Our tester this week, provided by PreferredPreOwned.com checked nearly every box for a great multi-use car. The 256hp / 247 lb-ft 6cylinder Boxer engine isn't the highest on economy scale, but for a 20mpg+ commuter it does show some spirit. Unlike the smaller engine variants, this Outback uses a real 5 speed auto, and the paddle shifters make for a more exciting manual mode.
This Limited model is truly fully loaded. Roof rails, raised suspension, fog lights, driver assist, heated seats, great sound, the works!
Let's get to the details:
At just over 51,000 miles (on a Subaru), it's barely broken in. The car drives like new and easily got me around town in comfort. I averaged almost 24mpg in mixed mileage, so this is easily a good option for those with a 25mile+ commute.
The dash has everything where I need it. Bluetooth worked well, as did the Nav system although it could use a map update. While the Outback includes a manual mode for the auto transmission, I don't like that you must use paddle shifters to downshift. Other than that this car is a joy on my daily commute.
Both of our large car seats fit perfect in the back seat. The kids had plenty of room, and our 6yo had no problem getting in out during school drop off/pick up. You won't be able to squeeze someone in the middle, but when at least one child is in a small booster it would be possible for three to sit in back.
The hatchback is manual, which is odd for a top of the line limited trim. Still, all my camera gear + drone fit well. There's even room for my golf clubs if it were April instead of February.
As primarily a Toyota fan, this was literally the first time I've driven a Subaru. In Colorado the Outback is almost the state vehicle, and it's clear why. Outdoor ability + very good economy = a nearly perfect vehicle for the more adventurous.