James Flammang
Contributing Editor - August 18, 2015

2016 Subaru Legacy OVERVIEW

Totally redesigned for 2015, Legacy is one of the few passenger cars with standard all-wheel drive, like nearly every Subaru. Closely related to the Outback wagon, the midsize sedan has long provided excellent all-around value. Ranking among the most sensible and practical cars on the market, Legacy has plenty of safety features and a reputation for fuel efficiency. For any sedan shopper seeking a lot of car for the money, the Legacy needs to be on the shopping list.

What's New for 2016

Two versions of the Subaru Starlink Safety and Security group are new for 2016: Safety Plus, and Safety Plus & Security Plus. Subaru’s available EyeSight driver-assist technology adds Lane Keep Assist. Electric power steering has been retuned for a more linear feel. A new auto on/off mode operates wipers with the headlights.

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) engine that sends 175 horsepower to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which has manual mode and paddle shifters. An Active Grille Shutter system aims to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance. The top-rung Legacy 3.6R Limited gets a 3.6-liter V6 that develops 256 horsepower, with a high-torque CVT.

Subaru’s available EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, and Lane Departure and Sway Warning, as well as the new 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/36 mpg highway with the four-cylinder engine, but only 20/29 mpg (city/highway) with the six-cylinder.

Four trim levels are offered:


Starting at $22,540 (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 a CD player, Bluetooth with audio streaming, iPod control with USB and auxiliary inputs, and HD radio. A rearview backup camera is standard. So are split-folding rear seats and automatic headlights.

2.5i Premium

Adding $2,100 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, electro-luminescent instrument panel, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Options include navigation, a moonroof, and Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance package.

2.5i Limited

For $3,000 more than Premium, the top four-cylinder Legacy adds perforated leather-trimmed seat upholstery, a driver’s seat memory, heated rear seats, foglights, woodgrain trim, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The 575-watt Harman Kardon Surround audio system plays through a dozen speakers. Blind-spot detection and cross traffic alert also are standard. Navigation, EyeSight, and a moonroof are optional, as is pushbutton start with PIN code access.

3.6R Limited

Topping the chart, the 3.6R is priced $3,100 higher than the 2.5i Limited. Stepping up to the 256-horsepower six-cylinder engine, it adds paddle shifters, high-intensity-discharge headlights, and stainless steel exhaust tips. Here too, options include navigation, EyeSight, 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, including advanced safety features, for less than $25,000.

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