Bought an Outback summer of 2005. Came highly recommended by everyone I talked to. I have no idea why. Had to realign at 5000 mi and I hit nothing. OEM tires shot at 20000 miles. Replaced with cheap Cooper tires, ride and handling better than OEM Bridgestones. Seats are very uncomfortable and back seat is way too small. Gas mileage is good (26 to 28 very careful hwy, no A/C) but if you add a roof carrier and bike rack, drops to 23 to 24 mpg. Car is underpowered. Also, the Outback is not an SUV or truck. Not durable.
Gas mileage -- with no load.
Advertise as the car is - good on hwy commuting in moderately severe road conditions. Not a vehicle for outdoor people. I'll stick to my 2001 Jeep or a 4wd truck for my needs!!