Words: Don Cheng
Photography: Don Cheng
Published: April 13, 2016
Time for a pop quiz! Which Subaru four-door sedan has been around since the 90’s and has long been regarded as the flagship sedan of the brand? Sounds like an Impreza right? Wrong. It is actually Subaru’s mid-size sedan, the Legacy. Fun fact: the Legacy was originally designed to compete against the likes of Audi and BMW.
But the Legacy of today aims for a different market. Now in its sixth generation, Subaru’s premium sedan puts its crosshairs at the venerable Japanese kings that populate the roads of today: the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Legacy however plays a conservative game, one that may lack some of the styling quirkiness found in some of Subaru’s older models.
Taking a mixed bag of design elements from various mainstream manufacturers, the Legacy is wont to please. However, the need to please is a double-edged sword, and the sedan looks rather bland in the flesh. With a grill mimicking a Ford Taurus and headlights that resembling a Hyundai Sonata, our first impressions are uninspiring.
We like what is happening under the skin though: motor choices are two-fold. Like the Outback, customers get the choice between a 3.6-litre flat-six and a 2.5-litre flat-four. This tester received the latter four-cylinder, with power output reaching 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque.
Utilizing all of that twist is Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT. Optimized for the four-cylinder motor, Subaru notes that the unit is quieter and more fuel efficient than the more powerful 3.6R, which we partly agree upon. Our fuel consumption was stellar, but we did feel like this CVT was a tad bit noisier.
Furthermore, utilizing the six fixed ratios allowed for some quick “shifts” but it lacked the wholesome engagement of a traditional automatic, or even a proper six-speed manual for that matter. Thankfully, you could option a Legacy with three pedals but only in base models.
As per usual Subaru affair, power is delivered to all four wheels via the company’s famed Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. We’re also happy to see that all CVT models receive the brake based torque vectoring system, and while it may be down on power, the Legacy takes off from the line like a tiny hyperactive dog. It’s not the lightest sedan nor is it the fastest, but the flat-four eagerly scampers up to speed with a touch of the pedal.
Driving the Legacy felt a lot like its taller brother, the Outback. Though it doesn’t have the added ride height, the Legacy’s high seating position and expansive outward visibility made it feel like it did. Steering and throttle response was excellent yet the chassis and steering rack felt numb. At times, we felt simultaneously connected and disconnected with the car.
In an effort to keep noise, vibration and harshness to a minimum, the sedan saw a modest amount of body roll when attacking a corner at speed. Understeer is also prevalent; the Legacy's torque vectoring feature is an invaluable asset in these scenarios as it brakes the front inner wheel for better handling around corners.
Aside from engine options, the Legacy comes with two trims: Touring and Limited. Our tester was loaded up with the less expensive Touring trim, so we didn’t get all the bells and whistles that the Legacy has to offer.
Cosmetically, Touring owners aren’t missing much: cloth seats are present instead leather, and the wood grain trim doesn’t make an appearance. There are some dummy buttons present, but fit and finish on both models remains spot on. Like the Outback, quality materials are used where it counts, such as those thick padded armrests.
Despite having an in-house six speaker sound system, it’s easily one of the worst in the industry. Bass is virtually non-existent and the sound is tinny and shrill. As the DJ Khaled saying goes, the Harman Kardon sound is “Major Key”. Without it, the difference is night and day. Be warned though, it only is available on Limited trims.
One package that cannot be skipped is the optional Tech Package. Checking this box adds Subaru’s full suite of EyeSight safety equipment. Drivers are rewarded with adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, and lane departure warnings to ensure maximum safety.
Believe me when I say, this Subaru is as safe as it gets. Having earned top honours from the IIHS year after year, you could literally hurl the car into a wall and walk away unscathed – which is usually what they do in these safety tests anyways. A back up camera comes standard in all Legacys but the rear/side vehicle detection system is only standard on Touring models.
As tested, this 2.5i Legacy Touring rings out to a fiver under $29,000. It just so happens that this is the exact spec I would recommend to buyers. Those with long commutes and a penchant for music instead of AM radio might want to consider the Limited model with the Harman Kardon sound. That will set you back an additional $2,500, putting it right in line with similarly loaded 4-cylinder Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys – the only difference being Subaru’s award winning safety, EyeSight features, and symmetrical AWD.
Subaru may have originally intended the Legacy to fight amongst Audi A4s and BMW 3-Series’ of yesterday, but what they have ended up doing is creating a product that offers a solid leg-up over economy four-doors of today. Providing a combination of year-round driveability in our fickle climate, and some of the best safety features known to man, the Legacy may have missed the stars, but it certainly landed on the moon.
型号 Model: 2016 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Touring
顏色 Paint Type: Venetian Red Pearl
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $23,495
試車售價 Price as Tested: $28,995
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,750
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,796 / 1,840 / 1,500
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,598
引擎 Engine: 2.5-litre horizontally opposed 4-cylinder BOXER
最大馬力 Horsepower: 175 hp @ 5,800 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 174 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: Lineartronic CVT
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 9.3 / 7.1 / 8.3
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 10.1
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 225/55R17; Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max