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!