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A closeup shows the front of a white 2020 Ford Fusion.

Battle of the Midsize Sedans: 2020 Ford Fusion vs 2020 Subaru Legacy

Americans have always had a love affair with their cars. Whether it’s a giant SUV or a tiny subcompact, you’ll find passionate fans who believe their vehicle style is the best and most practical option. The sedan is a perfect example—this classic body style offers buyers a lot of advantages. Fuel economy, moderate size for ease of parking and maneuvering, and sometimes even price tag can make buying a sedan an excellent idea, but there are so many choices that sometimes it’s hard to know where to start and how to compare. Take the 2020 Ford Fusion vs the 2020 Subaru Legacy, for example. On the surface, the differences in these two midsize sedans can seem small, but if you look a little deeper, you’ll find that they’re two totally different vehicles.

Comparisons are so insightful because we can really zero in on what differentiates vehicles that occupy spots in the same category. It’s easy to say that sedans are very much alike, but before you reach this conclusion, peel back the curtain a little further. Looking at the Fusion and the Legacy is a perfect example of cars that seem to offer similar features upon first glance, but the differences are glaring after a closer look. Which one is better? Which one will win the battle of the midsize sedans? Let’s compare!

Some Initial Differences

We can’t go much further without addressing the one significant difference between the Fusion and the Legacy. This difference defines why the Fusion may be able to claim victory without even comparing other features, but out of fairness, we’ll refrain from handing over the trophy just yet. So what’s the big difference? It’s easy. The 2020 Ford Fusion is available in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, and the Subaru Legacy isn’t. This is a massive advantage for the Fusion because Ford gives buyers far more options within the model lineup than Subaru does with the Legacy.

With this major difference in mind, it’s easy to see why the early lead goes to the Ford Fusion. There are other factors to consider when buying a new sedan, though, and some buyers just aren’t looking for a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) option. Ford understands this, which is why they still offer several gas-powered choices in the model range.

But if we back up and focus on the general pieces of the Ford Fusion and the Subaru Legacy, we can see that both automakers offer several trim lines and packages. They know there is a broad range of interests among car buyers, and they try to accommodate each individual buyer with the model and features they want. So, let’s take a closer look at the different models available for both the Fusion and the Legacy.

A white 2020 Ford Fusion is driving on a city street after winning the 2020 Ford Fusion vs 2020 Subaru Legacy comparison.

MSRP and Model Lineups

In addition to offering Hybrid and full electric options, Ford lines up the Fusion family with a broad range of models, from the base S to the mid-range SE and SEL, and finally, the top-of-the-line Titanium; these different trims give buyers an array of choices. The Fusion Hybrid model line up nearly echoes that of the purely gas-powered range, with a Hybrid SE, Hybrid SEL, and Hybrid Titanium. On the all-electric vehicle (EV) end, Ford offers the standalone Fusion Plug-in Hybrid Titanium.

By comparison, Subaru offers fewer model choices, and they are the base Legacy, Legacy Premium, Legacy Sport, Legacy Limited, Legacy Limited XT, and Legacy Touring XT. There are no hybrid or EV model options available for the Subaru Legacy, and no completely electric vehicle in any Subaru model across the entire lineup.

The MSRP range for the Ford Fusion is $23,170 (Fusion S) to $35,000 (Fusion Plug-in Hybrid Titanium). The Subaru Legacy starts at an MSRP of $22,745 (Legacy) on up to $35,895 (Legacy Touring XT). While on the surface, it might seem that the base Legacy offers more value, it’s essential to compare the standard features before reaching that conclusion.

To keep the fight fair, we’ll now focus more on the differences between the gas-powered Fusion models and the Legacy. Let’s dig into a few important categories, keeping in mind that standard features play an important role when determining value. We’ll also look at essential specifications and available equipment and features to see who comes out ahead.

Roominess and Cargo Capacity

The Ford Fusion is simply roomier and more comfortable than the Subaru Legacy. At an overall length of 192-inches, it’s longer than the Legacy, which comes in at 190.6-inches. More importantly, The Fusion’s wheelbase is 112.2-inches vs the Legacy’s wheelbase of 108.3-inches, which translates into more interior space for the Fusion. Interior space is one of the most sought after features of a quality midsize sedan.

Let’s look at each vehicle’s front legroom dimensions. Ford Fusion offers 1.5-inches more front legroom than the Legacy, coming in at 44.3-inches. It may seem like a small difference, but it’s not. The 2020 Ford Fusion has the 2020 Subaru Legacy beat in trunk volume too, with 16 cu.ft. vs 15.1 cu.ft.

Overall the Fusion offers more room because, in key areas, it edges out the Legacy. These differences can really seem insignificant when viewed on a page, but once you sit inside both cars, you’ll immediately notice the advantage of having even a small amount of additional room – and we all know that more trunk space is always preferred! The 2020 Ford Fusion delivers on this, and more.

A red 2020 Subaru Legacy is driving around a corner away from a city.

Reliability and Ratings

There’s a reason the 2020 Ford Fusion is rated higher than the Legacy in midsize cars, according to U.S. News and World Report, versus the Legacy. With an overall rating of 8.1/10 for the Fusion and 7.6/10 for the Legacy, it’s clear that the Fusion edges out its worthy competitor, specifically for reliability. Reliability ratings come in at 4.0/5 for the Fusion and a disappointing 2.0/5 for the Legacy, an important and potentially critical difference.

When buying a new vehicle, there are so many factors to consider. It’s important to compare each vehicle’s features and benefits, but sometimes a quick overview doesn’t tell you everything you need to know in order to make a well-informed decision. There are times when one vehicle may appear superior on the surface, but most of the time, the differences are subtle and hard to discern.

When your car shopping process boils down to the last two or three choices, we encourage you to do your research. Visit each automaker’s website, compare specifications, look for third-party reviews, and pay attention to the small details. Once you lay out all the data, you’ll see the clear winner. In this case, the 2020 Ford Fusion simply outshines the 2020 Subaru Legacy in many vital areas.

Remember, a great competition with two worthy opponents should be close. In fact, automakers are constantly challenged to refine and improve their vehicles to stay competitive. Look at Ford, one of America’s most trusted brands. Competition in all categories is stiff. Ford knows this, and answers by paying attention to the details consumers find most important. For this reason, and so many others, the winner of the 2020 Ford Fusion vs the 2020 Subaru Legacy challenge goes to the Fusion!

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