I needed a larger car due to family expansion and was drawn to the Outback due to the MotorTrend SUV of year award. Since owing the car since June, I believe that award to be false advertising. Our 2.5 Ltd does have good mpg & excellent interior design and ergonomics however there are too many minor issues to be truly satisfied with the car. The 2.5 H4 with the CVT transmission is weak and clunks when getting out of D or P; steering wheel vibrations @ 70-80 mph is hand numbing during long trips; Non-folding side mirrors annoying when parking; rear end sways in side winds; AC does not stay cold when idling; roof cross bars inadequate for most rack systems; the stereo sounds terrible. Sigh.
High ground clearance, Driver controls easy to reach. Reclining rear seats. Ample room for baby seat, baby stroller, and large dog carrier. Leather is soft. If you can live with the negatives, the car is a good price alternative versus the AWD Toyota Highlander/Venza and Ford Edge SUV/CUVs.
Fix the steering wheel shake. The shake was not evident until AFTER driving 2800 mi. During the test drive it was NOT there. When the car is @ 70-80mph the steering wheel shakes and can be felt throughout the cabin. Poor front end suspension/chassis engineering on Subaru's part. FAIL.