First Drive: 2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited
Car owners all want the same thing, reliability. And when you think reliability, you think Honda. However, consumers who not only want something dependable, but rather something that will grow with their family; well, they buy a Subaru. Subaru’s haven’t really been quite branded as a family hauler and when it comes to the mid-size sedan market, they are the last to be thought of. So, for their sixth-generation, they had to up the ante with their new 2015 Legacy.
Subaru was very generous lending us their top trim level Legacy; a 3.6R Limited. And at first glance, it certainly is a prominent sedan. The Subaru Legacy has been completely redesigned for 2015 featuring a more family friendly façade while carrying much of the Subaru heritage underneath. This new Legacy is a handsome brute to say the least, the muscular enhanced body now gives the Legacy an attractive advantage against its competitors. We admire the exceptional unique HID headlamp design as it complements the bold hexagon chrome grille. Subaru has done a great job improving the rear attractiveness by adding body wrapping LED tail lights and sporty dual chrome exhaust tips. To top it all off the 18” machine finished alloy wheels with black inserts against our beautiful Tungsten Metallic paint really gave the Legacy an audacious stance.
The interior has also under gone some major work as well. Although the new Legacy shares nearly the same floor plan as the previous generation, interior volume has been increased which goes to shows in front and rear passenger comfort. This now makes it one of the class leading interiors for the midsize sedan markets. Our tester’s interior was nicely upholstered in Warm Ivory with perforated leather. With the 3.6R Limited, the driver and passenger relish in comfortable multi-way power adjustable heated seats – the driver also gets a 2-way memory feature. Front seats are well supportive with decent lateral bolstering, and with our $2,195 optional Moonroof Package (feat. Push Button Start & Navigation) headroom was more than adequate. The Legacy has been designed like a proper sedan which rear passengers will take notice; oodles of rear head room followed with a substantial amounts of leg room. The rear seats are just as comfortable as the front with excellent thigh and back support – rear seats also receive heated feature for added winter comfort.
Symmetrical with the exterior, the dash is laid out very simplistically with a masculine appeal in a two tone black over ivory combination separated with the tasteful use of silver and wood trim. The ‘black glass’ touch sensitive infotainment system is a very unique setup designed around a 7” touch screen display – it takes some time getting use to, and once so, it is an intuitive system with an exceptional rear back-up camera. Add the Harman/Kardon 576-Watt stereo system and listening to your favorite tunes becomes even more enjoyable. The leather wrapped steering wheel garnished in silver is comfortable with manual tilting and telescoping capabilities – steering wheel mounted controls are well laid out for easy functionality, although the voice activation system is not keen to a drivers ‘on-the-go’ personality with multiple voice steps. However, we did enjoy the sport designed instrument display cluster featuring a blue back-light and a color trip computer system. And as for storage capacity, trunk space has been increased to 15 cubic feet, rear seats fold 60/40 opening to an exceptional large cargo hole for bulkier items.
Subaru will be offering the new Legacy with two engine options: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine producing 175-horsepower and 174lb-ft of torque and a 3.6-liter straight 6-cylinder boxer engine producing 256-horsepower and 247lb-ft of torque. Both engines will be coupled to a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive System – which will be a standard feature (excluding the base 2.5i model). Since Subaru provided us with the 3.6-liter, 0-60 mph wasn’t a struggle as it just hovered 6.5 seconds. Even with a CVT transmission acceleration is smooth and quick, the CVT provided adequate amount of power when need. Paddle shifters are mounted to the steering wheel for a 6-speed simulated tranny – surprisingly it works quite well and adds to the driving enthusiasm. Even the straight-six roar from the dual exhaust system will put a smile on your face.
With the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system, handling is superb in the corners. Find yourself on the back twisty parts of the mountain roads and the Legacy becomes alive and vibrant. The silky smooth suspension helps play a role in all of this – while it manages to maintain a comfortable family sedan the Legacy’s suspension system maintains an even balance in the corners without providing too much body roll. All of this is great if it’s followed up with excellent brakes… which the Legacy has. The braking system is a good setup providing an excellent stopping distance at high rates of speed. And that’s what this Legacy is about – safety. The Legacy Limited comes standard with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, and our personal favorite Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Now, the biggest detail to the Legacy is fuel consumption combined with that All Wheel Drive System. Most consumers are concern how much fuel economy is impacted. EPA does rate our 3.6-liter at 20 mpg city & 28 mpg highway with a combined average of 23 mpg. With our heavy use of city driving, and hefty accelerating foot, we managed 19.5 mpg city and 27.3 mpg highway – hitting the EPA mark. Those numbers on an AWD sedan is surprisingly well. And on Unleaded Plus grade fuel, 400 miles will be left on tap.
The Subaru Legacy has always been an exceptional vehicle and with this new sixth-generation, it enters a whole new playing field. If we had to nit-pick, it would be that speeds of 70 mph and up, there is a large amount of wind noise due to the design of the side mirrors. However, starting at $21,695 the Legacy is surprisingly affordable with excellent features which should be added to the top of the shopping list when looking at a mid-size sedan. Most importantly though, 10 years from now, this Legacy will continue to look brilliant.
|2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited||$29,595|
|Notable Standard Features:|
|18″ Alloy Wheels|
|Leather Interior w/ power adjustable Driver & Passenger Seats|
|Blind Spot Detection & Rear Cross Traffic Alert|
|7″ Touch Screen display w/ back-up camera|
|Best in class interior space|
|Moonroof Package; Keyless Access w/ Push Button Start & Navigation||$2,195|