With standard all-wheel drive, boxer engines and unconventional styling, the Subaru Legacy has been something of an outlier throughout its 25-year run in the midsize sedan market.
On the eve of the 2015-MY, the sixth-generation Legacy has been fully redesigned. With improvements in fuel economy and safety, the new car is poised to compete with the segment-leading Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, not to mention recently redesigned contenders such as the Ford Fusion, Mazda6 and Nissan Altima.
The Legacy’s four- and six-cylinder flat engines carry over from the prior generation, both touting 10% gains in fuel economy.
The 2.5-liter four-banger delivers 175 horsepower (hp) at 174 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque and burns 30 miles per gallon (mpg) in combined city and highway driving — meeting or beating some two-wheel drive competitors — and the 3.6-liter six-cylinder is good for 256 hp at 247 lb.-ft. and 23 mpg combined.
Subaru will equip every Legacy with a continuously variable transmission, eliminating the six-speed manual available on the outgoing model’s base engine.
The new car’s front end is strikingly conservative, pairing rectangular headlights with a combination grille and bumper that replaces the 2014 edition’s split-level façade.
The lower edge of the windshield was raked forward by a couple inches and the side panels now feature integrated fenders, a sculpted shoulder line and partitioned front windows. An “Active Grille Shutter” system reduces wind resistance on models equipped with the base engine.
The cabin retains its predecessor’s utilitarian appeal but features upgraded materials and soft-touch surfaces. The base 2.5i comes with 17-inch steel wheels and full power accessories: A/C, cruise, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity and more.
Upgrading to the 2.5i Premium and Limited trim levels, adds 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels and safety features such as rearview camera and Subaru’s EyeSight safety suite, which includes lane-departure and collision warnings.
The 3.6R combines all of the above with the bigger engine and xenon headlights. All models feature upgraded infotainment features controlled by a 6- or 8-inch high-definition touchscreen.
The 2015 Subaru Legacy is available now. Prices start at $21,695 for the base 2.5i, $23,495 for the 2.5i Premium, $26,495 for the 2.5i Limited and $29,595 for the top-of-the line 3.6R.