2015 Subaru Legacy

By Tom Crosby

After more than a quarter of a century producing the all-wheel-drive Legacy family sedan, Subaru launches the sixth-generation of its popular mid-size five-seater for 2015 claiming its luxurious interior space is now best-in-class.

Legacy inched out the competition by increasing length, height and width. Legacy models have long-life, with Subaru noting 95% of Legacy vehicles sold in the last ten years are still on the road today. Legacy’s profile remains mainstream.

Subaru can create a design to turn heads, as it has for years with the high-performance WRX, but the Legacy mimics the unexciting but buyer accepted looks of competitive mid-size sedans.

We test drove the top of the line Legacy 3.6R Limited flagship, with its newly adjusted Active Torque Vectoring to adjust wheel spin in tight turns, improved continuous variable transmission (CVT) with manual paddles and increased gas mileage after tweaks to the 6-cylinder BOXER engine.

The ride was quiet and refined with a revised MacPherson strut suspension in front and double wishbone in back. Torque vectoring generates driver confidence in hugging curves and reacts nicely on slippery roads. While the most powerful Legacy, the 3.6R Limited doesn’t quite smoke tires on its 18-inch alloy wheels with a hard acceleration take off, consuming a decent 7-seconds or so getting to 60 mph, still ample for merging onto highways.

Inside, noise abatement succeeds with sound softening additions such as more foam insulation, liquid-filled engine mounts and new acoustic windshield.

The cabin’s interior will appeal to larger and taller-than-normal drivers, with generous shoulder, hip, elbow and legroom for all occupants. Soft-touch materials, leather seats and thicker cushioning create upscale ambiance.

The Limited’s 7-inch screen works like an iPad, allowing swiping, scrolling and reducing along with manipulation for navigation, SMS text messages and radio using a crisp-sounding harman-kardon® audio system with 12 speakers. Its infotainment offerings will appeal to younger drivers, its solid price and resale value to the older crowd.

Standard safety features include blind spot detection, rear traffic cross alert and lane change assist to warn of fast cars approaching in adjacent lanes. EyeSight, a Subaru-developed stereo camera technology is an option that includes adaptive cruise control, lane sway assist and pre-collision alert/braking among its safety upgrades.

It earns Legacy a top safety rating from the prestigious Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when it is purchased. Legacy’s price is below the average for other mid-size sedans with its on-road longevity among the best.

LIKES: Handling, ride, power, safety, space, price
DISLIKES: Bland look, safety options needed
BOTTOM LINE: With option package, safety features are top-tier and a must have


  • Base price w/destination charge $30,390
  • Vehicle weight 3,662 lbs.
  • Wheelbase 108.3 inches
  • Length 188.8 inches
  • Width 72.4 inches
  • Engine 3.6-liter, DOHC, 6-cylinder, Boxer
  • Horsepower 256 hp at 6,000 rpm
  • Torque 247 lbs.-ft. at 4,400 rpm
  • Transmission Continuous variable transmission w/manual paddles
  • Subaru Rating 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway
  • Range 18.5-gallons, regular
  • Performance 0-60 in just over 7 seconds