NY Daily News Loves the 2015 Subaru Legacy

After years of increasing popularity primarily on account of its family-friendly crossovers, Subaru has cooked up a new, great-looking Legacy sedan. Should this suddenly sexy sedan with Subaru’s secret all-wheel-drive sauce have Camry and Accord worried? Certainly a little. Maybe a lot.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 12:44 PM
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2015 subaru legacy frontSUBARUThe 2015 Legacy is, at last, a truly beautiful Subaru.

For years, Subaru sold their cars with the tagline: The beauty of all-wheel drive. Thing is, none of their cars were anything one could consider beautiful. Until now. The 2015 Legacy is, at last, a truly beautiful Subaru. That’s right: no longer do you have to go to the Audi or BMW store to get good looks and all-wheel-drive.

Before we go on, let’s just take it in for a moment. The Legacy’s new nose is tall and broad, with a classy hexagonal grille, a contoured hood, and jewel-like headlamps with C-shaped LED running lamps. It looks determined, but thanks to the swept back angle of the fascia, not too aggressive.

The body sides have subtle fender flares and a BMW-like crease above the door handles, breaking up the thickness of the body. The roof has a tasteful arc, and the sloping rear window does not curtail rear seat headroom as it sweeps down into the tall tail-end. The rear is highlighted by wide, LED tail-lamps that mimic the headlamp design, and the trunk’s opening is low to facilitate cargo loading.

With plain flat surfaces, woodgrain trim sourced from forests of plastic trees, and metallic-looking silver plastic here and there, the Legacy’s interior design will not be mistaken for a Bentley. But the space does have a relatively upscale feel for the mid-size segment. Just as important, the cabin exemplifies the sort of user-friendliness we’re used to seeing in Toyotas and Hondas.

2015 subaru legacy sideSUBARUA crease above the door handles breaks up the thickness of the Legacy's body.

The vehicles we drove were top-tier Limited trims with all the bells and whistles, including the largest of its available infotainment screens (7.0-inches) set into an elegant black housing with a couple of trendy capacitive touch controls. Thankfully, the climate controls utilize good old-fashioned buttons and knobs, and soft-touch material covers nearly everything from knee-level up. The super-squishy armrests, in particular, add a wonderful Barcalounger effect to the supportive front seats.

Speaking of seats, Subaru also nailed the seating position, with both rows of seats placing their occupants relatively high up relative to the waistline of the car. Between that and the thin windshield pillars, this makes for easy viewing of the outside world. The rear seats have plenty of legroom and headroom for a six-footer to get comfortable, and a pleasing seatback angle for long journeys.

If there is one word we could use to describe its on-road demeanor, it would be “benign.” Don’t expect much feel through the light steering, though it is responsive and direct. The concentration of the Legacy’s mechanical weight is generally located low in the body, thanks to its flat engine design, which helps keep body motions in check.

2015 subaru legacy rearSUBARUWide LED tail-lamps in the rear mimic the headlamp design, while a low trunk opening is designed to help with loading cargo.

The brakes are nicely tuned, with good feedback and linear pedal action, and the ride is comfortable and compliant, even with the largest available wheels—sexy two-tone 18-inchers.  Low-profile tires can sometimes exact a penalty on ride smoothness but, in this case, they didn’t.

Had Subaru launched this car in the Northeast a couple of months ago, we could comment more on the trump card that Subaru plays so well in this market—all-wheel drive, of course. Fortunately (and unfortunately), the perfect weather on our test drive along California’s picturesque Pacific Coast Highway, between Big Sur and Santa Cruz, provided little chance to experience all-wheel drive to its greatest effect.

The Legacy’s all-wheel drive system is always on, but at the relatively chill speeds we were traveling on the PCH, the added grip and brake-based torque vectoring effect in corners remained inconspicuous. Check back with us in about nine months, at which time we’ll trade sunscreen for ice scrapers, and go hunting for snowdrifts.

2015 subaru legacy engineSUBARUThe 2015 legacy is offered with either four- or six-cylinder BOXER engines.

We did have plenty of opportunities to sample the power output of both available engines, however. Between the added hardware of its all-wheel drivetrain and the modest output of the 2.5i model’s 175-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, acceleration in the base model is a leisurely affair.

The 256-hp 6-cylinder engine in the 3.6R Limited is much more robust, even if it’s down on power compared to 6-cylinder Accord and Camry models. We’re also quite pleased with the Legacy’s continuously variable transmission (CVT), a fuel-saving technology that can make engines drone and sound listless in other cars. In the Legacy’s case, the transmission mimics the character of a conventional gearbox under full-throttle, while offering the improved fuel economy and smoothness of a CVT under more relaxed acceleration. Bravo!

The 2015 Legacy will be offered in four ways when it goes on sale this summer: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The $22,490 starting price (which includes destination) for the base 2.5i model is $400 more than the 2014 model, yet $745 less than a 2014 Toyota Camry and a considerable $1,055 less than a base 2014 Honda Accord LX with a CVT.

2015 subaru legacy interiorSUBARUThe Legacy's cabin has a relatively upscale feel among the mid-size sedan segment.

Besides the 175-hp, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, the 2.5i comes with 17-inch wheels with wheel covers, eight airbags, cloth seats, cruise control, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, and a 6.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system with a rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity, among other things.

The 2.5i Premium starts at $24,290 and adds 17-inch alloys, 10-way power driver’s seat adjustments, dual-zone a/c, upgraded voice-activated infotainment, and fancier trim, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and the aforementioned woodgrain finish.

For $27,290, the top-shelf 2.5i Limited brings 18-inch wheels, fog lights, leather seats, a 12-speaker, 576-watt Harmon/Kardon sound system, heated rear seats, blind spot detection, lane change assist, and cross traffic alert. Significantly, you have to step up to the Limited in order to gain access to the six-cylinder engine in the 3.6R Limited, which for $30,390, has all the 2.5i Limited’s goodies and a 256-hp 3.6-liter boxer six-cylinder engine, dual exhaust tips, larger front brakes, and HID headlamps.

2015 subaru legacy rear seatSUBARUThe Legacy's rear seat offers plenty of leg- and headroom.

Options include Subaru’s clever second-generation Eyesight driver assistance technology, which combines collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with the use of stereoscopic cameras mounted near the interior rearview mirror. Also available are a moon roof, navigation, keyless access, and more, depending on the trim level. After crunching some numbers, $33,380 is the very most you can spend on a 2015 Legacy.

Next to its many competitors—only one of which, the 2015 Chrysler 200, features all-wheel drive—the 2015 Subaru Legacy is a real looker and a compelling value, even in perfect weather conditions. We expect that when the next Polar Vortex rolls in, and extends from Alaska to Atlanta, the new Legacy is going to look even better.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/latest-reviews/2015-subaru-legacy-attractive-all-weather-companion-article-1.1815337#ixzz33cGL5Ny8
Categories: New Inventory
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