Monday, November 10, 2014

Reworked Legacy is a gem in crowded field

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews of the latest motor vehicle models also can be seen on The Sacramento Bee’s website at

This review originally appeared in the October 2014 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg

Sacramento, California Welcome to the minority report, which is what you are when you’re a Subaru Legacy competing with the likes of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in the midsize sedan segment.

Never shy about entering the battle in the land of the giants, Subaru has rolled out an extensively reworked Legacy for the 2015 model year.  How many motorists will actually test drive it, or buy it?

Not a clue.

But those who don’t get a least a little time behind the wheel of the new Legacy are missing something.  This is a grade “A” job across the board.  And because it’s a Subaru, all-wheel drive is part of the standard package.

My tester was the 2.5i Premium, with a reasonable starting price of $23,495.  Nearly $3,000 in extras that included a moonroof, navigation system and some extra safety technology helped push the bottom line to $27,480.  But still, we’re well underneath the $30,000 threshold for a loaded machine.

The Legacy’s exterior look is shapely, with a nice aerodynamic curve over the top, cut-in sculpting on the bottom and a robust-looking double-tier grille on the front end.  For 2015, the windshield base was moved forward just a couple of inches, bringing a more raked look, and a better slice through the wind.  All-around vision from the cockpit is superb.

The engine is a four-cylinder, boxer-style worker that’s a marvel of efficiency at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.  And it scoots the Legacy along quite well linked to a continuously variable transmission.

When asked to give all, the power plant digs in fairly impressively to move the 3,455-pound sedan into a tight freeway hole.  City driving is a snap with the Legacy’s refined AWD and suspension systems, MacPherson strut on the front and double-wishbone on the rear.  My tester had a downright sporty feel.

Interior comfort is superb, front and back, and special noise-limiting touches make in-car conversations understandable even in dicey freeway commutes.  The trunk gets bigger this time around, with a generous 15 cubic feet of space.

The tester had lots of bells and whistles in the comfort/convenience and safety departments, leading me to speculate that Subaru was darn near handing out gratis perks given the starting price of the vehicle.

It’s worth noting that you can move up to a six-cylinder, 256-horsepower version of the 2015 Subaru Legacy for just a few thousand more bucks.  Having been pleasantly pleased with the four-banger, I can only image the thrills the six-cylinder power plant might dish up.

The bottom line is that this new Legacy is an exceptional midsize passenger from bumper to bumper.  If the Subaru marketing machine can convince enough Toyota and Honda loyalists (as well as consumers who might be on the fence about what to buy next) to just take a test drive in the Legacy, I’m guessing the automaker would win some converts.

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