2020 Audi A4 vs. 2020 Subaru Legacy

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The A4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Legacy doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the A4 and Legacy have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A4 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Legacy’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A4 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Legacy doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the A4’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Legacy doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The A4 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Legacy only offers a rear monitor.

Compared to metal, the A4’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Legacy has a metal gas tank.

Both the A4 and the Legacy have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The A4 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Legacy’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Legacy’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The Audi A4’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Legacy’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A4’s reliability 14 points higher than the Legacy.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The A4 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 6 more horsepower (188 vs. 182) and 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 176) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the A4 40 TFSI is faster than the Legacy 2.5i 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder:

A4

Legacy

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

87.5 MPH

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The A4’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Legacy doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A4 Quattro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Legacy:

A4 Quattro

Legacy

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The A4 stops much shorter than the Legacy:

A4

Legacy

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Legacy (245/40R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The A4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Legacy Base/Premium’s standard 55 series tires. The A4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A4 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Legacy’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The A4 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Legacy’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A4 has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Legacy doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A4’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the Legacy (110 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The A4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the Legacy’s (58.7% to 41.3%). This gives the A4 more stable handling and braking.

The A4 Premium Plus Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the Legacy Touring XT pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A4 Premium Plus Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3 seconds quicker than the Legacy Sport (25.3 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Chassis

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The A4 is 4.5 inches shorter than the Legacy, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A4 Prestige Quattro is quieter than the Legacy Sport:

A4

Legacy

Full-Throttle

70 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

68 dB

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A4 offers cargo security. The Legacy’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A4’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Legacy doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The A4 has a 3968 lbs. towing capacity. The Legacy has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The A4 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Legacy uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 28% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.

Ergonomics

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The A4 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Legacy doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the A4 and the Legacy have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A4 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Legacy prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A4’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Legacy’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the A4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Legacy can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A4’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Legacy’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Legacy doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Legacy doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the A4 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Legacy doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The A4’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.

The A4 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.

Both the A4 and the Legacy offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A4 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Legacy doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The A4 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Legacy doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/05

The A4 is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Legacy doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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