A while back, we compared the new 2020 Subaru Legacy to the then new 2019 Nissan Altima. At the time, we’d driven both at their respective launch events and found them both to be highly evolved from the models they replaced. As such, our position was neutral when selecting one from the other.
Now that we’ve once more driven the two midsize AWD sedans, the Subaru Legacy is a better sorted car than the Altima and would select it first in a purchase. For this round of our quick spec comparisons, we’ll match the Legacy up with the 2020 Toyota Camry AWD, a return after a near 30-year absence. We will be driving the car in the coming months but the outcome of this brief one-on-one is unlikely to change. We are HUGE fans of the current Toyota Camry.
Let’s take a closer look and see how they compare.
Which Is More Spacious And Offers More Standard Infotainment Features?
The reality with these midsize sedans is that they’ve become enormous. Both can seat five with room to spare and both have huge boots – the Legacy comes in at 427 litres and the Camry, at 428 litres.
Both cars start off with a 7-inch touchscreen display that include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. From the next step up, the Legacy wows the gallery with its tablet-like 11,6-inch display compared to the Camry’s 8-inch unit. Furthermore, the Legacy include SiriusXM radio from the get-go whereas it’s only offered a few trims up with the Camry. Both have USB ports and soon enough in the trim ladder offer various connected services.
What Are The Powertrains And Which Is More Efficient?
Among the numerous similarities between the two (three if we include the Altima) is that we find a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine with the AWD systems.
Up until last fall, only the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy offered AWD in their midsize sedans. With latter two, the feature is included as standard on all trims. With the Camry, it is a stand-alone option on most trims.
The Subaru’s Boxer flat 4-cylinder engine develops 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 176 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. The only available transmission is a Lineartronic CVT.
The Toyota’s unit is the usual inline-4 cylinder that puts out 202 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (205 with dual exhaust on XSE) and 184 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. The only available transmission is an 8-speed automatic.
The Camry is rated at 8.5/6.1 L/100 km (City/Highway) for FWD models. The AWD adds 165 lb. to the sedan’s curb weight which should have very little impact on fuel economy as the system disengages when not called upon. The Subaru is expected to be good 8.7/6.7 L/100 km (City/Highway). Bottom line, they are nearly dead even.
Subaru has an available 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine that delivers 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque. With its Lineartronic CVT, fuel consumption is reasonable at 9.8/7.3 L/100 km (City/Highway). AWD is not offered with the V6 in the Camry.
What About Style And Value?
As we said in the Altima vs. Legacy, the 2020 Subaru Legacy looks like a timid evolution of what the Subie’s been building since the 2015 model year. The car is attractive however will never turn heads.
The Toyota Camry, on the other hand, projects two distinct personalities. The LE and XLE are somewhat subtle with plenty of elegance. The SE and XSE however scream “look at me, I’m Camry!” with its gaping mouths and oversized grilles. If a sporty look is what you want, then the Camry XSE can’t be beat.
If anything, both of these cars are built on their respective global platforms, both of which have transformed driving characteristics. The FWD Camry and Legacy are refined, civilized and handle quite well.
Now, a base 2020 Subaru Legacy Convenience starts at $26,395. An equivalent FWD 2020 Toyota Camry LE sports an entry price of $26,620. If we take into consideration that the average price an optional AWD system on most SUVs goes for $2,000, the Camry LE AWD will be nearly $29,000. By comparison, the 2020 Nissan Altima S AWD starts at $28,098.
Clearly, the Legacy is the value leader however we won’t call out a better buy until we drive the Camry AWD.