I took advantage of the August 2016 Zero down, Zero % APR offer from Subaru to purchase this car. The Outback was on my short list of new cars; I also considered the Kia Sorento, the Ford Edge, the Subaru Forrester, and Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-5 & CX-9. After test drives, much number crunching and internet research and opinions from friends, I went with the Subaru Outback. I love this car! It is quick, quiet, well-upholstered, and has the active safety features I was looking for.
Engine & Transmission: I have never had a car with a CVT before and I read lots of articles denigrating CVTs. However, as I do not care if my car makes sports car "vroom vroom" sounds or if it shifts like a Ferrari, I did not care about the presence of the CVT (although almost every "car guy" review does). The CVT in this car is super-smooth, except for a *very* slight stuttering at very low speed (< 5 mph) under low acceleration. Past that, the powertrain is nice and smooth, and the flat 6 does a great job getting the car up to highway speed. If you are happy with a sub-7 second 0-60 time (6.9 sec), then you will be happy with the 3.6R. Fuel economy numbers seem to be as advertised. Most of my driving is "city" driving and I drive fast (trying to change this) so after 1 month of ownership I have been averaging 21 MPG. My previous car was a diesel that averaged over 40 MPG during the summer, but the Outback is larger, more powerful, quicker, much nicer, and the fuel (87 octane) is cheaper so it balances out.
Interior Trim: I have nothing but praise for the fit and finish of the cabin. The Trim of the 3.6R Limited Edition is great; smooth and attractive to the eye. The (fake?) wood trim is nice, but I do not feel it adds that much to the car.
Interior Comfort: I am 6'-1" and this car has plenty of room, front and back. I love the lumbar support of the front seats, but some reviews called it "aggressive lumbar support. The lumbar support sticks out more than any other car I every had, but MY lower back loves it. My wife, at 5'-6", does not, which does not surprise me. It does not appear that the lumbar support can be lowered enough to accommodate her. She says the back seats are comfortable, so that is nice. The seats are just the right amount of firmness for me.
Exterior: My main complaint is driver's side visibility. The visibility out of the driver's side mirror is poor IMHO and leaves a huge blind spot. So much that the active safety features for the left side of the car are NEEDED, otherwise you will strain your neck checking your left. The driver's side mirror is of little help. If you can live with that, everything else is great. I think the styling is very nice, great for a wagon and still distinct from other crossover SUVs. Also, mine is Venetian Red which makes it look even better ;-)
Electronics/Infotainment: I do not use Subaru's Navigation system because I have Waze and Google Maps on my smartphone, so I cannot rate that Subaru's system. UPDATE - 9/27/2016: I tried it once and it worked fine although the controls are not intuitive. I believe by 2016-17 most people have a smartphone with some type of navigation app built-in that gets frequently updated, so I do not see much point in the USA for Subaru to put much effort into developing a top-of-the-line navigation system. However, if for some reason your phone is dead/lost, and you do not have paper maps (what's wrong with you?!) then this system would be adequate. My phone is linked via Bluetooth to my car (easy to do) and I exclusively listen to Pandora and Spotify through it. So much that I still have not learned how to fully operate the HD radio, such as setting preset stations, et.! When I get around to checking out the HD radio, I will update this review.
Cargo: I have not tested the car's cargo capacity yet, but cargo capacity was one of the main reasons for choosing the Outback so I am sure it will great. The molded Styrofoam compartment underneath the cargo area floor mat has lots of little trays that can be used to hold a surprising amount of supplies in an organized fashion. Right now, I keep a voltmeter, bungee cords, flat repair kit and some other useful knickknacks in there. Also, the center console compartment is deep, great for storing the stuff you will use most often.
Safety: The two things I insisted on when deciding on purchasing the 2017 Outback were: a 6-cylinder engine and the Eyesight system. The IIHS gives the Eyesight system its highest rating (Superior), which at the time of my research was only shared with Kia's system. Human error is the overwhelming cause of car accidents, and I believe automated systems that HELP us prevent accidents are highly desirable. The Eyesight system works great, although the lane-keeping sensor is a bit sensitive in my opinion.
That's it for now. I am really enjoying this car and I hope you do as well.
I bought this for my wife and wanted her to have all the best technology when it comes to safety. We identified the car we wanted and then did a factory order through a dealer for the exact color, accessories we wanted. The Eye Sight system is amazing and in my opinion worth every penny. We compared this car against the Audi Q5 and Acura RDX, based on everything that was important to us the Outback was just a much better value. One thing I learned early on in my research is all AWD systems are not the same. Subaru really has a great story to tell regarding their symmetrical AWD system. Acura's new AWD system falls a little short and Audi's AWD is in my opinion the only one that can truly go toe to toe with Subaru on this point. I am very happy with selecting the 3.6R over the base engine as the one constant complaint I seen from hundreds of reviews was related to the base engine being underpowered. I can tell you the 3.6R offers plenty of acceleration, smoother and quieter engine operation and a more satisfying experience. Yes you take a little hit on gas mileage, but if that was my primary consideration I would have bought a small compact hybrid. The touring interior is on par with the Acura RDX and close but a little short of the Audi Q5. The safety technology on this car was much better then the the Audi Q5 and a little better then the RDX. Outward visibility is terrific in this car and ranks among the best of any car we have ever owned. The heated back seats with recline is a nice touch for passenger comfort, wish they would have included seat ventilation also for those days when our temps are in the triple digits. Like other reviewers stated the handling for a SUV/SUW is very good and you feel confidant and in control even when coming into a tighter then expected corner at a faster then desired speed. We have owned many luxury and non luxury cars over the years. While the Subaru brand does not communicate the prestige of some of the German or Luxury Japanese brands. The practicality, safety, resale, reliability and price of the Subaru far out ways any need for pretentiousness on our part. So in summary if you are looking for a near luxury car for over ten thousand less then comparable vehicles and don't care about the badge on the front, or are looking for a very nice car with the latest and best safety features and technology the 2017 Subaru Outback Touring/Limited should be on your shortlist.
We traded in a 2015 2.5 limited for a 3.6r Limited. Much better car overall with the six. Smoother, quieter, and definitely faster. We did a recent trip over 2 mountain passes with the 2.5 and it had to work hard to keep up. Gas mileage suffered. The new safety features on the 2017 combined with the 3.6 made for a better driving experience.
This a great car and a wonderful alternative to a see-everywhere SUV. It is solid as a rock and definitely feels like a step up from the 2012 Subaru Forester I traded in for it! There are no blind spots and the backup camera shows a very wide field of view...very helpful when backing into my garage. The radio is good but not spectacular, I can live with it. The front seats are very comfortable and are not tiring after driving for several hours. I had my doubts about the CVT transmission, but I am very pleased with it. It shifts like a 6-speed transmission and the gas mileage is spectacular. Acceleration from a standing start is very good with no hesitation. I was concerned about the possibility for "droning" sounds at some speeds, but have not experienced any of that. All in all, I am very pleased with the 'wagon Subaru has built and can't wait for our first long get-a-way trip into New England at the end of September!
I got the 2017 Outback limited with eyesight. The adaptive cruise control makes my long commute much easier, as it will slow down and speed up to keep my car at a constant distance from the car ahead of me. Even if cars move in and out of my lane (or if I change lanes), the cruise control keeps me safe and less stressed during my 45+ minute commute. And the visual and audible alerts are hugely helpful when a car is in my blind spot as I drive, or when I am getting ready to back up. My family is very happy with our new car!