2015 Subaru Legacy Cuts Manual, 3.6R Remains

2015 Subaru Legacy Cuts Manual, 3.6R Remains

More interior space, more miles per gallon, more technology than before, the list just goes on and on for the 2015 Subaru Legacy.

The next-generation Japanese mid-sizer just debuted here at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show looking like a predictably toned down version of the concept seen a few months ago in L.A. You might have already seen leaked images of the car, but as usual with Subaru, it’s what you can’t see that counts the most.

Of course, it adopts the brand’s newest design language. It gets a more heavily raked windshield that moved two inches forward compared to the old model. The grille, front fascia, flanks and rear end all share styling cues with the new WRX.

Standard exterior equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels unless you go for the upscale “Limited” trim, in which case you’re getting 18’s. But enough about that. You can see how the car looks for yourself.

It’s time to nerd out and talk mechanical changes.

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You might have heard about the torque vectoring system in the WRX and its angrier STI sibling. It applies braking to the front inside wheel when necessary to improve cornering capability in those cars and… you guessed it: the new Legacy! That should improve handling in what we at AutoGuide.com all agree is already one of the best to drive in the segment. Steering will also be more responsive with a quicker ratio and fewer turns lock-to-lock.

While it’s true that passenger volume is up slightly over the outgoing model, rear seat heat, leg and shoulder room are actually a little more confined. Trunk space, on the other hand, inreases by half a cubic foot to 15.5.

Under the hood, you’re going to find the same two engines as before. That’s right, Subaru decided to keep the 2.5-liter Boxer four and a 3.6-liter Boxer six in place. Honestly, it seems like a strange move to keep the 3.6 considering the new 2.0-liter turbo makes comparable power, more torque and would probably use less fuel. C’est la vie…

Speaking of things that fall into the “too bad” column: the manual transmission model joins so many others in the scrap pile. The five-speed automatic is also gone in the 3.6R. Yes, a CVT is standard across all models and that is that.

But it probably doesn’t matter because most people already buy the automatic Legacy and this time around it’s quite a bit more efficient. Subaru expects an average 30 mpg with the four-cylinder and 23 with the six, both of which are substantial improvements.

Interior revisions include a re-designed center console and center stack, and an updated version of the company’s EyeSight safety system that can autonomously stop the car at up to 30 mph. A new rear radar system also handles cross traffic alert, blind zone monitoring and lane changing assistance.

Subaru hasn’t said what it plans to charge for the cars, but the base CVT model currently costs about $22 grand while the six-cylinder model rings in just under $30,000. Don’t be surprised if both climb a little for 2015.

GALLERY: 2015 Subaru Legacy Live Photos


GALLERY: 2015 Subaru Legacy


Discuss this story at our Subaru Legacy forum.

  • CA_Refugee

    Clean. Subtle. And what the hell Subaru??? Where is my Spec-B model??? Dropped the ball once again. Failed, big time on this one.

  • Richard Joash Tan


  • allenegg

    No manual…no buy.

  • Shiratori1

    And no one cares about your manual transmission elitism……

  • Joey Knox

    I do

  • EAK

    I got the last Forester turbo that was made with a manual. It is 2006 model and I just love it. An all round vehicle needs to have a manual. I do not care it gets less MPG. Driving should be fun and not alwasy about the MPG/

  • dee

    Yeap. Manual only for me 2. Automatics are boring and also very expensive to fix.

  • Richard Joash Tan

    “No manual…no buy.”


  • Auto Motive

    Manual transmissions are being removed from the supercars and eventually all manufacturers will be evaluating sales of manuals vs automatics. Corvettes for 2014 are now 70% auto vs 30% manuals. The 21st century autos are now 8-10 speeds, CVTs and more fuel efficient then todays manuals. IN addition autos are now faster than the manual in both the 0-60 speeds to the quarter mile. I am glad my grandfather can still get a manual.

  • tomfiore

    The traditional customer for a Subaru likes the manual because we drive it in snow and like the additional control. You don’t buy a Legacy if you’re a boy racer but you were kind of pissed that they deliberately made the 2012 handling sloppy. It sounds like this has tightened it up, which they had already started to do in the 2014 model.
    Is there an new model Outback coming out as well?

  • EAK

    Subaru no longer “Loves” their drivers. No manual is not love. Getting from A to B should be fun and an automatic takes away the fun.

  • Richard Joash Tan

    “Subaru no longer “Loves” their drivers. No manual is not love. Getting from A to B should be fun and an automatic takes away the fun.”


  • jalbertini

    ’15 should be a redesign for the Outback if they stick to the every 5 year schedule they’ve followed since inception.

  • jalbertini

    Bought a ’14 Outback rated 24/30 mpg but it gets 2+ mpg LESS than our ’11 Outbac rated 22/29?! Both 2.5 CVT so why does the ’14 get worse mileage despite the higher EPA rating?
    The ’11 got between about 24-25 in the winter and 26-27 in the summer. The ’14 is getting 22-23 in winter & only got 24-25 in the summer.

  • Subiegoobie

    Not sure but the 2.5 is a different engine as of ’13 & as well as a transmission CVT revision for the same year. My ’13 is on par with your ’14 mpg.

  • jalbertini

    Appreciate the feedback. So it’s not me or something wrong with the car.

  • jalbertini

    So how did the ’14 get the higher EPA rating?! It is WORSE!

  • Jerry Baustian

    Subaru sales are soaring — I guess they can afford to discard the customers who want a manual gearbox.

  • GuyD

    My friend and I both own auto transmission 2014 2.5 Outbacks. Both of us are disappointed with the mileage. I just drove mine 1400 miles to Florida and the best I could get was 27mpg. My friend had a 2011 manual 2.5 that consistently delivered 30mpg.
    How does a 30mpg average happen. 30 mph on a flat highway with a tailwind ?

  • RoseFlorida

    As a general rule cars with automatics are more reliable, as the automatic shifting is gentler on the drive chain than most drivers are with standard. I have found an automatic to be better in the snow too. In all the large and luxury vehicles I have owned, including pickup trucks and large European sedans, I love the automatic for the relaxing and lazy driving. But when it comes to fun in a smaller vehicle, there is no comparison to a standard. Even the option to shift an automatic on your own does not do it.

  • John in Brisbane

    Regarding reliability, could be. They used to be less reliable though… More moving parts. Big cars tend to be less fun to drive so an auto makes more sense I guess. I’d pick a manual in every car I drive if it was possible though.

  • gggplaya

    Thats really not true at all, unless your just talking about the clutch. Agressive race car drivers are hard on both types of cars. If you drive normal, manuals are more reliable long term with just a clutch swap. I dont trade my cars in until 200k+ miles. Havent had to replace anything yet, all manuals. I know way more people with that kind of mileage that have shifting probs with an auto.

  • RoseFlorida

    Mechanics in shops, at least in the late 1900s, uniformly told me that there were far fewer problems overall with cars with automatics as opposed to standard. The standards spent more time in the shop, and not because of clutch problems. They attributed it to smoother and more uniform shifting, that is, the skill of the driver, rather than anything else, such as manual drivers being more aggressive. I switched my pickup trucks to automatics, it was worth the money to give up some gas mileage in return for fewer visits to the garage. I was not as smooth a driver I suppose as I had imagined.

  • Glockmod23

    You are in Florida… And your going to tell me How Good the Automatic is in SNOW ..LMAO !! You don’t know What your talking about 😉

  • RoseFlorida

    Automatics (at least the usual kind, I don’t know about these continuous ones) are better in snow and ice for the average driver. This is not just my opinion, but the conclusion of many who know much more than I. It has to do with the gentleness, the smoothness, the consistency of automatics in applying power, and the lack of expertise among drivers of standards. Speak to drivers in the Finger Lakes region of New York, oil fields in Northern Alberta, and the Canadian Rockies. Don’t read too much into user names you see on the web.

  • Thumper

    Sadly for me, the last good Legacy was 2 generations back (including this one). No turbo engine, no manual transmission… Subaru is taking the same direction Toyota has gone with: sell lots of vehicles, make money, and be boring as hell.

  • comment_comment_comment

    2005-2009 really were the best Subarus. Period.

  • Ben Aubrey

    Yea. My 08 3.0r in a manual kicks ass but is getting a bit old and the twin turbo GT I had before that was unreal as well.

  • WRCSubaruAWD

    Good bye Legacy. Not an option anymore. 7 cars (3 Subarus). Manual transmission only. Loved to drive my 2009 Legacy MT.

  • Richard Joash Tan

    “Good bye Legacy. Not an option anymore.”


  • comment_comment_comment

    Let’s all give thanks to Toyota for making Subaru just another bland car brand.

  • Sungazer

    “Steering will also be more responsive with a quicker ratio and fewer turns lock-to-lock.”
    I hope they fixed the steering from the ’13 models. My Forester steering is sluggish in a parking lot but too radical, almost dangerous, at highway speeds.

  • http://logantanner.blogspot.com/ LoganTanner

    Is it supposed to look like a Hyundai? If so, great job guys. You nailed it.

  • eric

    I really liked the old legacy GT with the manual transmission that was a nice car and it was fast. The all wheel drive was also really good about it compared to other cars. Manuals are fun to drive and a lot of people just don’t know how to drive them and or they don’t care to know. You people can have this paddle shifting if that’s what you want but these dealer ships should allow any one who still wants a car with a manual transmission to order it that way. Some of us still love and appreciate manual transmissions.

  • Ben Aubrey

    I hate it so much they stopped making a manual. The GT and the 3.0r in a manual were just great cars and would love a 3.6r with manual. That would be kickass. Might have to start researching transmission swap options.

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