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2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium


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TESTED: 2015 Subaru Legacy AWD 2.5i Premium       MSRP 25,045



-a natural and successful evolution of the.....successful previous generation.  If you liked the last one, you will like this one

-significant powertrain enhancements with the CVT, power delivery, fuel economy, and general drivability. 

-impressive CVT functioning.  It really is ok to own a car with a CVT now!  Simulated stepped automatic works well, and overall a lot of folks may not be able to tell the difference from a traditional automatic.

-interior, which looks dreadful and cheap in pictures, is actually fairly decent and a bit of an upgrade over the previous model

-evolved styling is a bit sleeker than before.

-interior space, front and rear is still excellent and likely class leading.  Spread those legs out!

-more airy cabin than so many of the bunker cabins of its competition.

-big side mirrors, hey, it really is nice sometimes!

-nice gauges and center stack.

-nice steering wheel with lots of buttons.


-seat cloth is actually quite nice.  Seats themselves not all too bad either, overall.

-really is a good value for the money in most packages.

-has some instances that make it feel nicer than some competitors, some touch points are soft, padded armrest on the doors, quiet sounds when closing doors, fairly quiet ride and drive.

-very decent middle of the road driving experience, quiet and comfortable ride, somewhat easy steering, but not a limp flopper.  Not a sport sedan but doesn't pretend to be, either.

-doesn't 'clomp' over bumps.  wow, that is refreshing in this class where the competition is striving to strip out suspension compliance and sound deadening.

-Is Subaru becoming a step up brand of its parent, Toyota?  Like Buick is to GM?  (although the Subarus are not as nice as the Buicks).

-Subaru keeps improving the product, and it reflects in its sales.  This is a pretty decent comfortable and functional car for a lot of the masses.



-Boxer motor is improved, but still a bit rough and growly at times.  The personality of the car would improve with a zingier motor setup.

-Thrust off the line and into the midrange is a bit laggard.  Part of that might be the minor delay in the CVT response.

-Plain straight horizontal dash does its best to remind you of its Toyota brethren with its amazing imaginative design and layout.

-Styling really should have evolved more over previous model.

-Styling actually is it bit too much of a knockoff of the previous model plus a Taurus, certain Volvos and some Camry.

-Front end styling in particular is chunky, blocky, heavy, botched.  This is apparent even more in person.  Way too much overhang, grille is too far forward and upright (like the new Sonata also) and looks out of whack with the rest of the car.  They should have brought the base of the windshield forward some and given it some more rake to minimize the front end some more

-Trunk still not very tall or otherwise not very huge either

-Front end feels heavy and just a general comment on all wheel drive, you can tell it saps more juice and overall makes the car feel less nimble than some fwd counterparts.  Whole car feels a bit unbalanced.  Some may think that the nose heavy feel, heft, and weighty feel would make it seem more 'solid' though.

-If you found someone who bought a 14 and swapped it out in their garage with a 15 without them knowing, they probably would have no idea its a different car any time.......

-Really never crosses much over into appealing to your heart instead of just your head, despite being comfortable, practical, and otherwise quite likable.

-JANET RENO still will always dress the same and look the same perhaps.......




It's kind of hard for me to rip on much about this car.  Subaru has done an amazing job of increasing sales by a lot these last few years, while still keeping its core fans and adding new ones.  The cars have shunned their niches like the older smaller Legacies were in, and moved to the mainstream some but still appeal to their old base.  A lot of that dual success is due to the all wheel drive exclusivity.  But the other side of that is just building friendly, useful, value laden cars.  And they have maintained a unique personality doing it, even despite being under the wing of Toyota.


If this is a lesson for anyone, its a lesson for the GM's of the world.  GM sometimes tries to keep re-inventing the wheel.  Witness the Malibu and all its incarnations since the late 90's.  You could never really know the message of the car and the message of GM's largest brand's most core product.  Subaru just continues to evolve what is successful for them and gradually win new sales by being consistent and having a clear message.


The car is good enough to give value for what was spent, and a bit of comfort beyond that.  This would be a nice commuter car for a lot of folks I think.  I think older folks may like this car too.  That doesn't mean a fair amount of young folks won't like it either.


As far as the midsize class goes, I think its not as good as a Fusion.  Its not as sporty or engaging as a Mazda6.  Personally I might lean to a Malibu before the Legacy except that the Legacy interior is larger and the cloth is better.  And overall dash design maybe a little more tasteful.  I would take a Legacy over the Altima, and over the Accord as well (some may not).  It's better than the 2015 Sonata I drove last week.  I have no idea yet what the new Chrysler 200 is like.  Certain trim Passats I would take over this car as well, but for different reasons.


This car is still not near as good yet as say, a Buick Regal.


Props to Subaru for finding what it can do well, and now sticking to it.  If the car had a bit more throttle response and thrust I would give it an A-.  I'll give it a B+ and tell subaru to work on a creamy smaller displacement turbo with nice torque numbers, and working some more on vehicle dynamics as well.


past review link for older Subaru Legacy



Edited by regfootball
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Coincidentally, I was into Subaru's "build & price" site last night, scoping out the Outback.  It's all CVT all the time now... meh.  Local dealer has a few, maybe I'll ride out there sometime today and snoop around.



Edited by ocnblu
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Guest Guest

Ocnblu words from 2010.

"It's a bit like Janet Reno when you look at it, big, muscular, no-nonsense, with a serious look on its face"

I wonder if it lost just a little of that Janet Reno.

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Interesting, nice review. Love the details but still enhhh I can take it or leave it car to me.

What modern cars do you like? Methinks your pretty much a body on frame SUV guy.

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IMO it gives Toyota the chance to steer clear of an AWD Camry, yet it is sort of similar so they will get the buyer that wants an AWD Camry.....or simply just another version of the Camry.


Plus they still after all these years pretty much have the AWD market cornered in this class.  Especially the cheap side.


It bugs me that GM can't seem to figure this segment out.  Conversely the Impala which is now in a dead segment, sells like hotcakes.

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Interesting, nice review. Love the details but still enhhh I can take it or leave it car to me.

What modern cars do you like? Methinks your pretty much a body on frame SUV guy.


There are plenty of cars I like but I do like the higher seating position and space of SUV's as to why I have all SUV's.


My favorite cars are as follows:


1994 -96 Marron Chevy Impalla SS, Last of the Real Impala's Chevy made.

1st gen Chrsler 300C SRT8

1994 Buick Roadmaster Station wagon

1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Maroon

1986 Monte Carlo SS Areo


From here it goes backwards on full size auto's


Full size Delta 98 4 door sedan and station wagon of the 70's


The list is long but they do not make real full size auto's as to why I am a full size SUV guy.


6'6" tall 275lb, I do not fit in compacts or mid size. :P

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Never heard this until the article. They do still seem to have a head gasket issue, at least into the 2000's. Odd stuff.


The Legacy continues to be a bit awkward as far as design, but overall it's a unique car with boxer 4 (or rare boxer 6 which is very nice) and symmetrical AWD. Very popular hear in PA, of course, and I've already seen a few new 2015's with temp tags rolling around. They're a cult following, even without marketing, people know them. Not as "known" as Honda, Toyota, etc. from a talked about perspective but as soon as you mention Subaru, everyone gets it and already knows. Unique image.


The 2005-2009 car was still the best looking one, with some awkward since, but great package.

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