“There were lots of high-dollar exotics and concept cars there,” said Bill Brumbaugh, general manager of Hine Mazda and Hine Subaru of Temecula, upon his return last week from the New York International Auto Show. “But there was also good news for consumers in terms of real ‘value for the dollar’ offerings from manufacturers.”
One of those offerings is the redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy. The Legacy has enjoyed a sterling reputation for outstanding reliability over the years; the redesign gives it a more sporty, upscale and modern look; more interior room; better gas mileage; a quieter ride; more active-safety features; and all-new infotainment system.
The more attractive look starts with a lower windshield angle with the base pulled forward two inches, narrower A-pillars, a larger grille, lower and wider stance, WRX-inspired headlamps and LED taillights.
The Active Grill Shutter system helps achieve 10 percent better aerodynamic efficiency and fuel economy. The aluminum hood cuts weight. The overall look is more of a sporty coupe than the boxy sedan of previous years, which should appeal to today’s buyers.
The interior is clean and sporty with a horizontal design to add to the feel of spaciousness (the additional 1.6 cu ft gives it the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize segment). There are more soft-touch surfaces throughout as well as a standard 6.2” touch-screen display. The slightly-elevated seats contribute to better outward visibility. The 60/40 split folding rear seatbacks add versatility to the bigger trunk (15 cu ft).
Fuel economy in this year’s models is improved. The base 175-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gets 26 city/36 hwy, 30 mpg combined. The 256-hp flat six-cylinder gets 20 city/28 hwy, 23 mpg combined. Both get the Lineartronic® CVT transmission and standard all-wheel drive. This includes a six-speed manual mode and steering wheel paddle shifters – and this is an all-wheel drive car.
The new unibody is 43 percent stiffer; the re-tuned suspension is more compliant without sacrificing handling response. Interior noise and vibration is also reduced with the use of laminated acoustic windshield glass, thicker floor and fender well sheet metal, more insulation under the carpeting, liquid-filled engine mounts and more sound-deadening foam throughout the substructure.
This year’s Legacy model is made safer with ventilated rear rotors added to the four-wheel disc brake system, electric power-assist steering, standard rearview camera and optional blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive foglights. Subaru’s EyeSight® system (available on Premium and Limited trim models) integrates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision automatic braking and lane departure warning.
Five Subaru models have been rated as top safety picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The new standard Infotainment System includes a CD player, 6.2” touch-screen Starlink with Aha and Pandora capabilities, the rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, iPod control, a USB port and an aux-in port. The system puts news, food information, weather, music, podcasts, audiobooks, and other multimedia content at the user’s fingertips.
The 2015 Subaru Legacy will arrive at dealers this summer in two models and three trims. The 2.5i will offer Standard, Premium and Limited trims; the 3.6R model offers only Premium trim with perforated leather upholstery, a ten-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front and rear seats, a keyless entry/ignition and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The 2.5i Premium model offers a six-speaker sound system, seven-inch screen, SiriusXM and SMS texting. The Limited trim features the 576-watt sound system with twelve Harman Kardon speakers.
The 2015 Subaru Legacy competes in a crowded class and the new sleek styling, upgraded technology and higher content level puts it among the top contenders. Its real legacy, of course, is a history of years and years of outstanding reliability in its torquey engines and all-wheel dive systems. In fact, 95 percent of Subaru vehicles sold in the last ten years are still on the road today. The Subaru Legacy is the only car in its class with standard All-Wheel Drive. Test drive one soon at John Hine Subaru on Ynez Rd. in Temecula.