2015 Subaru Legacy
The Subaru Legacy has been around long enough to actually have a legacy. That’s 26 years and counting as a comfortable, affordable, reliable family sedan choice. It’s also mirrored the legacy of the Subaru brand itself: delivering all-weather capabilities in a slightly quirky package. Well, an all-new Legacy is looking to update both histories, while also going a bit more mainstream.
The Subaru Legacy sedan has always labored in the popularity shadow of the Outback Sport Utility Wagon with which it once again shares a platform. So, what does the 2015 Legacy bring to the table to warrant more of the spotlight?
Well, for one thing, smoother, more mainstream styling. It looks like Subaru is taking a page out of the Honda Accord book by making the Legacy silkier, if also more conservative.
And that’s OK if, like the Accord, you design the car to be appealing as an entire package, and not just a shiny object of great desire that lacks good practicality and purpose. And, without a doubt, the Legacy has come a long way towards becoming that type of very desirable car.
And perhaps that’s why they didn’t stretch too much on the powertrains as both engines carry over from last year. The 2.5-liter flat-4 sees a minor 2-horsepower gain to 175, and will still be the choice for most buyers. Our car’s very robust 3.6-liter flat-6 carries over unchanged with 256-horsepower and 247 lb-ft. of torque
No manual or traditional automatics are offered, as a CVT is the only transmission. And it works surprisingly well this go around, being smoother with fewer…quirks!
Plus, it has helped raise the 6’s fuel economy numbers, though they still aren’t stellar; perhaps that‘s because all-wheel-drive is still standard. Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 20-City, 29-Highway, and 23-Combined for the six. We averaged 25.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular in a mixed loop of driving. If you don’t mind sluggish acceleration the 2.5 four has 30% better fuel economy.
At our test track, Subaru’s CVT performed quite well when combined with our snappy 3.6-six. The simulated shifting was strong and accompanied by a nice surge of power as the RPMs dipped ever so slightly. 0 to 60 was dispatched in a reasonable 7.3 seconds, and we ended the quarter-mile in 15.7-seconds at 92 miles-per-hour.
A much stiffer chassis and some honest to goodness heft to the wheel helps the Legacy also perform with more composure and sportiness than most rivals. Things are way more fun to drive than last year, with a definite hike in chassis feedback, and an overall demeanor that’s more Mazda6 than Camry.
Steering is quick and precise for both inputs and corrections, and handling prowess is aided by brake intervention Active Torque Vectoring. Overall braking performance fell back to about average, however, with some minor fade. Stops of 125-feet from 60 were smooth and straight.
Things are well above average inside, particularly in Limited trim……and now we pause from this road test to say thank you, thank you, thank you to Subaru for finally putting in a non-frustrating navigation system. With this latest infotainment system, they’ve went from absolutely one of the worst units to one of the best.
Everything is clear, the colors really pop, and the street names are highly legible. Even the variable touch buttons work well. It’s a huge improvement both visually and functionally, and as much grief as we’ve given them over the years, we’d better spend some time praising, now that they’ve gotten it right.
Gauges are also both more informative and clearer, and again, thank you Subaru, for bringing back a real coolant temperature gauge. A backup camera is now standard on all Legacy’s too, but the feature packed Limited also gets leather heated seating front and rear, a 576-watt Harmon Kardon audio system, and blind spot detection.
Seats all-around deliver great comfort and most interior measurements are up just slightly; even trunk capacity climbs a little to 15.0 cubic-ft before you fold the split rear seats.
Legacy base pricing also climbs slightly to $22,490 for the 2.5i. The 3.6R comes in top tier Limited trim only, and stickers for $30,390.
It’s clear to us that Subaru has listened to current owners and changed only what needed to be changed. The new Legacy may be less quirky, but in it stead is a high quality car that’s not nearly as sedate as it looks. Plus, even though it’s more mainstream, it still offers standard all-wheel drive, something still unique to the affordable mid-size family sedan segment. The 2015 Subaru Legacy deserves it’s time in the spotlight. We’re very favorably impressed with the result.
- Horsepower: 256
- Engine: 3.6 liter
- Torque: 247 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 7.3 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 15.7 seconds @ 92 mph
- EPA: 20 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined