As the flagship trim of the 2012 Subaru Outback fleet, the Outback 3.6R Limited totes standard all-wheel drive (AWD), 6-cylinder power, 71.3 cubic feet of cargo room and a towering 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Outside, this top-shelf trim is endowed with 17-inch alloy wheels, a newly reworked roof rack and a rear spoiler. Inside, room for 5 is embraced by leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, simulated wood, simulated alloy and leather cabin trim accents. Old standards like heated power-adjustable front seats, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and reclining rear seats also adorn the well-wrought cabin. Paddle shifters, as well as cruise and audio controls are mounted on the leather-trimmed steering wheel, while telescoping tilt-wheel steering and full power accessories, including heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, additionally remain standard.
Finally, Bluetooth hands-free calling as well as a 440-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system with MP3-capable single-CD player, 9 speakers, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary iPod interface, represent some of this midsize wagon’s more noteworthy techno-goodies.
As well-equipped as it is, the top-shelf Outback 3.6R Limited still offers the Popular Equipment Group 1B, with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, compass and a universal remote garage door opener, as well as such extras as a power sunroof, navigation and a rear-view camera, all in package or standalone form. Rear-seat DVD entertainment, upgraded cabin illumination and remote engine start, meanwhile, are each available as individual options.
The standard 256-hp, variable-valve-timed (VVT) 3.6-liter horizontally opposed 6-cylinder powerplant gives the 2012 Outback 3.6R Limited its go, not to mention its name. Mated with the standard 5-speed shiftable transmission, this peppy six-banger puts out 247 lb-ft of torque, good enough to tow up to 3,000 pounds with the optional trailer hitch installed. Mileage remains estimated at 18 mpg city/25 highway, while the full-time symmetrical AWD system allows added torque to be diverted from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip, meaning this popular family wagon goes in snow, and with the extra ground clearance, also carries its weight in light off-road chores.
Again for this year, the Outback 3.6R Limited sports such standard safety features as 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, and front side-mounted airbags. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and a remote antitheft alarm come standard, as well, with an upgraded antitheft alarm available in the Popular Equipment Group 1B.