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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Subaru Unveils the 2015 Legacy

    Subaru celebrates 25 years of the Legacy nameplate with a new design.


    Arguably the most significant debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is the redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy. The 2015 Legacy marks 25 years of the Legacy nameplate in the United States.

    Already know for some of the best fuel economy in the all-wheel drive car segment, the 2015 model continues with with a 26 city/35 highway preliminary EPA rating in the 2.5i model. The standard all-wheel drive now features standard torque vectoring. Engines have received a modest peak power increase however they now deliver that power over a broader RPM range. The standard continuously variable transmission has been revised to reduce internal friction and thereby increase fuel economy.

    Inside Subaru is claiming to have the largest passenger compartment in the mid-size class, though after sitting in the car, it is claim we will be running by the fact-checkers after release. The interior sports new infotainment options with the choice of a 6.2 inch screen or an upgraded 7 inch system. A 12 speaker Harmon/Kardon sound system will also be available. Subaru has also taken steps to improve the sound isolation with numerous acoustical panel additions.

    The exterior styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary with the face adopting a more conservative look. Subaru pulled the base of the windshield forward 2 inches to give the car a steeper rake. This improves aerodynamics by 10% contributing to the Legacy's fuel economy performance.

    Subaru sales have been on a roll lately with a 5 year streak of sales increases. In 2013, Subaru even beat Volkswagen in total U.S. sales. Subaru expects the new Legacy to continue on that trend.

    Our Take: Subaru redesigns their flagship sedan to look more conservative and will have no problem selling every one they build, but Ford and Hyundai called... they want their grille back.

    Press release after the jump.

    Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears


    SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2015 LEGACY® SEDAN

    • Roomiest Legacy ever with largest passenger cabin in the midsize segment
    • Fuel efficiency at the top of AWD midsize sedan class with estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway for 2.5i model
    • Higher level of comfort, quiet and refinement
    • Revised powertrains and standard Lineartronic® CVT on all models
    • New standard Active Torque Vectoring for greater agility
    • New EyeSight driver assistance system with improved camera performance.
    • New available safety technology including rear radar with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    • New infotainment technology with available 12-speaker premium audio

    CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy, delivering a more compelling blend of standout design, interior refinement, safety technology and higher fuel efficiency along with the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize sedan segment. Still the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard, the 2015 Legacy continues the brand’s safety leadership by introducing an improved EyeSight system and available rear radar system that supports new driver-assistance technologies.

    Offering a choice of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder BOXER engines, the 2015 Subaru Legacy comes standard with Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. With estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway / 30 mpg combined, the 2015 Legacy 2.5i matches or exceeds fuel economy of some midsize models that come only with front-wheel drive. The 6-cylinder model also sees fuel economy improve by 10 percent or more, with new estimated ratings of 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 combined.

    The new 2015 Legacy arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014 with the 4-cylinder 2.5i model available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited.

    The 2015 Subaru Legacy is the best-equipped ever, with all trim lines adding new standard amenities. The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in a Subaru, including standard perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; three-mode heated front seats (also standard for Premium) and dual-mode heated rear seats; rear seat air conditioning vents and a high-end surround sound audio system with 12 harman/kardon® speakers.

    New Design Language

    The 2015 Legacy echoes design themes introduced by the Legacy Concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The production model combines sporty form and efficient function. Key to the sleeker, coupe-like profile is a “nosecone” front section that combines the grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, enhancing steering response. The 2015 Legacy maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces.

    The 2015 Legacy’s windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. A 10-percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency contributes to lower fuel consumption. All 2015 Legacy 2.5i trim levels debut a standard Active Grille Shutter system, which helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed.

    In the Legacy 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. The U-shape tail and brake lights on all models use LED bulbs for lower power consumption and a luxurious appearance. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors, which are available as an option for the Premium.

    New Safety and Security from a Safety Leader

    The 2015 Legacy comes standard with a rear-view camera, now located closer to the center of the car for more natural imaging. A new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected. For added nighttime security, the 2015 Legacy features new standard welcome lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the car. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system, as well.

    The 2015 Subaru Legacy introduces a new type of airbag restraint and a new available rear radar system. The new front seat-cushion airbags help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision.

    A new rear radar system, which is standard on the 2015 Legacy 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited and available for the 2.5i Premium, introduces the brand’s next step toward full-perimeter preventive safety. The rear radar system offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles behind the C-pillars and in other blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects approaching vehicles when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects close vehicles while reversing, such as out of a parking space or driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display. Also for the 2015 Legacy, new Steering-Responsive Foglights are added, which help illuminate curves for better visibility.

    The EyeSight® driver-assist system option for Premium and Limited trim models, integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. EyeSight, which uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology, is the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2015 Legacy is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

    Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engines

    The 2015 Legacy 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance.

    With the 2015 Legacy, Subaru continues to offer a 6-cylinder model in the midsize sedan segment. The 3.6-liter BOXER engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. For 2015, all Legacy models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency in the 2015 Legacy. All models are equipped with Incline Start Assist and the electronic Hill Holder System that holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle.

    Quieter Ride, Enhanced Agility

    The Legacy offers an even smoother, quieter ride for 2015 thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material.

    New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also contributes to reduced fuel consumption. Revised spring and damper tuning and geometry and standard 17-inch wheels (18-in. on Limited) endow the 2015 Legacy with greater handling agility. Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system also featured on the brand’s high-performance 2015 WRX and WRX STI models, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The 4-cylinder Legacy now uses the same ventilated rear disc brakes as the 6-cylinder model, in place of solid discs used previously.

    More Room, Greater Refinement

    With nearly the same exterior footprint as the previous Legacy, the 2015 model offers a roomier passenger cabin, at 104.6 cu. ft. (up from 103 cu. ft.). The added space yields gains in shoulder, hip, elbow and leg room. Rear seat legroom measures a generous 38.1 inches. The Legacy’s trunk has been enlarged to 15.0 cu. ft., up slightly from 14.7 cu. ft. for the 2014 model, a significant point considering that the standard Symmetrical AWD system requires packaging for the multilink rear suspension, a rear differential and drive axles. A standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seat expands carrying capacity.

    The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel in the 2015 Legacy, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with center LCD information display -- 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight cars. In all models, an ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim models feature electro-luminescent gauges with elegant blue ring illumination.

    Accentuating the passenger cabin’s increased room, the Legacy features a new interior design that highlights horizontal themes. A combination of new soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the Legacy a more premium feel.

    The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Legacy Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection.

    New Infotainment

    Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Legacy. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Legacy 2.5i model provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc in-dash CD player, 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display, Subaru STARLINK connectivity with Aha™ and Pandora® smartphone integration, rear vision camera, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack. The multi-touch display offers swipe and scrolling gestures – much like tablets and smartphones,

    The Upgraded Infotainment System in the 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system with 7-inch touch screen display, SiriusXM® satellite radio, SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports.

    Standard for the 2015 Legacy Limited trim models, a new high-end audio system combines a 576-Watt equivalent AM/FM/HD Radio unit with 12 harman/kardon speakers, including a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. The amplifier and speakers use harman/kardon Green Edge technology, which reduces system weight and power consumption.

    The Navigation Infotainment System available for the Premium and Limited trim levels, in addition to the multi-function display, features an interactive voice command system that accepts natural language and phrases and also operates the dual-zone automatic climate control system.

    A more versatile center console in the 2015 Legacy provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A new covered storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices.

    Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

    Both 2015 Legacy models are equipped with a newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. The system can send additional torque to the rear wheels either pro-actively or in response to slippage at the front wheels. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.


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    User Feedback


    One word...

    Yawn

    I mean really... uninspring styling, uninspring interior, status quo powertrain, mediocre performance, ordinary fuel economy and, wow, the biggest thing that can talk about is if the infotainment screen is 7-inches or 6.2-inches.

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    Who said Toyota does not like to rebadge their auto's as subaru? Talk about a bland plain interior. Not sure what they were wanting to accomplish but I think they failed homer.

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    Ok, they have effed the styling on this but still on a commodity basis, what you have, a really well priced AWD large vehicle non SUV with super fuel economy. That combination is practically non existent elsewhere.

    Despite all those flaws visually and perhaps 'drive wise' it ticks practically every box on my practicality menu for the next ride.

    The rear seat thing is interesting. The current one is huge. Hope they kept that in the new one. If they reduced the rear seat room, I am less interested.

    Since this Subaru looks a bit like a current Taurus, perhaps one could just get an AWD Taurus. Ah, the rub, lower mpg by a bunch, higher higher price. I suppose you could say the same thing about a Fusion.

    wow, that Camry dash is terrible.

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    Who said Toyota does not like to rebadge their auto's as subaru? Talk about a bland plain interior. Not sure what they were wanting to accomplish but I think they failed homer.

    Well... Toyota has been buying up Fuji shares and now owns about 16.5% of Fuji. May not sound like a lot, but that actually makes them the largest single share holder.

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    I don't know... but two things come to mind. No transmission at all -- constant ratio and hence the "constant" relative velocity between the engine and the wheels. A Continuously Variable Transmission -- where the engine can, under certain conditions, remain at a constant speed while the wheels accelerate. I am guessing it's the latter! LOL!

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    Hardly a bad car but exterior styling has been seen and done before as has the Yota like interior. I have never been a huge fan of the Boxer engine with it's gruff sound, head gasket eating tendancy with higher mileage and valve train noise which I see often at the auctions on high mileage examples. Perhaps the latest versions are better.

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    I absolutely agree with the general opinion of "boring". I don't hate what Subaru puts out, but you'd think they'd try to do something to stand out rather than fade into the background. They're fading quicker and quicker, and I hope they have something in mind to pull themselves back to their roots.

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