Sales for almost every major automobile manufacturer in late ’16 are finally leveling off…or declining.

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So why does Subaru continue to rise?

 

Once known almost exclusively for its’ Outback and Forrester SUVs, Subaru now has a rather full lineup of sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs….and they’re all selling well.

 

One reason might be that with Volvo moving upscale and taking on the higher-priced European imports, Subaru has moved in and pretty much taken on the role that Volvo used to occupy…..that of manufacturer of “safe, dependable, modestly-priced family vehicles”.

 

And with the highest possible 5-star safety ratings in every category, plus their standard all-wheel drive in every vehicle they make ( except for their BRZ 2-seater sports car ) Subaru has earned that role it appears.

 

We got to test their latest 4-door sedan….the Legacy….in its’ 4–cylinder dress.

 

The Legacy is Subaru’s answer to the Camry, Accord, Altima, Malibu, Fusion, Chrysler 200, Mazda 6 and others.

 

Legacys start in the low $20’s….and can get up into the mid $30’s depending upon how they’re equipped.

 

Our test “2.5i Sport” was Subie’s under $29,000 well-equipped value sedan…..with pretty much everything that one might want….except leather.   And if you want leather, it’s just one small upgrade away.

 

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Meanwhile, our Sport had Subaru’s 2.5 liter four with an excellent continuously variable transmission that had real “feel” when downshifting.   This combo is rated at 25 MPG city and 34 HWY.   We topped 30 in our normal side-street / freeway commute.

 

One simple “Value Package” brought us a power moonroof, keyless entry with pushbutton start, upgraded exterior and interior trim, 18” alloys, Subaru’s “EyeSight” drivers’ assist which includes pre-collision braking, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, high beam assist and more.   Easy to order….easy to live with…..and again, all for less than $29K.

 

The 2.5 four cylinder provides all the “punch” that most drivers will ever require, but if you must live life in the fast lane, Subaru has a 3.6 liter, 256 HP six-cylinder for you.   It’ll push your window sticker into the $30’s….and cost you around 5 MPG, but yes…..it’ll get you down the road a bit faster.

 

One last thought.    If Subaru’s standard all-wheel-drive and overall safety rating appeals to you, but you’re not sure about buying a brand that you may not be familiar with, know this:   Well-respected KBB ranks Subaru’s Legacy as having the best resale value in its’ class.

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