Bought the Outback in late Sept '09 looking for reliable inexpensive AWD transportation, expecting some frozen precip here in WNC. Read existing reviews, and found a couple of very negative comments about the standard sound system (which I bought anyway) - otherwise very positive reviews to that point. Overall, I've been VERY pleased with the car, which now has just over 8K miles on it. I added the XM Radio (which I wouldn't be without these days) and after listening to it for 9 months, I still don't understand the complaints about the standard sound system - mine is very acceptable. On recent trips, I got about 30 mpg. The CVT is great, and the H4 is very adequate for day to day use.
AWD and CVT with paddle shifters for those days when nature wants to make travel a challenge. Ample interior space for 5 adult passengers for short in-town trips, and comfort and cargo space for 4 adults on an extended trip. SUBARU RELIABILITY!
Back up camera and/or perimeter sensors, and Blind Spot warning systems. Choices on interior colors rather than the standard interior for each exterior color. PHEV Drivetrain to minimize gasoline requirements to absolute minimum.