The Japanese automaker that entered the U.S. market with all-wheel drive decades ago saw sales increase 26 percent in 2013 to nearly 425,000 vehicles on the strength of the Outback, Legacy and Forester.
The 25-year edition of the Legacy, which debuted Thursday, offers a boxer engine, sleeker coupe-like styling with flared fenders, infotainment technology advances, new safety technology, soft touch materials, more rear leg room and a high-end, 576-watt, 12-speaker surround Harmon Kardon audio system on the 2.4i Limited.
"It's a terrific jump-up," Michael McHale, Subaru's director of corporate communications, said at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
The new Legacy comes with either a 2.5-liter, 175-horsepower flat four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter, 250-horsepower flat six-cylinder. EPA ratings are 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway for 30 mpg combined for the four and 20 mpg city/ 28 mpg highway for 23 mpg combined for the six-cylinder. A continuously variable transmission with all-wheel drive is standard -- augmented by the Active Torque Vectoring system from the Subaru WRX.
The 2.5i Premium and Limited trims offer Subaru's Eyesight stereoscopic camera safety system, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a pre-collision braking system, as an option.
The Legacy has the same 108.3-inch wheelbase but is 1.6 inches longer, 0.7 inch wider, and 0.3 inch lower than the previous model and the chassis is 43 percent stiffer.
Subaru hopes to sell 460,000 vehicles in the United States this year.
"We have to build the infrastructure. We have to make sure the dealers can come along with us and make sure that they have the capacity to service all these cars," Subaru of America President and Chief Operating Office Thomas Doll said.