This is our second Outback, the first being a 2006.
What's nice - the interior styling, the very good AWD, and FINALLY rear air vents (at least in the Limited) that have been available on non-US Outbacks for years.
But they did stiffen things up a bit and this is described by some professional reviewers as improved handling.
In real world driving, it means that imperfect pavement (really normal pavement these days) is always there with you.
It's not bouncy, just hard.
Which brings me to the interior plastics - tap on them with your nails to get a knock on the door sound.
The materials seem fairly cheap aside from the seating surfaces.
A lesson from recent Toyotas?
AWD, ground clearance, rear air vents, black carpet even with the light tan interior (smart).
I do like the light blue interior light at night as well.
The exterior styling is excellent - very upscale.
With the screen size on the Limited and it's value as a safety feature for a family car, I'm surprised a rear view camera is not standard.
Interior materials covering the dash look nice, but are hard and cheap feeling.
The wood trim is a little too faux.
The brushed "metal" plastic around the radio scuffs a little too easy - in short, the materials could stand an improvement all around on the Limited trim.
Prior to 2013 Outbacks were not considered to have particularly good road handling yet their ride was hardly Legacy station wagon like either. The 2013 from the test drives I've done has both better handling and a more compliant ride. That would seem to be the outcome of a significantly stiffer chassis and a suspension more tuned for more compliance. Personally I like the change. I now drive a 2010 Legacy Sport (a Canadian model) and need more cargo capacity. So I'm seriously looking at the 2013 Outback as the station wagon that the Legacy line should have continued.
I'm liking the suspension more and more as I get used to it.
The handling is fun and I'm finding that it's not as hard as it first seemed to me and I think that was because I was coming from something more floaty.
The ride to work is starting to feel like a little rally circuit with the really precise steering.
My view of the Outback is on the rise!