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2015 Subaru Legacy Review

Despite its top-notch safety score, the 2015 Subaru Legacy ranks near the bottom of the midsize car class because of its poor reliability rating and the greater all-around appeal of its rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Sporty handling
  • Great fuel economy


  • Poor reliability rating
  • Small trunk
  • Lackluster passing power with base engine




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Subaru Legacy Overview

Is the 2015 Subaru Legacy a Good Used Car?

The Subaru Legacy is an OK midsize car. Aside from its poor reliability rating and slightly small trunk, its main problem is that it’s in a class full of great cars. The Legacy has standard all-wheel drive, as well as some of the best safety ratings in the class. Most rivals don’t even offer all-wheel drive as an option. The Subaru also has outstanding fuel economy estimates, solid handling, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. There’s a lot to like about this midsize sedan. It's just that many of its rivals bring more to the table.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our Subaru Legacy review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from two dozen sources and combined them with concrete data like reliability ratings, safety scores, and fuel economy estimates to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Subaru Legacy?

Based on more than 550 listings for the 2015 Subaru Legacy on our site, the average list price is $17,700. Prices range from $13,000 to $22,000 and vary depending on the vehicle's mileage, condition, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Subaru Legacy Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2015 Legacy are projected to be around $22,750 over five years, or $4,550 per year. That’s below average for the class. For example, those same five-year costs are estimated to be around $1,980 higher for the Volkswagen Passat.  

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Subaru Legacy?

Compared to the 2015 Legacy, a new Legacy has more standard safety features, a retuned suspension, a slightly larger standard infotainment screen – 6.5-inches instead of 6.2-inches – and refreshed exterior styling. The 2019 Legacy has a starting retail price of $22,545, but if you can stretch your budget that far, a 2018 or 2019 model is the better pick. If the updates aren’t important to you, though, consider saving money with an older vehicle.

Read about the new Legacy »

No new midsize cars can compete with the 2015 Legacy's average list price. A few come near its high-end price, though. The 2018 Mazda6 starts at $21,950 and is one of the most agile midsize sedans you can buy. Starting at $22,840, the 2019 Ford Fusion is another spirited handler, and it has a larger trunk than the 2015 Legacy. You might also consider the compact Kia Forte, which starts at $17,790. It has more trunk space and a longer list of standard features than the 2015 Legacy, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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Which Model Year of the Subaru Legacy Is Best?

Subaru redesigned the Legacy for 2015. While you could likely save money with an earlier model, you’d miss out on substantial updates, including improved fuel economy, a roomier and higher-quality cabin, refreshed exterior and interior styling, and standard features such as a rearview camera. The manual transmission from earlier models was discontinued for 2015, and the old automatic was replaced with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Lane keep assist became available starting with 2016 models, and there were no major changes to the Legacy for the 2017 model year. For 2018, Subaru retuned the Legacy’s suspension and gave it a larger infotainment screen. If those updates aren’t important to you, consider saving money with the 2015 Legacy.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Legacy »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Subaru Legacy?

The 2015 Legacy has a poor reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power. Along with the 2015 Chrysler 200, the Legacy has the worst rating in the class.

Read more about Legacy reliability »

2015 Subaru Legacy Recalls

As of this writing, three recalls have been issued for the 2015 Legacy. One concerns a potentially malfunctioning electronic stability control system, and a second recall deals with an oil leak. Additionally, the pre-collision warning and braking system may fail to work properly. Before buying this vehicle, make sure these issues have been addressed.

See more information on Subaru Legacy safety recalls »

Which Used Subaru Legacy Model Is Right for Me?

There are four trim levels for the 2015 Legacy: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, and 3.6R Limited. The designation 2.5i refers to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and 3.6R signifies a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine. Both engines come with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Shoppers who want the stronger engine will have to get the 3.6R Limited, while those want the most safety features will need to find a Premium or Limited model with a package.

The base 2.5i has cloth seats, a rearview camera, and the Starlink infotainment system with a 6.2-inch touch screen, a four-speaker stereo, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, and smartphone integration with apps like iHeartRadio, Aha, and Pandora. The 2.5i Premium features a 7-inch screen, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats.

The 2.5i Limited adds a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo, leather upholstery, heated rear seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. The Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited has the same features and options as the 2.5i Limited.

You might find some Premium models with a navigation system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, a moonroof, and the Eyesight suite of safety features, including a pre-collision braking system, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Other available features to look for include proximity keyless entry and push-button start.

See 2015 Subaru Legacy trims and specs »

What Does Subaru's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Subaru offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. Subaru provides no additional coverage for CPO vehicles, so buyers receive the remainder of the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty. However, buyers can purchase additional coverage. Every CPO Subaru must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like owner loyalty discounts, a one-year Starlink Safety Plus trial subscription, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Subaru’s CPO program isn’t particularly robust. Among affordable automakers, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and many others have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Legacy?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Legacy a perfect five-star rating in every category. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the sedan a 2015 Top Safety Pick+, the organization's highest accolade. The IIHS also gave the Legacy the highest rating of Good in every crash test.

A rearview camera comes standard in the Legacy. Available driver assistance features include the EyeSight suite of safety features with lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with brake assist. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist are available as well.

See Legacy safety scores »

2015 Subaru Legacy Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Subaru Legacy or 2015 Toyota Camry?

The 2015 Toyota Camry is one of the best midsize cars you can buy. It has a perfect reliability rating, a comfortable ride, and a quiet and spacious cabin, with roomier rear seats than the Legacy's. The Toyota has a slightly larger trunk than the Subaru, as well as a potent V6 engine option. The Camry is nearly as fuel-efficient as the Legacy, though it lacks all-wheel drive. Both of these are capable sedans, but the Camry’s higher reliability rating gives it the edge.

Which Is Better: 2015 Subaru Legacy or 2015 Honda Accord?

The 2015 Honda Accord is an appealing choice. It’s available as a midsize sedan or coupe. Compared to the Legacy, the Accord sedan has more trunk space and a larger standard infotainment screen. When equipped with its CVT, the Accord gets even better fuel economy than the Subaru’s already stellar estimates. The Accord also has strong engines and roomy rear seats. Add to that the Honda’s better reliability rating, and it’s not hard to see why it’s the better vehicle for most shoppers, except those who need all-wheel drive (not available in the Accord).

Compare the Legacy, Camry, and Accord »

2015 Legacy Performance

How Does the 2015 Subaru Legacy Drive?

Subaru offers two powertrains in the Legacy. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard, and it makes 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The top-of-the-line 3.6R Limited trim uses a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 256 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission.

The base engine is capable enough for daily driving, though it has a hard time producing the quick bursts of power needed for highway passing. The six-cylinder fares better on the interstate and has brisker acceleration. The CVT draws praise for its responsiveness. Strong brakes, sharp steering, and good suspension tuning all endow this Subaru with nimble cornering ability. It may not be a sports sedan, but it’s fun to drive nonetheless. The ride quality is a little firmer than some rivals, but it’s not uncomfortable.

Does the 2015 Subaru Legacy Get Good Gas Mileage?

With its base engine, this vehicle gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Those are outstanding ratings, considering this Subaru comes standard with all-wheel drive. Models with the six-cylinder engine get fuel economy estimates of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Legacy performance »

2015 Legacy Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Legacy Seat?

This car seats five people on standard cloth upholstery. Power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are available.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats are spacious, though taller riders may find headroom to be a bit tight in the back. The base trim's interior styling might be a little bland for some, but most shoppers will find the higher trims to have good build quality and upscale materials.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Subaru Legacy?

The Subaru Legacy sedan has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats, as well as a third tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

2015 Subaru Legacy Features

The standard Starlink infotainment system features a 6.2-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, and smartphone connectivity through Aha and Pandora. Upgrades include a navigation system, a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker or a 12-speaker premium stereo, satellite radio, and an additional USB port. Lots of well-placed physical controls and a responsive screen make the Starlink interface easy to use.

See 2015 Subaru Legacy specs »

Read more about Legacy interior »

2015 Subaru Legacy Dimensions

Subaru Legacy Cargo Space

This car has a 15 cubic-foot trunk, which is a bit small for the midsize car class. The Nissan Altima has more room.

2015 Legacy Length and Weight

This vehicle is roughly 15.7 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,455 pounds for the 2.5i Premium to 3,662 pounds for the 3.6R.

Where Was the 2015 Subaru Legacy Built?

Subaru built the 2015 Legacy in Indiana.

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