As this was my first car and I'm a highly practical person who wants to make sure I make the absolute best decision for me, I drove, drumroll please... 30 cars. I even drove the 2012 and 2013 outbacks back to back to see if I could notice significant differences in the way it drove. I did. Much less body roll and more pep with slightly better gas mileage did me in. So far I've driven 1500 miles, mostly city. City, I've been averaging 23 MPG and on the highway I did about 28 with two large adults and all our junk for a vacation. I haven't done much off-roading, but I can tell this car would handle it no problemo.
Had the car now since Sept 2012, my 6th Subaru and the best so far. My first was a 84' GL wagon and I've been in love with Subaru's ever since. They are more refined now and offer a lot more creature comforts but still have that unique character that makes a Subaru a Subaru. I have the 3.6R Limited with EyeSight (thought about the Special Appearance Package but opted for safety over a couple of additional gadgets). Very glad I did. The EyeSight system is AWESOME. It has saved me from a few close calls and actually prevented me from hitting a deer. I had a 06 LL Bean Outback (also a great car) couldn't believe how much roomier it was and love that I can use regular gas versus high test
This Outback is my first Subaru, and sadly, it will probably be my last. I had high expectations for this car considering the excellent reviews from prior models, but now that I've got 40,000 miles on it, I'm not impressed. It burns 1 quart of oil every 1000-1200 miles, which Subaru says is normal. There is a constant vibration at hwy speeds that is NOT tire related. There are large gaps in the body panels, and the hatch doesn't even line up...indicating poor build quality. The seat is already starting to deform, and I'm not a big person. There is a constant rattle on deceleration, and the stock stereo speakers are probably the worst I've ever seen.
I bought a 2013 Outback 3.6 Limited last month. Since then I have traveled from Georgia to New Hampshire to Michigan and Illinois visiting family and friends. All told, I put 3400 miles on the car very quickly. I had been looking at the Outback for several years since my 2002 BMW X-5 was getting a bit long of tooth. I am glad I did because just about all the complaints from other reviewers of the 2010- 2012 models have been resolved. The more I drive this car, the more I enjoy it. And it will go places that other crossovers only dream about.
Bought a silver Limited 3 months/3500 miles ago. In general it is a very competent vehicle, extremely spacious for the overall dimensions of the vehicle. Initial reliability has been perfect. 2013 included a change to the suspension, which has made this car handle well, and fun to drive on country road. Two downsides to this car. First is that it does have an economy car feel, even as the high end Limited model. Switchgear, plastics used, and such are cheap for a $30K car, and there are some sloppy manufacturing shortcuts that are easily noticeable. Second is that the 2013 model has a new drivetrain that's supposed to get better mpg, but it seems to have dropped from the 2012s.