Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2015 Subaru Legacy Limited: The Brand’s Reworked Flagship Vehicle

Highlights: It’s available as an all-wheel drive model only. The Sport trim and a manual transmission model have both been eliminated from the lineup.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $32,585 (base model $22,490)

Seating Capacity: Five

Standard Safety Features: airbags; Daytime Running Lights; an electronic parking brake; an electronic brake force distribution system; a brake over ride system; automatic on/off headlights; an incline start assist system; a remote keyless entry system; a back up camera; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (base model): 17-inch wheels; an all-wheel drive system; cloth seats; a tilt and telescopic steering wheel; a manually operated AC/heat system; steering wheel audio control systems; and trunk area grocery bag hooks

Upgraded Standard Features On Test Model: 18-inch wheels; leather seats; 10-way power driver’s seat with memory settings; power passenger front seat; a 7-inch screen with a 576-watt 12 speaker AM/FM/CD/HD audio system; heated exterior mirrors; heated front seats; heated rear seats; a windshield wiper de-icer; an integrated turn signals with the foldable mirrors; foglights; dual tail pipes for the 3.6-cyliner, 6-cylinder engine; an automatic ventilation system; a blind spot detection system; a lane changing assist system; a rear traffic cross alert system; HID headlights; an automatic rearview mirror; and a rear seat armrest

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a push-button keyless starter; moonroof; and an  easy-to-operate navigation system

Other Trim Level:

2.5 Premium
2.5 Limited

Suspension System:

Front: MacPherson strut
Rear: Double wishbone

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD audio system

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

iPod connectivity: Available
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0, 4-cylinder/170-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 24-city/36-hwy

What’s New: Although the exterior styling looks similar to the outgoing model, the sixth-generation 2015 Subaru Legacy has been reworked inside and out. The midsize vehicle is also outfitted with the latest high-tech safety driving aids.

Pros: The Subaru Legacy is the only vehicle in the competitive family car segment designed exclusively with an all-wheel drive configuration. The all-wheel drive system gives one the ability to navigate all types of driving conditions. So, with only two other vehicles in this niche segment, offering an all-wheel drive configuration, the Legacy’s starting price is about the same as its front wheel drive competitors. And unlike its two competitors, the Ford Fusion and the Chrysler 200, which are both available with higher contented all-wheel drive systems, the starting price of the Legacy is significantly less, since a variety of base and high line trims are available.

Moreover, the slightly larger and roomier 2015 Legacy offers more horsepower in the 4-cylinder, while also offering improved fuel economy in both the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder models.

Furthermore, the Legacy offers a number of driver-oriented safety aids, too. Depending upon the trim, the Legacy can be accessorized with a blind spot system, a cross traffic alert warning back up system and a lane changing system too. Also a late availability radar-like cruise control system will be available, too with the brand’s signature EyeSight system. Unlike most radar activated systems, Subaru utilizes two cameras for their EyeSight system, which also controls the vehicle’s pre-collision braking system and a lane departure warning system.

Cons: With no manual configuration available on the 2015 model, this is one of the reasons for the $1,000 price increase, when compared to the outgoing 2014 model. Moreover, like all Subarus, the Legacy does not have automatic speed activated power door locks. Occupants are forced to manually lock and unlock the doors with the power door locks system.
Furthermore, the infotainment screen, which houses the a/c control, the audio system and the nav systems, needs more glare protection. At times, we found that it was extremely difficult to operate the system because of the glare.
Lastly, because the Legacy is only available with an all-wheel drive configuration, this may compromise the ride quality, meaning the vehicle may not ride and drive as smooth as some of its front wheel drive competitors.

Verdict: While the Subaru does not offer a standout design, it does blend in fairly well with its competitively priced all-wheel drive system. In fact, it’s the most economical all-wheel drive vehicle in the midsize segment. The Legacy offers the ability to navigate the treacherous roads while being surrounded by the latest safety driving aids that are currently available in the market place.

Competition: Chrysler 200 AWD and Ford Fusion AWD

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