I traded in my 04 Highlander for the Outback, primarily because I needed a small SUV type vehicle that would get better gas mileage, and be comfortable on trips etc.
This Outback met all my expectations.
The seats are very comfortable, gas mileage is better now that the engine is broken in and the Chicago weather is warming.
I get about 27MPG in mixed suburban/highway driving with the 2.5 engine.
I noticed that the mileage suffers when the engine is cold (runs richer) and can take some time to warm up on real cold days.
Constant short trips will kill gas mileage, fyi.
Engine has plenty of pep which was an initial concern and I was impressed on how quiet and refined it is.
I love the CVT for it's smooth acceleration.
I have the Navi + eyesight which I use constantly on the highway.
The eyesight cruise control keeps you at a safe distance from the car in front and breaks as needed when the car you are following slows down. It also alerts you to stationary objects in front and alerts you when veering out of your lane.
Pretty cool technology.
I also love the bluetooth technology.
Connects to my iphone automatically and takes control of my stored music allowing me to play, search, ff, etc with all the controls on steering wheel or dash display.
It also handles very well, turns on a dime and the all wheel drive is wonderful in the snow.
I think they could significantly improve gas mileage by adding direct fuel injection to the existing 4 cyl. or add a diesel / hybrid approach.
Steering is a little vague on the highway and the aerodynamics at high speed could be improved.
I believe the 2015 model addresses that.
I also noticed that wind sheers buffets the car around at high speeds, more so than previously owned cars.
I would like to see a radar warning system in both the front, back and sides in place of the Eyesight.
The Eyesight has limitations as it turns itself off in direct frontal/low sunlight and I've had mixed effectiveness with night time usage.
I have had the car for 3 mths now with 1600 miles on it.
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