2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited Review
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Subaru is a brand loved for its practicality, its economy, and its safety, all of which the 2015 Legacy 3.6R Limited has in spades.
It's not easy to stand out in the midsize sedan market, which is full of excellent, efficient, and borderline-exciting rides like the Ford Fusion, the Mazda3, and the Honda Accord. Subaru has always been a player in this segment, if a tad on the sidelines, but the brand has stepped up its game big time with the 2015 Legacy.
The most significant improvement to the Legacy is the most obvious: the entire exterior has been put right. All the old Legacy's many unnecessary creases and odd protrusions have been smoothed out into a form more befitting a car built during this century.
The 2015 has a more aggressive stance and a more cohesive flow between the grille, the headlights, and the belt line. It may not look as overtly sporty as its previous incarnation (it's been fitted with a more sophisticated aura), but the new Legacy now looks like a car that might cost more than it does, rather than one that should cost less.
Inside, the Legacy seems much more of its class, which is to say that it is practically awash with cheap plastic - some textured, some painted up to look like chrome. The Legacy's interior looks nicer than the outgoing model, but it doesn't look more expensive. That's not a bad thing, mind you - the Legacy is in line, materials-wise, with all of its competitors.
And like the more savvy brands, Subaru has embraced the notion that a boatload of typically luxury-level options can make an otherwise relatively cheap car vastly more appealing than its competitors.
As the highest trim level, the 3.6R Limited features such must-have options as a seven-inch touchscreen display, a not-too-shabby 576-watt 12-speaker audio system, and leather front and rear seats with heating all around.
Its spaciousness is the Legacy's most attractive interior feature, however. Subaru has managed to grow the interior space to a best-in-class 104 cu. ft., while also expanding trunk space to 15 cu. ft.
You won't mistake your Legacy for a luxury car from the inside, but you'll be plenty comfortable, and you'll find that all the controls and compartments are ergonomically appropriate.
Both of the Legacy 3.6R Limited's two available option packages feature a moonroof along with keyless entry and push-button start.
With its 3.6-liter flat-six (carried over from the previous generation), this Legacy Limited is the fastest available. That may be fine for the great majority of Legacy buyers, but it lacks the immediacy and sportiness of its best competitors, especially since Subaru dropped the manual transmission option in favor of a not-too-intrusive-but-still-not-as-fun-as-a-manual CVT.
Still, the Legacy Limited handles capably, its steering sensibly (although not sportily) tuned and its acceleration adequate, if never exactly entertaining.
But Subaru has never been the most exciting brand (BRZ excepted) - it's a brand loved for its practicality, its economy, and its safety, all of which the 2015 Legacy Limited has in spades.
Safety-wise, the Legacy is ahead of the pack with its optional EyeSight system, in addition to other more typical safety features, like lane-change assist, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot detection.
EyeSight is a semi-autopilot system that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, stereo cameras, and steering-responsive fog lights.
With 20 mpg city and 29 highway, the Legacy Limited offers impressive fuel economy as well, and that, along with the fact that it's the only car in its class available with all-wheel-drive, gives it a considerable edge.
Transmission: Continuously variable automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Power Output: 256 hp / 247 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 20 city / 29 highway
Price (base): $29,595
Price (as tested): $33,380 (includes $795 delivery fee)
Moonroof Package: moonroof, keyless entry, push-button start, navigation
Moonroof Package Plus: Moonroof Package, plus EyeSight safety system