My dad has been car-shopping, and we've done quite a bit of research into this exact topic. I've driven the 2013 Altima 2.5 and 3.5, as well as the 2013 Legacy 2.5i and 3.6R.
Of all of them, the Legacy 3.6R was my favorite. Handling was good (although our tester's tires may have been low on air), it was finished up nicely inside and out, it was powerful (although the EZ is a bit lazy), and it is, of course, a Subaru
The Altimas seemed a little too low-rent for how much money you'd pay, especially for the more powerful engines. We test-drove leather interior versions of every car, and even the Altima's leather interior felt cheap and tinny. My mom owns a 2011 Outback 3.6 that she's put 30,000 miles on already, and I can attest to the fact that the interior in that thing looks and feels really good and lasts extremely well. It handled ok, but didn't blow my doors off.
And don't even get me started on how much better AWD is than FWD. As the owner of a 2008 Acura TL (see my avatar), I can say without a doubt that they should have made that generation of TL with AWD - it would have been absolutely perfect instead of almost perfect.
For what it's worth, though, my dad has eventually settled on... wait for it... the Volvo S60 T5 AWD. With the AWD option, the Beechwood leather interior, and no unnecessary safety overload, it comes out to $37,000. It's about $5,000 more expensive than the similarly-equipped leather interior Altima 3.5 or Legacy 3.6R, but oh my god is it worth it. Sit in and drive this car and you will be transformed. The interior is so nice, and the seats are SO comfortable... it's amazing. The thing drives amazingly, too. Handling is precise and responsive, the car's quick on its feet, very nimble, and VERY fun. Very approachable too; even my mom liked it (and she doesn't like the TL hahahaha). It even returns 20/29 MPG. I am so pissed off that Volvo does not offer a wagon version in the US; if they did I would DEFINITELY be saving up for one. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was... but it basically made all other cars seem kind of irrelevant.
So basically, my final vote is Volvo S60 T5 AWD. Because comfortable, racecar, and MPG
I know that's not what you were expecting to hear... but it's my opinion based on having driven all three.