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MPG

24 City / 33 Highway
James FlammangJames Flammang, Contributing Editor -

Totally redesigned for the 2015 model year, Legacy is one of the few passenger cars with standard all-wheel drive, which has been Subaru’s most notable benefit. Closely related to the Outback wagon, the midsize Legacy sedan has long provided excellent all-around value. The Legacy has plenty of available safety features and a reputation for fuel-efficiency. For any sedan shopper seeking a lot of practical car for the money, Subaru’s Legacy needs to occupy a prominent spot on the shopping list.

What's New for 2017

Subaru’s larger sedan adds two new trim levels for 2017: Sport and Touring. The Legacy 2.5i Sport features some unique styling touches, including a two-tone interior, dark gray grille, and sport-styled 18-inch wheels. The Touring edition serves as the new “flagship” model. Reverse automatic braking is a new active-safety feature, available as part of the EyeSight package.

Choosing Your Subaru Legacy

In its current form, Legacy styling is more enticing than in the past, with a slippery profile that helps boost fuel economy. Most Legacy sedans hold a 2.5-liter four-cylinder “boxer” (flat, or horizontally-opposed) engine, which sends 175 horsepower to an automated continuously variable transmission (CVT) that incorporates manual mode and paddle shifters. An Active Grille Shutter system aims to improve gas mileage by reducing wind resistance. The top-rung Legacy 3.6R Limited contains a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque, coupled with a high-torque CVT.

Subaru’s available EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane-departure and sway warning, reverse automatic braking, and Lane Keep assist. If the EyeSight camera detects drifting, Lane Keep directs the vehicle back into its correct lane.

Fuel economy is estimated at 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway (29 mpg combined) with the four-cylinder engine, but only 20/28 mpg city/highway (23 mpg combined) with the six-cylinder.

Six trim levels are offered:

2.5i

Starting at $22,815 (including destination charge), the entry-level Legacy has the 2.5-liter engine and a selection of powered components. The 6.2-inch touchscreen radio includes four speakers, a CD player, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, iPod control with USB and auxiliary inputs, and HD radio. A rearview backup camera is standard. So are split-folding rear seats, 17-inch steel wheels, and automatic headlights.

2.5i Premium

Adding $2,000 to the 2.5i price, the Premium edition features heated front seats and mirrors, a 10-way power driver’s seat, windshield de-icer, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Also standard are a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle, woodgrain trim, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Options include navigation, a moonroof, and Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance package.

2.5i Sport

Priced at $26,815, the new 2.5i Sport has a unique dark gray grille, chrome rocker-panel trim, and new sport-styled 18-inch wheels. The two-tone Sport cabin features a carbon-fiber appearance on the dashboard and door panels, with piano-black trim around the switches.

2.5i Limited

For $29,660, the Limited adds perforated leather-trimmed seat upholstery, a driver’s seat memory, heated rear seats, foglamps, woodgrain trim, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The 576-watt Harman Kardon Surround audio system plays through a dozen speakers. Blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert also are standard, including lane-change assist. Navigation, EyeSight, and a moonroof are optional, as is pushbutton start with PIN code access.

2.5i Touring

Topping the pricing structure at $35,995, Subaru’s new “flagship” Legacy has several distinctive styling touches, including a dark gray grille insert, machine-finished 18-inch wheels with dark gray accents, and low-profile roof rails, and chromed lower cladding. Interiors feature brown leather-trimmed upholstery with contrasting ivory stitching, accented by unique woodgraining and piano-black switch trim. Subaru’s 3.6-liter engine and high-torque CVT can substitute for the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder.

3.6R Limited

Sticker-priced at $32,460, the 3.6R Limited steps up to the 256-horsepower six-cylinder engine, also adding paddle shifters, high-intensity-discharge headlights, and stainless steel exhaust tips. Here too, options include navigation, the EyeSight safety group, and a moonroof.

CarsDirect Tip

Although the six-cylinder 3.6R may be tempting, even that version doesn’t qualify as a sport sedan. Most drivers will be fully satisfied with an energetic, and more fuel-efficient, 2.5i model. Picking a 2.5i Premium provides most of the equipment that buyers in this class typically want and need, including some advanced safety features, for less than $25,000. Don’t forget the optional EyeSight suite of contemporary active-safety features.

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