When you’re the most recommended brand by Consumer Reports and one of very few that showed sales increases when others were still recovering from the recession, you might get big headed. Not so for Subaru. Lambasted for the look of its 2006 Tribeca (not by me), Subaru has struggled to create a unique exterior DNA, making it a bit self-conscious. Perhaps that’s why the new redesign of the Legacy looks inspired by another brand with a blue oval?
Regardless of what’s going on on the outside, what sets Subaru apart is what’s happening under the skin, namely the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, as well as its stellar reliability. I recently drove the 2015 Legacy 2.5i Premium for a week in Austin, and new technology, improved fuel economy, and interior styling will enhance the sedan’s appeal.
As the second of four trim levels in the new Legacy lineup, the Premium includes a healthy list of standard features, but it’s also nice to know that things like a touch screen display on the infotainment system that includes a CD player, and a high-resolution back-up camera are standard across all trim levels.
My favorite optional feature is the Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection System that adds Blindspot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Lane Change Assist.
Offering a choice between four-cylinder and six-cylinder BOXER engines, the 2015 Subaru Legacy comes standard with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). The EPA estimated fuel economy ratings for the 2.5i come to 26 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. During my one-week loan, I achieved an average mpg of 29.6
Like the four-cylinder, the fuel economy for the six-cylinder Legacy 3.6R Limited improves by 10 percent for 2015, with new city/highway estimated ratings of 20/29 mpg.
Technology like an Active Grille Shutter, a colorful fuel efficiency or ECO gauge in the instrument cluster, and a 10-percent improvement in aerodynamics help improve fuel efficiency.
The colorful display has two binocular-style gauge pods with a center LCD information display—3.5-inches on cars without the EyeSight driver-assist system and five inches on EyeSight cars. The infotainment system was a little less intuitive than I would like, and while keyless access is available, it isn’t standard on the Premium 2.5i.
I appreciated the Premium’s blue illumination but I also had the chance to test the 60/40 split rear seats. With more interior volume than its competitors, the roomy trunk (15 cu. ft.) expanded even further to fit the more than 100 campaign signs I needed to deliver to voting precincts in one night. The optional navigation system was also essential that night.
Standard creature comforts on the Legacy Premium include dual-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, an upgraded infotainment system, and a ten-way power driver’s seat.
Options like a moonroof, navigation, and Rear Vehicle Detection added nearly $3,000 to the Premium’s base price.
I like models with a distinct look so I admit that I prefer the outgoing exterior design to the new one, but that doesn’t detract from what the new Subaru Legacy offers overall.
Pricing for the 2015 Legacy starts at $22,490. The as-tested price for the 2015 Legacy Premium 2.5i came to $27,480.