Obviously people have had differing experiences. Mine have been superb. I had a 2004 Outback with 100,000 miles; loved it, but decided it was time for a change. Tested the RAV4, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Acura RDX; kept coming back to the Outback. After 2000 miles, it's nothing but delightful. The ride is firm but quiet. The transmission selection system works well; gear selection on hills is much better than with the 2004. Biggest surprise is the mileage; guided by the gas consumption guage, and trying to maintain a fairly light foot, I've been getting 23 mpg in-town and 27 on the Interstate (contrary to the 17/24 official rating). The car is great fun to drive.
Interior design and quality; sporty driving experience; much better than expected mileage; "light show" when the ignition is turned on.
On low beams, the headlights create a sharp dividing line between what is illuminated and what is not; this becomes a little troublesome on hilly roads. Could also use a little more front seat leg room, and a little more storage space in the cabin.