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2015 Subaru Legacy – Ruge’s Subaru – Detroit Free Press

7 Jan

What’s Subaru’s secret? Other automakers looked on in wonder as the little Japanese automaker racked up one sales record after another for the last several years. Competitors shook their heads, unable to figure out the secret of Subaru’s magic.

How about selling good cars at good prices, with popular features, high reliability and a strong brand image?

The 2015 Subaru Legacy makes a strong case that Subaru won its sales gains the old-fashioned way: by delighting its customers.

There’s nothing flashy about the Legacy. The midsize sedan quietly excels.

It’s a simple formula, but “simple” doesn’t mean “easy.”

Like every Subaru but the BRZ sport coupe, the Legacy has standard all-wheel drive, but its fuel economy is as good or better than most front-wheel-drive midsize sedans. The Legacy is also loaded with safety and convenience features.

Prices for the 2015 Legacy start at $21,695 with a 175-hp 2.5L four-cylinder engine. All the Legacy models feature a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). A 256-hp 3.6L six-cylinder engine is available starting at $29,595. Both engines have the horizontally opposed cylinder layout that’s called the boxer design because the pistons appear to be punching toward each other. That horizontal movement makes boxers very smooth, with vibration-free running that, like all-wheel-drive, is a Subaru hallmark.

I tested a nicely equipped Legacy 2.5i Premium. Features included Bluetooth phone and audio compatibility, a touch screen, adaptive cruise control, lane departure, blind spot and cross traffic alerts, heated front seats, eight air bags, a power driver’s seat, and automatic braking to avoid collisions. It stickered at $24,990, a very good price for a midsize sedan with those features.

Outstanding value, all-wheel drive set midsize sedan apart. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press

The Legacy competes with the Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat.

That’s Murderers’ Row of competitors, but the Legacy’s value and features stack up exceptionally well. Most competitors don’t even offer all-wheel drive. Those with an AWD option — Fusion and 200 — can’t match the Legacy 2.5i’s fuel economy or price. The availability of features like radar-based adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert and automatic braking for less than $25,000 also set the Legacy apart.

The Legacy is a car, not a magic carpet, so there are some trade-offs. The 2.5L engine produces less power than the competitors’ comparable engines.

The Legacy 2.5i’s acceleration is fine for leisurely jaunts around town, but the boxer is punching above its weight when asked to perform quick maneuvers at highway speeds. The drivetrain has a droning note at higher speeds. That’s not uncommon with CVTs.

The Legacy 2.5i’s EPA fuel economy rating of 26 m.p.g. in the city, 36 on the highway and 30 combined tops comparably powered models of the Malibu, 200, Fusion, Sonata, Optima, Camry and Passat.

The adaptive cruise control, collision alert and lane departure warnings operate smoothly, without the frequent noodging that mars some driver-assistance features.

The interior is roomy. The passenger compartment is one of the largest in the segment, trailing only the 2015 Hyundai Sonata in size. Head, leg and shoulder room are generous. The trunk is one of the segment’s smallest, but a wide opening and even shape make it useful.

The interior looks and feels terrific. My car had soft materials on most surfaces and attractive aluminum-look trim.

The gauges are big and legible. The voice-recognition works well for hands-free phone calls. The touch screen icons are small for use in a moving car, and the touch screen itself responds slowly.

The Legacy uses a new platform, but its exterior styling makes it easy to overlook, despite the car’s many virtues. Subaru seems to have replaced its traditional quirky looks with a conservative, almost generic approach.

That low-profile appearance will undoubtedly add to competitors’ puzzlement at Subaru’s success. The secret: build a better car.

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2015 Subaru Legacy Spy Shots – Motor Authority – Ruge’s Subaru

9 Jul
Jul 8, 2013
2015 Subaru Legacy spy shots

Subaru’s popular Legacy mid-size sedan is about to be replaced by an all-new model, seen here testing in prototype form for the first time. This particular prototype was spotted testing in Michigan and features many of the fixtures that will appear on the final production model.

The new Legacy will arrive in showrooms as a 2015 model, in keeping with Subaru’s five-year product cycles, and we should see it unveiled early next year.

Though the prototype is heavily masked, we can clearly see its styling has borrowed elements from Subaru’s striking WRX concept shown at the 2013 New York Auto Show. Key elements include a rectangular grille, coupe-like profile, C-shaped lights at the rear, and dual-exhaust tips.

According to our photographer, the prototype was seen testing alongside an Audi Allroad and the outgoing Infiniti G37x. Symmetrical all-wheel drive will remain standard.

As for powertrains, expect a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit to continue in the base 2.5i model. This engine was only added for the outgoing Legacy’s 2013 facelift, so expect its 173-horsepower rating to also remain unchanged. A six-speed manual should remain the standard transmission option, with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) continuing to be offered as an option.

Though it’s yet to be confirmed, the 2.5GT is expected to make a return, though this time with a smaller 2.0-liter turbo instead of the former’s 2.5-liter mill. This 2.0-liter engine is already featured in the 2014 Subaru Forester where it delivers a stout 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

Our source tells us a hybrid model is also planned, as part of Subaru’s Motion-V strategy to reduce the fuel consumption and emissions of its cars by 30 percent by the middle of the decade. It’s likely this model will replace the range-topping 3.6R six-cylinder Legacy.

Look for a much improved cabin in the 2015 Subaru Legacy, with a less cluttered design and better quality materials. A standout will be Subaru’s new Starlink infotainment and connectivity system which offers a range of services as well as the added safety of Subaru’s own EyeSight safety feature.

Subaru Plans $230M Expansion Of Indiana Plant – Ruge’s Subaru

3 Jan
Wednesday, Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

Subaru is reportedly planning an expansion of its Lafayette, Indiana, plant that will significantly boost the automaker’s United States production capacity amid record demand.

According to Japan’s Nikkei business daily (via Automotive News), Subaru is planning to invest $230 million to increase output by 30 percent at its Indiana factory – the company’s only U.S. production facility. On an annual basis, the plant is currently capable of producing 170,000 Subaru vehicles and 100,000 units of major Subaru stakeholder Toyota’s Camry sedan.

Although Subaru has declined to comment on the Nikkei report, its parent company Fuji Heavy Industries acknowledged last month that it was actively studying a possible expansion to the Indiana plant to support booming sales.

Through the first 11 months of 2012, Subaru’s U.S. volume increased by 28 percent to a record 299,788 units, thanks in part to an 184 percent upswing in Impreza sales. Should the Indiana plant expansion become a reality, Subaru could potentially produce the Impreza as well as the new Forester in the U.S. for the first time – as both vehicles are currently built in Japan, the move would allow the company to increase its profits by sidestepping the strong yen.

Subaru Breaks June Sales Record – Ruge’s Subaru

3 Jul

— June marks seventh consecutive month of sales gains for the brand — June sales increase 40 percent over prior month — Subaru year-to-date sales are up 24 percent

CHERRY HILL, N.J., July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Subaru of America, Inc. today reported record sales for June 2012 of 27,702 vehicles, a 40 percent gain over June 2011. The company also reported year-to-date sales of 164,304 – a 24 percent gain over prior year.

 

June sales for the all-new 2012 Impreza continue to climb. Sales for the 36 MPG all-wheel drive Impreza are up 146 percent over June 2011. Outback and Legacy models also enjoyed 17 and 12 percent month-over-month gains, respectively.

“Subaru is celebrating the half-year mark with another month of consecutive sales gains,” said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president and COO, Subaru of America, Inc. “Our brand is poised for a record-breaking summer and another record-breaking year.”

        Carline     Jun-12 Jun-11 % Chg   Jun-12 Jun-11 % Chg
                    MTD    MTD    MTD     YTD    YTD    YTD
        Forester    7233   5466   32.33%  37096  37142  -0.12%
        Impreza     5181   2100   146.71% 39858  14937  166.84%
        Impreza WRX 1138   663    71.64%  6844   6173   10.87%
        Legacy      3894   3471   12.19%  24272  21284  14.04%
        Outback     9254   7914   16.93%  54054  51239  5.49%
        Tribeca     184    180    2.22%   1091   1274   -14.36%
        BRZ         818    0      0.00%   1089   0      0.00%
        TOTAL       27702  19794  39.95%  164304 132049 24.43%

“Consumers value reliability, safety, fuel efficiency and performance; car shoppers are turning to Subaru because we deliver on those values,” said Bill Cyphers, senior vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc. “A seventh consecutive month of sales gains clearly indicates that our line-up of sedans and crossover vehicles – and our new BRZ sports car – are hitting the sweet spot for consumers.”

2013 Subaru Eyesight System – 2013 Outback, 2013 Legacy Ruge’s Subaru

27 Jun

 

Subaru Legacy GT Now Makes 296 HP in Japan – Ruge’s Subaru

18 Jun

legacy_GT-DIT_b1.jpg

We’ve known for months that Subaru was working on a turbocharged (and direct-injected) variant of its FB-series engine, and a couple weeks ago, the first application of it went on sale in Japan in the Legacy GT DIT sedan and wagon.

This engine displaces 2.0 liters, but unlike the naturally-aspirated, port-injected version in the Impreza, it’s not undersquare. Instead, it has an equal-length bore and stroke (86mm by 86mm) like the port-injected 2.0-liter in the BRZ and FR-S — plus direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger.

subaru_gt-dit_power_b.jpg The result is impressive: 296 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,000-4,800 rpm. Compare that to a mere 265 hp at 5,600 and 258 lb-ft from 2,000-5,200 from the port-injected 2.5-liter turbo in the now-discontinued, U.S.-spec Legacy GT sedan.

Mind you, Fuji Heavy Industries isn’t offering the new 2.0-liter turbo with a manual gearbox in sedan, but with a version of its CVT. That’s out of character for a GT-badged Legacy, but this car is less sporting than it used to be and, as Nissan has shown, CVTs tend to be a lot less annoying when you pair them with engines that have a ton of torque.

Now’s the point in the post when we start whining about the far less satisfying engine options on the U.S.-spec 2013 Legacy. But we’re confident that tightening fuel economy standards will force Subaru to offer this engine here eventually. FHI says it’s 20 percent more fuel-efficient than the old 2.5-liter turbo.

If true, that works out to something in the neighborhood of 25 mpg combined. That’s good for a heavy AWD car — so good we’ll be very surprised if this engine doesn’t replace the underperforming 3.6-liter H6 engine in the Legacy and Outback (and Tribeca?) come the 2014-2015 model year.

 

legacy_GT-DITeng=b.jpg

Beautiful Subaru commercial – Rainbow – Ruge’s Subaru

13 Jun