2015 Subaru Legacy

Change Year or Vehicle
$12,690–$22,958 Inventory Prices
SAVE
Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
Compare
Back to top

Key Specs

of the 2015 Subaru Legacy. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    23-30 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    175-hp, 2.5-liter H-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed CVT w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Standard AWD
  • Updated cabin design
  • Tons of headroom
  • Top safety ratings

The Bad

  • Some cabin materials
  • Boring exterior styling
  • Touch-sensitive controls for multimedia system
  • Six-cylinder lacks thrills

Notable Features of the 2015 Subaru Legacy

  • Five-seat mid-size sedan
  • Standard AWD
  • Four- or six-cylinder
  • CVT automatic only (manual is discontinued)

2015 Subaru Legacy Road Test

David Thomas

For 2015, the Subaru Legacy has overcome the fuel economy penalty of standard all-wheel drive while delivering all-season capability in a handsome package, inside and out. It's now one of the most affordable cars in its class.

The prototypical family sedan is a relatively simple formula. It needs a comfortable ride, acceptable power, and plenty of space for said family and their stuff. One thing most sedan shoppers have ignored is all-wheel drive, due to its drain on fuel economy minus any universally appreciated performance benefits.

As before, the Legacy comes with the choice of a four- or six-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. Both work with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The manual and conventional automatic transmissions have been discontinued.

Exterior & Styling
Midsize sedan designs take one of two paths: There's the wild road of the aggressively styled Mazda6, Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200, and there's the safe road of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata.

The Legacy joins the latter group with a generic look that's as easy to lose in a grocery store parking lot as any car. No matter what angle you approach it from, there's nothing that really screams "Subaru." The grille looks a bit like a Ford, the side resembles an Accord and the rear could be from any of a handful of contemporary sedans.

How It Drives
Most Legacy sedans will be sold with the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine. These flat power plants p...

For 2015, the Subaru Legacy has overcome the fuel economy penalty of standard all-wheel drive while delivering all-season capability in a handsome package, inside and out. It's now one of the most affordable cars in its class.

The prototypical family sedan is a relatively simple formula. It needs a comfortable ride, acceptable power, and plenty of space for said family and their stuff. One thing most sedan shoppers have ignored is all-wheel drive, due to its drain on fuel economy minus any universally appreciated performance benefits.

As before, the Legacy comes with the choice of a four- or six-cylinder horizontally opposed engine. Both work with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The manual and conventional automatic transmissions have been discontinued.

Exterior & Styling
Midsize sedan designs take one of two paths: There's the wild road of the aggressively styled Mazda6, Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200, and there's the safe road of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata.

The Legacy joins the latter group with a generic look that's as easy to lose in a grocery store parking lot as any car. No matter what angle you approach it from, there's nothing that really screams "Subaru." The grille looks a bit like a Ford, the side resembles an Accord and the rear could be from any of a handful of contemporary sedans.

How It Drives
Most Legacy sedans will be sold with the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine. These flat power plants provide a bit of an edge in handling because of a lower center of gravity. Horsepower and torque haven't changed much versus the outgoing model — 175 hp versus 173 hp, while torque remains 174 pounds-feet — but nearly every part of the engine has been upgraded or straight-out replaced. It seems Subaru wasn't comfortable calling it "new," though, because the specs aren't eye-catching.

One spec that has dramatically changed, however, is fuel efficiency. With the 2.5-liter engine, combined mileage has increased from 27 mpg to 30 mpg (it's rated 26/36 city/highway). These are similar or better numbers than the Honda Accord (29 mpg combined) and Toyota Camry (28 mpg), while the Nissan Altima (31 mpg) and Mazda6 (32 mpg) still have an edge. However, the Legacy includes the additional weight of all-wheel drive while the rest of the class is largely front-wheel drive.

For comparison, the four-cylinder, all-wheel-drive 2015 Ford Fusion is rated 25 mpg combined, and the all-wheel-drive 2015 Chrysler 200, which comes only with a V-6, is rated 22 mpg.

On the road, it isn't the additional 2 hp that makes a difference, it's the upgraded continuously variable automatic transmission. The company added artificial shift points to make the CVT respond like a traditional automatic, losing the long wind-out of steady acceleration that consumers have complained about. It's roughly two generations removed from the CVT I drive every week in my 2010 Outback, and it responds significantly better. Other editors on staff, though, still found the CVT lacking in terms of refinement and too noisy with both the 2.5-liter and the more powerful 3.6-liter six-cylinder.

The six-cylinder is offered only in the highest, Limited trim level and delivers more oomph to pass — as would be expected from the more than 75 additional horsepower. Some editors found the power welcome, while others, including myself, thought the four-cylinder was the better all-around car considering its fuel economy numbers.

Both versions feature standard all-wheel drive, and the system has been revised for 2015, offering a 60/40 rear/front torque split. Our editors agreed it delivered impressive handling. Only the tires proved to be a sore spot, giving up grip in the hardest of turns.

The all-wheel-drive Chrysler 200 V-6 feels much sportier than the Legacy's 3.6-liter. The Chrysler's handling is also sharper and the ride considerably quieter. However, the 200's nine-speed transmission and ride quality leave a bit to be desired.

Ride comfort was universally praised for both versions of the Legacy. There's isolation from road imperfections without too much wheel travel or a floaty feeling over bumps.

Interior
One knock against the previous Legacy was its low-rent interior, and the 2015 has been significantly upgraded, with padded materials wherever passengers come in contact with them. Most of our editors found the upgrades well worth it and on par with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, while others pointed to the fake metal trim pieces as less than stellar.

The driver and front passenger seats are well-padded and quite wide, while the backseat is exceptionally spacious. Legroom and headroom back there are slightly behind the Accord and Camry, but both rear hip room and shoulder room are slightly ahead of those two.

The relatively tall greenhouse offers plenty of glass for not only good visibility for the driver, but also a feeling of openness for passengers, which is a nice carryover from the outgoing model.

Ergonomics & Electronics
One of the biggest gripes we've had with recent Subaru vehicles involved their subpar multimedia offerings. The Legacy is the first Subaru to feature the company's next-generation system. A 6.2-inch touch-screen radio comes standard, and when you move up to the Premium trim, you get a 7-inch version that I tested while riding shotgun.

The touch-sensitive shortcut buttons flanking the screen react quickly, as do the on-screen controls. Lag time has proved a deciding factor for Cars.com editors when it comes to whether we deem a system like this successful or not. But editors were happy to see Subaru still using plenty of physical buttons and knobs not only for the volume and tuning, but also for the climate control system.

The screen can get washed out in extremely bright sun at certain angles, however. Otherwise, it was quite crisp with detailed graphics.

Music fans will appreciate the shortcut buttons on the steering wheel. You can pull up a "Browse" menu for artists, albums and songs, displayed on the touch-screen, by pushing a single button on the steering wheel. You use a thumb pad on the steering wheel to select what you want, and there's a back button if you make a mistake.

Cargo & Storage
Subaru has altered the center console to create more logical storage for tech-savvy drivers. A large cubby directly below the climate controls is large enough to fit wallets and smartphones, and it also houses the USB ports. That leaves the center console cubby free to hold even bulkier items, like sunglasses or small bags.

Trunk space is rated at 15 cubic feet, behind not just the Accord, Camry and Nissan's Altima, but also a full cubic foot behind the Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200. However, we had no problem fitting bulky items like baby strollers and full-size golf bags in it.

Safety
The Legacy earned a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the group's highest nod. It's earned by scoring good in front, side and rear crash tests, as well as passing roof-strength tests. The Legacy had not been crash-tested by the federal government as of this writing.

The Legacy also offers EyeSight, an active safety system that includes lane departure assist and collision warning and mitigation systems. It's a $1,195 option on Premium trims and available in different option packages on higher trims.

Value in Its Class
It might seem that getting fuel economy in line with its front-wheel-drive competition would be the biggest success for the new Legacy, but that honor belongs to its starting price. At $22,490 including destination, the Legacy comes standard with a CVT and all-wheel-drive yet costs less than every other competitor except the 2015 Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima.

The Subaru's value statement, combined with its impressive road chops, upgraded materials, roomy interior and safety scores, should force sedan shoppers to move it up on their consideration lists.

Send David an email  



2015 Legacy Video

Subaru redesigned its sedan for 2015 with an updated exterior, revised interior and better fuel economy. Cars.com reviewer David Thomas takes us inside the new 2015 Subaru Legacy. Watch the video for more.

Latest 2015 Legacy Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

Latest Reviews

(4.0)

2015 Legacy 2.5i Limited

by RegiDC from Laurel, Maryland on June 24, 2018

Great solid vehicle overall. Defiantly lacks horsepower, it could use more ?get up and go?. If I decided to purchase another Lagacy, I?ll defiantly go for the 3.6R trim (V6). Easy to use interior ... Read full review

(5.0)

So far so good

by Todd from Tigard or on June 17, 2018

This car is everything I hoped it would be and more. It drives great and looks great as well. The value for the price I paid is great as the resale value should stay high Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2015 Subaru Legacy currently has 3 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
good
Overall evaluation
good
Retraints and dummy kinematics
good
Structure and safety cage
good

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Subaru

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance and Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    Powertrain: 7 years/100,000 miles from original date of first use. Roadside assistance: 1 year from date of purchase
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 85,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 152 point inspection and reconditioning.

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Legacy received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

B

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Booster

(second row)

A

Latch or Latch system

B

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker