You'll be hard-pressed to find a family-sized wagon in this price range that has a decent reliability record. I opted for the Outback because of its very smooth ride and generous cargo space compared to similarly-priced SUVs. I have not been disappointed. Enjoyable to drive. City mileage for me (~17) is a little disappointing, but highway mileage (~29) has been a pleasant surprise. I wish at times it had a little more power, but in most cases it is more than adequate.
Displays and controls are very ergonomic. Excellent A/C & heating system. Great sound system.
Back seats could have more legroom. LCD on display limited to 8 characters with no scrolling--which is very disappointing when using satellite or MP3s (even the cheapest units can do this). Add a fifth gear for auto transmission.