I’ll start this review by saying congrats to Subaru Legacy for winning the 2015 AJAC Canadian Car of the year award. And for winning the Best New Family Car Under $30,000. And for receiving the 2015 IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus when equipped with their innovating “EyeSight Driver Assist Technology”. And for being a Top Safety Pick for 2015 from the IIHS. And for being the only manufacturer to win Top Safety Picks for all models (not a typo) for six consecutive years (2010 – 2015). And the Automotive Lease Guide recognizes them as the Best Mainstream Brand along with their Residual Value Award for a mid-size car. Oh, and there’s the ever-impressive statistic that says over 97% of Subaru vehicles sold in Canada over the past 10 years are still on the road.
How’s that for a leaving a Legacy in the mid-size market?
Ok, ok, bad puns aside, my week in the 2016 Subaru Legacy clearly illustrated why they’ve been recognized and honored in the auto world. What strengthens the Legacy’s reputation is that it’s up against perennial powerhouses including the Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and the Hyundai Sonata. Standing out in this crowded room is no easy task but Subaru found a way with its sixth-generation offering.
With nine different configurations, a six-speed manual transmission option on the 2.5i and 2.5i Touring (full marks for offering that!) and two engines (4-cylinder, 2.5L Boxer engine, 175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft. of torque and the 6-cylinder, 3.6L Boxer engine, 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft. of torque) with eight different color options, Subaru has given the consumer plenty of choices.
For a week in October, I drove the 2.5i Touring with Technology Package bathed in the beautiful Venetian Red Pearl exterior, which only made the car more attractive. You could paint the Legacy with 12 different colors all at the same time and the smooth lines, strong stance and handsome looks would still shine through. Having it sit on 17” wheels only adds to the overall exterior appeal.
A swooping roofline gives it a coupe-esque feel and the sharp-looking front and rear lights bookend the car beautifully.
Driving wise, the 2.5L motor with CVT didn’t feel sluggish at all. There was a healthy amount of responsiveness from what my right foot dictated and no issues on getting up to highway speeds.
Standard on all Legacy offerings, Active Torque Vectoring will help those who find themselves in too sharp of a turn by adding stronger brake responsiveness to the inside front wheel. The standard-on-all-vehicles all-wheel drive is always an added bonus.
While it won’t win you any races, know that the 2.5L Boxer engine will do what you ask of it with little objection, if any. Handling, cornering and straightaways are executed with easy and accuracy.
Besides, if you want something that will win you races, Subaru has other muscular options for you.
The biggest standout for me while driving was the high amount of visibility. With a wider view of what’s going on around you, the higher your chances of a quicker reaction. According to Subaru, we can thank a more raked windshield, relocated A-pillar, front quarter windows and door-mounted side mirrors.
The available (although I wish it was standard on all vehicles) EyeSight Technology includes lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, sway warning, pre-collision throttle management, all through two cameras mounted at the top of the windshield. So even though you’re probably a superb driver (aren’t we all?), having an extra set of eyes only helps keep the Legacy collision free.
Also, the steering responsive fog lights are a nice added safety touch, along with the rear view camera that’s standard on all models.
And hey, if the folks at the IIHS support it, you should too because if there’s technology available to keep you and your passengers safer, why wouldn’t you utilize it?
Inside, the 2016 Legacy is absolutely beautiful, starting with those oh-so comfortable premium cloth, 10-way adjustable power seats (leather is available on higher trim models) that gave me an ideal and comfortable seating position nearly immediately.
Anchored by a 6.2” touchscreen infotainment system that’s easier to operate than a Sunday morning, the Legacy’s interior is clean and simple leaning towards maximum technology through a minimalistic approach, including a fully integrated, tilt and telescopic steering wheel.
Passenger comfort levels are high (my trusty and brutally honest girlfriend, Laura, will vouch for that) and thanks to Subaru’s engineering team, ride quality is high and interior road noise is quiet. All the better for listening to music through a six-speaker audio system that’s impressive.
Rear seat space is good for three and indeed comfortable, although it’s better suited for two passengers for longer trips. Trunk space caps out at 425L for your city stops as well as cottage/road trips.
There’s an option to pick from a four pre-set audio settings (pop, rock, jazz, flat) or to customize your own EQ settings. There they go again with giving us Canadians lots of choice.
The 5” LCD dashboard is also cleanly laid out giving you all your relevant info at a glance and is easy to scroll through for additional info.
Subaru has found a smart and safe way to cut through the noise and offer drivers an attractive, tech-filled vehicle that offers a smooth, comfortable ride along with great fuel economy for a 70L tank of 87 octane (9.0 city, 6.5 highway, 7.9 combined via L/100km).
With the base 2.5 starting at $23,495 to the all done up 3.6R Limited with Technology package at $35,495, there’s plenty of Legacy to suit consumers needs.
The standard all-wheel drive across the board and available EyeSight Technology is wonderful and this once dark horse is gaining lengths with each offering.
Subaru are doing a plethora of things right and finally, the every picky and selective Canadian consumer is starting to notice this niche automaker more than ever before.
So it appears that yes, if you build it, they will indeed come.
2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Touring with Technology Package: $28,995
Freight and PDI : $1,595
Yay: Styling, handling, interior space, mileage, multiple award winner
Nay: Should have EyeSight Tech standard on all models