I bought a '10 Forester when we moved to a ski resort. Loved it, but traded for an 'l1 Outback because I wanted a bigger vehicle. Loved that one too. After 3 years and 80,000 miles, traded it in on an identical '14 3.6 Outback. I prefer a traditional auto trans instead of a CTV, I got one of the last '14s. Love this one too. It has 16,000 miles with no problems. Gets 24 mpg with mixed driving. When I bought the Forester, I asked the salesman why Subaru doesn't advertise much (they do more now). He said that once someone becomes a Subaru owner, they tend to come back again. I guess I'm proof of that.
Appearance is subjective, but I prefer this body style over the '15. The engine runs smooth and is well matched to the transmission. The car handles exceptionally well, both in snow and ice, and on dry roads. We put snow tires on during the winter and it goes anywhere so long as there's less than about 9 inches on the ground.
I'm 6'3" and wish there was more legroom. But, for a car this size, it's more than adequate.
Got a brand new 2014 Subaru 15 months ago, mostly satisfied initially with the ride. Have about 12000 miles on it so far. Some minor issues include uneven acceleration in the morning and weird jerking when changing from reverse to drive.
A few months after I bought the car I noticed that the bottom exterior of the car was rusting. A few searches online and seems like we were not alone. Neither the dealer or Subaru customer service were interested in acknowledging the problem. They claim that it is normal for a 5 month old car to start rusting. I live in the Washington dc metro area where the winters are not extreme.
All wheel drive
If you built it with so much love perhaps some rust resistant exterior would be nice to have.
Owned a Sienna XLE 2010 and wanted to move out of the big car league and looking for relatively smaller car which still gives SUV feel. We did try our hands on Forester as well but liked Outback better because of robust interior and better road grip. We drive it for pleasure/road trips and have put over 5K miles on it so far. The only complaint I have is, while going heavy on gas, it makes noise and seems like has trouble coping up, however give it 2-3 seconds and it's back to normal.
I love the eyesight feature and whenever on highway with less traffic, I put it on cruise, leads to worry free driving. Love lane departure feature. My wife likes it better than Sienna. Love the green color.
Eyesight, Cruise, Electric Brake (works solid), GPS Screen (audio and other controls on it very intuitive), high quality touch screen, leather interior, roomy trunk, hand rest in the back seat (very handy for kids while on long trips, they use it as parking their books/snacks on it) and there is enough space left underneath to still keep books and other items, Seat split - enables me to carry large items in the car from stores, have so far brought 7 ft lamps and large wooden pieces for DIY projects. High safety features and lower insurance due to five star safety ratings.
GPS maps to be updated- gets confused on few occasions, the clock and other items displayed on center of dashboard could be of a little large in size and add more features to it. Brakes are average and could be more robust.
My car is now one year old, this January. So far I've done about 15K miles with no drivability issues.
3. Well built
4. Ride height
5. CVT / MPG -- summer months as high as 30MPG! Winter average: 26.
1. Base radio -- functional but not intuitive and poorly laid out.
2. Voice Recognition -- virtually useless / doesn't work well
3. Noise -- road noise can be prominent at times; 2015 is reportedly quieter.
4. Acceleration Gauge: annoying and useless. I'd much rather have an engine temp indicator.
5. Oil prices; the synthetic oil is more expensive than I expected, so an oil change at the Subie dealership can be twice what you expect.
1. External roof cross beams - they swing out for use and fold back for non-use.
2. Blue Tooth phone
3. XM Radio
Base radio; could be a lot better. Poor button labels and cryptic controls.
XM Radio: "NAME/TITLE" display limited to only 10 characters -- most titles are well beyond that, so it cuts off.
Voice recognition: pretty much un-usable. Way too finicky and frustrating to program names into.
I took a look at the Outback at the suggestion of a friend. I was lukewarm on buying since I was very happy with my CRV. Took the Outback for a test ride and liked it for a number of reasons. So I decided to make an offer to the salesperson along with what I wanted for my trade in. He disappeared for a few minutes and came back and said "okay". At that moment I changed from just looking to really buying.
The lane departure feature is kind of a love / hate relationship but I think it's an important feature and highly recommend it. I also like the collision avoidance system and believe it has already saved me from at least one accident. Get the upgraded radio if you can afford it because it's fantastic.
I believe Sabaru has done a superior job on the Outback and can't think of any suggestions for improvement.