The general conscious on the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy that is making its world premiere at the Chicago Auto Show seems to be that, while the crispier design is a welcome change over the more bloated styling of the model it replaces, it’s disappointing that the Japanese firm wasn’t bold enough to stick closer to the well-received concept from the 2013 LA show.
The 2015 Legacy has a similar footprint to the previous model, retaining the same 108.3-inch (2,751mm) wheelbase, but growing in length by 1.6-inches (41mm) to 188.8 inches (4,795mm) overall.
Subaru says that, thanks to better packaging, the new model offers a roomier passenger cabin at 104.6 cu. ft., up from 103 cu. ft., with gains in shoulder, hip, elbow and leg room (38.1 inches for the rear passengers), while trunk capacity is also up from 14.7 cu. ft. (416 liters) to 15.0 cu. Ft (425 liters)
There are also promises made about improved quality, noise, feel and refinement in the cabin, which is said to use new soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles for a “more premium feel” – always according to Subaru.
New features include a one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals, a “significantly upgraded” infotainment system available with a 6.2-inch or 7.0-inch multi-function touch screen display, the latest version of Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system with improved camera performance, and a host of available safety technologies, including rear radar with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Under the bonnet, there’s a choice of an updated 2.5-liter four-pot boxer engine with a slight increase in power, from 173hp to 175hp, while peak torque remains the same at 174 lb-ft, or a 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer that is unchanged from last year producing 256 hp and 247 lb-ft.
For 2015, all Legacy models will come fitted with a standard Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. All-wheel drive will come as standard on all models, as will Subaru’s Active Torque Vectoring system.
Subaru estimates that the 2.5L will return an improved fuel economy of 26 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined, with the 3.6L also seeing at least 10 percent improvements at 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 combined.
You’ll be able to get a taste of the new Legacy in the States this summer, when it will launch in three available trims for the 2.5L (Standard, Premium and Limited), accompanied by the range-topping 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited.
By John Halas