i did lots of research looking for a car that combined practical space, versatile in all weather conditions, cross-over aspects, a sense of adventure but confidence....something different from the hundreds of dreary over-sized SUV's out there. always knew Subaru were renowned in the AWD adventure/sport category but was surprised by how versatile the Outback is.
Shopped around a lot, but was won over by the Outback's push-button park brake (wife has physical issues with pull-ups), its interior refinement, its reputation for reliability, its snow-handling prowess (BIG plus). Dealer couldn't have been happier to give a great trade in value and shave 2,500 off MSRP. It has SUV abilities, but drives like a car, and does not jiggle like a tall SUV. We are an empty nest couple in our 60s, who live on a farm in PA, and we need the perfect blend of on-road manners with the guts to get up and down a challenging driveway. It is a relief to find such a vehicle after fighting the SUV wars for decades. Should've done this years ago.
Sold my BMW 330xi and got my new Outback 3.6R Limited. I've gone from the "ultimate driving machine" (which drove great, but didn't have a lot of room for people and stuff, didn't have a lot of ground clearance, and was getting very expensive to maintain) to the "ultimate do absolutely everything pretty well" machine. Tons of room for its exterior size. Plenty of power. Nice ride. Great value. Well built. Amenities are pretty good for this price point. While I miss a bit of how the old car drives when pushed hard on a curvy road, on all other points, I prefer the Subaru.
I really like this car, I've been looking into it for the last couple of years. All of the merits fit what I've wanted it for. Lots of room, reasonable gas mileage, car-like handling, off-pavement ability... This car gets it done, after the first couple of weeks getting adjusted to sitting up higher than what i traded in, (2013 Buick Regal GS) I took it on a road trip 400 miles each direction and was very happy with it's comfort for the trip. The seats are great,supportive yet soft while not creating circulation hot spots over long periods, the driver lumbar support is actually very, very good as well.
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. After 2 yrs and 15000 miles, I still love this car. No issues with anything mechanical or electrical up till now, granted 15000 miles is not a great test of time. Mileage is better in the warmer months than in the winter as it takes a while for it to warm up. I drive mostly short distances so that kills the mileage. I did take it on my first road trip last summer around lake Michigan which encompassed a multitude of 2 lane highway roads. The eyesight technology on the cruise control really proved its worth. The Outback kept a safe distance to the car in front and even stopped when the car in front of me stopped. Has great traction in snow and I love the CVT! FYI, I did have my unlock touch sensor re-programmed by the dealer to include all doors to be unlocked at the touch of the drivers door. Found it more convenient than just having the drivers side unlock. I believe however that if Subaru adapted direct injection on the cylinders it would greatly improve the performance and MPG on this engine. Also, the logic on the steering wheel switch for radio presets is backwards. If station number 1 is visibly located at the top of the screen and station 6 is at the bottom, would it not make sense to coordinate the steering wheel up down button to the visible location instead of what they have which is a numerical logic order of 1 being at the bottom and 6 at the top? It drives me crazy that I have to consciously think that up is down every time I want to change stations. I hope they fixed that on newer versions. Great car otherwise!