That giant touch screen is horrible to use. The older style knobs and switches HVAC and seat heater controls in the Forester Wilderness is much much preferred. Plus the Forester Wilderness is about $8k cheaper, mostly because it lacks the turbo engine. Interior space isn't that different between the Forester and Outback. If I was going to buy a butched up Subaru with orange exterior trim, I'd spring for the Forester variant over the Outback.
CVT *and* turbo? Really? Weird, inappropriate, and even counterproductive for a car supposedly useable off-road. A turducken. I’ll take my leathered-out sunroofed 08 Outback, paid off and well maintained, over a mortgage-monster like this any day.
Subaru was once fun but they have lost their way to me for over 10 years. These CVT snooze fests with their noisy motors and average performance and rather blah fuel economy are unimpressive. I miss my 2005 Legacy GT Wagon. I would not replace it with this rolling sea of hard plastic and an ipad in the dash.
I guess the question for me is, how does this drive compared to say a Hyunda Sante Fe? We have a CX-5 and I like how it drives, but its just a tad too small for me. I'm looking for something a little larger but that handles like the CX-5 and is as quiet as the CX-5. My experience with previous outbacks were that they wallowed around and weren't terribly quiet.
Haven't driven them back to back, but I'd wager that the Wilderness-spec Outback in particular is not going to give you the driving experience you're looking for. Why not stick with Mazda and go up a size to the CX-9?
The CX-9 is a bit heavy, not packaged well, and has a third row I don't need. Mazda has long needed something in between the CX-5 and CX-9, something to compete with the Ford Edge, Santa Fe, or Honda Passport.
"Touch response is slow and inconsistent, and routine adjustments of things like heated seats, music, ... require substantial eyes-off-road time." What are the designers thinking? We had a Subaru Forester with 2 seat heater controls on the console that were easy to use by touch alone. No looking required. Great seat heaters too. I recall the radio worked like...well, like a radio.
You lost me at CVT. Subaru is still using 20 year old tech for their engines. I had an '04 Forester XT and loved it until, you know, head gasket. We still use an 06 Forester X for a DD and it has been as reliable as any other car except for , you know, head gasket. The 4EAT has never failed and the thing goes through deep snow, mud, and heavy rain. The radio sucks but the WX feature is very useful in touchy weather. Subaru, dump the stupid CVT, improve the mileage, drop the optional high tech crap, price it about $30K and you'd have a best seller. For now, I'm looking for a small suv with great sight lines and economy. Also, i hate paying for a heavy "moon" roof that I never use.