Best in Class?
Face it. Subaru Legacy owners are just a bit different. They like what they like and, especially with regards to vehicle, they are extremely devout in their choices. Remember the Subaru Brat? Those that had them, loved them. They just like bucking the mainstream and are not shy in their convictions.
With all the excitement about Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and the like, it would be easy for potential Subaru owners to fall in line and park one of these popular vehicles in their driveway. But they don’t because they don’t want what their neighbor has. That’s a good thing because the newest Subaru Legacy is a very surprising vehicle.
Our test Legacy was outfitted with the boxer 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 175 HP. That alone speaks volumes about the vehicle and its breaking-from-the-pack attitude. In addition, it comes with fulltime all-wheel drive, meaning those runs up the rain soaked mountain road will be completed without issue. Now in its sixth generation, the Legacy has been carefully refined and while the base engine won’t snap any necks from torque output, the vehicle is packed with the stuff that segment owners are looking for. Priced lower than the competition, it is an amazing value.
While the 2.5-liter engine is just fine for most, a 3.6-liter flat six cylinder may be a good choice if you are going to take on that mountain road with any regularity. Both engines work efficiently and MPG for our four-cylinder test vehicle came in around 35 mph highway and 27 city – both of these figures BETTER than the MPG rating. Subaru credits the Lineartronic CVT system with aiding its impressive, non-hybrid mileage figures. In terms of handling and braking, the Legacy is right where you would expect it and on highway feel was quite good. Equipped with Active Torque Vectoring – as Subaru calls it – there is no torque steer issue and steering is light with decent feedback.
But where the Legacy lights up the field is with content. Our “premium level” test vehicle had a sticker price of $28,430 all in. For that you get the four-cylinder engine backed with a 6-speed automatic and the previously mentioned all-wheel drive. As is becoming more standard, the Legacy also has blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert – the latter tied nicely to the Reverse Automatic braking that keeps you out of harm’s way. All good stuff – but wait there’s more
Our test vehicle also featured Eyesight Driver’s Assist that registers traffic movement “optimizing” cruise control and alerting you when you stray from your lane. To phrase it another way, the adaptive cruise control system recognizes crash situations and will apply the brakes at maximum force to avoid interaction with other vehicles. In addition, the symmetrical all-wheel drive system works with the anti-lock braking and the driver stability controls to keep things on track.
Inside and Out
If there is an overwhelming first impression to the Legacy interior, it’s the huge number of buttons that surround the driver. Our premium level Legacy includes a very easy to use and accurate navigation, fully-automated climate split control panel and instrument panel that can be tuned to the driver’s preferred gauges and information readouts. But what is really impressive are the unique features such as REAR heated seating, keyless entry with auto door unlock and 10-way power seat with 2-position memory – so you and your spouse can quickly find just the right seat position.
In terms of comfort features, the interior is spacious (119 cubic feet – biggest in class) and smart. The Harmon-Kardon Premium audio system in our Legacy includes a 12-speak system with 576-watts of power all controlled by a 7-inch high resolution touch screen. The StarLink Multimedia system is state of the state and quickly links to just about everything electronic currently known to man. Case in point is the Siri Eyes Free system that when linked to an Apple phone will allow you to control the system through voice commands.
So . . . the Legacy is amazing. While a hybrid version might be a nice touch, for the lion’s share of buyers in this category, the Legacy is a more than able candidate to consider. If you live where the weather is iffy, especially with regards to rain, the all-wheel drive system is a game changer – especially when you consider the price of the vehicle. Good looking and brilliantly assembled, the Legacy is truly best in its class.
- CAM BENTY