MPG-o-Matic Subaru Legacy Review Summary: The Subaru Legacy 3.0 R Limited is a five-star safety rated American-made All Wheel Drive sport luxury sedan that competes with the Audi A4 Quattro, BMW 335xi, and Volkswagen Passat 4Motion.
The EPA gas mileage estimates for the 2008 Legacy 3.0 R come in at 17 city / 24 highway. In a week of driving, we found those estimates to be low, as we achieved 27.3 on the highway and 21.9 in suburban driving in mid-thirty degree weather.
That’s not bad for an all wheel drive sedan with this much power.
The Legacy 3.0 R is fitted with a 3.0 liter six cylinder Subaru Boxer engine. The conventionally aspirated horizontally opposed six cranks out 245 horsepower and 215 foot pounds of torque.
Make no mistake about it. This is a driver’s car.
There’s plenty of power, the ride is smooth, and the handling is effortless with superb grip delivered by Subaru’s symmetrical all wheel drive.
Lets take a look inside the cabin …
The first time my teenage son settled into the shotgun seat he instantly remarked, “Wow, Dad … this is a Subaru? It looks like a BMW.” Not bad for a car built in Lafayette, Indiana.
The cabin has a high-end feel and is thoughtfully designed.
The perforated leather seats are comfortable and supportive. The heated front buckets with lumbar support are welcome respite after a long day on the slopes.
The rear seats’ 60/40 fold down with center pass-thru adds a good bit of flexibility on those winter trips … its great for keeping your skis and snowboards inside the car, instead of up on the roof.
The 3.0 R’s sound system rocks, with an integrated satellite radio, steering wheel controls, and a conveniently concealed iPod jack in the center console.
The grippy ribbed cupholder cover is a perfect spot for a cell phone and iPod.
Two features stand out for the sport and economy minded driver
The controls on the 3.0 R’s five speed automatic transmission let the sport sedan show its Jeckle and Hyde personality with just a flick.
A center console mounted knob allows the driver to instantly choose between Sport, Sport Sharp, an Intelligent transmission modes. Tool around in Intelligent mode and you find it to be smooth and quiet. Flick the knob to Sport or Sport Sharp for a more responsive throttle.
When you really want to take control, the shifter can be stirred as a manual slap stick … and for the boy or grrrrrl racer in you, the Legacy 3.0R’s steering wheel mounted paddle shifters are wicked cool.
Economy minded drivers will love the duel-mode fuel efficiency display … we know we did.
The flat panel display enables the driver to learn how to drive the Legacy 3.0R for maximum fuel efficiency. Spend a few hours driving with the fuel-economy display and you’ll optimize your mile per gallon ratings.
All-in-all, we found the Subaru Legacy 3.0 R to be an excellent choice for folks who enjoy spirited driving, while needing the safety and security of all wheel drive. The only nit we found to pick was the spaceship-inspired steering wheel … and we quickly got over it … after just one trip down our favorite twisty road.
– by Daniel Gray