Pros AWD, spacious, good fuel economy, low emissions, great sound system (limited), comfortable, good off road, fun paddle shifters.
Cons The only real con is power but the 3.6 is more sluggish in corners due to weight and I think the new 2.5 covers power plus has better mpg and HD radio.
Summary I moved from a BMW 328i to this car. I cannot relate these two cars because they are so different but I love them both. I got the OB to carry my mountain bikes and gear to races all across California. The AWD is awesome in sand and I have never gotten stuck off roading which is nice. Seats are comfortable and the heated leather with lumbar support is a big plus. I can fit 5 6ft tall guys and a bunch of gear in the car and everyone is comfortable but I see a dip in mpg and power with the weight. I average 25 mpg but I live on a mountain and I drive the car quickly and in the city. If you ever need to go fishing, biking, hiking, or snowboarding and need a comfortable awd hauler this is the car. Also I have had no problems with the car but a weird rattle in the trunk which Subaru fixed for free. I currently have 14k on the 2011 OB limited 2.5i CVT.
Pros Interior space, especially leg room is great, even in the back seat. The 2.5i CVT runs well and after a while you grow to really like the cont. variable transmission. Acceleration is OK, and it fits my needs living in the mountains of northern NM.
Cons Basic sound system is pretty lame. It's got a CD player (audio and MP3) plus an audio connection for iPods. The speakers are what make this base sound system lame. The roof rack's cross rails are a little too close for carrying canoes or kayaks.
Summary Overall, I really like the car and plan to keep it for a long time. I'm especially happy with the AWD, interior space/leg room, and the gas mileage. The roof rack with integrated/folding cross rails is nice as times but the rails are a bit too close (see Cons above).
Finally, a small percentage of Subaru Outbacks apparently have a vibration in the steering at highway speeds. Luckily, mine does not have this but Subaru is having difficulties fixing the ones that do according to posting on the subaru forum. If you are buying a 2010 or 2011 Outback I suggest you make sure you test drive it first to make sure there is no steering wheel vibration between 60 and 75 MPH.
"a real surprise"on by gusser
Pros Its size. Handling. passenger room. Very good gas mileage. Visibility is very good. the seats are larger, but can't compare to my Aztek (2003) Also, you sit a little higher so our knees are bent and more comfortable. I like the small wheel.
Cons The position of the tilt wheel just doesn't seem right. I like the old GM type where the wheel tilted down low, in the Subaru, the whole column drops, can't compare to the aztek where the wheel itself moved.There is no delay feature on the lights.
Summary Let me start by saying i had a 2003 Pontiac Aztek. Yeah, most people thought it was ugly but it was the most comfortable and best handling car i ever owned, and i could put a full sheet of plywood in it. So, i decided to trade it in with 120K. I couldn't buy another car like it so i started looking with a completely open mind. I looked and drove everything. Cars, SUV's and trucks. It came down to a Chevy Equinox or the outback. Honestly, the choice was difficult. I liked them both. The Chevy felt bigger but in reality there was less than one inch between them. but, i just felt better in the Subaru. Plus, i was kind of pissed because the Chevy was made in Canada and the Subaru was made in the United States.
I liked the interior of the Subaru but was disappointed in the choice of colors. I mean, come on, either black or tan. I am very happy with my choice. I got the Premium, middle line and added the bluetooth phone (dealer installed) Mud flaps, rear bumper protector and auto dimming mirror. Oh, the CVT transmission. It took a few weeks for me to get used to it but i really like it. First, and very important to me, is the mileage. My lowest mpg on one tank of gas was 28.1 and my highest was 34.1 and i consider that to be outstanding as i was considering for a while, a vw sportwagon diesel, but i couldn't stand the tight cramped feelling. Just too small and uncomfortable seats not to mention the absurd price. Anyway, back to the Subaru. What made me buy the Subaru was probably the feeling of, i guess comfort. I just felt good in it. I am 6 feet tall and it fits me well. The seats are the typical small crampy things on most foreign cars. My American butt just feels good in it. Also, it has additional support. But the handling is great. The CVT is also a great feature but it takes a few days to get used to it. Now i don't even notice it. the instrument panel is well laid out and everything is within easy reach for the driver and the radio control and the cruise controls being on the steering wheel is just an extension of a well thought out interior. I have not noticed any blind spots and i don't have a problem with backing up. The turning radius is equal to that on my Pontiac which was about the shortest on the road. This car turns on a dime and i like that for parking. I DO NOT like the tilt wheel as the whole column tilts down and it just lowers the wheel where the GM type the wheel itself tilts which allows a greater range. i like to drive with the wheel all the way down. On the subaru, with the wheel down you can NOT see the speedometer which means you could easily be doing 80 and have no idea. Like i said, it handles very well. Oh, yeah, its quiet too. I think the full framed windows help there. also, one feature missing is a delay on the headlights. The lights stay on until you remove the key which makes for a difficult time finding the key at night. I have 3.250 miles on it and did my first oil change (free) today. I brought my own oil. I have used synthetic on my cars for years.
I decided to use Mobile 1 extended performance (EP). Might even help on my MPG. In closing i would say that this car just feels good. Its solid, quiet, safe and comfortable. So, what more could i ask for. If you are considering a car i would say that you owe it to yourself to test one out, but don't just drive around the block, take the thing for a ride. I would say go to more than one subaru dealer. I went to three and i added the mirror,($140) bluetooth phone (460.00 dollars)mud flaps and rear bumper protector and the price difference was substantially lower than the other two dealers, both Subaru dealers. Plus i got $500 more for my car. So, shop and negotiate.
on a 1 to 10, so far i would give it a 9. Hope this was helpful.
Pros Subaru AWD is best,on road system.Paddle shifter is great.Good sounding stereo.High clearance.CVT.Handles,rides well.Decent power for a 4 cylinder and a car of this size. Like the foldaway rack crossbars,but will no longer be able to carry 16' boards
Cons Just a little slower on takeoff than our 2001 Legacy Wagon. The 4 speed automatic has a lower first gear than the CVT, giving the feeling of more power in our low mileage,well cared for 2001. Roof rack cross bars can't be spread apart farther.
Summary Subaru AWD is best, on road system,for snow and ice. High clearance,good for snow. Standard rear positraction,center differential (AWD),(with auto locking if needed),and now has traction control(brake activated) on front for even better traction. Slightly reclining rear seat. Roof rack, foldaway crossbars,+ and - here. CVT gets better gas mileage. Blue dash lighting, good,the red part,not too fond of. Paddle shifter is great.Good sounding stereo. Plays MP3 discs. I researched it alot, looked it over alot,and did an extensive test drive. Overall a really nice car. I read one review that the owner was not able to back the CVT version up their steep driveway, this scared me, as we have a steeper mountain driveway. Not sure if that was a defect or not. Was also a little scared of a new design for the CVT belt, but Subaru claims it is stronger and more durable. Also the test model stumbled on full acceleration. Otherwise it was great,and would satisfy most family drivers. Due to the above possible driveway issue we did not buy it. For most people this would be a great car, and possibly us, but I was afraid to risk it. My house is too far away from the dealer to try backing up our driveway. I hope someone tests,and comments how good it backs up a steep incline. We may trade in our 2001 later, if their are no issues here. I also like the Forester, and if they put the CVT in that, next year,we may buy that. I have a CVT in my 2008 nissan Sentra, and I really like the CVT. It will drop down to a really low RPM while driving on the freeway, below what a high gear would allow on a normal gear type automatic,theirfore the better mileage. I also like the CVT driving up the mountain, as it is not hunting between gears, and shifts to the best ratio automatically-seamlessly.I also like the build quality of the Subaru's, and durable AWD system. I need a; won't get stuck anywhere (within reason-our 2001 will push 8" of fresh snow-I use agressive winter tires for winter), for my wife. She drives our 2001 Legacy around many cars stuck on hills all over the mountain. Also the Highway patrol dosn't make her chain up, she is not good at this, so I must have a good Subaru for her. Note: I owned 2 prior 4 wheel drives prior to Borrowing my brother in laws subara, years ago (wow-what a snow car). It was so much better than my tall 4x4 with rear wheel drive,and shift in 4 wd (Trooper), that we are on our 5th Subaru now, and looking for the 6th if the CVT works out. More legroom in back also. Would like a dark gray fabric, not just light or black.The outback is not available with the turbocharged engine. This is good, I am not a fan of them. In Subaru's defense though, most of the Turbo engines failures are caused by owners not using premium fuel as the manual stipulates, and overheating the tops of the pistons, and blowing holes through them.
Updated on Jun 18, 2010
Make sure you test drive the car you will buy though. The car we wanted,premium with black interior (darker gray would have been better,not available),stumbled (missfired-hesitated on hard, full acceleration,from a stop). I mention this,because one of my fuel injected Subaru's (bought new),had this issue,and they could not fix it. They advised the factory would not pay them to replace the computer or other parts that might fix it. I had to live with this for as long as I owned it. That was my 1990 Loyal wagon, before the lemon law in California. They tried to fix it several times,with no effect.
Updated on Dec 31, 2010My wife won't let go of her 2001 Legacy L Wagon, so I decided to sell my 08 Sentra with CVT, and buy a used 2009 Subaru Legacy Special edition sedan. Got a great deal on a lease return. I wanted a smaller car, for better mileage,and this fit the bill. The mileage is not as high as the 2010 CVT,but it has the tried and true 4 speed automatic. I am averaging 25-28 mpg, with 50-75% freeway driving. On a trip, at 70mph, I got 32mpg, great. I love the seating position, and the telescoping steering wheel,and the Harmon Cardin stereo.It also has durable plastic door panels like the 2001 Legacy. It was horrifing to see me 08 sentra door panels scratching so easily. Note: we had a week of rains, and I made the mistake of pulling off the side of the road in what looked like firm dirt,but it sank down 5" in the mud, but with the AWD,it pulled out just like I didn't make that mistake. Still a great AWD system. See,Subaru AWD comparrison on you tube at;
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