Being a Honda man, I defaulted to a Subaru Outback wagon because the Accord isn't available in an AWD wagon; a manual transmission because of its slow 0-60 times. I have a few complaints: shifter is too far forward in relation to how I like to sit in the driver's seat, power windows go up and down too slowly, miss the power up feature in my old Accord, wind and tire noise, rear slides out when cornering, exterior panel gaps are too wide and are unsightly, balky and ambiguous manual gear shift pattern and feel of engagement, awkward clutch/gear engagement (compared to my old Accord), the lack of telescoping steering column, sub-par standard audio system/speakers and lack of standard sunroof.
Auto-dim rear view mirror, heated side mirrors, beige/sand interior color, availability of 5-speed manual transmission, standard roof rack, cargo space, interior and exterior styling, 17 inch wheels, heated windshield wipers and decent pricing.
More cup holders up front please, more horsepower to make up for its weight, standard moon roof, traction control and vehicle dynamics control system (as in the v-6 Accord), improve the speed of the power windows, add power up feature as well.
Bought based on my mechanic recommending only Toyota, Honda, or Subaru. Had several friends with Outbacks. I considered the RAV4, CR-V, Accord, Legacy sedan. Would have gone with the Legacy, but no fold-down seats limits its utility. Gas mileage is ok - but expected with AWD.
Styling, utility, price. Great value.
Air conditioning could be beefier. A sixth gear would be nice. Over-the- shoulder sight lines on the driver side are tight. A better engine without needing premium gas. More useful storage bins up front. Steering wheel radio controls. Telescoping steering wheel. Nothing major.
Compared to my outgoing 2004 Honda Accord EX, I've discovered the following about my new Outback: it has more tire and wind noise, pretty weak standard sound system, no standard moon roof and preferred the Honda's interior center stack. That said, I am benefiting from the AWD, standard side curtain airbags, more horsepower, power adjustable driver seat, heated rearview mirrors/windshield wiper wells. I am experiencing a tach surge (up to 2500 rpm) at idle when coasting. The stick shift gates are a bit of a struggle to find the proper gears. I really miss the front console ambient lighting in my old Honda. Inside dome light does not adequately illuminate the front seat area.
I love the AWD, interior and exterior styling! Nice auto dimming rear-view mirror. Love the confidence of great crash safety ratings & standard side curtain airbags.
I expected more standard stuff on a $25K vehicle. Hate the seatbelt reminder beeping! I have to slam the rear hatch door to close it securely. How about standard tilt AND telescoping steering wheel column, standard moonroof, better OE tires and quieter interior.
Took this Subaru hunting season in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I live; the 2nd day our tent nearly collapsed due to 14" of heavy wet snow that fell while we were sleeping. We were 1/4 mile off the main road, had to cut trees off the road to clear the way. Drove the Subaru out breaking trail through 14" of heavy wet greasy snow and it never faltered or had any traction problems ... used to 4 wheel drive trucks and this was a wonderful surprise to me. Traction was great in a worst case scenario.
Quick handling and stability and traction.
Put the brake and clutch pedals farther apart so I can wear my swampers (oversize insulated cold weather boots) when driving.