I purchased a 2010 Forester in June, 2010 when a job changed forced a move to the Eastern Sierras and an elevation of 8000 feet.
The Forester was a great car that handled the snow without any problems.
But, it was underpowered at this elevation and too small for someone who's 6'3" and 260 pounds.
So, we traded it in on a 2011 Outback 3.6 Limited.
No regrets at all.
The 6 cylinder is both smooth and powerful, and the 5 speed transmission is much better than the 4 speed in the Forester.
It's got plenty of room, front and back.
The only car I've owned that's as comfortable was an Infiniti M35.
This is a great road car.
If it's as reliable as the Forester was in 18,000 miles, I'm happy.
Smooth and powerful engine nicely matched tot he 5 speed automatic transmission.
Fit and finish are very good for a car in this price range.
I don't generally like the appearance of SUV's and in the past have not thought much of Subaru's styling, but I find this to be a very attractive car.
When we bought our first Subaru a year ago the salesman said the brand has tremendous customer loyalty and a high rate of replacing a Subaru with another one.
After owning two, I can understand why.
And, they hold their value.
I owned the Forester one year, and put on 18,000 miles.
I got $1500 less than I paid for it on a trade in.
Here's the 2011 Subaru Outback with the noise that car buyers are complaining about. Loud inside the car and out. Occurs in park, neutral and drive. Starts at about 1100 RPM. Dealers will tell you this is normal. THIS IS A NEW CAR....two weeks old....this is not normal and Subaru should repair / recall this car to fix this problem. View and listen to this defect at youtube.com and look up user mudridx.
See and listen to the subaru_outback.mov for yourself.
Visit the Subaru forums and read the many complaints about the Outback "chirping".
Google "Outback chirping" and read for yourself.
It is not acceptable that Subaru is not addressing this problem.
This vehicle is a great value.
Extremely comfortable, balanced ride on the highway, and for the amount of space, extremely fuel efficient.
Left my home in Louisville for Monroe, LA with less than 500 miles on odometer.
Driving at 75mph with the AC on, we got 28.9 mpg for the 1,400 miles roundtrip.
That came to about 50 gallons of reg. gas; compared to 69 gallons of premium used by our '08 Mazda CX7 on our last trip.
The drivetrain is very smooth; no shifting noted on the CVT, and the engine never lost momentum, even on steep grades.
The front seats are particularly comfortable; my wife really liked the reclining features of the shotgun seat.
You can virtually recline fully.
I prefer the wagon type trunk, (larger footprint), over the SUV type shape of most crossovers, (less sq feet of footprint, with a taller space).
You can put more cargo in without obstructing
Finally found guts to get rid of my "Thirsty Elephant on hormones" - 2006 Jeep Commander.
Both me and my wife love everythng about Outback and the 3.6 really moves it.
Leather quality comparable only to Infinity.
Everything is where it is expected to be.
My only couple of little gripes are:
(1) Can't raise the back glass (need to pop the entire door) which I find pretty irritating especially if you need to bring a few 10 ft 2x4's from Home Depot.
(2) Also, it is strange that only driver's side mirror
has one-touch up feature and you need to hold the button full time to close the passenger windor.
But otherwise, it is a blast to drive. No regrets whatsoever. Get a 3.6R for sure!
Loads and loads of great features.
8" GPS is amazing and very functional.
Awesome sound system.
Leather quality is top notch.
Mileage is within limits stated in specs.
Improve availability of black leather with exterior paint combinations.
Somehow more exterior colors are available with "light brown" (which I call white for all practical purposes) leather.
Who needs white leather?
2. Would be real nice if back lift gate window would pop up without opening the whole back door.
Strange that one-touch window up is only available on driver's but not on passenger side.
Subaru decided not to go with the crowd and that "on-off" button.
Old-fashion ignition switch is just fine by me.
I purchased a 2011 Outback Limited with the 3.6R engine for my wife. (Everything except Nav) After driving it from Maine to Oklahoma (home), I had to have my own Outback so I sold my 2010 Maxima and purchased another 2011 Outback Limited with the 3.6R engine except this time with nav.
I frequently refer to my outbacks as Honda Accords with AWD, however much more practical. You can haul and carry a lot of stuff home from Lowe's. I have several suggestions for improvement (explained later) and have actually conveyed them to Subaru. (Probably will fall on deaf ears though, however I did receive a nice response.) Great vehicle and you can't go wrong.
Looks, practical, economical, smooth, reliable.
As a whole and considering all factors, it is an outstanding vehicle that is very hard to beat.
OK, now for my big bitch. Do not waste your money on the Outback's navigation system. It is a three disc system that is definitely second class and would be better suited for a Yugo. I love having to change disc's between Illinois/Indiana and Oklahoma/New Mexico and remembering in the state you are traveling in prior to selecting any locations. . If you have not used/owned Acura's or Infinity's Navigation system with traffic & weather, you may not find it as bad as I do.
Outside drivers side mirror needs to be tinted, and electric lift gate option would be very nice as well as programable seats.
However: that navigation system has to go!!!!