The availability and pricing of Subaru's 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the 3.6-liter flat-six leaves me slightly confused. The difference between the two engines is 9 hp and $3000 (the 3.6 is cheaper. Sure, there's an argument to be made for having the the turbo as the sporty version and the flat-6-equipped Legacy as the more mainstream sedan, but it might be a stretch to say that Subaru has the volume to support three engines (there's a 170-hp four-cylinder too) for this car.
Having driven both the 3.6R and the 2.5GT, I prefer this car's turbo character and the standard six-speed manual transmission. The stick is a bit clumsy and clunky when swapping cogs, but clutch feel is wonderful. Aside from the engines, the 2.5GT and 3.6R feel very similar in ride and handling. They're comfortable on the street and fairly capable in the turns, with reassuring all-wheel-drive grip.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor