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More interior space, more miles per gallon, more technology than before, the list just goes on and on for the 2015 Subaru Legacy.
The next-generation Japanese mid-sizer just debuted here at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show looking like a predictably toned down version of the concept seen a few months ago in L.A. You might have already seen leaked images of the car, but as usual with Subaru, it’s what you can’t see that counts the most.
Of course, it adopts the brand’s newest design language. It gets a more heavily raked windshield that moved two inches forward compared to the old model. The grille, front fascia, flanks and rear end all share styling cues with the new WRX.
Standard exterior equipment includes 17-inch ally wheels unless you go for the upscale “Limited” trim, in which case you’re getting 18′s. But enough about that. You can see how the car looks for yourself.
It’s time to nerd out and talk mechanical changes.
You might have heard about the torque vectoring system in the WRX and its angrier STI sibling. It applies braking to the front inside wheel when necessary to improve cornering capability in those cars and… you guessed it: the new Legacy! That should improve handling in what we at AutoGuide.com all agree is already one of the best to drive in the segment. Steering will also be more responsive with a quicker ratio and fewer turns lock-to-lock.
While it’s true that passenger volume is up slightly over the outgoing model, rear seat heat, leg and shoulder room are actually a little more confined. Trunk space, on the other hand, inreases by half a cubic foot to 15.5.
Under the hood, you’re going to find the same two engines as before. That’s right, Subaru decided to keep the 2.5-liter Boxer four and a 3.6-liter Boxer six in place. Honestly, it seems like a strange move to keep the 3.6 considering the new 2.0-liter turbo makes comparable power, more torque and would probably use less fuel. C’est la vie…
Speaking of things that fall into the “too bad” column: the manual transmission model joins so many others in the scrap pile. The five-speed automatic is also gone in the 3.6R. Yes, a CVT is standard across all models and that is that.
But it probably doesn’t matter because most people already buy the automatic Legacy and this time around it’s quite a bit more efficient. Subaru expects an average 30 mpg with the four-cylinder and 23 with the six, both of which are substantial improvements.
Interior revisions include a re-designed center console and center stack, and an updated version of the company’s EyeSight safety system that can autonomously stop the car at up to 30 mph. A new rear radar system also handles cross traffic alert, blind zone monitoring and lane changing assistance.
Subaru hasn’t said what it plans to charge for the cars, but the base CVT model currently costs about $22 grand while the six-cylinder model rings in just under $30,000. Don’t be surprised if both climb a little for 2015.
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