Solid road car. Great engine, quiet, very good handling, brakes and steering wheel response. Great road shock absorption. Transmission very smooth. The car is tight at the shoulders and could be a little wider. The steering wheel needs to be adjusted higher to clear my knees.
Six cylinder engine performance at highway speed is terrific. Solid road feel is very good and quiet.
Steering wheel needs greater upward travel to clear knees. Wider seats and seating area (1" each seat; my wife and I are 6' tall). Better radio reception/speakers. Needed to have both front door insulation replaced due to loud wind noise from windows.
Almost from the day I took my Subaru home I have had problems. The car has poor and erratic idle, loses power while driving and stalls. Subaru (several dealerships) has attempted repairs, replacing MANY parts, over the three years I have had this car. Each time the problems resurface. Low idle, power loss, stalling at stops. I am past my 36,000 warranty and Subaru has committed to honor the warranty for existing problems, but that is little consolation as I have to continue living with a $32,000 car that I do not trust. On more than one occasion I was almost stranded on long trips with wife and baby.
Dual sun roof is nice.
Performance from the H6 engine is not what is should be. The loss of power and stalling is frustration beyond words.
This is our second Outback, the first was a 2001 but in the basic package. The VDC edition is simply an extremely well designed and built car. Put an aggressive tire on it and you can get any where you need to go in any weather. Handling is surprisingly sport like and has enough power to make driving fun, we trailer an atv with it. Decked out with all the bells and whistles.
After four years with a Saturn LW2/300, I decided to get back to Subaru for a variety of reasons. The biggest one is the reliability of the car. I had a '92 Loyale that I couldn't kill, but traded in for the Saturn. After various "issues" with that car, I decided to come back to Subaru. I bought the standard Outback Wagon with a 5 speed, my first! and just love it. Here in NH you need a good snow car. The Outback continually impresses my wife and I, not only in the foul weather, but on our short and long trips. Very little stops the car or us. It goes through every where we want to go. It loads up and cruises down the highway well. Being 6 foot 1 inch, I find I have just enough room behind the wheel.
All wheel drive, comfort, can pack a ton of stuff and head to ME at 75 mph. Heated seat, mirrors, and wiper rest. The grunt of the engine, especially with a K&N air filter in it. I surprise people when I gain on them on uphills :). Very good gas mileage with a big right foot; 25 - 27 around town and highway.
A little more pep from the engine, though this has been taken care of with the 05's. Even the non-turbo Outback moves with an automatic, but it's more fun to shift for yourself. Poor headlights on the 03; if it wasn't for the foglights, it would be hard to drive in the dark / inclement weather.
Other than the up-coming change in 2 1/2 years for the OnStar system, from analog to digital, the car has been all I have ever expected out of it and more. I have mine serviced every 2,500 miles, and if I find something wrong, I have it repaired while it is still nickel dime, before it reaches quarter half dollar condition.
Very solidly built car, evidence of very good quality control, hardly any blind spots, drives wonderful in ice and snow conditions. Engine temperature always remains stable at one area on indicator. Has never failed to start the first second since I have owned it. Plenty of room to transport anything.
I would like to see the tilt steering have a little more up and down movement as at times I am restricted by the steering wheel due to space getting in and out of the car. I am not overweight but have adapted to the tilt over the past 2 1/2 years.