2015 Subaru Legacy

2015 Subaru Legacy

Episode 3404
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

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.  

Specifications

  • 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
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.