I purchased a manual 2010 Outback after wrecking my BMW in a snow storm. It definitely has great all-weather traction, and is very comfortable. I'm very tall and I fit very comfortably in the front seats. The power front driver's seat is nice. It does OK on the highway, but is more jittery than my old car. I thought the manual transmission would be fun (my last 4 cars were manuals) but the clutch engagement is very high, and not progressive. The 4 cylinder engine has just enough oomph but is very noisy at anything more than medium throttle. The handling is clumsy compared to a car, but probably better or on par with other mid-size SUVs. Should have gone with the AWD Ford Fusion
The AWD is good, and the ground clearance is great. Heated front wiper defroster is very cool. In 6" of snow, easily navigated a parking lot. The trunk is well designed and the roof racks are neat (except they don't accept standard Thules). Hill holder, elec parking brake and auto headlights.
The front door bins are very cheap (solid plastic, no liners, "rattle machines"). The moonroof controls are silly (tilt and slide are separate switches). Lots of hard plastic all over the dash. Dumb radio controls for media on standard radio. Make the side mirrors break away (not solid mount)