While the 3.0R boasts a larger engine and more hp, it actually has less lb/foot of torque than its 2.5GT counterpart; translating to 7 tenths of a second from 0-60. The acclaimed S/I drive is amusing, if not practical. In sport mode acceleration is noticeably boosted from intelligent mode. Paddle-shifting is also available in sport sharp, though its more burdensome than liberating. Paddle-shift levers, S/I drive console, and Navigation system all contribute to the impressive interior. Even after the romance fades, the controls are insightful and convenient. This car may be your best choice if: a. you drive in all-weather conditions b. you purchase used at a discount
I rated the performance a 3 simply because their are better performing choices out there in a sedan. I wanted an AWD vehicle, but I also was looking to upgrade in mpg from my previous f150 4x4. My research had lead to me to the Subaru Legacy. I had never driven one or even sat inside one. This car gives the best bang for your buck if you purchase slightly used. I got a limited model 29k miles for 16995. Everyone that gets inside the car can't believe the features I got for the price tag. I've done a lot of research and nothing else compares. I wish the mpg was a bit better but I can live with all the features I get instead. The fun-to-drive factor is great despite the small engine.
Great Car until 85,000 miles, then it started to fall apart.
written on 09-28-2014
I really tried to love Subaru and become a lifetime buyer of there cars. My 2008 legacy provided me with great awd traction, great highway mpg 30+, low maintenance costs. The negatives started at 85,000 miles, head gasket leak, end links failure provided very loud clunking noises, power steering pump wine, heat shield rattle at start up, door panel clunking, dashboard clunking. The problems started in June 2014 and by September I gave up on the car after I realized I have the dreaded Subaru head gasket leak. The car also became a rattle box inside after about 80,000 miles which surprised me. I planned on keeping the car to well over 100,000 miles. City mpg was also sub-par 17-19mpg.
Looked for a slightly-used Legacy GT, but they're quite rare too, so I researched the 3.0R and bought an almost-new one. Know from personal experience that the 3.0 H6 engine can go 130k miles with no more than routine maintenance. Having owned a 2002 WRX as well as a few Saabs, I can say that the 3.0R feels more like a Saab than the WRX. The WRX felt nimble and light, while the Saabs felt more solid and locked-in while cornering. For the mature driver, there's more sport than luxury but young hotshots will find its reflexes a bit slow. Great for someone who likes both Saabs and Subarus. Not much plush but a lot of function. Learning to use all the controls is worthwhile.
This is my second Subaru Legacy, the first one being a 2005 2.5i Limited 5-spd. Liked the chassis so much I decided to get a Spec. B version, if for nothing else the extremely strong 6-spd tranny and drive train over the GT models. The Si-Drive allows simple daily driving as well. The interior is as expected, nav, aux-in radio, heated front seats and soft touch areas where needed.