Quick Summary: The 2015 Subaru Legacy midsize sedan has been completely redesigned with an eye toward delivering improved mileage, increased passenger comfort and additional safety features. All of this contributes to a much-improved sedan that should no longer remain restricted to the shopping lists of those who consider all-wheel drive a must-have feature.
What Is It? The 2015 Subaru Legacy is a midsize family sedan with standard all-wheel drive. It's available with either a four- or six-cylinder engine, both of which come standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Although it has been fully redesigned this year, its dimensions remain similar to the outgoing car.
What's New About It? Despite the fact that this Legacy has a similar look and feel to the outgoing model, there are several changes underneath the skin. Better packaging has opened up slightly more passenger and cargo room, while the interior itself has been given a thorough makeover. It now includes the addition of a more modern user interface that incorporates music apps, voice recognition and high-resolution screens for easier viewing.
Both of the available engines have been revised to improve efficiency and reduce noise levels, while Subaru's "Lineartronic" CVT is now standard on all models. The all-wheel-drive system now features "torque vectoring," which improves cornering performance by modulating the flow of power between the inside and outside wheels. For added safety, there's a new seat cushion airbag that helps prevent passengers from sliding under seatbelts, while new rear-facing radar is available to provide features like blind spot detection, lane change alert and cross-traffic warnings.
What Body Styles and Trim Levels Does It Come in? There is only one four-door sedan body style for the Legacy. If you need additional cargo room, the Subaru Outback offers essentially the same package but in a wagon body style.
Sticking with the Legacy means a choice of three different trim levels: base, Premium and Limited. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is available in all three levels of trim, while the more powerful 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine comes in top-of-the-line Limited trim only.
Even with the base trim level you get a decent amount of standard equipment like 17-inch wheels and tires, a touchscreen user interface with Bluetooth connectivity and multiple music apps, a height-adjustable driver seat and split-folding rear seats. Moving to the Premium trim level adds heated seats, a larger interface screen with voice control, dual-zone climate control and more available options. Limited models feature standard leather seating, 18-inch wheels and tires, premium audio with navigation and new safety features like blind spot assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
How Does It Drive? From behind the wheel, it's clear that Subaru wanted to give this Legacy a much more refined feel than its predecessors. It's quieter, smoother and more comfortable in almost every driving situation we encountered. The suspension is not quite as soft as some of its competitors, and that's a good thing. Bumps and dips in the road are soaked up with a satisfying firmness that makes it feel sure-footed without being stiff. A new electric power steering system aids in efficiency, yet doesn't compromise road feel. It's not a sport sedan by any means, but there's enough feedback to keep you engaged without getting annoyed by the constant need for corrections.
When it comes to power, both the four- and the six-cylinder engine deliver refined, quiet motivation. With only 175 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque, however, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder has just enough juice to get by around town. Passing on the highway requires far more thought, a typical trait of midsize four-cylinder sedans.
The more powerful six-cylinder engine delivers 256 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, which translates into more effortless acceleration. This Legacy is still far from being the fastest sedan in the segment, but there aren't many situations where it leaves you wishing for more.
The standard CVT that comes with either engine does an excellent job of getting the most out of the two power plants. Although it can essentially mimic a broad range of gearing for maximum mileage, this CVT is also programmed to deliver noticeable "shifts" to make it feel more like a traditional transmission. You can even use paddle shifters on the steering wheel to move between the simulated gears. The end result is a more natural driving experience that doesn't negate the added efficiency that the CVT provides.
What Kind of Mileage Does It Deliver? Although no official EPA mileage estimates are available for the Legacy yet, Subaru expects the four-cylinder version to earn 30 mpg combined (26 city/36 highway). Six-cylinder models are expected to deliver 22 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway), a roughly 10 percent improvement over the previous six-cylinder Legacy.
How Safe Is It? It hasn't been officially tested by any rating agencies yet, but Subaru said it expects the Legacy will earn top ratings across the board. To help make sure that happens, the Legacy features a new seat cushion airbag system that deploys under your thighs to keep you from sliding under the seatbelt in certain types of accidents.
Another major upgrade for this Legacy is a new generation of the company's EyeSight driver assist system that combines several technologies like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane-departure warning. There's also a rear-facing radar that adds features like blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic assist.
How Does It Rate in Terms of Interior Comfort? This is easily Subaru's most comfortable sedan yet. A slightly higher driving position, excellent visibility and firm, supportive seats make it feel instantly comfortable. Special attention to soft-touch points means that your elbows never get sore resting on the console lid, while the thick-rimmed steering wheel offers plenty of grip.
Although rear seat room is up slightly, the second row in the Legacy still isn't the biggest in the segment. To its credit, the rear seats are nicely contoured and higher trim levels get rear seat heaters and ventilation controls. Cargo room is up slightly to 15 cubic feet, and the wide opening makes it easy to take advantage of the available space.
The design of the interior is still distinctively Subaru, so the materials and colors have a far different feel from your typical Camry and Accord. On higher trim levels, it's a refreshing change, but the base trim level model looked a little too plain for our tastes.
As far as the control layout goes, Subaru continues to keep it simple. The center stack has a minimal amount of buttons and knobs, and the transmission shifter is a straightforward stick in the middle of the console. Simple analog gauges are used in the instrument panel, and the steering wheel satellite controls are easy to reach with your thumbs.
What Are Its Closest Competitors? The Subaru Legacy is positioned to compete right in the heart of the midsize sedan segment, although its standard all-wheel-drive system means it can function as a more fun-to-drive alternative to compact SUVs for those who live in cold-weather climates.
The Toyota Camry is the current best-seller in this class thanks to a spacious interior, plenty of features and a reputation for reliability. Same goes for the Honda Accord, which also adds the options of both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. The Ford Fusion also offers a similarly diverse lineup.
If you need all-wheel drive, the new 2015 Chrysler 200 offers that option but only with its larger six-cylinder engine.
Why Should You Consider This Car? You want a well-rounded midsize sedan that can handle any kind of weather with barely a slipped tire. Or you just like the idea of a refined, comfortable and reliable family vehicle that looks and feels just a little bit different compared to its mainstream competitors.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car? It's not the most fuel-efficient sedan in the class, so if maximum mileage is a concern there are better choices.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2015 Subaru Legacy Overview Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2015 Subaru Legacy and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2015 Legacy featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2015 Subaru Legacy and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2015 Legacy 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2015 Legacy.
Vehicle 2.5i Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)
Review I like the Legacy. (Mine is a 2015, so some of the glitches may have been remedied.) It feels like a heavier, more expensive car than it actually is -- streets ahead of the 2003 Honda Accord I previously owned and as good or better than the 2006 Acura TSC my wife drives. Like the other Subarus I have owned (a 1982 Hatchback and a 2000 Outback) the fit & finish leaves a lot to be desired. The fuel-filler door won't open in freezing weather, which could potentially kill someone living in a climate like mine. (You're driving home at two o'clock in the morning and the only gas station is self-service. What are you going to do, find a rock and smash the fuel-filler door?) If it's seriously cold, I'll trip the fuel-filler door the previous afternoon and drive to the gas station next morning with it ajar. After a year, I'm still waiting for a real fix, rather than FILING DOWN the nubbin that secures it, as the dealer wants to do.) Worse yet, on another sub-zero morning last winter, the car wouldn't start when I came out of the gym. I phoned my genius daughter, who rummaged in my desk and found the valet key, which she speculated would work when the radio chip key didn't -- she was right! Both of these are known flaws (see the Subaru 6th Gen Legacy forums) and there is no real fix. Another serious problem is the gas mileage. 30 mph combined? Forget it! I get 28 mpg in the summer, 23 mpg in the winter, driving country roads at 30-40 mph, typically five miles in one direction. I attribute this to the CVT tranny, which turns over at 1100 rpm in warm weather, 2000 rpm in cold weather (until it gets thoroughly warmed up). Then too our gasoline is adulterated with 10 percent alcohol, unlike the EPA testers'. Finally -- and yes, I know I'm nit picking, but this is a review, right? -- it's almost impossible to read the time on the clock. You must look down at the very bottom of the dashboard, and the size is minimal. (The same is true of the temperature, which is otherwise a nice feature.) By the time your eyes are back on the road, you may have run over the neighbor's dog, or worse yet, the neighbor. But I like the car. I really do!
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The 2015 Subaru Legacy earned a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and "GOOD" ratings from the IIHS in the following caregories: Side Impact Test, Roof Strength Test, Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraint, IIHS Small Overlap Front Test Results, Moderate Overlap Front Test Results, and a JD POWER overall quality rating of 2.0 out of 5. Among Edmunds' many tools and resources for finding your perfect car are detailed safety ratings and analysis from NHTSA, IIHS, and JD Power, including overall ratings, frontal barrier crash ratings, side impact tests and crash ratings, rollover test results, roof strength tests, rear crash protection and head restraint ratings, side barrier ratings, combined side barrier and pole ratings, and more.
Available Subaru Legacy 2015 Submodel Types: Sedan, Wagon
Available Trims: 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Premium PZEV, 3.6R Limited, 2.5i Limited PZEV, 2.5i Sport, 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition, 2.5i PZEV, 2.5 GT Limited, L, 2.5 I Limited, Outback, L Special Edition, 2.5 GT, 2.5 I, 2.5GT Limited, 2.5i Sport PZEV, L 35th Anniversary Edition, 2.5 GT spec.B, 2.5 I Special Edition, 3.6R Premium, Brighton, GT, 2.5GT Premium, 3.0 R Limited, GT Limited
Exterior Colors: Twilight Blue Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Tungsten Metallic, Carbide Gray Metallic, Crimson Red, Venetian Red Pearl, Satin White Pearl, Graphite Gray Metallic, Dark Blue Pearl, Ruby Red Pearl, Lapis Blue Pearl, Atlantic Blue Pearl, Obsidian Black Pearl, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Steel Silver Metallic, Newport Blue Pearl, Deep Indigo Pearl, Diamond Gray Metallic, Azurite Blue Pearl, Seamist Green Pearl, Silver Stone Metallic, Sky Blue Metallic, Deep Bronze Metallic, Mystic Blue Pearl, Quartz Silver Metallic, Regal Blue Pearl, Regatta Red Pearl, Caramel Bronze Pearl, Harvest Gold Metallic, Deep Sapphire Pearl, Garnet Red Pearl, Glacier White, New White, Quick Silver Metallic, Seacrest Green Metallic, Timberline Green Pearl, Timberline Green Pearlcoat, Titanium Silver Metallic, White Birch
Interior Colors: Slate Black Cloth cloth, Black, Slate Black Leather leather, Warm Ivory Cloth cloth, Ivory, Two-Tone Gray Cloth cloth, Titanium Gray Cloth cloth, Warm Ivory cloth, Warm Ivory Leather leather, Slate Black cloth, Slate Black leather, Off Black cloth, Warm Ivory leather, Titanium Gray Leather leather, Gray, Ivory cloth, Taupe cloth, Taupe/Ivory cloth, Off Black, Gray Moquette, Ivory leather, Taupe, Black cloth
Popular Features: AWD/4WD, Rear Bench Seats, Alarm, Trip Computer, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Aux Audio Inputs, Tire Pressure Warning, Stability Control, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Power Driver Seat, Bluetooth, Heated seats, USB Inputs, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Back-up camera, Post-collision safety system, Sunroof/Moonroof, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Leather Seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, Keyless Entry/Start, Navigation, Upgraded Headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Pre-collision safety system, 2500lb Towing Capacity, Parking sensors, Remote Start, Upgraded Stereo