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 GMC Canyon
Canyon Goes Bigger
Most people know the GMC Canyon as the Chevrolet Colorado’s professional grade cousin. And while that sounds like just marketing speak, with an all-new design of GM’s midsize truck platform comes more genuine brand separation. So, let’s see what the third-gen GMC Canyon delivers in real time!
Small trucks are once again a big deal, and part of the reason is that they are no longer small. There’s not much about this 2023 GMC Canyon that resembles the ¼-ton Sonomas, S-10s, Rangers, and Datsun trucks that were wildly popular in the 1980s.
Of course, then, people were willing to sacrifice certain “big-truck” things for an easier to use and more economical pickup experience. Well, we don’t seem to be big on compromise for much of anything these days, and the current midsize crop of trucks deliver more than ever. So fittingly, the 2023 Canyon will be available as a Crew Cab only with a 5-foot bed. No more extended cab or long bed options. Wheelbase is about 3-inches longer than before, with the front wheels pushed more towards the front. It definitely looks tougher, and they’ve even eliminated the much-hated front air dam that protruded well below the front bumper.
The Canyon also comes exclusively with the high-output version of GM’s 2.7-liter turbocharged I-4, with a stout 310-horsepower and 430 lb-ft. of torque. At times it feels even more powerful than those numbers would indicate, with its diesel-like torque delivery enabling a best-in-class max tow rating of 7,700-lbs. No choice of transmission either, strictly 8-speed automatic, but you can still decide whether you want rear or 4-wheel-drive.
At minimum, ground clearance is 9.6-inches, which is more than an inch taller than last year, and almost 2-inches over Chevy’s base Colorado. And since it’s all about the off-road packages these days, our AT4 tester comes with 4-wheel drive, off-road suspension, locking rear diff, 2-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.
And that’s just where things get started, as at the top of the heap, there’s a new AT4X with 10.7-inches of ground clearance, enhanced front and rear e-locking differentials, 33-inch mud terrain tires, Multimatic dampers, and an additional Baja Drive Mode. We’ll have more on the AT4X real soon.
But for all Canyons, including this AT4, GMC went tech-heavy, as all get 11-inch infotainment screens and a fully digital driver display in either 8 or 11-inches. Plus, an available head up display comes with most trims, and there are even optional underbody cameras.
Unique AT4 features include a Jet Black and Timber interior motif with stitched logos on the leather front seats. Those seats are definitely comfortable, and it feels maybe a tad roomier than before, but still well shy of the sprawling space in a full-size truck. It’s even more noticeable in the rear, though there are more practical storage options back here.
The AT4 gets a sliding rear window, along with a tailgate storage system to complement the integrated ruler, and bed side-mounted 120-volt power outlet. The Canyon already delivered one of the best rides in the midsize class, and the taller suspension seems to only improve on that; it’s not quite crossover plush, but certainly great for a body on frame truck.
Though the higher ground clearance and off-road emphasis kept it from being a track star. Indeed, healthy amounts of understeer and body roll greeted us in our handling course. It was a little hesitant off the line in speed runs, but once rolling, power poured on steadily. 0-60 in only 7.5-seconds, and through the ¼-mile in 15.6-seconds at 91 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the AT4 are 17-City, 21-Highway, and 19-Combined; we averaged an acceptable 18.2 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Pricing starts with a 2-wheel-drive Elevation at $38,395. That puts it at midlevel Chevrolet Colorado, with is consistent with the mission of the new Canyon. All other trims come with 4-wheel drive, this AT4 starting at $45,395, and the AT4X now eclipsing Denali as the highest offering at $56,995.
So, as small trucks have grown, so has the price of entry. But if that doesn’t scare you off, there is no denying the 2023 GMC Canyon is yes bigger, but also bolder and badder than before. Does that necessarily make it better? We say positively yes!
- Engine: 2.7L Turbo-4
- Horsepower: 310
- 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 121 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 18.2 mpg (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed auto
- Torque: 430 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 91 mph
- EPA: 17 City / 21 Highway / 19 Combined