I just bought an Outlander ES and was surprised by the performance along with the list of standard features. Originally I was set on the new Honda CR-V, but felt it was too weak. My second choice was the Toyota RAV4, but I felt that the V6 engine was way too expensive. The Outlander is the perfect middle ground. I'm used to driving sporty cars and was surprised by how much better it handles than vans / SUVs I've driven in the past. The only negative I can think of right now is the fact the second row seats don't fold all the way flat down.
So far, I love this chariot! It's a nice ride. I purchased an Outlander XLS 4WD with navigation, the Sun & Sound package, and the Luxury package. THE GOOD: Engine power is adequate, (not afraid to pull out in traffic.) Fuel Economy is OK. (I'm seeing about 22-23 MPG in mixed driving.) Sound System w/ NAV is VERY NICE! Leather, heated seats, Bluetooth, sunroof, paddle shifters - nice and roomy, excellent warranty - all for just under $30,000 MSRP. (That's a bargain in my book - even more so considering I paid well under MSRP). THE BAD: Yes, it does have some wind noise around the A- pillars at highway speed. (But I just turn the stereo up!) In FWD mode there is a good amount of torque-steer when footing it (this is fine in 4WD Auto Mode).
We've been looking for something our two year old would enjoy as much as my wife and I would. And we found it. My wife loves the sunroof, and I love the sound system (subwoofer is my favorite part!). Our daughter sits high enough to finally see out of the window and I have peace of mind with the Anti-skid control and enough airbags for any situation. The gas mileage is great for an SUV, but obviously not as good as our Nissan Altima. The XLS model is worth the extra money! We love this SUV! It has the best warranty available and the customer service is extremely pleasant.
I currently own a 2004 Outlander, so I'm familiar with the quality of the brand. My wife traded her 2005 Subaru Outback for the 2007 XLS 4WD. We absolutely love this car. The ride is great and the vehicle is fun. I tried to talk her out of the navigation system, but we got it and it is awesome. The wheels, stereo, and of course the engine are all quite an improvement over the 2004 model. We compared it to the CR-V, Saturn, Toyota and Subaru (Outback and Tribeca) and nothing comes close to matching the engineering marvel of this vehicle. Note: there is no new car leather smell to this vehicle. The odor absorbing headliner keeps the car smelling, well, clean. Which is nice, since we have dogs. Give this car a look
I have only had the car for a short time, but I haggled about what to buy for three weeks, test driving all kinds of cars. The only one I could compare this drive to would be the Subaru Tribeca, which was like $5,000 more expensive and took premium gas. I don't think you could get a vehicle filled with more features that drives as well as this for the same money. Don't be scared off by the estimated gas mileage either, I have been averaging around 22 MPG, which is not that bad.