I think it has the goods and confidence to play ball with the rest of the pack…

Lafayette, Indiana.

The Subaru Legacy could be considered the wallflower of the midsize sedan pack.

Front-runners like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chrysler 200 and Mazda6 constantly battle it out for their share of the limelight. All while this humble four-door sits on the sideline.

In fact, some people don’t even know it’s in the game!

According to the Japanese brand’s market research, many of those surveyed in major Canadian cities didn’t even know they had such a car available.

Well, they do. And it’s great.

For those not familiar with the Legacy, here are a few key points.

It’s now in its sixth generation – yes, sixth – and has been around since 1989. It’s 25 years young and looks nice for its age.

The 2015 model comes with the option of two engines: a 2.5L, 4-cylinder (175 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque) and a 3.6L, 6-cylinder (256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque.)

What’s great about the 4-cylinder, Subaru offers it with a 6-speed manual. Our friends to the south don’t have access to such awesomeness. But, on the flip side, it’s only available on the base model.

Aside from the 6-speed manual, Subaru offers their version of a Continuously Variable Transmission, aka the Lineartronic CVT.

While some might not be a fan of this type of transmission, don’t knock it until you try it. Subaru does an excellent job with the gear simulations and I didn’t feel the drone of the system under hard acceleration, even with the 4-cylinder. While I’d pick a manual any day, the CVT is darn good.

So is the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system: standard feature on all Legacy trims.

It came in handy in the backcountry roads of rural Indiana. Freak thunderstorm with torrential downpour where you can’t see two metres in front of you? No problem! The windshield wipers were doing their darnedest to keep up with precipitation but the car remained calm, collected, and stayed on the straight and narrow, even in the ultra low traction environment.

For the times when it wasn’t pouring cats and dogs, taking the twisty turns was quite a lot of fun. Despite its electric power steering – a steering type that can be done either really well or not at all – there’s a good weight to it. It’s not lazy or sleepy at highway speeds, but won’t give you an arm workout if you need to change lanes.

It’s not jerky either. Moving the wheel in either direction won’t make the vehicle suddenly jump aggressively. Think of it like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The steering isn’t too hard, or too soft. It’s just right.

As for the ride and handling, the imperfections of the road aren’t met with abrasion or hesitance. The undulating country roads were a great testing ground, especially with all the debris. But even with a fair share of highway cruising, I have no qualms with the setup.

Inside the cabin, you’ll be welcomed by Japanese hospitality. A modern infotainment system, an uncluttered cabin, and soft seats make a day’s drive quite favourable.

While the Legacy might not be at the forefront of consumers’ minds, Subaru is a renowned brand. And it’s renowned for its reliability and safety. This generation of product should be any different. On some models, you have the ability to outfit it when EyeSight, a system that includes pre-collision braking, pre-collision brake assist, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane sway warning, and lead vehicle start alert.

The 2015 Subaru Legacy, with the manual transmission Subaru’s Symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive starts at impressive MSRP of $23,495. Shoot all the way to the top, and you’ll get the 3.6 Limited trim with Technology Package Option for $35,395. Of course, there are offerings in between.

As for its wallflower status, I think it has the goods and confidence to play ball with the rest of the pack.

Visit www.subaru.ca for more information…

Contact: Alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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