The Subaru Outback has always been on my watch list because of its high reliability / resale value coupled with proven AWD performance. When Motor Trend awarded its SUV of the Year Award to the redesigned and larger 2010 Outback, I took a closer look but felt the vehicle lacked tech and comfort features that were commonplace in the new vehicle market. The top of the line 2013 Subaru Outback has changed all that, and was worth the wait.
The Outback Limited (especially with the Special Appearance Package) was a clear choice for me relative to the awkward looking (Honda CrossTour, Toyota Venza) and the pricey (Acura RDX, Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland).
The 3.6R has been a blast to drive.
Special Appearance Package:
1. Saddle Brown Leather interior
2. Keyless Access (by touch of hand on door handle) and Push Engine Start
3. Memory Driver's Seats
4. Exterior Turn Signals with gray finish
5. New Navigation System w/ Bluetooth, rear camera, Harmon Kardon audio system
6. Power Moonroof
7. Exterior Gray Accents (turn signal mirrors, allow wheels)
8. Front Accents (gold tinted front grill, black bezel headlights)
9. Outback logo floor mats
10. Darker (Faux) Woodgrain Trim
Accessories / Other:
1. Blue Ambient Interior Illumination
2. New Rear Seatback Protectors
3. Factory Installed Trailer Hitch
4. Brilliant Brown Pearl Exterior w/ Matching Body Side Moldings
Ideally, the Subaru Outback would have a power rear lift gate. I open and close the rear gate every time I travel.
I asked my sales consultant in Midlothian, VA about it, and he said Subaru has considered it, but it would impact rear cargo (some of which is nicely hidden), vehicle weight, and vehicle cost.
It's a nice to have feature, but not a deal breaker considering this vehicle comes in thousands below the vehicles noted above, and meets (if not exceeds) all of them in terms of long term performance and reliability.
I paid about $1K below invoice, and averaging 21 mpg with the 3.6R, but that's after 600 miles mostly non-highway. Expecting 24-25 mpg on highway based trips.