The 2015 Subaru Legacy is the latest step forward from a brand that has clearly targeted mainstream acceptance. The Subaru Legacy mid-size sedan has been redesigned so as to improve its fuel efficiency, its styling, and its overall quality in a bid to attract a wider audience of family shoppers. Nicer inside and out than ever before, and with the only standard all-wheel drive system in its segment, the Legacy retains enough of its unique character to still appeal to the Subaru faithful without sabotaging its chances of taking down rivals like the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Camry.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Subaru Legacy.
01. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Is All-New
The 2015 Subaru Legacy has been given a new lease on life by way of a complete redesign, one that includes a dramatically updated platform that takes care of noise, ride comfort, and interior space in one fell swoop. Stiffer and quieter than ever before, Subaru has dialed out much of the vibration from the previous model Legacy's boxer engines by way of liquid-filled motor mounts and extensive acoustic insulation in the glass and under the floors. The new mid-size sedan is also larger in almost every dimension - even if only by a few inches - carving out more interior and trunk space.
02. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Features A More Conservative Design
The 2015 Subaru Legacy is still recognizable to longtime fans of the brand, but it's also had some of its 'quirky' sheet metal dialed down so as to produce a more conservative overall look. This is most noticeable up front, where 2014's 'jutting' front fascia gives way to a still bold, but smoother design. The vehicle's grille is wider and contains active shutters that close in order to improve the vehicle's aerodynamics at speed. The Subaru Legacy's slab side panels and discrete trunk contribute to the impression that this sedan is intended to blend in more than stand out in the company parking lot.
03. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Upgrades Its Interior
As intimated earlier, the 2015 Subaru Legacy's larger platform gives it slightly more passenger room compared to the outgoing edition of the car. More importantly, however, the Subaru Legacy has also seen a significant upgrade in the quality of the materials used throughout its passenger compartment, eliminating many of the harder plastics of old in favor of soft-touch surfaces and clean, easy-to-use controls. While the brush-aluminum-look center stack might be hard to read in bright sunlight, the Legacy's new touchscreen interface - which controls infotainment, navigation, and communications systems in the car - is a revelation compared to the clunky system that preceded it. The vehicle's stereo has also graduated to industry-competitive levels.
04. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Provides Two Engine Options
The 2015 Subaru Legacy doesn't make any major changes under the hood with its latest redesign, as it carries over both motors that were available in 2014 while making only small tweaks to power delivery and overall output. The Subaru Legacy's entry-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine now provides 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, while the next-step-up 3.6-liter six-cylinder offers 256 horses and 274 lb-ft of twist. Each of these engines comes in a horizontally-opposed 'boxer' layout which allows Subaru to place them as low as possible in the car, enhancing its center of gravity.
05. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Loses Its Manual Transmission
The Subaru Legacy has long been one of the manual transmission diehards in the mid-size segment, but for 2015 this is no longer the case. The 2015 Subaru Legacy kills off last year's six-speed manual that was available with the four-cylinder cars and instead replaces it with a new continuously-variable automatic. At the very least this unit has been tuned to provide virtual gear ratios that can be accessed via paddles mounted on the sedan's steering wheel. The 3.6-liter edition of the Legacy also features a CVT unit, albeit a more robust design shared with high performance Subarus like the Subaru WRX sedan and the Subaru Forester XT SUV.
06. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Gains Miles Per Gallon
There's a very good reason that the 2015 Subaru Legacy dropped its manual transmission in favor of a continuously-variable automatic design: efficiency. Each of the CVTs now offered by the Subaru Legacy have been specifically tuned to squeeze as many miles out of a gallon of gas as possible. For the four-cylinder car this means moving from 21-mpg in city driving and 28-mpg on the highway in 2014 to a whopping 26-mpg around town and 36-mpg on the highway - numbers that are finally in line with what buyers expect out of a mid-size sedan. The six-cylinder version of the Legacy also improves on last year's fuel consumption, swelling to 20-mpg city and 29-mpg highway. The latter figure represents a boost of four miles per gallon.
07. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Maintains Its Standard All-Wheel Drive System
One of the reasons as to why the 2015 Subaru Legacy's fuel mileage increase is so impressive has to do with its standard all-wheel drive system - traditionally the thirstiest aspect of the mid-size car's design. The Subaru Legacy is the only vehicle in its class to offer no-charge all-wheel drive, which is a boon to anyone regularly forced to deal with slippery driving conditions. On top of its all-wheel drive system, the Legacy also offers a new torque vectoring system that makes use of the car's front brakes to help it pivot through a corner, adding a level of handling prowess that was absent from past models.
08. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Is Offered In Four Trim Levels
The 2015 Subaru Legacy starts out in 2.5i trim, with the number denoting the car's base four-cylinder engine. The Subaru Legacy 2.5i features cruise control, an adjustable steering column, air conditioning, a four-speaker audio system, a folding rear seat, cloth upholstery, and 17-inch steel wheels. The 2.5i Premium introduces 17-inch alloy rims, auto up/down front power windows, USB ports, dual automatic climate control, two additional speakers for the vehicle's sound system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a power adjustable driver's seat, and heaters for both front buckets. Ordering the Legacy 2.5i Limited adds a power passenger seat up front, heated seats in the back, leather upholstery, woodgrain trim, a 12-speaker audio system, and 18-inch rims, while the 3.6R Limited maintains the same level of equipment while dropping in the larger six-cylinder motor.
09. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Upgrades Its EyeSight Safety System
The 2015 Subaru Legacy features the first major upgrade to the car's EyeSight safety system, which consists of a pair of cameras mounted at the top of the windshield to observe the road ahead. The EyeSight system allows the Subaru Legacy to offer a lane departure warning system, as well as a collision warning feature. For 2015, the EyeSight cameras have been shrunk so that they take up less space (a change which is easy to notice given that the setup is located within the passenger compartment), and the cameras can also now see in color. This allows EyeSight to better determine whether flashing lights up ahead are turn signals or brake lights, shortening the response time of the collision warning function.
10. The 2015 Subaru Legacy Steps Into The Mainstream
The 2015 Subaru Legacy starts at an MSRP of $21,695, which is quite competitive with vehicles like the Toyota Camry (MSRP $22,425), the Ford Fusion (MSRP $21,970) and the Nissan Altima (MSRP $22,170). Of those three major bogeys, only the Fusion offers all-wheel drive - and it's an extra-cost option. The Subaru Legacy sells only a small fraction of the totals of each major player in the mid-size segment, but given the changes and improvements made to the new car, along with its enhanced fuel efficiency and attractive pricing, it would seem that this sedan is poised to dive into the deeper end of the market.