My wife and I purchased a 2006 LL Bean Wagon as our family car. Herein lies the problem; it seems to have been designed by people without kids. 1) The LATCH system is recessed so far in to the seat that is it very difficult to reach. 2) Rear facing car seats require that the front seat is forward to the point that my knees almost touch the dash (I an 5'11"). I drive a VW GTI and, because of its larger passenger compartment, we often take it on trips and leave the "family car" at home
This is a nice car for a family with kids either out of car seats or at least out of rear facing seats. The interior design and quality far surpasses it's peers Rear cargo space is great and well thought out. AWD (especially with snow tires) is fantastic.
Reliability; at 15,000 the car began to start with difficulty and was very rough. Fuel economy (poor to begin with) dropped as did performance. Our local dealership was great, but it spent over 30 days in the shop and required the regional tech spend 3 days tearing the car apart. Seems ok now.
I had a Subaru Legacy before this Outback. I love this car. I have the 6 cylinder, and it is sporty and functional at the same time. Well designed and luxurious for this type of car. I compared it to all other models in its class including the RAV4 and it stood way above the others!
Heated seats, electronic seats, efficient AC and heat, good dash. I love a "station wagon" feel without being in an SUV.
Seat memory buttons for different drivers. Not a big deal - it's just all I can think of!
Bought the LL Bean with the 6 cylinder. Not cheap but when I considered that I will burn 300 gallons less per year, the choice was easier. Nice ride, peppy motor and the stereo is great. The sunroof is the coolest on the market. I have no problem throwing the dog and decoys in the back for some hunting or showing up at a business meeting. Great vehicle.
Motor, sunroof, appearance.
Seat bottoms are a little short. A weatherband radio button, cargo pockets on the back of BOTH front seats, recovery hooks in the front to secure my canoe carried on the roof rack.
I have owned 5 Subarus now starting in 1984, progressed from GL Wagons with 4WD to LL Bean Wagons with AWD. They are the most reliable well built cars I have ever dealt with. I have friends with Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, just name it. The LL Bean in my book surpasses them all.
The illuminated door controls, heated seats dual climate control.
This is my first Subaru. It has a very solid feel to it, which I like. The interior is comfortable, and the sunroof is a thing of beauty. I love to bounce it around on rutted old roads while going fishing, and love how it handles in the snow and ice. I've always owned slightly larger cars, so it takes a bit of getting used to the size. The transmission is the only blemish I can mention. Going uphill it tends to never find its groove, keeps shifting up and down and up and down. Also it seems it takes the tranny a bit to warm up on cool mornings, it might try a clumsy double shift while accelerating out of the driveway.
Love that sunroof and all the cargo space. The car rides so solid on or off road, that I'm always pleased to ride it on rough roads and through construction sites.
The transmission I think is bad enough to make me wish I had bought an XT with a manual transmission. Frequently shifts at the wrong time, and doesn't react to throttle or hills in the predictable way that other cars I've owned have.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.