I test drove all three models 2.5i with CVT, 3.6R and GT.
I come from a WRX with performance mods - the 2.5i just didn't cut it. Did not come anywhere near to meeting my desire for power.
The GT was a disappointment to me - I test drove it and it didn't excite me - I had expected more performance. For the extra money of premium gas and more frequent service interval, the car would need to exite me. I wan't interested in putting much effort or money into modifications.
I test drove the 3.6R and found it to be the most satisfactory. Power was good (I still want more
, lower fuel cost and longer service intervals compared to the GT were pluses, plus I wanted to switch to automatic transmission for a change, which is the way of the luxury sedan market.
If the GT had 300 hp and came in an automatic with all the luxuries, I probably would have went for it, especially if it offered more control over the AWD system like the STI offers.
So far, the car that I've enjoyed driving the most was the BMW 338xi. Its twin turbo with automatic transmission (with sport mode) and great suspension felt very nice. Its high price tag and high repair and maintenance costs (low reliability) made me look for a better overall option. I also enjoyed the Infinity G37x automatic, but didn't like how the all-wheel drive system worked and didn't like that its rear seats (4 door sedan) wouldn't fold forward (plus it's priced too high). After the Legacy, my second choice would have probably been the Infinity. I also tested the 2010 Ford Fusion AWD top-f-the-line model, but it felt sluggish to me. I considered the Audi's but the price was too high and reliability too low.
I found Subaru to be the best overall car to meet my needs. I would have liked the additional features that the Japanese market Legacy has - push button start, radar-controlled cruise control, and headlight washers.
I hope that there will be an easy way to re-program the 3.6R for more power (e.g., an automatic sport mode) without the need for hardware mods.