After extensive research on the Internet I decided on this Outback 2.5i base model. Car looks very nice, is comfortable to drive and has nice handling and performance. Feels as safe as a tank to drive. However, the interior trim material is extremely poor. It has developed all sorts of intermittent squeaking and rattling (have to turn up the radio just to cover it up when driving). The dealer says all those noises are normal for this car. Also the engine is extremely loud at ignition, sounds like it is going to breakdown. I was expecting a great car when buying but ended up with just a good car. Also very poor gas mileage of 22 MPG on mixed driving. Car didn't meet my expectations.
Side torso and curtain airbags are standard. Glove compartment is nice and huge. Extensive cargo space and ground clearance. Attractive steering wheel and instrument panel.
Poor interior trim materials. Should be refined to eliminating squeaking and rattling. Seat belt chime gets to be annoying, forces you to buckle up even when driving around parking lot. Improve gas mileage, Hybrid model would be nice. Better quality tires OEM.