Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Subaru Legacy Sport: The Brand’s Honda Accord Fighter

Highlight: This is the only vehicle in the segment with a standard all-wheel drive system.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $28,910 (base model $22,815)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a brake assist system; a brake override system; daytime running lights; automatic headlights with windshield wipers; a hill hold assist feature; an incline assist feature; an automatic on/off headlights with windshield wiper system; an electronic brake distribution system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (2.5i): 17-inch wheels; all-wheel drive; automatic off headlights only; cloth seats; height adjustable driver’s seat; manually operated front seats; a remote keyless entry system; a touchscreen 6-inch infotainment screen; trunk area grocery bag hooks; and a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel

Sport (Review Model): 18-inch wheels; power driver’s seat; sport two-tone interior trim with blue stitching; simulated leather around door trims; an electronic parking brake; fog lights; a keyless ignition starter system; a power moonroof; an auto dimming rearview mirror; a rearview camera; satellite radio; a rear seat armrest; leather wrapped steering wheel; and a 7-inch infotainment screen

Options: a navigation system; blind spot detection system; a rear cross traffic alert back up system; a reverse auto braking system; and an automatic highbeam light system

Other Trim Level:

Base; Premium; and Limited

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an AM/FM/CD/HD audio system

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

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

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder/175-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 24-city/36-hwy

What’s New:  For the 2017 model year, the Sport trim is the newest addition to the Legacy brand.

Why: Subaru continues to be the only vehicle in the midsize vehicle with a segment exclusive all-wheel drive system. This five passenger vehicle is available with either a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine. In fact, this is one of the few vehicles in the midsize segment to offer a 6-cylinder. 

The brand’s midsize sedan is available in a variety trims. New for this year in the Legacy line up is the Sport trim, which offers larger tires, a two-tone interior, and a few more amenities we noted in another section of the review.

And like most vehicles these days, the Legacy Sport is also available with such features a keyless ignition system, automatic high beams, a 12-speaker premium audio system, which pumps out 575 watts and leather seats.

Moreover, depending on the trim, the Legacy offers its trademark EyeSight system and an instrument panel warning alert when the cars ahead have moved after being at a traffic light. Indeed this was an industry first for us, alerting the driver, as if it were a virtual significant other. Essentially the brand’s trademark system can also be paired with Subaru’s radar-activated cruise control system, an automatic pre-collision braking system, a lane departure warning system and a lane keep system. Together all of these features serve as second eye for the driver.

But: The vehicle is somewhat on the small size, when compared to others in the segment. Also, while we realize this is a Sport trim, the vehicle does not seem as contemporary with the interior layout and amenities like many of its competitors. Besides larger 18-inch tires, the vehicle still has the same suspension as other Legacy trims. Unfortunately, there isn’t really anything beyond the appearance to differentiate this new trim package to the Legacy family.

Added to that, the four cylinder engine didn’t seem to have the wow factor we would expect in a Sport trim. To our dismay, we were expecting for the Sport trim to add more pizzaz, as it relates to the handling and horsepower.

Lastly, the vehicle’s interior doesn’t have that premium look and feel like  some of its segment competitors. In our opinion, the interior design team could step up their game in this department.

Verdict: Besides the vehicles all-wheel drive capabilities, the Legacy, like most of the vehicles in the segment, isn’t really a standout. The design, the features and the ride and handling capabilities places this vehicle right in line with its competitors. So, the real compelling argument for the Legacy is for those who must have an all-wheel drive vehicle. It’s the only vehicle in the segment making this feature standard. Moreover, the Legacy is one of the few vehicles in the segment, offering a throatier, but less fuel-efficient 6-cylinder engine, too.

Competition: Chevy Malibu; Ford Fusion; Hyundai Sonata; Kia Optima; Mazda6; Nissan Altima; VW Passat; and Toyota Camry

No comments: