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Redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy promises welcomed improvements

The new sedan broadens its appeal through fuel economy, space, and connectivity

Published: February 06, 2014 05:45 PM

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Looking sleeker and more stylish, if somewhat derivative of various other midsize sedans, the new Legacy is going mainstream. And that may not be a bad thing.

Subaru is promising a roomier, quieter and more refined Legacy, along with a much-needed connectivity and infotainment update, a deficiency that potentially has been giving some people a pause before buying a Subaru.

The same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine used in the current Legacy is used in the new car, now tweaked for greater efficiency and refinement. Available in all trim levels, it also gets a 2-hp power boost to 175-hp. Top-level Limited trim will also be available with the 256-hp, 3.6-liter boxer 6, but this time, that engine is also mated to a continuously variable transmission. Claimed overall fuel economy is 30 mpg for the four-cylinder and 23 mpg with the six—not bad for an all-wheel-drive car.

Photo: Toshi Oku

Exterior dimensions are about the same as the outgoing model, but Subaru is claiming increases in shoulder, hip, and legroom. A new infotainment system for base models includes a 6.2-inch touch screen and multifunction display, with the Subaru Starlink telematics system, Internet radio, rearview camera, and Bluetooth. Uplevel models add a larger seven-inch screen, SMS text messaging, and upgraded audio. Models equipped with navigation get voice-command capability.

New safety features include a standard rearview camera on all versions, and an available new rear radar system with blind spot, cross traffic, and lane change warnings.  

The current Legacy is a solid midsized sedan, and it remains among the limited, non-luxury-brand choices with all-wheel drive. But we found its electronics and connectivity behind the curve, and the CVT makes for too much engine revving and noise. We’re hoping the new model addresses those shortcomings. And, of course, that those changes carry over to the more popular Outback.

The redesigned Legacy goes on sale this summer.

   

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