The all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy midsize sedan unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show isn’t radically redesigned. But that’s not to say there aren’t significant changes in Subaru’s all-wheel drive (AWD) family sedan.

You know Subaru – they’re the Japanese automaker that has standard AWD in all its vehicles. Subaru is also growing by leaps and bounds, although they’re restraining their projections so that they build infrastructure and capacity to service the vehicles in line with demand.

According to a report in The Detroit News, sales of Subaru all-wheel drive vehicles were up 26 percent to nearly 425,000 vehicles, compared to its previous record-setting U.S. sales year in 2012.

Sleek New Design

The exterior of the 2015 Legacy is sleeker, decreases wind drag and is more aerodynamic. Among the many changes to the latest model, the windshield is more steeply raked and there’s a new mirror design. This contributes to increased fuel economy as well.

The front grille and bumper are combined into a single piece. The hood is aluminum. This is a conscious design decision to cut weight from the car, resulting in improved fuel economy.

More Fuel-Efficiency

Subaru says the 2015 Legacy will get 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined fuel economy with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in Legacy 2.5i models. With the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine in Legacy 3.6R, the numbers are 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.

All Legacy 2.5i models will get an Active Grille Shutter system that cuts wind resistance when the system is closed.

Roomier, Quieter Cabin

Inside, the cabin is, in Subaru’s words, the largest passenger cabin in the midsize sedan segment. The outside is about the same size as the previous model, but there are minor gains in passenger space. The trunk capacity is up slightly as well, to 15.0 cubic feet. The rear seat has 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks in all Legacy models. On some rivals’ more affordable models, this seat feature is optional.

Contributing to a more enjoyable ride is the attention to how quiet the cabin in. Here, Subaru made the Legacy’s ride more quiet and refined as a result of the acoustic windshield, thicker panels, liquid-filled engine mounts and more noise-reducing insulation throughout the vehicle.

Standard and Optional Features

New for the 2015 Legacy, and all 2015 Subaru vehicles, is a rear visibility camera included as standard equipment.

The automaker is also offering a plethora of luxury touches in an effort to lure converts to the brand. The Limited trim line models, including Legacy, offer standard perforated leather seats, a two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat, a front passenger seat with four-way power, heated front and rear seats, rear seat air conditioning vents, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound stereo system.

New Active-Safety Features

The current 2014 Subaru Legacy has been a top performer in protecting occupants and in safety technology. The new 2015 Legacy adds to that with even more affordable active-safety technology.

A new EyeSight driver’s assistance system has improved camera performance. Active safety systems can include Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert – all of which now include rear radar hardware.

Along with the usual full complement of airbags, the Legacy includes new front seat-cushion airbags that help hold occupants in place during a frontal collision.

Optional active-safety features include new Steering-Responsive Foglights that aid visibility when driving around dark corners.

 

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