Odometer at pick-up: 856 km
Odometer current: 6,599 km (5,743 km by Autos.ca)
Observed Fuel Consumption: 8.6 L/100 km
Fuel costs: $580.19
Well, the Subaru Legacy faced down its only six-cylinder all-wheel drive competitor, and though we felt the all-new Chrysler 200 had the edge in enough key areas to warrant a win, the Subaru asserted its superiority in driving quality and dynamics.
As we stated in our first update, the Legacy is composed and competent, comfortable absorbing rough roads smoothly and suitably consistent and confident when tackling corners at increasing rates of speed. A shame the tires are so comfort oriented, or you could really have some fun.
In our AWD sedan comparison, we borrowed a six-cylinder Legacy to face off with the V6 200, but that was only a brief reprieve from our base 2.5i four-cylinder boxer engine, both mated to continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). Obviously there’s quite the power differential, the H6 pumping out 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of satisfying torque while the 2.5i trims manage with 175 hp and 174 lb-ft, delivered at 5,800 and 4,400 rpm. That’s not a huge power reserve for a mid-size sedan weighing 1,598 kg.
2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Touring, engine bay, gauges. Click image to enlarge
Depending on my mood (or how much coffee I had), I find the power perfectly adequate or painfully lacking. If you aren’t spoiled by more powerful V6s, V8s or low-rpm, high-torque turbos, it will likely seem nothing less than fitting for an average family sedan, but it’s not fast, nor does it need to be – there’s that six-cylinder for those that want fast.
The CVT is effective at managing power and generally unobtrusive, but it’s not entirely free of the sudden surging revs typical of CVTs when you get on the accelerator, but at steady cruising and low-effort acceleration it’s essentially invisible and overall is one of the better transmissions in the segment. However, the 2.5L horizontally opposed four-cylinder isn’t the most pleasant sounding engine either, so in high density traffic that is moving at moderate speeds, all the braking and acceleration and the corresponding engine noise aren’t my favourite part of the Legacy experience.
However, one of my favourite parts of the Legacy experience is when I relinquish control in high-density traffic. Subaru’s EyeSight provides adaptive cruise control, and it is a godsend on busy rush-hour commutes, or even low-traffic drives on the highway. Just set the speed, chose your minimum safe distance and the car gently manages braking and throttle (avoiding aggressive acceleration and the noises for the most part), leaving you to simply steer and signal lane changes. It also provides a warning if you’re closing too quickly on a car ahead, whether you have cruise engaged or not (and will brake if you fail to, avoiding or decreasing severity of a collision), warns you if you stray from your lane, beeps when a car ahead has moved away from a light.
2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Touring front storage, rear seats with child seats installed, trunk. Click image to enlarge