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2016 Subaru Legacy Windy City Review By Larry Nutson


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2016 Subaru Legacy
All-Wheel Drive for everyone

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel


Subaru’s Legacy model has been around for about twenty years. Back in 2015 a complete redesign of the mid-size Legacy was introduced. And we Americans, who like things new, responded with increased Legacy purchases resulting in a near 16% sales rise.

Motorweek awarded the all-new 2015 Legacy its Drivers' Choice Award for Best Family Sedan. Its much-improved interior, entertainment and connectivity, as well as improved ride and handling brought the award.

Now if you’re serious about getting a Legacy as your new ride I wouldn’t hesitate. It’s quite popular. A recent study from 24/7 Wall St. reported that the average Legacy spent just 24 days on the dealer lot before being sold.

Subaru has enjoyed tremendous sales growth with six consecutive years of record sales that now exceed 500,000 annually. March marked the 25th consecutive month of 40,000+ vehicle sales for the company, as well as the best first quarter in the history of the Subaru franchise.

In the recent Consumer Reports study, “Which Car Brands Makes the Best Vehicles,” Subaru ranked second only to Audi out of 30 brands. All Subaru models were recommended by the research firm.

And, Subaru recently won in three major categories of the Kelley Blue Book KBB.com 2016 Brand Image Awards including Best Overall Brand, Most Trusted Brand and Best Performance Brand. Subaru also won the 2015 Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own Award for the Brand category.


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Legacy has seating for five and the interior cabin is very roomy overall. Plus, it’s the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard. The 2016 Legacy 2.5i is available in base, Premium and Limited trims. The six-cylinder Legacy 3.6R is available exclusively in Limited trim.

The base Legacy 2.5i is priced at $21,745, the 2.5i Premium at $23,845 and the top trim 2.5i Limited is $26,845. The 3.6R Limited will run you $29,945 to start. For this review I drove a 3.6R that was also equipped with a $3,090 option package that included a power moonroof, navigation system and Eyesight Driver-Assist System.

Most buyers will opt for the 175HP, 2.5i Legacy that has EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings of 30 mpg combined with 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The 256 HP, 6-cylinder Legacy 3.6R Limited has EPA test-cycle ratings of 23 mpg combined, with 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. All Legacy models have a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.


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The performance from 3.6R Limited is very adequate. I would think that “Subaruians” who choose this model are more into the performance side of driving whereas the 2.5i buyer is looking for maximum economy while gently cruising the highways and byways. In either case, the low fuel consumption is impressive for an all-wheel-drive sedan.

On the outside the Legacy has a coupe-like appearance and an exterior appearance that is pretty typical of the midsize sedan segment. However, the purpose of this car is to be comfortable, have acceptable performance and fuel economy, and have room for a typical family’s stuff. The Legacy delivers on those requirements.

Handling is quite good and around town maneuverability very easy and un-stressful. The ride is comfortable but firm, which is often typical with AWD, and steering effort and feedback are well balanced.

On the inside there is very little power train noise to disturb the interior comfort. Wind and tire noise is well managed too. All this being helped by an acoustic windshield and liquid-filled engine mounts.

The Legacy interior has lots of soft touch material. Seats are comfortable with good support and ingress and egress are easy. Sight lines are clear and the large greenhouse makes for good outward visibility. There’s a standard touch screen display for infotainment system and the backup camera screen.


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With many Legacy owners in cold climate regions, heated front seats as well as heated rear seats can be had. I was missing one of my favorites…a heated steering wheel.

For 2016, Legacy Premium and Limited trims offer new Subaru STARLINK Safety and Security features in two packages. The STARLINK Safety Plus package, which is complimentary for the first year, includes SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Diagnostic Alerts.

The STARLINK Safety Plus & Security Plus Package adds Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.

Legacy offers the latest version of the EyeSight Driver-Assist system, the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Available for Premium and Limited trims, EyeSight uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology and integrates Pre-Collision Braking, Steering Responsive Fog Lights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning & Lane Sway Warning and Pre-Collision Throttle Management. Also all Legacy trims have a rear view camera.

Autonomous cars have been in the news a lot lately. It will be a number of years before self-driving cars hit the streets. But right now, today, we have very good driver-assistance systems offered on new cars that everyone should consider. Systems such as Legacy’s EyeSight.


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At a recent presentation to the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), representatives from the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa said that 95 percent of car crashes are due to driver error. However, new vehicle technology can help prevent or greatly reduce the severity of the crash.

The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa have teamed up to provide an online, mobile- and tablet-friendly resource www.mycardoeswhat.org to help educate consumers. The website’s homepage lists the 28 technology and safety features present on vehicles today. This webpage is a great resource to consult when you are car shopping. You might say to yourself I don’t need that or be unwilling to spend the extra money. Consider that one collision will probably cost you inconvenience, car repair bills, paying your insurance deductible, and maybe an increase in insurance rates. Oh did I mention injury. It’s all about reducing accidents to prevent injury or even death.

Twenty vehicle makers have pledged to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature by 2020. IIHS estimates that as many as 20 percent of the 5 million vehicle crashes that occur annually in the U.S. could be prevented by this technology.

Subaru says, “EyeSight is an extra set of eyes on the road, and if need be, an extra foot on the brake when you drive.”

Have a look at www.subaru.com for lots more information and detailed specifications on the 2016 Subaru Legacy. Compare the 2016 Legacy to other midsize sedans right here www.theautochannel.com.

Subaru says their sedans and crossovers are generating more and more interest from new buyers by delivering a unique combination of safety, utility, performance and value.

You just might want to give the Legacy a try, especially if it rains or snows a lot where you live and drive.

© 2016 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy


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