Subaru Legacy (2015)
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A new challenger in the mid-size sedan league keeps an all-wheel-drive ace up its sleeve.

Four- and six-cylinder engines return, each connected to a continuously variable transmission; AWD is standard, of course.

The Legacy has grown both in stature and size to become one of the most spacious mid-size four-doors on the market. It also matches the sedan-pack leaders in attractiveness. There’s plenty of new stuff inside the updated cabin, including a more modern dashboard and a more centrally located touch-screen display for the rearview camera and infotainment/navigation systems. The Legacy’s powerplants carry over from 2014, although the base 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder receives slight changes to make it a bit lighter, quieter and more fuel-efficient. It’s rated at 26 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway, compared with 24/32 for the previous 2.5. Those numbers are achieved with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that for 2015 is standard across the line, even for the optional 3.6-liter six-cylinder that makes 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. The standard all-wheel-drive system that comes with all Legacys has been augmented for 2015 with torque vectoring. The system applies light braking to the inside front wheel while turning to enhance steering control. The base Legacy 2.5i arrives with all the usual comfort and convenience features, while the 2.5i Premium adds dual-zone climate control, seven-inch touch-screen (up from 6.2 inches), power driver’s seat and 17-inch alloy wheels (16-inch steelies are standard). Pop for the 2.5i Premium and you get perforated-leather seats, power passenger seat, 576-watt Harmon/Kardon audio system and 18-inch wheels. The top-rung 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited come with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety aids that includes Pre-Collision Braking that will slow or stop the Legacy if it’s determined that a rear-end smack-down is imminent.