Last car was an '02 Outback. The '06 has a much better engine and the transmission gearing on the 5-speed is much improved. It looks like they took about 350 - 400 RPMs off at 70mph, which makes for a better ride and improved mileage. By 1500 miles I hit 29 mpg and I'm hoping to hit 30 soon. The black and grey cloth interior is absolutely beautiful. EVERYONE comments about it. With the black exterior the car looks sharp. The standard exhaust system even sounds better, especially at low RPMs. There is no better bargain on the road today. Why no one else is building well priced AWD vehicles continues to amaze me.