I purchased a 2011 Outback Limited with the 3.6R engine for my wife. (Everything except Nav) After driving it from Maine to Oklahoma (home), I had to have my own Outback so I sold my 2010 Maxima and purchased another 2011 Outback Limited with the 3.6R engine except this time with nav. I frequently refer to my outbacks as Honda Accords with AWD, however much more practical. You can haul and carry a lot of stuff home from Lowe's. I have several suggestions for improvement (explained later) and have actually conveyed them to Subaru. (Probably will fall on deaf ears though, however I did receive a nice response.) Great vehicle and you can't go wrong.
I traded in my 07 Impreza Outback Sport for the new Outback late last year. I loved my sport and I miss it. I need a larger car to drive myself, husband and 2 60 lb dogs between Ohio and California a couple times a year. I have 22,000 miles on her already with no major mechanical problems. As many people say:STEERING WHEEL. The shake. It's horrible. The process is horrible. Took the car in one day and the insisted that they evaluate the tires. Bad tire was the verdict. Replace it and have to drive 4000 miles right away. Nope, still there. Take it back in and they decide to do the replacement steering wheel, etc. Still not fixed.
Great car except for an occasional hard down shift from the five speed automatic. Dealer and Subaru say they know about the issue, but claim it is operating as designed. Mileage is about 28 on highway and 20 in town. 3.6 6 cyl has OK pickup, but not as good at the turbo outback we traded in. If they would fix the transmission issue, the par would be perfect.
We picked up our Outback on 12/1/10, the day we had the first "real" snow of the '10-'11 winter. The Outback was put to the test right away and was great all winter. It performed really well in snow and on icy roads. Gas mileage is great too. We were looking for a vehicle to haul our four dogs. The Outback has plenty of space for them. The ride, seating, and handling are as good or better than anything else we've owned. We're up to 10,000 miles and the more I drive this car the more I love it.
I bought a Forester 15 months ago when I moved to 8000 feet elevation. The Forester performed flawlessly through 55 feet of snow in a record winter. But, it's four cylinder engine and four speed transmission struggled at this elevation, especially in hilly terrain. And, it was just a bit too small. Since we were otherwise very satisfied, we traded it on an Outback with the 3.6 engine and 5 speed automatic. After 18,000 miles, we traded it for $2500 less than we paid for it and still got a good discount on the Outback. What a difference. The Outback has plenty of power and leg room. The Limited has very nice features. It's a good value compared to similar crossover vehicles.