2014 Chicago Auto Show: 2015 Subaru Legacy (FAQ)
2014 Chicago Auto Show
What Is It?
2015 Subaru Legacy
What's New About This Model?
The 2015 Subaru Legacy is completely redesigned. Its sleeker styling covers a body that's roughly the same size on the outside as the car it replaces, but the cabin and trunk have been enlarged. Though the engine lineup essentially carries over, changes to the now-standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), improved aerodynamics and active grille shutters contribute to improved efficiency. All-wheel drive continues to be standard, but is augmented by the Active Torque-Vectoring system from the Subaru WRX that uses the front brakes to improve handling.
The cabin benefits from improved materials, additional sound-deadening and more available features, especially those in the infotainment and safety areas. New touchscreen electronic interfaces also debut, potentially addressing an area in which Subaru has trailed.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Subaru announced that the 2015 Legacy will arrive in dealers this summer.
How Much Does It Cost?
Subaru has not announced pricing, but expect the 2015 Legacy to be a bit more expensive than the current model, which ranges from $21,090 to about $35,000 depending on trim and options.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The 2015 Subaru Legacy is offered as a sedan only; however, the mechanically related Outback wagon is expected to be unveiled in the coming months.
There are four trims from which to choose: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
• 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed (boxer) four-cylinder: 175 horsepower, 174 pound-feet of torque
Estimated 30 mpg combined (26 city/36 highway)
• 3.6-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) six-cylinder: 256 hp, 247 lb-ft of torque
Estimated 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway)
• CVT and all-wheel drive are standard.
Is There Enough Space Inside for My Family?
Subaru boasts that the new Legacy has the most passenger volume in the midsize class. In more practical terms, the backseat has enough head- and legroom for a passenger taller than 6 feet (not to mention air vents and available heated outboard seats). It seemed similar in space to the roomy Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Up front, the eight-way power driver seat and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel display an impressive degree of adjustability.
The trunk is bigger than last year's at 15 cubic feet, but a bit smaller than those in the Accord, Camry and Ford Fusion.
Are All the Latest High-Tech Features Available?
Besides the many safety features described below, this new Legacy comes standard with a wealth of high-tech infotainment items. Among them is a new touchscreen display, available in two sizes, which features swipe and scroll capability like a smartphone. The adjacent touch-activated "buttons" on each side of the screen control frequently used functions and are a particularly noteworthy improvement for Subaru, as the touchscreen unit available in its present selection of cars lacks them and can be frustrating to use as a result. Unfortunately, Subaru says the new system cannot be retrofitted to current models like the BRZ, Forester and Impreza.
Standard tech equipment includes a rearview camera, AM/FM/HD radio, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, iPod control, Bluetooth phone/audio and the app-based Subaru Starlink that includes Aha and Pandora Internet radios. The Premium trim adds satellite radio and an additional USB port, while the Limited features a Harman Kardon sound system. Both of the upper trims get the larger of two available displays and can have navigation software added to the standard touchscreen interface.
What Kind of Standard and Optional Safety Equipment Is Offered?
Beyond standard all-wheel drive, the Legacy sets itself apart by offering an abundance of safety equipment, much of which is not available on competitor vehicles. Besides the typical suite of airbags, antilock brakes and stability control, all trims comes standard with a rearview camera and an additional, small side airbag that helps keep front occupants in place during a frontal collision.
Additional safety features include an enhanced rear radar system on the Limited trims that aids in blind-spot detection (including warning of incoming, lane-changing vehicles) and rear cross-traffic alert when reversing. Both the Premium and Limited trims come equipped with the Subaru's EyeSight system, which bundles adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a pre-collision braking system.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
2014 Ford Fusion: The Ford Fusion is not only one of Edmunds.com's top-rated family sedans, it's also one of the only choices to offer all-wheel drive. Unlike the Legacy, however, only the top Fusion trim level can benefit from all-wheel traction.
2014 Honda Accord: The Accord is in many ways today's segment benchmark, offering a terrific blend of efficiency, driver involvement, comfort, space, refinement and equipment.
2014 Mazda 6: Like the Legacy, the Mazda 6 should appeal to those who want something a little different. The 6 offers an engaging driving experience and eye-catching style, while also providing top-notch fuel economy.
Should You Wait for It?
The current Subaru Legacy has never been a significant player in the family sedan segment, at least outside mountainous and/or snowy areas of the country where Subaru enjoys great popularity. If that's where you live, the current car is likely to be discounted in the coming months and if you can live with lower fuel economy, fewer features and dowdier styling, it may be a good idea to get one now. It's not that radical of a change.
Still, the new, more attractive and better equipped 2015 Subaru Legacy should indeed be more competitive than the car it replaces and generally more appealing regardless of where you live.