 4 should drive and feel like. Looks are on par with what Subaru designed in that period (in a good way). But, if I were to live in the UK I would spend my money on a JDM twinscroll. Legacies are so cheap (compared to mainland Europe) that it would be hard to justify spending 15000GBP or more on a Levorg. On the other hand, safety has again come a long way and is something we tend to overlook/forget.
And, I do not live in the UK so it seems silly to spend 6000-7000GBP (or much more) on a well sorted, low mileage 2.0R.

Hope this is helpful to someone. I will be testdriving a 1.6 turbo soon, so will try to update.