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1. What’s new for 2015?
Subaru completely revamped the Legacy for 2015, increasing the exterior dimensions and the cabin space. The style, while still conservative, features steeper angles and a sleeker profile. The six-speed manual is gone, and a Lineartronic CVT is now standard. The engines, though derived from the previous model, were modified to yield more power and better mileage. The seats are much improved and the cabin has improved ergonomics throughout. It’s also quieter and has an upgraded infotainment system.
2. How much does it cost (with Trim info)?
The base trim level is the 2.5i, with a starting MSRP of $21,695. It’s a pretty good deal, giving you AWD, CVT automatic with paddle shifters, 17-inch wheels, a nice infotainment system with a 6.2-inch display and a backup camera. Next up is the 2.5i Premium at $23,495. The most content in the 2.5i line is packaged into the Limited for $26,495. The ultimate Legacy is the 3.6R Limited, featuring a bigger engine.
3. What options or trim level is best for me?
The 2.5i Premium is an excellent value, adding features such as heated front seats, a 10-way power driver’s seat, a 7-inch display on an upgraded infotainment center, dual zone climate control and even fake wood trim. The Limited models will satisfy your need for luxury, but more importantly, they give you access to important safety features, such as lane departure warning and blind spot monitor. They also provide a top-quality 576W harmon/kardon audio system.
4. What engine do you recommend?
We recommend the 2.5L 4-cylinder boxer engine, mostly because you get it without shelling out for the pricey 3.6R Limited trim. The four-banger delivers 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. The power is certainly adequate, but passing might be a little too dramatic for aggressive drivers. For the performance-minded, the more powerful 3.6L 6-cylinder provides 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft torque for spirited acceleration. Subaru designed both engines to sit low in the chassis, thereby reducing vibration and increasing stability.
5. How is the fuel economy?
The smaller engine serves up 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The 3.6 delivers 20/29 mpg. The CVT and automatically closing grille help get the most efficiency from the engines. AWD vehicles like the Legacy tend to sacrifice some fuel efficiency in return for enhanced grip and handling. The engines run on regular 87-octane fuel.
6. How does the vehicle handle?
The handling is noticeably improved compared to that of the 2014 model. The handling would benefit from a tighter steering feel on winding roads, but is otherwise fine. The low center of gravity gives the car a grounded, stable feel that is reinforced by the sure-footed AWD. The new Legacy no longer lurches from a stop and cures throttle tip-in found on older models.
7. Are the controls easy to use?
Subaru’s were once known for their confusing dashboards, but this is no longer true. The 2015 emphasizes ergonomic design in its dash, center console and gauge cluster. The larger console now sports two USB ports. The infotainment system is intuitive, though the larger command screen on higher trims is more legible. You can use our favorite smartphone moves, such as swiping and multi-touch, on the command screen.
8. Is it comfortable?
The cabin is larger with more cargo and passenger room. The power, heated seats in the higher trims are easy to configure, though the lumbar support may not please all drivers. The leather trim in the Limited models is high quality and comfortable. The 2015 models are quieter, thanks to acoustic glass and thicker panels with better insulation.
9. What about safety?
Safety is a Subaru strong suit, and the Legacy comes with a long list of standard safety features, such as AWD, backup camera, stability and traction control, front-seat airbag cushions and automatic headlights. The available Eyesight Driver Assist Technology includes adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking. Other options include blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. The 2015 Legacy gets top safety ratings from the IIHS and the NHTSA.
10. How’s the reliability and resale value?
JD Powers gave 4 out of 5 stars for reliability to the Subaru Legacy in 2012-2014, and there is no reason to believe that the 2015 will be anything less than sterling in this regard. Subarus tend to hold their value quite well. Kelly Blue Book puts the fair purchase price of a used 2014 Legacy Premium with 19.5K miles at $19,217 when bought at a dealership, but you might find one for as little as $17,355.
11. What other models should I consider?
Buyers often flock to Subarus because of the full-time AWD. In the mid-size sedan class, only the Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200 compete on this basis. If AWD is not a major consideration for you, then the Legacy can be compared to the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry.