The two improvements that I would appreciate are; a front seat arm rest to avoid fatigue on long trips - the 10 and 2 o,clock hand positions are very tiring, and directional signal display as a flashing bar in the exterior mirrors for increased safety. Best car in my 46 years of driving.
Smooth automatic shifting, acceleration and braking.
The Outback was our first "new" car, and we can certainly afford anything. This car has been completely troublefree, aside from the cupholder in the back seat that my kids stepped on (and broke). There is a lingering concern regarding head gaskets with the 2.5 engine. We have had no trouble at all. I do not know what incidence exists for these engines. We have a Subaru fanatic nearby who will change both sides for about $1500. Would I buy again? You bet - in fact, we're shopping right now for a Forester for her, so that I can start driving the '01 Outback - my '91 Loyale has 209k on it, and running fine but a bit of an embarrassment in this neighborhood.
Still some work to do on the "hillholder", but it's a minor irritation.
I love my LL Bean Outback. It's 2 toned which makes it look like a small SUV. The 6 cylinders give me plenty of get up and go. It has and excellently smooth ride and gets fairly good mileage on the highway, not quite as good in city driving. It has loads of room to pack and haul things. I would buy a new one today but Subarus last forever. At 50,000 miles all I needed was fluids checked and an oil change.
Loads of room to haul things and extremely comfortable ride.
I would recommend that the bottom of the back seat fold up towards the front seat (like the old Chevy Citation) to provide a flat hauling surface. Also if you could turn off the passenger front air bag. (I travel with a small dog.) Front moon roof should slide open all the way, not just raise.
I researched for about a year before I made my purchase. I am now and always will be a Subaru owner. I try and sell people I know and don't know on these cars. I've never had any major problems. This car has the best fuel economy, it's comfy, it's luxurious. I drove it in Washington in the snow every winter without getting stuck once ... I'm a snowboarder! Now I'm in Atlanta and it drives so wonderfully in the pouring rain. I feel very confident that my car and I will make it through just about anything.
All wheel drive. Its stance & height off the ground. Durable interior. Hatch back. Ability to fold the back seats down flat when needed with ease. The roof rack. Heated windshield wipers, even in Atlanta, they make life a lot easier. Heated side mirrors. Heated seats, especially great for long trips!
AC vents to the back seats. Heated back seats. Navigation. HID headlights Standard tinted windows. Side window de-foggers.
The car is a great freeway cruiser. The engine is very smooth and quiet. At freeway speeds RPMs are well bellow 3000. Little wind noise does get in (especially around window seals) and rear differential whines a bit at around 70mph, but overall the cabin stays quiet. Soft suspension and raised ground clearance make Outback a comfy ride when the pavement ends. Lazy automatic, on the other hand, kills performance and makes it hard to control the car at slow speeds when “off-roading”.
Horrible 4-speed auto. It does shift smoothly and does not gear-hunt. But the gears are too widely spaced and too tall. It absolutely kill the performance that 212hp H6 provides. Up-shifts come way too early, while down-shift do not happen unless floored. I bet the manual H4 outperforms the auto H6!