After seven days, 1,200 kilometres, and no less than two highway trips at 4.5 hours apiece, your writer and one 2016 Subaru Legacy Touring had become properly acquainted on the open road. Interestingly appropriate, too: the tester wore the Touring designation, suggesting an inclination towards delivery of comfortable hours-long voyages.
Touring indeed. Over many miles, the tester proved itself to be an excellent long-haul highway companion for a variety of simple and effective reasons.
First, a peaceful smoothness. The Legacy’s CVT transmission doesn’t shift through stepped gears, so a slight squeeze on the throttle is met by a slight surge ahead, without a downshift, or associated squirm from the driveline. When climbing hills, passing, merging, or adjusting one’s velocity for changing speed limits, the 2.5L boxer engine is smooth and relaxed. It’s notably quiet and effortless at low revs, even if it does get somewhat hoarse when pushed. Push the throttle harder, and the CVT imitates the kick-down and upshifts you’ll feel in a regular automatic; but when driven gently, it’s smooth, seamless, and step-less.
Then, the ride. Legacy feels big and solid on its feet, the long wheelbase helping it soak up imperfect road conditions with little fuss. Suspension is set on the soft side, though not excessively. Even moderately rough highway stretches do little to entice harshness or noise from beneath, and from the cabin, the Legacy feels and sounds rigid, dense, and substantial. Notably, that feel and sound are largely maintained regardless of the surface beneath. Even rougher roads are met with the same response from the underpinnings: little more than a slight roar from the suspension, and a thick, solid sensation that calls ride quality of numerous luxury-branded models to mind. The suspension feels dialed-in, calibrated, and fine-tuned, almost no matter what’s passing underfoot.
Steering is nicely set up for hours of cruising, too. There’s enough weight to keep the Legacy centred solidly within its lane, and a steering ratio that’s a touch on the quick and playful side, though set finely against the suspension calibrations. At speed, the steering is fuss free—Legacy follows your direction with minimal need of correction, though the quick ratio, rigid body and softly sporty suspension elicit favourable reactions should drivers whip it around a little.
A long, long haul… Long-Term Test Wrap-up: 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i
Legacy’s driving environment further supports long-haul comfort. The driving position is laid back, though tall windows, generous visibility and good outward sightlines give drivers a superior command of the goings on in the world around them. Plenty of at-hand storage, covered and otherwise, helps to keep things organized and uncluttered on the move, and the centre console is mounted low in the cabin, enhancing the sense of space. The bright and airy two-tone colour scheme displayed throughout the tester’s cabin furthered the effect. Rear seats are adult friendly, and even four leggy adults could travel with space to spare.