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  5. 2020 Subaru Legacy vs. 2018/19 Honda Accord

John Coyle | Oct 2, 2019

In this corner, we have the 2020 Subaru Legacy. The all-wheel drive sedan is fully redesigned for 2020, and comes with more power, along with an advanced suite of safety systems.

Next, we have the 2018/19 Honda Accord. This venerable four-door has long been a favorite of critics and consumers. It was all-new for 2018, and comes into 2019 mostly unchanged.     

Both the Subaru and Honda are excellent choices for a stylish, practical sedan. So let's take a look at the engines, cabins, infotainment, and price to determine a winner.


First, let’s look at the powertrains. The Subaru comes standard with a 2.5-liter flat-four engine good for 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. Those looking for a little more poke can opt for a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four, which pumps out 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come mated to a CVT transmission that sends power to all four corners via Subaru’s famed all-wheel drive system. The standard mill delivers 27 miles-per-gallon city, 35 highway, while the turbo unit comes in at 20 city, 28 highway.

In comparison, the Accord offers three engine choices. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, which makes 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Step up to the turbocharged 2.5-liter, and you’re looking at 252 horsepower and 273 lb-feet of torque. A CVT handles shifting duties on the 1.5-liter, while the 2.5-liter gets a traditional ten-speed automatic. A six-speed stick is available on Sport models. According to EPA estimates, the 1.5-liter delivers up to 30 miles-per-gallon city, and 38 highway, while the 2.5-liter can hit up to 22 city, 34 highway. Predictably, the best mileage comes from the 212-horsepower hybrid model, which can achieve 48 miles per gallon in the city and on the highway.

While the Subaru offers all-wheel drive, the Honda provides better fuel economy, the choice of a traditional stick, and hybrid. Since any one of those things could be a must-have for buyers, we’re going to call this a draw.

Shop Subaru Legacy Inventory

Cabin Interiors

Now, let’s look inside the cabin. Subaru doesn’t have a luxury line, so the company has sought to give all its interiors a premium feel, and the Legacy delivers. The redesigned dashboard is has plenty of angles and details, but avoids looking busy, and all the touchpoints and switches feel high quality. The large touchscreen at the center is well integrated, and neatly framed by buttons and dials for the radio and climate control. There’s seating for up to five passengers, and 15.1 cubic feet of space in the trunk.

The cabin of the Accord is also a nice place to be. That said, the infotainment screen protrudes over the dash, making it look tacked on, and some of the plastics used feel slightly cheaper than those found in the Subaru. That said, build quality is typical Honda, meaning that it’s exceptional, and ready to weather whatever a generation of drivers can throw at it. Modern Accords are known for feeling roomy, and the 2019 model is no exception. At 16.7 cubic-feet, there’s also plenty of room in the trunk.

While both of these cabins are comfortable and well constructed, we think the Subaru’s slightly more modern feel and better materials give it the win here.

Shop Honda Accord Inventory

Infotainment Systems

In the minds of buyers, infotainment tech is more important than ever, and we liked the setup in the Subaru, Base models come with a seven-inch display, but tech-savvy buyers will want to spring for the 11.6-inch display, which as well as being intuitive and quick-responding, looks fantastic. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, as are Bluetooth, HD radio compatibility, and over-the-air software updates. Audiophiles will also appreciate the available 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

In the Accord, the standard infotainment system comes with a seven-inch display, but buyers can upgrade to an eight-inch touchscreen. The interface is easy to use, and the combination of onscreen controls and physical buttons makes it easy to quickly makes selections. While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t standard, they’re available on upper trim levels, along with options like a 10-speaker audio system, and HD radio.

While we think both systems will be able to meet the needs of buyers in the segment, we think the beautiful packaging and more robust list of standard features gives the Legacy the win here.

Shop Subaru Legacy Inventory


Now it’s time to talk safety. Since the Legacy is a brand-new model, it’s yet to be tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But it’s worth noting that the 2019 model passed its battery of tests with flying colors, and earned a Five Star overall safety rating. It also comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight technology, which includes adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, pre-collision braking, and pre-collision throttle management.

The Accord also earned a Five Star crash rating, and comes standard with Honda Sensing suite of safety tech. It includes collision-mitigation braking, road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise, lane-keep assist, and traffic sign recognition.

So with that in mind, we’re going to call this a draw, as both vehicles are well equipped to keep you safe on the road.

Shop Honda Accord Inventory

Value and Price

Now, it’s time to talk price. The Legacy starts at $23,645, and the range-topping Limited XT trim will start at $34,195.

The Accord starts at $23,720 and top-spec Touring models will start at $34,990.

Overall, this is a close contest. But while we like the Honda’s available Hybrid, as well the traditional ten-speed auto and fuel economy, we think the Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive, better infotainment set up, and upscale interior win the day.

Shop Subaru Legacy Inventory
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