2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Touring CVT. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Jacob Black
The Subaru Legacy is the somewhat forgotten stalwart of the quirky Japanese marque’s stable. The archetypal middle child, the Legacy has been outshone by its Impreza/XV Crosstrek, Outback and WRX/STI brethren of late. It has also lagged in sales.
Relaunched for 2014 as a 2015 model, the Legacy sports a similar shape and a carryover set of engines but some sharpened styling and some dramatic improvements.
Critically, Subaru has upgraded the three major shortfalls of the previous generation Legacy, the infotainment system, the interior and the transmission. It was these changes and Subaru’s lofty goals – they aim to improve Legacy sales by 50 percent – that had us excited to take on a long-term test.
And as a rare treat, we’ve been given one of the volume sellers, a 2.5i Touring CVT with Technology package. This $28,995 edition is smack-bang in the middle of the Legacy pricing lineup; it comes with the 2.5L four-cylinder, plus all of the EyeSight technologies that consumers will enjoy. It also has the base infotainment system – and that’s important because we rarely get to test the audio and HMI that most people use. I for one have already missed the navigation though. We journos are a pampered lot!
Apart from navigation, this Legacy has most of the features with the paddle-shift CVT, full-time all-wheel drive and brake-powered active torque vectoring, as well as EyeSight features, pre-collision braking, pre-collision brake assist, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane sway warning and lead vehicle start alert. It also has blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, and rear-cross traffic alert.
Adding to the impressive laundry list is a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, 6.2-inch touchscreen based infotainment with Sirius XM, Bluetooth and Subaru Starlink mobile phone link, back-up camera, steering responsive foglights, proximity key with push-button start and moonroof.
The styling improvements are positive with more angular, squared off shapes and smoother lines down the sides of the car. This new Legacy is slightly bigger. It’s 20 mm wider and 41 mm longer but 5 mm shorter in overall height. The wheelbase has remained the same. The upshot is 10 extra litres of cargo volume in the trunk and 24L more interior volume. For more of the changes check out our 2015 Subaru Legacy First Drive.
2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Touring CVT dashboard, gauges, centre stack. Click image to enlarge
For 2015 the Legacy is available with the same 2.5L horizontal four or the 3.6L six. We’ve been blessed with the 2.5L four, mated to Subaru’s stepped CVT. The CVT has six artificial steps in normal driving and eight in spirited modes. The paddle shifters really make this CVT and we’ve so far found the shifts between steps to be creamy smooth and ultra fast. There is no mooing, and only a small amount of initial throttle lag. The CVT undoubtedly helps fuel consumption. Under the new five-cycle measurement, the four-cylinder Legacy will achieve a 9.0 L/100 km city and 6.5 L/100 km highway rating (7.9 combined). Less than one week in and we’re sitting on 8.4, which includes a lot of city driving and two two-hour drives along the highway.