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Review (2/2)

The Legacy 3.6R is 3.2-in. higher and 3.6-in. wider than the previous model, yielding significant gains in head, shoulder and hip room. The 2011 Subaru Legacy 3.6R offers more total passenger room (103 cu. ft.) than many of its competitors, along with one of the largest trunks (14.7 cu. ft.) in the segment. The roomy trunk is a significant achievement considering that the Legacy's AWD requires packaging a rear differential and drive axles. Overall vehicle length is up by just 1.4-in. (now 186.4 in.), but overhang dimensions are reduced compared with the previous model.

The 2011 Legacy 3.6R interior is not only more spacious than before, but takes another step up in refinement from an already-praised design. The sporty four-dial instrument panel is augmented in all Legacy models by a multi-information display with trip computer located in the center of the dashboard. Richer looking appointments and details abound, including a sporty 3-spoke steering wheel (leather-wrapped in all but the base 3.6R). A new electronic parking brake - with an electronic Hill Holder System -- eliminates the traditional parking brake handle, freeing up space in the center console.

3.6-Liter 6-Cylinder Boxer Engine

The new 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine replaces the previous 3.0-liter Boxer, yet features similar external dimensions thanks primarily to a unique shortened connecting rod design. As a result, this larger-displacement, more powerful engine maintains its excellent low center of gravity while improving power delivery and significantly improving the driving experience versus the 3.0 engine. Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves optimizes power delivery across the engine's speed range while helping to reduce emissions.

The 3.6 Boxer engine produces 256 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 247 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,400 rpm, compared to 245 hp at 6,600 rpm and 215 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm for the previous 3.0-liter engine. Notably, the 3.6-liter engine sustains at least 225 lb-ft of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, making the Legacy 3.6R feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving.

Not only does the 3.6 engine offer greater performance than the previous 3.0-liter unit, but does so using regular-grade fuel compared to premium recommended in the 3.0. The specially tuned five-speed automatic transmission, combined with the greater torque output of the new engine, helps make the Legacy 3.6R more responsive when driving in hilly areas by significantly reducing "hunting" between gears. The 5-speed automatic transmission also incorporates improved downshift 'blipping' logic for the 2011 Legacy, which helps transmission responsiveness.

Confident, Agile Handling and Safety for Any Road

The Legacy improves crash-worthiness and provides a stiffer platform for a smoother, quieter ride - but retains the crisp handling and balance for which Subarus are known. The 6-cylinder Legacy 3.6R (all trim lines) is equipped with 17-in. alloy wheels with 225/50 R17 tires.

All Legacy models for 2011 are equipped as standard with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control capability. The 2011 Legacy models are also equipped with a standard 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and, new for 2011, the Brake Assist safety system.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive a Key to Brand Identity

Legacy 3.6R models exclusively feature advanced Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) All-Wheel Drive with a 5-speed automatic transmission. A planetary center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally sends more power to the rear wheels to enhance handling agility, and it continuously adjusts power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.

Premium and Limited Models Add New Level of Comfort and Convenience

Standard comfort and available amenities are increased across the Legacy line since 2010. For example, the electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle to pull away from a stop.

Legacy 3.6R Premium models add more amenities, including a 10-way power driver's seat (with power lumbar support adjustment) and driver's auto up/down window, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio switches, instrument storage bin with door, ambient light for overhead console, chrome exhaust tip, body-colored mirrors and 17-in. alloy wheels. The Premium models also offer additional comfort and convenience options, including a 440-Watt harman-kardon audio system, a power moonroof, and the All-Weather Package that adds heated front seats and mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.

The Legacy 3.6R Limited models feature standard leather upholstery, dual zone automatic climate control, harman-kardon® audio system, and a 4-way power front passenger seat. The Limited models also exclusively offer an available voice-activated GPS navigation system with an 8-in. LCD display and rear-view backup camera, hands-free Bluetooth® connectivity and streaming Bluetooth audio.

The Subaru Safety Story

The Legacy, like all Subaru models, has consistently earned top scores in government and insurance industry crash tests. The 2011 Legacy 3.6R is designed to further raise the safety quotient. Subaru's Ring-Shaped Frame Reinforcement safety structure, proven over a decade in all Subaru models, again forms the foundation for crash protection and occupant safety in the 2011 Subaru Legacy 3.6R. A new front subframe (engine cradle) helps improve front impact safety. The 2011 Legacy 3.6R features greater use of high-tensile steel to keep weight gains below 50 pounds on any one model, despite the much larger interior package.

The 2011 Legacy 3.6R models include as standard equipment front seat side impact air bags and side curtain air bags that offer additional head protection for front and rear occupants. Intelligent dual-stage deployment front air bags use sensors to detect the presence and weight of a front passenger and also the driver's distance from the steering wheel. The system determines front air bag deployment strength for optimal occupant protection.

Redesigned front seat frames provide enhanced protection against whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. With the entire seat optimized for a rear-end collision, Subaru replaced the previous active front head restraints with a more comfortable design.

Subaru Legacy 3.6R: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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