This week we’ve been driving the newest generation Subaru Legacy. The Legacy has been in the U.S. market from its beginning as the first-gen was launched here in 1991; the one we are driving is now the sixth-generation and it’s gone through quite a bit throughout that time. The Legacy has always been a departure from the most quirky of the Subaru products. It has always strived to be the more grown-up of the family and that really shows when you contrast it to cars like the Baja, Alcyone SVX, BRAT, Vivio, and many more. Every new generation and every new styling update we see this model get more and more refined as it pushes further and further away from its companies heritage. This means you have a better chance of attracting more buyers who would otherwise look at cars like the Camry or Accord but still; is moving away from being quirky a good move for Subaru? Let’s find out.
Let’s first take a look at the exterior of this car. The styling is sort of a mix-mash as you walk around the car. If you glance at the grille you could easily mistake it for a Ford Taurus or a new Sonata, the side profile could be misinterpreted as a Camry, or the rear as an Accord. With every generation of the Legacy it has become more and more mainstream as Subaru is looking for more and more people to appeal to. Of course this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it’s still an attractive vehicle and it’s nice to see Subaru focusing on attractive styling.
If you’re used to the quirky Subaru’s of the past you’ll be used to a pretty boring and cheap interior. That doesn’t hold true with this new Legacy though. You actually get a really nice interior taking cues from many other manufacturers who have been upping their own games in the past few years. Our tester was trimmed in the Premium package giving us a nice two-tone interior with tan leather and black accents on the dash. There were still areas that felt cheap like around the shifter and the whole infotainment experience but overall, this Legacy is a pretty nice vehicle.
What you may be lacking in quality materials Subaru does make up for in gadgets. Throughout the past few years they have been working on their EyeSight technology which is an active safety system. EyeSight can monitor the road through windshield-mounted cameras and can react to driving conditions. This can help you stay in your lane, assist with a radar guided cruise control, and even possibly prevent collisions by braking the car for you. Starlink is what Subaru dubs its infotainment system giving you Pandora app integration, smartphone entertainment, and communication technologies all packed into a 7-inch display. Overall it worked decently but the user interface and design just wasn’t doing it for me. There are definitely much better systems out there.
There is still one part of this car though that harkens back to the good ole quirky Subaru’s and that’s under the hood. Our tester was equipped with a 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder Boxer engine pushing 175-horsepower and 174 lbs-ft of torque. This engine won’t blow your socks off but it got the job done for this, every-man, sedan. Moving up into a 3.6R Limited trim gains you a 3.6-liter Boxer engine pushing a much more enthusiastic 256-hp and 247-lb-ft. of torque. Both engines are matched up to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) with a 6-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. If you forget about any sort of manual mode, and forget about the paddle shifters, and don’t try driving this Subaru with any kind of vigor; you’ll hardly even notice you’re driving a CVT. That’s about all I’ll say about that.
So what does this car really compare with and what would you be looking at paying to get your hands on one? Well the 2015 Legacy starts off at $21,695 which is a really good starting price for this size of car. Our tester, in Premium trim, started at $23,795 with $1,394 in options and $795 for destination charges put its MSRP at $25,985. Again, this is pretty good for everything we got. You can also pump it all the way up to over $34k with the 3.6R Limited trim and a few options. I can say that I’ve talked to Subaru dealers and these, and other vehicles in the lineup, are doing really well for sales. In the end though I just couldn’t get excited about the car even as a basic family hauler. I would much rather look at the Hyundai Sonata or Ford Fusion. Even the new Camry is a pretty sweet ride in comparison although you will be paying a bit more for any of these options.