While Subaru’s AWD Outback crossover has been setting sales records this year, their Legacy AWD sedan also deserves a look for those who don’t need the utility of an AWD wagon.
For 2015, Subaru’s Legacy 2.5i Limited we tested is every bit as comfy and classy as what you find in Honda’s Accord and Toyota’s Camry midsize sedans. And for us here in the Snowbelt, Subaru’s superior AWD would fill the bill for our upcoming winter months.
Legacy is offered in four trim levels of 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited. The numerics represent engine choices and liter size.
The 2.5i test car came with Subaru’s famed Boxer 2.5-liter engine that generates 175-hp and 174 lb/ft of torque, that in concert with a standard CVT transmission, gets EPA mileage ratings of 26 city, 36-highway mpg. These numbers are helped somewhat by Subaru’s Active Grille Shutter system that when closed reduces wind resistance (drag) for better fuel economy.
The 3.6L is a Boxer six-cylinder with 256-hp and 247 lb/ft of torque for EPA ratings of 20/27 mpg.
Subaru’s CVT is unlike others on the market and is probably the best one on the market. It’s programmed for obtaining the best economy from the engine while at the same time delivering noticeable shift points similar to a conventional automatic transmission. Paddle shifters are optionally available and make the CVT experience, unique.
In city driving the 2.5L Boxer engine provides adequate acceleration and performance. With two adults aboard and while attempting to merge into high-speed traffic lanes or upon ascending steep grades, the engine breathes hard and its 3,485-curb weight makes it a bit lethargic. The 3.6L engine would solve that power problem.
Inside the cabin, which has been enlarged by moving the front windshield base 2-inches forward, gives the sedan 104.6 cubic feet of space.
The Limited model was furnished with comfy and supportive perforated leather seats just like more costly import cars. Along with that package came heated front and rear seats. The dash and vertical stack were redesigned and offer a simple, no-frills, but functional design. The speedometer and tach are ringed in an eye-catching purple coloring. All HVAC controls are easy to operate and the large display screen for audio, rearview camera and GPS nav is touch operated (optional).
Subaru uses a new front seats cushion airbag system that deploys under the thighs to keep riders from slipping under the seatbelts in a collision.
Ingress/ingress into the semi-firm back seat is easy thanks to a higher stance and wide-opening rear doors. The only improvement Subaru could make here is to use lower profile rear headrests for better rear visibility.
Trunk space is rated at 15 cubic feet, or, more understandable, two large roll-a-long luggage’s or two hoofer golf bags. For more space the 60/40 rear seatbacks flip forward.
As for ride and handling and considering the AWD system, the ride is a trite firm but not uncomfortable on Wrangler Eagle 18-inch tires. The nicely padded leather seats help the cause and the sturdier suspension soaks up road imperfections with ease. This firm ride allows for good manners in sharp turns and provides decent road feel. The new electric power steering not only aids in efficiency, but also makes parking a breeze.
The test car came with the optional EyeSight driver assist system that uses adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane-departure (which can be turned off) systems as part of a total safety package. The system employs a pair of cameras inside the upper edge of the windshield instead of bumper mounted detectors that will be damaged in a front-end accident. There’s also rear radar for blind spot and rear cross traffic monitoring.
Price wise, the nicely loaded Legacy carried a base price of $26,495. Add another $2,990 for sunroof, keyless access, push-button start, GPS nav and the EyeSight system, $300 for the PZEV system (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle), $795 for delivery, and this Legacy Limited bottom-lined at a market competitive $30,580.
As my wife once owned a ’99 Outback, I can attest to Suby’s superb AWD system. It got us through some deep snow in years past. So this price will be a no-brainer after the first heavy snowfall we’re destined to get.