This is my 1st Subaru, having had a number of Honda's before, I would rate this cars quality as equal, if not better than any of them. The ride is very solid and quiet, yet fun to drive, even with the automatic. 24.5 MPG average in 3300 miles. No defects or problems so far.
I shopped the 02 Honda CRV also but found the Outback to be more refined and a better value.
Excellent AWD system. Love the heated seats.
Could use a little more leg and shoulder room, but even at 6'3" I'm very comfortable.