Subaru Legacy Turbo bows in Chicago

2020 Subaru Legacy front

"A Subaru-first split-screen display can simultaneously show two types of information - e.g., navigation and audio - for improved user interaction", Subaru says.

But Subie isn't through with passenger cars.

We haven't mentioned design yet, but it can fairly be described as a conservative evolution of the outgoing model; the current Legacy aims to be a Camry alternative rather than a hair-raising back-road bomber.

Subaru's Legacy has never truly stood out in the mid-size sedan segment but that doesn't stop it from being a solid option, especially if you're in the northern states where the car's standard all-wheel drive can be a boon. Essentially a lifted Legacy wagon, it will promise extra ground clearance, additional body cladding, and far more cargo space thanks to its wagon silhouette.

The biggest update is the new platform. Eight standard airbags are included, and Subaru is predicting a IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating after testing later this year.

But not all the rally DNA is gone: Subaru went with a front MacPherson strut suspension with a 23-mm hollow stabilizer bar and aluminum lower L-arms that are stronger, lighter and more responsive than in the outgoing model. European buyers will have to wait longer for the Subaru Legacy arrival. Optional on Legacy Limited, and standard on all XT trims, is an infrared system that chides with an alarm and a visual alert if it detects wandering eyes or a worn out driver behind the wheel. The base auto got the familiar 7-inch display. The Touring is the new range-topping Legacy model, and it comes standard with Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.

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Subaru's also included a host of driver aids, including "Available Driver Monitoring System" which alerts the driver if distracted or drowsiness ensues, Reverse Automatic Braking, a Rear Vehicle Detection system, and a front view camera.

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of Chicago this week is the return of a sporting turbo-petrol engine for Liberty in the form of a 2.4-litre boxer engine that delivers 194kW of power (260hp) at 5600rpm and 376Nm of torque from 2000-4800rpm. In this setup, the 2020 Legacy hits 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 6.1 seconds and returns 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

All versions of the 2020 Legacy feature all-wheel-drive.

Higher trim levels are equipped with the Ascent's 2.4-liter turbocharged mill, jumping to 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Though that may seem familiar, Subaru notes that this engine has been thoroughly redesigned for 2020, with 90% new parts and now, direct-injection. Like the turbo package, it is paired with a CVT gearbox.

Subaru said that it is targeting 27 mpg city, 35 highway for the base engine and 24 mpg city, 34 highway for the turbo.

Even though the 2020 Legacy doesn't look all that different to its predecessor, it is actually a brand new vehicle.

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