Taking a weekend trip from Boston to Washington, DC. Decided to rent and save the miles on my 2016 Kia Sorento SXL. Went to Enterprise to rent an SUV for 4 adults and a lot of luggage. Enterprise Car Rentals lists the Hyundai Santa Fe or comparable vehicle. The 2017 Suburu Outback is a comparable vehicle, according to Enterprise passenger and luggage specs. Due to the highly favorable reviews the Outback was a crossover I considered when I was looking for a new SUV. In a word I don't understand all the love. Yes, the Outback is safe, handling is good, has a great reliability record, exterior styling well if you like a station wagon on steroids ok, the interior was a blant black. However from a ride comfort factor it is just poor. Spending 7-8 hours in the back seat of the a 2017 Suburu Outback is tortuous. The seat back is too erect, the back seat is too short and very firm generally one of the most uncomfortable car rides I can remember. Having rented a Suburu Outback I am delighted I selected the Kia Sorento.
Side sensors often don't work and it takes four to five restarts to reboot. CVT transmission sucks and could cause accident because of lag time when shifting from reverse to drive or vice versa. Bluetooth is abhorrent a problem since day one dealer unable to fix told me it's my phone but has same issues with my wife's phone. Screen can be difficult to see is bright sun. Bridgestone original equipment tires were worn out after 30,000 mile and have no warranty on them. Mileage never lived up to claims either.
The transmission is pretty bad. The car is jerky if you are trying to go very slowly. It jerks as one is just starting out down a road. The car has no "get up and go"! It applies the brakes unexpectantly! The plastic covering the dashboard is a soft, sticky material. Difficult to keep clean. The air filters inside the cabin seem to be nonexistent. The air conditioner blows directly on your neck, and cannot be adjusted away.There are too many buttons that do too many things! The navigation system is useless. I use my iPhone. The car does have decent towing capacity and lots of cargo space. I get 2 medium dog crates in with the back seat down, and there is still lots of room in the back. The front seats are not TOO difficult to get in and out of for seniors, but the back seat is almost impossible to get in and outof because the floor sill is too high and the door opening is too small to get your feet out easily. Can be very painful. And, Subaru is one of those companies that is green in marketing only. You will be inundated with Subaru paper mailings! It all goes into the local landfill because it's usually the plasticized paper that can't be recycled.
I can't say too many good things about my 3.6R Outback. I only went to the dealer to see the new tungsten color. The only Outback there at the time was the 3.6R. So, I test drove it. And immediately traded my 2015 Outback 2.5 for the 3.6R. The additional power is fantastic. I went from 30.5 mpg overall to 26.1. Florida 'ice' is not an issue; car handles great. My wife thinks there's more road noise than her Cadillac SRX but when we travel she prefers the comfort of the Sube. A modest ding is size/cargo space. We have 2 dogs; one is a Great Pyrenees. They take up the back seat. I had to get a roof top carrier for trips over one week to accommodate extras. The integrated roof bars work well with the 20 cu.ft. carrier; the car is not tall so access is easy. The NAVI is ok in general but I prefer my phone's Google Maps for more accurate traffic info. AC is very adequate for Florida. Other than a bit small for long trips; 2 adults and 2 dogs, this car is perfect.