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.
Our 1998 Outback served us well so we went for the 2014. The test drive was a 3700 mi trip to southern Baja & back. It performed well, including on some pretty rough desert roads. It's not a luxury car, not a sports car, but so far it seems to be a solid mid-range car suited to a wide range of uses and conditions.