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2015 Subaru Legacy: New Car Review

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author photo by Doug DeMuro June 2014

The midsize-sedan world is filled with numerous choices -- a fact that Subaru knows all too well. The brand's Legacy sedan is routinely outsold by more mainstream choices, such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion, even though the highly competent Legacy has lots of benefits to offer shoppers.

Enter the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy, which the automaker hopes will help the brand catch up. Subaru has redesigned the Legacy from the ground up to appeal to a wider variety of car shoppers, hoping to finally make a lasting impact on the midsize-sedan segment. So, how does the Legacy do? We think it's an excellent effort, from its handsome looks and upscale interior to its wide variety of comfort and safety features. In fact, we'd put the Legacy near the top of our list if we were searching for a new family sedan.

What's New for 2015?

The 2015 Legacy is completely redesigned compared to last year's model. While the engines remain the same, the latest Legacy offers a new interior, new exterior styling and a host of new features and other updates.

What We Like

Standard all-wheel drive (AWD); excellent interior; lots of passenger room; available EyeSight safety system; competitive pricing

What We Don't

Styling still a little anonymous; touchscreen could be bigger; manual transmission gone

How Much?

$22,490-$30,390 (including $795 for destination and delivery)

Fuel Economy

The 2015 Subaru Legacy offers two engines, both of which are mated to a standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and standard all-wheel drive. Most Legacy models will be equipped with the sedan's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which makes 175 horsepower. With that engine, fuel economy stands at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway -- strong figures for an AWD car.

Drivers who want more power will upgrade to the Legacy's 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine. That powerplant features 256 hp and returns 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The Legacy is offered in three trim levels: a base-level 2.5i model, a mid-level Premium model and a top-end Limited version. The 2.5i and Premium models only use the sedan's 4-cylinder engine; drivers who upgrade to the Limited can choose between the 4-cylinder and the 6-cylinder.

Opt for the 2.5i ($22,490) and you get automatic headlights, a backup camera, Bluetooth, a 6.2-inch color touchscreen with Subaru's Starlink infotainment system, power accessories and steering-wheel audio controls.

Upgrade to the Premium ($24,290) and you'll get heated seats, heated mirrors, a power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a larger touchscreen with HD Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Topping the Legacy lineup is the Limited ($27,290 for the 4-cylinder; $30,390 for the 6-cylinder). The trim adds a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a power passenger seat, driver's seat memory, larger alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and wood-grain trim.

Options on the Legacy include a navigation system, a power sunroof, keyless access with push-button starting, and the brand's EyeSight safety suite, which features adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and other high-tech safety gadgets.


The 2015 Legacy includes a long list of standard safety features, from stability and traction control to side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, a backup camera and automatic headlights. Options include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision alert with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert and a blind spot monitoring system.

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Because the Legacy is so new, it has not yet been crash-tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Behind the Wheel

Most 2015 Legacy models will feature the brand's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, with Subaru projecting that the 2.5i Premium will be the sedan's most popular trim. The 4-cylinder is hardly a hot-rod engine, but that's not the point. Instead, it offers a surprisingly smooth driving experience (even by CVT standards) and excellent fuel economy, even with heavy standard all-wheel drive.

Shoppers who opt for the 6-cylinder will get a lot of extra power on tap, though the Legacy's smoothness doesn't go away with the larger powerplant. Unfortunately, 6-cylinder models are pricey, and they drink a lot more fuel than the smaller 4-cylinder.

Around corners, the Legacy feels composed, though it's not as sporty as its smaller Impreza stablemate. Still, the driver's seat is a great place to be, largely because it's so comfortable -- a fact that also applies to the Legacy's back seats and passenger seat, all of which are roomy for a midsize sedan. Visibility is also excellent to all directions, much like many of the Legacy's rivals.

Other Cars to Consider

Ford Fusion -- The Ford Fusion boasts a handsome look and a highly useful infotainment system, along with a long list of safety features. It's easily one of the best midsize sedans on the market.

Honda Accord -- The Honda Accord offers some excellent technology, in addition to its legendary durability and roomy interior. The Accord is also competitively priced and includes generous standard equipment.

Mazda6 -- The Mazda6 is one of our favorite midsize sedans. Not only does it offer excellent lines and a long list of equipment, it also boasts a sporty driving experience and reasonable pricing.

AutoTrader's Advice

The 2015 Legacy is one of our favorite midsize sedans, and the 2.5i Premium model is our favorite version. Worth every penny of its price increase over the base-level Legacy 2.5i, the Premium offers a lot of standard features, and it allows you to choose from options such as Subaru's EyeSight safety system (which we'd take), a navigation system and a power sunroof. For drivers who really want the extra power, the 3.6R Limited is also a viable option, as it does a great job combining sporty and luxury qualities.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Subaru Legacy: New Car Review - Autotrader