That update will occur in Japan, we might add, but these days with increasing pressure on automakers to reduce fuel consumption and emissions output, plus an increasing need to standardize powertrains and features around the globe, there’s probably a chance we’ll see similar changes to our Legacy and Outback down the road.
Externally, the biggest changes to the 2013 Legacy concern the grille and headlights, which now bear a stronger resemblance to the Impreza. The Outback, meanwhile, gets larger front fog lights. Inside, there’s a new black metal finish on the instrument cluster, while a 3.5 inch LCD screen now sits in the center of the speedometer, with an “EyeSight” feature that indicates economy-minded and safe driving.
However, it’s under the skin where the biggest changes to the 2013 Legacy can be found. For starters, nestled between the shock towers as the standard engine, is the new generation 2.5-liter Boxer four. It also employs stop/start technology and is teamed with the Lineartronic CVT transmission (first introduced on the Impreza) to help maximize fuel economy. Power is rated at 170 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque.
Offered on the B4 sedan 2.0 GT DIT and Touring Wagon models in Japan, however, is a 2.0-liter direct injected turbocharged four making 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Like the normally aspirated 2.5, it’s teamed with Lineartronic CVT on the 2013 Legacy, which gets a modified torque converter and revisions to the chain mechanism to cope with the greater power. Although Subaru isn’t quoting official outputs, it says the new combination gets around 20 percent better fuel economy than the old 2.5-liter self-shifting transmission combination. This also marks the first time that the CVT has been teamed with Subaru‘s Variable Torque Distribution all-wheel drive system.
Furthermore, thanks to the adoption of Impreza’s auto start stop system, the 2.0 GT DIT is 20 percent more fuel efficient than the 281-hp 2.5-liter unit with a similar reduction in CO2 emissions.
Other changes on all 2013 Legacy models include reinforced suspension mounts and re-tuned dampers, designed to improve handling and stability, while 2.0 GT DIT models also feature a SI-Drive system that allows the driver to control shifting in sport mode, in an effort to make the driving experience a little more exciting. There’s also standard brake override (which reduces power to the engine, when the throttle and brake pedals are applied at the same time) and adaptive cruise control.
Subaru says that the 2.5i models now qualify for Japan’s eco tax reduction and eco car subsidy and like the 2.0 GT DIT models, will be available in Japanese showrooms starting May 8. As for other markets, including the U.S., no word yet, though we won’t be surprised to see these new engines, or versions of them being offered here in the future, though perhaps not as soon as when the 2013 Legacy arrives.