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How Well Does A Subaru Legacy Drive In The Snow? (Answered)

Winters and snow are overstocked, with challenges for drivers. The everyday driver driving around in snow and winters finds it hard to reach home without skids and slips. The Subaru Legacy stands tall in the league of competitors like Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima concerning its winter and snow behavior.

The Subaru Legacy is an outstanding vehicle for driving in snowy conditions. This is mainly due to the fact that the car is equipped with all-wheel drive. Furthermore, the car has a ground clearance of 5.9 inches making it suitable for driving in medium snowfall. Also, the car has several safety features such as VDC, TCS, BOS, and ATV that help it maintain traction in the snow.

With confidence, one can state that the Subaru Legacy is ahead of its competition when it comes to dealing with winters and snow. Under its stature as a mid-size sedan, it competes with cars like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Mazda 6, and others. Let’s see what drivers say about it.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Subaru Legacy Last?

Experience Of Subaru Legacy Owners

Like every product being analyzed, the Subaru Legacy also has many numbers that create somewhat of an opinion-generating picture about the car and its winter-worthiness. With that to the Legacy’s credentials, nothing beats the words of a driver who has had hands-on experience of the vehicle in winters and snow.

“Canada’s best new large sedan” is what the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) calls the Subaru Legacy. And we can assure you that a significant portion of this statement comes from the Subaru Legacy’s winter and snow potential. This is what one Youtuber has to say about the Legacy:

“It’s the sort of point and shoots traction delivered in such abundance that might even make you like driving in the snow if you typically don’t………an attainable sedan that is really really good to drive in the winter.”


Here is the verdict of another driver who has had a good time with his Subaru Legacy:

“I have been stuck in the snow one time. It was in a driveway with about 8″ of snow on the ground. It was absolutely a clearance issue. You aren’t going to be able to go right over a foot of new-fallen snow any time you feel like it, but for almost all paved, but slippery situations, all-time symmetrical AWD kicks ass.

You don’t need to hustle downhills to be sure to make it up the other side. You can go up just about any hill at any speed you want. You don’t need to carry your momentum, which is kind of unsafe to do in slick conditions. Four inches of snow on your driveway? No problem.

Icy driveway? No problem. Did the neighbor plow his driveway into the street? No problem. Snowed all day while you were skiing on the mountain and 1/2 the cars in the parking lot are stuck? No problem. Not enough space on the street to park and you need to drive up a solid snowbank? No problem. Enjoy!”


Also read: How Much Can A Subaru Legacy Tow?

Does Subaru Legacy Have Snow Tires?

All cars sold in North America come installed with All-Season Tires. So does the Subaru Legacy. The tires measure at 225/55-R17 for the Legacy and Legacy Premium versions and  225/50-R18 for the Sport, Limited and Limited XT variants. These tires can perform decently but don’t expect the kind of traction equating to what is offered by Winter tires.

There is a significant amount of traction delta between the All-season tires and Winter tires. Simply put, the rubber compound used for manufacturing the All-season tires allows for tire-hardening at a much higher temperature than the Winter Tires. Usually, the point for inflection for tire hardening is centered around 45 degrees temperature.

If a car has All-season tires, it will lose traction and grip around this temperature due to tire hardening. For the winter tires, this temperature figure is way below the 45-degree mark. The winter tires stay softer at much colder temperatures resulting in better grip and traction to make snow and winters much more tolerable.

If you want to buy snow tires, we advise you to use Tirerack. They have a great tool that allows you to find the perfect fit for your exact model, so you won’t have to worry about fitment issues. Furthermore, they also offer free shipping on most of their orders. Check out their store here!

Also read: Subaru Legacy Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

What Drive System Does A Subaru Legacy Have?

Subaru’s are known for offering an All-Wheel Drive system in their cars at competitive segment prices. The Subaru Legacy is no exception either. It comes with an All-Wheel Drive system as standard, and it makes a universe of a difference in snow and winters. Other competitors hesitate in offering an AWD at the base price point of the Legacy of $ 22,995.

Starting at $ 24,970, the Honda Accord doesn’t offer an AWD system, and the Toyota Camry with AWD costs a minimum of $ 26,695. This is a transparent enough fact to see which manufacturer cares more about its buyers when the weather at hand is unforgiving and tests the drivers to their limits.

An All-Wheel Drive system functions by dividing and dispersing the available power from the engine to all four wheels of the car. This system rotates all wheels to ensure that the vehicle isn’t short of power at any of the wheels, thus allowing for much better drivability in winters and snow.

Because the snow is characterized by loss of traction, vehicle destabilization, locking wheels, it is a must to offer driver assistance systems to ensure a pleasurable drive. Let us now dive into these to see how Subaru Legacy performs in the hands of an average driver.

Also read: The Types Of Gas A Subaru Legacy Takes (Explained)

What Electronics System Helps The Subaru Legacy In The Snow?

Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)

This standard feature for the Subaru Legacy constantly monitors the vehicle yaw rate, brake pressure, steering angle, wheel speed, and lateral-G forces. This system allows for correction in case the vehicle is detected to be disobeying what the driver wants it to do.

This is the process of correcting vehicle behavior in case it jitters away from the driver’s control. It does so by brake power application and torque reduction. This allows the driver to steer the vehicle back to the original direction the driver wanted the car to go in before any vehicle behavior is detected in opposition to the driver’s intention.

Traction Control System (TCS)

Losing traction is usual in the winters and snow due to the absence of dry road surfaces that the car’s tires can cling to. This is addressed by adding a traction control system to the vehicle. A quad-sensor setup at all wheels continuously monitors the wheels for a loss of traction at all four wheels.

Once traction-loss is detected, the TCS intelligently initiates brake-force application to the wheels that lose traction, maintaining the vehicle motion. The system can work for independent wheels or all wheels depending on what condition the car is faced with and brings the vehicle back into the driver’s control.

Brake Override System (BOS)

Human instincts force humans to behave with immediacy to things slipping out of control. One such situation can be when the driver accidentally presses on both the gas and the brake pedal simultaneously. The Brake Override system prioritizes braking over acceleration to allow for more reaction time from the driver.

This is very useful, especially in situations where the driver tends to panic. The BOS will ensure speed reduction, and this will, in turn, bring the car back into the driver’s control while he adjusts his foot pressure to the intended pedal.

Active Torque Vectoring (ATV)

Active torque vectoring is a robust and intelligent system that applies brakes to the inside front wheel while cornering. This system is advantageous when the car is in a cornering situation. It comes in pretty handy when the vehicle starts to understeer. This is an active system that applies brakes to the wheels on the inner side of the corner.

So let’s say if you are turning left, the ATV system will apply brakes to the left front wheel, and in return, this will slow down the left wheel. With this brake application, the left wheel will allow the right front wheel to rotate more and cover more distance, thereby reducing the car’s turning circle.

Weight Distribution

The Subaru Legacy has been spoken about by some car enthusiasts to have achieved near-perfect weight distribution. But with that, it is hard to say how close it is to the actual 50:50 jewel of a figure.

Ground Clearance

The Subaru Legacy comes with a 5.9-inch ground clearance, and this is among the highest in its class. With almost half a foot of ground clearance, it makes the Subaru Legacy an excellent option for drivers considering making a car buying decision based on the car’s winter and snow potential.

One can confidently say that in terms of issues that are caused by lower ground clearance, the Subaru Legacy will have a much better chance to survive such issues over its competition.


At 108.3 inches of wheelbase, the Subaru Legacy is smaller than some of its competitors. Still, the wheelbase department’s 2-3 inches deficit gets compensated by the car’s other characteristics, such as AWD and near-perfect weight distribution. All of this allows for a much better package for winters and snow.

Ideally, a mid-size sedan should have a longer wheelbase so that it can easily climb on inclines, as the longer wheelbase allows the car to stay more planted vs. a vehicle with a shorter wheelbase. But do not for a moment take this to the discredit of the Subaru Legacy as it substitutes its wheelbase shortcomings with AWD and weight distribution numbers that will do the magic.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Subaru Legacy

What Traction Device You Can Use On The Subaru Legacy?

For conditions like winters, drivers use different devices and remedies to offset the effects of the weather on the vehicle’s performance. One such device is the traction chain used by many people who frequently drive in winters and snow. These devices help increase the traction and grip of the tires to make the car more manageable during the snow. is stuffed with such devices that will help you get a better grip on your tires. If you are unsure which chain would fit, you can look it up here on the peerless chain. Enjoy the snow driving.