2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R, 2018 Subaru Legacy 3.6R, turbocharged Outback
Denis Flierl's picture

Look For Subaru To Axe Outback, Legacy 3.6R Models

If you want a 3.6R Outback or Legacy model, you better get one now. Check out what Subaru has planned for their next-generation Outback.

The 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R packs a 6-cylinder boxer engine, but you may not be able to get it for much longer. One look at the all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent tells us the 3.6R in the Outback and Legacy could be like the NFL, (Not For Long).

Subaru developed the new 2.4-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine for the new Ascent family hauler producing 260hp and 277 lb. ft of torque. The Ascent 2.4-liter twin turbo four cylinder is their new-generation boxer engine developed specifically for this vehicle that’s built at Subaru’s U.S. factory in Lafayette, Indiana.

Why is the 3.6-liter engine in Outback and Legacy going away? It’s because of the tighter fuel-mileage and emissions regulations around the globe. Automakers need to downsize engines and make them cleaner burning for the new California and European regs. But it’s not such a bad things for consumers.

Subaru says, despite the Ascent 2.4-liter’s smaller displacement, the newly developed four-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection boxer engine will achieve smooth acceleration equal to or better than that of competing vehicles with 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engines. That is accomplished by adding torque over horsepower, because torque is what gets a vehicle moving from a stop and helps in pulling the vehicle up a hill, or when towing.

Take a look at a few examples in the story below and you’ll see why its a good thing for new-generation Outback and Legacy buyers when they arrive with a new turbo four cylinder engine.

READ: How New Subaru Ascent 2.4L Engine Compares To Competition’s V6 Power

Subaru is correct when they say the all-new Ascent 3-Row will achieve smooth acceleration because of torque, equal to or better than that of competing vehicles with 3.5-liter V6 engines. The new 2.4-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine has more torque than any of the competition’s larger 3.5-liter or 3.6-liter V6 engines, and it should get improved fuel-economy over the competitor’s V6 powerplants.

The all-new Ascent 3-Row, is powered by the brand’s all-new direct-injected turbocharged 2.4-liter Boxer 4-cylinder that beats the current Outback 3.6R engine. The 3.6R develops 256 horsepower and 247 lb. ft of torque. Both short of Ascent’s 260hp and 277 lb. ft of torque.

The 3.6R’s demise is no surprise, because Subaru Corporation spelled it out in their “Prominence 2020" plan. The plan outlines every Subaru boxer engine will come with the latest Direct Injection technology. You’ll see smaller turbo engines developing more power and with greater fuel efficiency in the new-generation Subaru vehicles.

The 3.6 Liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine in the Outback and Legacy is going away soon. The new-generation models, when they arrive sometime in 2019, will likely be powered by new twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engines like the new 2019 Ascent. So if you still want the larger displacement 3.6R 2018 Outback and Legacy model, you better get one soon, before they are a thing of the past.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA

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Like many folks that have commented, Iwant the bigger engine and no Turbo plumbing and complicated associated parts and pieces. The larger engine gets less wear and tear over the life of the engine and it's basic mechanical engineering and physics. Heat dispersion is more even and consistant in the larger block and simple operation. I have power when I need it without stressing the power unit and transmission. This ain't no sports car,but it has the lines and look I love. Hell I'm 65 not 30 trying to impress any babe other than my bride of 37 years and she loves the car more than she loves me I think. I'm a nuclear engineer and electrical engineer with significant training in mechanical engineering and material composition and physical properties and capabilities. I was looking forward tothe 3.6 Ascent. We have maybe 9K miles on our 2017 Outback. I can't imagine wearing this beast out in my lifetime.
The 3.6R in our Outback Touring is everything I expected it to be; and I'm afraid that no mention of durability regarding the 2.4 turbo supports my long-standing opinion that, over the long haul, turbos are problematic. I'll be driving my 2017 with the 3.6R long after those with turbos have gone through two engines!
they will also loose me, dropping the 6 is a huge mistake on Subaru. I will find another 4 wheel drive 6 cyl car maker.
I have had 3 outbacks. Currently have 2012 3.6 limited w/ only 45k miles on it. it has a REAL 5 spd transmisson. Subaru lost me when they went to a rubber band, CVT, transmission. Now they are dropping a great reliable engine for a shorter life turbo 4? Goodbye Subaru. It was good while it lasted. My next car will be a Toyota 4 Runner with a real V-6 and No turbos and NO RUBBER band transmission.
Did a test drive for a used 2017 Outback 3.6R and was surprised how sluggish it was when I tried to merge into a traffic from a full stop and had under 100 yards distance. 3.6R engine specs point at the highest torque of 247 lb.-ft. @ 4,400RPM!!!! No low rpm torque at all. I live in a major metropolitan area with some of the worst traffic in a nation. Is there some trick to make 3.6R respond quicker?
Small overstressed motors are a recipe for repairs. Good for the dealer, bad for you.