Note: I rarely give something 5 stars. For me, 4 is high praise and I quibble about the three choices of poor, OK and great. If I didn't rate something 'great', it's because it was less but certainly more than just OK. That said, I've owned this car for 7 months. I've had to adjust to it rather than the vehicle adjusting to me. But taking the Outback on its own terms, this is what I'd say to prospective buyers: It's been a very competent car. Road handling in all weather, except wind, has been excellent. Because of it's 8.5" ground clearance which is great for loading and unloading, entering and exiting, it can be a handful on windy highways. And while it's notable, it's minor. Electric steering is responsive, making navigating city streets and parking lots easy. Turning radius is excellent. Braking is good. Acceleration is modest in the 4 cyl. Beware. It's fine around town. On the highway, and with people and luggage, it's another story. But once you learn it and adapt, it is fine. Gas mileage started soft but has gotten better and averages around 26, city and town. Highway averages 31 which I think is outstanding for a 'station wagon-y' vehicle with roof rack and 4wd. It's a joy to buy regular gas. Cabin is comfortable, attractive and uncluttered. We like it. Leather seats are quite comfortable on short or long trips. Rear seats have plenty of room. The seat backs adjust, a big comfort plus. And folding the seats down, a 60/40 split, is a breeze - from inside the car or from the tailgate. The tailgate on our car can auto open. It is a bit fussy, a love/hate feature on the car. Visibility is very good. Backup camera is essential and works very well in handling tight spaces. I give it a solid A. Cross traffic warning is a good option. Blind spot detection is OK but the side mirror warning light, no sound signal, is weak, especially in daylight. That's a big negative. Gauges are OK. Lighting is bright and distinct. Time and temp are tiny. Bizarre. Lots of radio and music options. We have iPhones. They work beautifully and are very easy to connect. The technology is definitely better than ever. That said, not all tech is the same. While the interface works, the voice prompt is clumsy with rigid prompts and responses. I find that disappointing but I can easily get over it. The sound/phone system works seamlessly and the sound quality of phone calls to and from the car is quite good. That's basic to the tech and important that it works as well as it does. The touch screen is large, easy to navigate and easy to read, even in bright sunlight. Remote start is really handy in winter but it takes some practice making it work from the key fob. The suspension was VERY stiff when we first got it. It was on the verge of being a deal breaker. I've seen that comment from others, too. But it has softened. It is firm and comfortable and not at all rigid. Road noise is quite modest. Heating and cooling work well, front and rear. Front and back wipers are solid. Best option: dimming side mirrors. I did not get adaptive cruise control and emergency stop. I'm sorry I didn't. I rode in an Outback with that option and thought it was outstanding. Oddity: no heated steering wheel which I miss a lot! Another oddity and major mistake: doors do not self lock above a certain speed. If you don't remember to do it yourself, your doors remain unlocked while you drive. Even our 2003 Passat had self-locking doors. It never occurred to me that Suburu would sell a car without them. Lastly, the most important aspect of any car is its safety - all the things about a car you don't see or care about until you absolutely need them. We were recently rear-ended on a highway while going 50 MPH. The pickup was doing 65. My young son was in the back seat. That could have been a very bad accident. The car performed flawlessly, stayed on center and steered to a perfect stop. Another car could have lost control, hit other cars to the side and caused a deadly pile up. The back is badly bashed in, of course. But despite the damage, all rear lights on the car still worked. Even the back up camera still worked! My appreciation and trust of this car took a big leap. This is not an exciting vehicle to drive. It drives you. If you can adjust to that, this is, as my son says, a "beast" of a car, in the best sense of the word. 10,000 is not much to base a review on. But it is enough to know this is a solid choice I don't regret making. If "Ranger" continues to perform the next ten years as he has the first seven months, this rolling Swiss army knife will have fulfilled its promise. It is off to a good, perhaps great, start. UPDATE: the original tires, Bridgestone Duelers, were very poor. 29,000 and done. Shocking. Advice: on a new Outback, sell them immediately and buy real tires. Shame on Subaru for marring an otherwise solid design.
Just passed our three year anniversary with our first Subaru Outback. It is my wife's primary vehicle. She loves it, Coco the Wonder Dog loves it, and her husband loves it. Versatile, practical and surprisingly comfortable. We have our Yakima bike rack on the back during summer months because we go to a local forest preserve several times a week to ride the trails. The only thing I hope Subaru does on the next generation is put a better sound system in the car. The one in it now is not bad, but it could be better. OK, our 2015 Subaru just passed 30K miles. We still love the Outback. As owners already know, it is fantastic in bad weather. Have not had any issues and it remains as solid and comfortable as the first day we brought it home. We just took delivery on our very first Subaru Outback. It is our first Subaru ever. My wife has been driving Honda Odysseys for many years and wanted to down size a bit, but still have room to haul stuff. She does a not of gardening. Our initial impressions of the 2015 Subaru Outback are very good. Comfortable, quiet, great driving position and great visibility. And it has a lot of space for hauling stuff. We purchased the 2.5i Limited. We like the leather seats and the soft touch materials. It seems very solid and refined for a vehicle designed to go off road. The performance of the 4 cylinder engine is just fine and the overall build quality is outstanding.
This is our 3rd Subaru. This 2015 Outback replaces my wife's 2005 Outback (which needed so much work at 104,00 miles that it wasn't worth fixing, i.e. timing belt, water pump, axles, valve cover gaskets, cat. converter, etc). All is good with the 2015 except for one VERY ANNOYING problem. The small triangular glass in the front passenger door has wind noise above 30 mph. The dealer has no idea how to fix it. It has been turned over to the Subaru engineers. We put clear tape over the outside of the window & that stopped the noise but my wife is embarrassed to have the tape there on her brand new car. Lets see how long it takes Subaru to figure this one out! Update: the factory and dealership fixed the wind noise problem. Car performs up to expectations. Engine has annoying rattling sounds on start up. The all season tires were not good in snow, so we put snow tires on for the winter. New emergency brake recall just issued. Overall a great car. Update: Another recall done. Rear suspension making creaking noises, took dealership two tries to fix it with new parts. Paint is extremely thin & scratches easily. Good gas mileage. Comfortable. Subaru's are great cars, not perfect, but what is? Update: Rear suspension creaking noise (trailing arm). Dealer has installed 2 new ones. The second one creaked the day they installed it. Very annoying when you have to bring the car back 3 times to try and fix. Dashboard airbag idiot light comes on intermitantly. Dealer says bring it right in when it comes on. My wife brought it to the dealership & was told no one was available to look at it until after lunch. (They could have told us that when we called to say we were bringing it in.). My dealership can't seem to fix anything on the car. Considering not buying any more Subarus.
New Battery solved problem - Battery has died 11 times in 9 months I have owned 2015 Outback Wagon. Three visits (7 days without car) to Dealerships have not detected any electrical problem (other than replacing alternator on second visit ). Still the car dies. Several instances seem to result from short trips to do errands. Also extended period of open power lift gate will deplete battery even with dome light off. Would love to remove power lift gate, but dealer says it will cost several 1,000's of dollars. Best feature is Eye Sight. Blind spot warnings work well and makes one feel much safer. Have had several occasions when Eye Sight failure light up, but restarting car several times has caused problem to go away. Battery failures are so pervasive that I have no confidence that car will start and constantly have to plan where I park so I can get jump start. I do appreciate the kindness of strangers who have helped. Suspect there is a design problem with undersized battery. Attempting to return car under Calif Lemon Law. This car is not anything like previous Subaru I have owned
This update is approximately 9 months after my initial post, when I took my Subaru to Walmart and had a new, more powerful battery installed. Walmart did a great job and it cost around $110. A couple of months after I visited Walmart, Subaru Headquarters responded to my complaint, in a spectacular fashion. Subaru paid for the battery and install, and also sent me a cash gift certificate for my pain and strain. The Subaru customer representative was excellent, and I am a happy Subaru owner again! I've had no further problems with the battery and I have left the car sitting in my garage for 20 days. The new battery did get depleted somewhat, but it didn't fail to start my car. Subaru really came through for me.