Legacy gets complete redesigned

Posted Friday, Jul. 25, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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The Subaru Legacy midsize sedan has been completely redesigned for 2015, with more interior room and a larger trunk.

It’s the sixth generation of the Legacy, and it comes on all-new architecture while maintaining exterior dimensions similar to the previous model, as well as its standard symmetrical all-wheel drive (revised for 2015).

The Legacy now has best-in-class passenger volume of 104.6 cubic feet and cargo volume of 15 cubic feet. The Legacy line has been all-sedan since 2008, with wagons in the Outback line.

An all-new infotainment system with touch-screen display and high-resolution backup camera is now standard on all trim levels. Quietening upgrades include acoustic windshield and liquid-filled engine mounts.

Also new, standard Active Torque Vectoring and electric power steering offer greater agility and control.

Legacy offers buyers either a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 256-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder horizontally opposed (boxer) engine, coupled with the standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

With four trim levels available (three with the four-cylinder and one with the six-cylinder), 2015 prices for the Legacy range from $21,695-$29,595, with several options and accessories available. The top model is the 3.6R Limited, which I tested for this report.

The four-cylinder model is EPA rated 24 mpg city/32 highway, while the six-cylinder is rated 20 city/29 highway/23 combined. My six-cylinder tester averaged 27.9 mpg during my weeklong test.

Along with a coupe-like profile, the 2015 Legacy brings new upscale interior styling with soft-touch materials for the highest level of luxury ever in a Legacy.

Safety is enhanced with new front seat-cushion air bags to help keep driver and passenger in place during frontal collisions, making eight total air bags.

My tester came with the Lapis Blue Pearl exterior, and an ivory and charcoal interior with matte wood-grain accent trim, included a Moon-roof/Keyless Access/Pushbutton Start/Navigation package for $2,195.

The keyless access and start has an illuminated start/stop switch, a standard cut master key, a remote transmitter with removable key, starter override protection, front door unlock/lock sensor and trunk lid unlock sensor.

The moon-roof package includes auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and universal gate/garage opener; tilt/retracting auto open/close laminated UV/green tinted glass moon roof; AM/FM stereo HD radio and navigation with single CD player,

SD card-based map, MP3/WMA/CRR/RW file capability, multi-touch high-resolution seven-inch LCD display, voice-activated controls and navigation, Radio Broadcast Data System, Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free phone and text messaging connectivity, satellite radio, NavTraffic, NavWeather, iPod control capability, iTunes tagging, dual USB ports, auxiliary input jack, rear in-glass audio antenna and roof-mounted satellite antenna.

The standard infotainment system includes a Harman Kardon premium audio system with Starlink smartphone integration, 12 speakers, 576- watt equivalent amplifier. The Starlink app, Subaru’s link to the Internet, transfers content such as news, personal calendar and iHeart radio from your smartphone to your car automatically.

Climate controls were grouped and easy to reach and use. The touch screen was within reach of my short arms, and had touch buttons with slight palpable indentions for the main functions. Each function contained several folders, which were a little confusing and distracting to operate properly. I usually sit in the driveway and explore the functions when my tester arrives and occasionally consult the owner’s manual, but I have limited time to learn these systems during my testing; people who buy the car, though, should easily become accustomed to operating the various controls and functions.

Standard equipment on my Limited included blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert; high-intensity-discharge headlights; windshield-wiper deicer; heated side mirrors; 18-inch alloy wheels with alternating wide and narrow chiseled spokes in matte and painted finishes; aerodynamic side ground effects; two-position driver’s side memory; heated front and rear seats; rear climate controls; 10-way power driver’s seat; four-way power passenger seat; cruise control; and leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel with multiple controls.

We had eight cup and bottle holders, with two located on the rear center armrest. The front center console had a bi-level storage area with a coin tray, pen holder and power outlet.

The front overhead console had a drop-down storage area for glasses, and the visors had clips for important papers. A medium-size cubby under the center stack had the USB ports, auxiliary port, a power outlet and a rubberized bottom to corral electronic devices. There was a roll-down lid to conceal it all.

We had 37 inches of headroom front and rear, with 42.9 inches of legroom in the front and 38.1 inches for the rear outboard seats.

The Limited model’s perforated leather seats were bolstered in the front and the rear outboard positions, with a typical hard/high middle seat. All three rear positions had child-seat anchors and tethers.

Visibility was good all around, especially for the driver, thanks to a new triangular glass called a “partition window,” located in the door, allowing the driver to see past the outside mirror.

The front door pillars are also narrowed to help shrink blind spots. Visibility around mirrors and pillars can be a problem, especially for “vertically challenged” drivers (me).

Rear outboard passengers also had an extended side window, following the slope of the roof, trimmed in chrome.

The taillights extended out from the rear panels and added to the muscularappearance of the car’s rear. The trunk lid was light and easy to lift, creating a moderate-sized opening into the cargo area.

Rear seatbacks folded 60/40 by pulling a lever below the top lip of the opening and manually lower the seatback from the rear passenger compartment. I was able to haul a rug for the deck and several shopping bags with lots of room left. Bag hooks on the side wall would hold the bags if desired.

My Legacy Limited 3.6R was robust, economical, comfortable, and nice looking. A MacPherson strut front suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension made the ride sporty, nimble, precise, and luxurious all at once.

Total sticker price for my Limited was $32,585, including the options package and $795 freight.

The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams appear weekly in the Star- Telegram. Contact her at emmajayne1948@gmail.com.

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