Track Tested: 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R

Track Tested: 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R

2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

It's easy to forget about the 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R. After all, with its non-turbocharged six-cylinder engine, it's the black sheep of the Subaru family. Add in the fact that it has less horsepower than the four-cylinder Legacy GT and many are left wondering why the 3.6R tops the lineup.

The answer is simple, really. Not everyone likes the feel of a turbocharged four-cylinder. Sounds odd, maybe, but more than a few Americans have grown accustomed to the smooth, effortless power delivery of a medium-sized six-cylinder engine. It is quite nice, you know.

Those same drivers also appreciate the simplicity of an automatic transmission, so the 3.6R comes standard with one of those, too. And don't forget its sophisticated Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) all-wheel-drive system and long list of optional luxury features. Put them all together and the Legacy makes for an interesting alternative to the Accords and Camrys of the world. See just how interesting in our latest results from the test track.

Vehicle: 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R
Odometer: 5453
Date: 10/20/09
Driver: Josh Jacquot

Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Five-speed automatic
Engine Type: Flat-6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,630cc (222 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 256 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 247 @ 4,400
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear): Double-wishbone
Tire Size (front): 225/50R17 93V M+S
Tire Size (rear): 225/50R17 93V M+S
Tire Brand: Bridgestone
Tire Model: Turanza EL400
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel Size: 17-by-7 inches
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy  
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,554

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 2.7
0-45 (sec): 4.6
0-60 (sec): 7.1
0-75 (sec): 10.5
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.2 @ 91.7
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.8
30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 123
Braking Rating: Average
Slalom (mph): 65.3
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.81
Handling Rating: Good
Db @ Idle: 35.5
Db @ Full Throttle: 66.9
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 59.1

Acceleration Comments: With the standard automatic, there's not much to do when it comes to launching this car. Does respond to brake torque launches, though, as it shaved a couple tenths right there. Used Manual mode for shifting but it didn't seem to help much. Shifts are fairly quick and smooth, nothing special. Did notice that it blips the throttle nicely when you're slowing down, though; didn't expect that.  

Braking Comments: Adequate performance, but not confidence-inspiring. Showed no significant fade after five runs. Soft, all-season tires certainly didn't help here. 

Handling Comments: (Skid pad) Easy to control without much intervention from the VDC system. Well balanced initially before it transitions to understeer. (Slalom) Used Manual mode to hold a gear and it works well without upshifting. Steering response noticeably slower than Impreza. VTD didn't come into play much here, not enough power to make a difference. Body roll is significant, so transitions take some planning. Easy to control, just not very quick on its feet.

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