Donít look now, but Subaruís newly redesigned 2010 Legacy represents a commanding shot across the bow of higher-priced automakers like Honda. With exceptional new styling to accompany impressive performance and luxury features, the new Legacy has very quietly caught up to and, in some instances, surpassed the mighty Accord.
On looks alone, the competitive analysis of the 2010 Subaru Legacy and the 2010 Honda Accord is something of a tossup. Both vehicles feature sleek sedan styling to go along with modern design and amenities. Subaruís newest offering, however, separates itself from the Honda with a strikingly more aggressive appeal.
With available 15-spoke aluminum alloys, an athletic hood scoop and boldly tilted, wraparound projector headlamps, the new Legacy certainly looks to be race-inspired. With long, fluid lines sweeping over an aerodynamic roofline and across beautifully curved side panels, the Legacy is far meaner than the Accord without abandoning the well-crafted, refined style that the segment demands. Certainly, without the optional sporty hood scoop, the Legacy has a more elegant, boardroom-appropriate appeal, but still stands in contrast to the Honda, which, in some ways, is appropriately bored.
Beneath the hood, both vehicles are quite well equipped. Hondaís offering features a standard 2.4-liter engine, with another 2.4-liter and a 3.5-liter V6 also available. The Legacy counters the Accordís power with intelligence, featuring a choice of three dynamic engines. Base models feature a spirited 2.5-liter 170-hp engine while an upgraded 265-hp version is available in midlevel models. The most impressive offering from Subaru, however, is the available 3.6-liter DOHC BOXERģ engine, which generates an exceptional 256 hp with intelligent Dual Active Valve Control through a five-speed automatic transmission.
Unlike the Accordís engine, Subaruís BOXERģ features horizontally opposed cylinders, which give it a lower, more stable center of gravity (the engine itself sits lower in the engine compartment and takes up less space). Ultimately, the Legacy is able to do more with less horsepower, delivering engine power and torque more quickly and efficiently and with much greater balance than typical powerplants.
While both vehicles feature advanced and dynamic steering, suspension and braking systems, only the 2010 Legacy features the all-season reliability of intelligent all-wheel drive. Subaruís signature Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system delivers engine power to each wheel individually, ensuring exceptional footing and traction on slippery surfaces and difficult terrain. All-wheel drive is not offered in the Accord.
Inside, interior style and luxury are matters of personal preference. Both vehicles feature clean, modern cabin designs highlighted by premium materials (like available heated leather upholstery with elegant wood trim) and functional amenities. The new Legacy, however, bests the Accord when it comes to interior spaciousness. Subaruís latest features substantially more headroom and legroom than the Honda, as well as nearly a cubic foot more cargo space.
When it comes to technology, Legacy is packed with convenient features and systems. Subaruís newest features a modern and innovative center stack housing dual-zone automatic climate controls and an available nine-speaker, 440-watt harman/kardon premium audio system with Bluetooth capability and available satellite radio. Atop the stack, Subaru has integrated an available navigation screen with backup camera.
For safety, both the 2010 Legacy and the Accord have been outfitted with the latest in active and passive passenger protection. The new Legacy, however, was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). With a specially reinforced frame, advanced steering and brake assist systems and an intelligent array of airbags, itís easy to see why.
Subaruís most impressive advantage over the Honda Accord? The price. The new 2010 Legacy features a starting MSRP of just $19,995, over a thousand dollars less than the 2010 Accord.