The 6th Generation Subaru Legacy is Heading Our Way
A hit during the latest Montreal International Auto Show, the Subaru Legacy is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the launch of the 6th generation, which went into production last May 29th at the Lafayette, Indiana production facility.
We were there, along with a group of automotive journalists who, like us, were invited by the Japanese manufacturer to visit the production facility that has been recognized as the safest in North America. The facility, which produces the Legacy and Outback duo, as well as the Toyota Camry, has acquired an enviable reputation for the quality of the vehicles it produces, while also being recognized as a safe and ecologically advanced facility.
During our visit, we had the chance to see the latest Legacy parked proudly in front of the facility, alongside the very first ‘’job one’’ Legacy produced in September 1989.
At the Wheel of the Very First 2015 Legacy
After an impressive site visit, the time came to put the newly assembled product to the test, a new model, which, we must admit, is much more stylish than its predecessors. For those of us who had the chance to see the Legacy Concept at the Montreal International Auto Show in January, the result may be quite similar, but it’s a far cry from the breathtaking design of the concept vehicle. But the overall theme is present in the front end of the vehicle… witness the superior fog light design. Subaru officials are quick to acknowledge that the exterior design of past models was a major weakness when compared to the competition offerings.
As for the interior, it is stylish, comfortable, and displays obvious good taste. The infotainment system has caught up to, and surpassed, the competitive offerings. Start the engine and go, and you will quickly appreciate the low noise level of both cabin and suspension. The spacious interior, the numerous comfort and entertainment options, as well its world-class safety features, are among the many strong points of this newest Subaru.
In this extremely competitive category, the Subaru sedan remains an unknown quantity. However, for a base price of $23,495, it is the only vehicle that offers all-wheel drive. An advantage that will surely grab the attention of fleet managers who are looking for vehicles used by sales reps who travel outside of urban areas during the winter months.
The Legacy offers six option packages powered by either a four or a six-cylinder engine: a 2.5 liter Boxer-type 4-cylinder (175 hp and 174 lb-ft torque) and a 3.6 liter 6-cylinder Boxer-type engine (256 hp and 247 lb-ft torque). The Limited version tops the lineup at $35,395. A “Canada-only” manual transmission base version is available, which will surely please many die-hards!
If most intermediate sedan buyers are thinking Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata and Mazda 6, as new car sales figures show, it’s that they are under the false impression that the Legacy is more expensive. ‘’ This isn’t the case,’’ as Subaru Canada Public Relations Manager Joe Felstein was quick to point out.
Longer and wider by a slim margin, the new Legacy shows a 43% improvement in torsional stiffness and 35% increase in bending stiffness. These numbers are evident by the way it responds to driver inputs during spirited driving.
Subaru officials found twisting and bumpy roads for our driving enjoyment, as well as an automatic braking zone to test the 3rd generation (already!) EyeSight system which provides automatic braking for those moments when your attention to what’s ahead of you could be better.
TECHNICAL SPECS OF THE 4-CYLINDER TOURING MODEL
Engine: 4-cyl 2.5L
Transmission: automatic (CVT) 1-speed
Power: 175 hp/174 lb-ft
Brakes: Discs with ABS
Top speed : 240 km/h
Average fuel economy (according to new 2015 charts) : 9.0 L/100 km (city), 6.5 L/100 km (highway)
Price of vehicles tested: $28,995 (+$1595 delivery and preparation)
Photos: Stéphane Quesnel
- On May 29th, about 25 automotive journalists were invited by Subaru to visit the Indiana production facility that produce the Legacy.
- The exterior design of the 6th generation Legacy will definitely eclipse its predecessors.
- The fact remains that Subaru could have gone even further with the front-end design of its new model, witness the breathtaking concept vehicle that was presented at the Montreal International Auto Show last January.
- The headlight unit adds to the overall character of the Legacy.
- The interior may not be plush, but the ergonomics, comfort level, and interior noise level are first rate.
- The infotainment system and the various control knobs and switches are simple to use, just as we like!
- A torrential downpour tried it’s best to ruin our test drive. Luckily, we could count on the advanced EyeSight camera system to keep an eye on the road.
- The Subaru EyeSight camera system effectively manages the various driver assistance systems… as well as emergency braking.
- A dozen new Legacys cruised Indiana roads on a day when Mother Nature threw everything at us.
- The backup camera located over the rear license plate is vastly improved¬—as we soon found out. It surveys a large area and warns of any oncoming vehicles as far as 50 meters when engaged in reverse.
- We tested the 3rd generation EyeSight camera accompanied by Joe Camilleri of Subaru Canada. The system never failed to brake for us when approaching an object. This option couldn’t be more convenient for those who still text and drive in traffic.
- We also had a chance to test the suspension and chassis during dynamic driving manoeuvers. The improvements are most noticeable.
- Joe Felstein of Subaru Canada welcomed the Subaru Japan delegation which attended the event. From left to right: Masayuk Uchida, Noriaki Sawa, Keisuke Kanamori, Yoichi Hori and Joe Felstein.
- The first-ever 1989 Subaru Legacy produced in the Lafayette, Indiana facility is still going strong. It sits in front of the production facility.