I first test drove a 1997 Subaru Outback Wagon and found the smooth ride uncanny since we also owned a Lexus LS 400. I finally purchased a 2002 Outback Loaded. The Automatic Transmission is smooth and lends itself to Hypermiling... use of Neutral position when coasting when approaching Lights, on Descending Grades etc. Re-engages Drive effortlessly and smoothly. Attained approx 35.8 MPG with room for lots of improvement. The Ride is excellent and Acceleration is brisk. My next Outback will probably be Turbo Charged or Hybrid when avail.
Auto Transmission for Hypermiling, Handles Snow Like a Dream. Smooth 4 Cyl Engine and Great Gas Mileage. Love that Outback Ride.
Six Speed Auto Transmission, Hybrid Technology, or Shut off Gas Engine at Red Lights. Six Speed Engine that Shuts down Cylinders at Speeds over 50. More Cup Holders, Double Wishbone Suspension ala Honda for Improved Handling and Quick Maneuvering.