As this was my first car and I'm a highly practical person who wants to make sure I make the absolute best decision for me, I drove, drumroll please... 30 cars. I even drove the 2012 and 2013 outbacks back to back to see if I could notice significant differences in the way it drove. I did. Much less body roll and more pep with slightly better gas mileage did me in. So far I've driven 1500 miles, mostly city. City, I've been averaging 23 MPG and on the highway I did about 28 with two large adults and all our junk for a vacation. I haven't done much off-roading, but I can tell this car would handle it no problemo.
Here's why I bought this car:
Seat comfort: Seats are very wide, well padded and very comfortable to sit in.
Cargo space: Obviously, there's lots.
Handling: This steering is very responsive, very accurate and easy. The steering wheel has a nice feel, too. I like it a lot.
Acceleration: It was good enough for me. It's not as good as some other crossovers, but I like that AWD is constantly on, so when you take off the back wheels push you forward too.
Ride comfort: This was huge for me. It rides very, very smoothly. You can hardly feel bumps.
And, Subaru reputation for building cars that last.
Appearance of the car was very low on my list of priorities.
The cargo door could be a bit easier to close. Front seats could be longer. I'd prefer larger clock numbers. Base stereo is very poor, though I wouldn't recommend buying the expensive audio system Subaru offers. You can get the same thing much cheaper after you buy the car. I wish it had a little more zoom, but I'm coming from cast-off luxury cars.
All in all I'm extremely pleased with my purchase and I felt obligated to share my thoughts on Edmunds because I relied on it so much when I was doing my research. Thanks, Edmunds!