There are two issues with the vehicle that really take away from the enjoyment of driving the car and make me regret purchasing it in the first place.
The first issue is that the Harmon/Kardon "upgraded" audio system presents a noticeable hiss when doing certain functions with the audio/nav unit.
When I am programming my nav unit each time I press a button I hear a hiss that gets louder, than softer.
Same with when I am talking to someone using the bluetooth phone.
Each time the person talks a noticeable hiss gets a bit louder than goes quiet again.
The other issue is a very noticeable "clunk" noise when releasing the brake pedal when at a complete stop.
Makes the care feel cheap.
First, I have to say that the 2.5 engine is amazing!
The engine is spunky, and the CVT transmission is much quieter than the 2012 Outback I test drove last year.
The car handles quite well on tight turns, and is fun to drive.
Great torque when you need it.
Also, the special leather used on the Special Appearance Package is very attractive.
Really make the upgraded audio system an upgrade by removing the annoying hiss!
Also, PLEASE address the annoying clunking brake sound when releasing the brake pedal.
The brake noise issue did not start until around 1,000 miles, otherwise I would have heard it on a test drive and changed my mind about the Outback.
Both of these issues have been reported at great length on online Outback forums, have been reported since 2011 and Subaru has not addressed either issue.
I am planning on driving this car for a year to pay down the loan a bit, and then most likely trade it in next year for either a Toyota Venza or an Acura RDX.