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Photos: 2008 Subaru Legacy 3.0 R Limited

The 2008 Subaru Legacy 3.0 R Limited makes for a good car in a variety of driving conditions, but its cabin tech tops out at a decent navigation system, with only a passable stereo.

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CNET Reviews staff
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Although not huge on cabin tech, the Legacy drives very well in different conditions. We were comfortable driving it in traffic and also had fun on twisty mountain roads.
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The Legacy comes in a number of trim levels, with our 3.0 R Limited being the top of the line. As such, it is well-equipped with a standard six-disc changer and navigation system.
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The 3-liter engine in the Legacy is a horizontally opposed six cylinder. Other Legacy models use 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engines, some turbocharged and some not.
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The Legacy has a nice, small car design, with a look unique from other cars in its class.
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The Legacy's all-wheel-drive gives it excellent handling. We pushed it hard on a rain-soaked mountain road and got minimal slip.
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The interior of the Legacy Limited is particularly nice, with good materials and fit.
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There are a lot of buttons on the steering wheel, but the ones integrated into the spokes are nicely finished. Other buttons between the spokes are less well-designed, and don't always seem necessary.
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We very much like that Subaru mounted the paddle shifters on the steering column, which means they don't move around when the wheel is turned.
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With the five-speed automatic, we preferred the manual shift mode. We also found that in second gear, we could get the car up to 50 mph without hitting the red line.
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The stack is a little bit of a mess, with monochrome displays for the stereo and climate control, then a separate LCD for the navigation system.
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Subaru's mode control knob lets you put the car into Intelligent, Sport, or Sport Sharp modes. We didn't find a great difference between Sport and Sport Sharp, and preferred using the manual shift mode for the transmission.
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The stereo has an auxiliary input in the center console, with a convenient wire pass-through, letting you plug in an MP3 player and keep it in the cup holder.
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We weren't impressed with the stereo, which only displayed file and folder names from MP3 CDs. It relies on six speakers with mediocre audio quality.
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The navigation system in the Legacy is solid, but doesn't offer any spectacular features. Its LCD is a bit small compared with more cutting-edge cars.
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The navigation system includes these points-of-interest categories. You can also enter addresses by telephone number, freeway entrance, and from the map.
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Route guidance worked well in the Legacy, giving us adequate notice on where to turn. But it didn't have advanced features, such as text-to-speech.
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We do like that you can enter multiple waypoints into the Legacy's navigation system, setting up complex routes.
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The LCD can also be used to display these virtual gauges, which show average and immediate fuel economy, and acceleration.
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Another information screen on the LCD shows fuel economy in bar graph format.

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