This cars steering was so bad, with about a 1/2 inches of play at center that I took it back to O'Brien's in Fort Myers FL with less than 150 miles on it. I asked if I could get my 2009 Outback back. They said there was nothing they could do. They said my 09 Outback was sold back to Subaru, and gone. I later saw that it was in there back lot. So they lied. So I traded for a Hyudai until I can figure out what I want next. I lost about 10 to 12 thousand that weekend. I have had 45 new cars.
I wanted a family car/suv that drove like a sports car. This is the car chose. Fits the bill pretty well. I did research at Subaru outback.org and found a lot of them add a Subaru 19 mm rear sway bar kit ($72 online) that makes the car corner much flatter but still ride well. This 10 minute easy install job provided my family sports car. Best $72 upgrade ever. Dealership had no problem with the switch for warranty. Drives with a German feel now. Watch your speed, the car likes to be driven over 60 mph everywhere!
All wheel drive, good steering feel, quiet, does not lean much in turns, good ride, roomy, H6 engine feels like a V8, good gas mileage, I average 24 mpg, HK stereo, roof rack design, ground clearance, Subaru reliability & resale value.
Drivers seat memory, LED tail lights & turn signals, HID headlights, larger sunroof, make the 19 mm rear sway bar a factory standard instead of the thin 15 mm.
We've had the car for 11 months now and are pleased with the performance and reliability. The only maintenance we've needed was 2 oil changes, the last included checking for 2 recall issues (neither was found on our car.) Cargo room is adequate although with 2 adults and 2 large dogs we did purchase a roof basket since we car camp frequently. No complaints about handling, in fact the car handles quite well, very fast off the line and easy to drive on winding roads. Much nicer to drive than the Xterra we had before although not as rugged.
This is a great snow car, however it developed the well documented front end shimmy almost immediately. Many of the convenience and entertainment features are quirky or poorly implemented (such as a Nav system that is horrendous and can't be read with Polarized sunglasses). Subaru finally admitted that their proposed fix to the shimmy problem would not really fix the problem, so we traded the vehicle in. Gas mileage was mid-20's in town, 30 and up on the highway. Dealership process was generally poor. A road force balance would fix the shimmy for 1000 miles or so, then it returned with a vengeance. Proposed permanent fix involved almost entire steering system rebuild.
Beautifully implemented AWD, great gas mileage for an AWD car. Nice size cabin.
Subaru needs to greatly improve its Nav system. Voice recognition system is close to worthless. The endemic front end shimmy issue will leave you wanting to sell the vehicle sooner rather than later. Subaru's dealers (at least our dealer) are not up to the standards of Subaru or its demographic.