Subaru Legaxy

2017 Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy is a midsize sedan we think is underrated. Its under-recognized because its looks get lost in the crowd, and its standard all-wheel drive has come to be taken for granted.

If you want all-wheel drive in a midsize sedan, your only other choices are the Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200, and only in their higher-priced models. The Legacy compares well against the front-wheel-drive Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, neither of which has special looks either, but theyre more popular because theyre Honda and Toyota, and there are more powertrains to choose from. Not necessarily better, just more.

The Car Connection named Legacy Best Car to Buy in 2015.

As a midsize car, the Subaru Legacy is about as big as it can get without being considered large. The government sets 120 cubic feet in the cabin and trunk as the midsize limit, terminology-wise, and the Legacy comes in at 119.6, after Subaru added a couple inches of width and 1.6 inches to the wheelbase for this generation. So its heavy for a midsize, about 3500 pounds, but the weight doesnt show.

For 2017, Legacy offers a Sport package with bigger wheels and chrome trim on the rocker panels, with two-tone cloth upholstery with accent stitching and carbon fiber touches on the dashboard.

Base powertrain is a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder making 175 horsepower and mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters.

The Legacy Limited uses a 3.6-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder making 256 horsepower, but its not our choice because its thirsty and its torque doesnt match its size. Its rated by the EPA at 20/28/23 miles per gallon City/Highway/Combined.

The four-cylinder 2.5-liter comes in with much better scores: 26/36/30 mpg, thanks partly to active grille shutters that manage airflow and aerodynamics. Considering its four-wheel drive, those high numbers take on more meaning; the AWD four-cylinder Ford Fusion gets much poorer fuel economy with 5 less miles per gallon, while the front-wheel-drive Honda Accord and Chevrolet Malibu only get one more mile per gallon. If you want the maximum fuel mileage from a midsize sedan, theres the Toyota Camry Hybrid, rated at 43/39/41 miles per gallon. Run into a snow storm and youll prefer being in the Subaru.

The NHTSA gives the Legacy five stars in crash safety, while the IIHS gives it top scores in every tests, including the notoriously difficult small-overlap frontal test, to earn its coveted Top Safety Pick+ . The IIHS also rated the Legacys available forward collision safety systems on the Legacy Superior.

Subarus EyeSight safety system bundles together active safety equipment including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts can be added. The Legacy can be made safer on paper than cars costing much more.


2016 Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy is a midsize sedan for drivers who favor practicality and premium engineering over frills and flash. Benefiting from all-wheel drive and a flat engine that rides low in the engine bay, the Legacy delivers excellent handling and outstanding all-weather capability.

The Legacy competes with the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and other midsize sedans. The Legacy was completely redesigned for the 2015 model year, making this the sixth generation.

For 2016, more safety features have been added but the Legacy carries over largely unchanged. A new auto on/off mode operates the windshield wipers with the headlights on 2016 Subaru Legacy models. The electric power-assist steering has been retuned for all 2016 Legacy models to provide a more linear and natural feel. The Stablex suspension dampers, new for 2015 Limited models, have been refined on 2016 Legacy Limited models to reduce vibration over washboard surfaces.

Nothing is flashy or raucous about the Legacy, though it is a nice-looking car. While some automakers place an emphasis on fancy interiors and swoopy styling, Subaru puts its money into engineering. All Legacy models come with all-wheel drive.

The Subaru Legacy offers a choice of two engines, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder developing 175 horsepower and a 3.6-liter six-cylinder generating 256 horsepower. Both mate with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and all-wheel drive.

Legacy 2.5i models deliver an EPA-estimated 26/36 mpg City/Highway, or 30 mpg Combined. Legacy 3.6R models only rate 20/29 mpg City/Highway, 23 mpg Combined.

We found the Legacy smooth and comfortable underway. The cabin is attractive and refined.


2015 Subaru Legacy

A redesigned Subaru Legacy goes on sale this summer as a 2015 model. The 2015 Legacy is slightly larger than before, with sleeker styling and upgraded technology.

Introduced as all-new at February's Chicago Auto Show, the 2015 Subaru Legacy builds on its traditional strengths: solid construction, enviable reliability, torquey flat-four and six-cylinder engines, and all-wheel drive. To that, the 2015 Legacy adds Subaru's growing reputation for safety, increased interior volume, slicker styling, and an enhanced array of infotainment and connectivity features.

The Legacy has been a competent car that has so far failed to become a major player in the intensely competitive mid-size sedan market segment dominated by the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry, but Subaru execs think this new generation may elevate the Legacy to a warmer place in the mid-size sun. Of course, execs always think their new product will grab a bigger share of market, but the Legacy does seem to have the chops to support some optimism.

Styling: Although the new Legacy is more reserved than the concept car displayed at the 2013 LA Auto Show, it has a sleeker profile than its slightly dowdy predecessor, with a raked windshield and fast rear window, the slick four-door coupe look that's become so popular with today's sedans.

The 108.3-inch wheelbase is unchanged, but the body is 1.6 inches longer, 0.7-inch wider, and smidge (0.3 inch) lower. This yields a modest interior volume increase, always welcome, even though the current Legacy is far from cramped. Interior materials have been upgraded, as well.

More important, from a dynamic point of view, the new unibody is 43-percent stiffer, according to Subaru, allowing chassis engineers to retune the suspension for more compliance without sacrificing handling response. Standard torque vectoring should contribute to improved stability as well.

Subaru also invested in measures aimed at reducing interior noise levels: laminated acoustic windshield glass, thicker floor and fender well sheetmetal, more insulation beneath the carpeting, and more sound-deadening foam in the structure.

While Subaru positioned the 2015 Legacy as being all-new, that description apparently does not extend to the engine bay, which is essentially unchanged from before: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and a 3.6-liter six-cylinder, both of the boxer type, with horizontally opposed cylinders. The four gets a tiny power increase, to 175 horsepower, while the six maintains at 256 hp.

Transmission choices shrink to one. The four-cylinder's 5-speed manual option has disappeared, as has the six-cylinder's conventional 5-speed automatic, both replaced by a continuously variable transmission, or CVT. All Legacy models will be equipped with paddle shifters, giving drivers the option of artificial shift steps programmed into the CVT control chips. While the CVT may or may not be good news to prospective buyers, it's good news on the fuel economy front.

Fuel economy ratings for the four-cylinder Legacy are up from the previous 24/32 mpg to an EPA-estimated 26/36 mpg City/Highway for the 2015 Legacy. The six-cylinder's ratings climb from the previous 18/25 mpg to 20/28 mpg for the 2015 Legacy.

Though these numbers are not big news in a vehicle class with several 40-mpg offerings, keep in mind that the Legacy achieves them despite the extra mass and mechanical losses associated with all-wheel drive.

As with almost any new car, the new Legacy will have more standard equipment and more safety features, as well as fancier extras. Among them: an improved navigation system with a bigger screen and a powerful audio option. Meanwhile, Subaru's reputation for safety has been growing, with five vehicles rated as top safety picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

With the new Legacy several months from its summer on sale date, Subaru wasn't ready to discuss pricing at the Chicago unveiling. But more standard features and a major makeover are rarely accompanied by reduced prices. The current Legacy starts at $20,295. We are guessing the new Legacy will start around $21,000, but that is only a guess.


 

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