If you wanted a car with all-wheel-drive you'd have to buy a bulky 4x4 that was inefficient and cumbersome to own. Now a days you can buy just about any car with all-wheel-drive and they come in array of shapes and sizes. The Subaru Outback should be on your short list though if you want all-wheel-drive on the cheap.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces 175hp and is all you'll ever really need with the Outback. Even though it is nice that you can still option for the 3.6-liter six-cylinder which has 256hp on tap. Those looking for the best value and lowest running costs will be much happier with the 2.5 which is also our pick of the range.
Previous generations of the Outback weren't really known for their driving dynamics. It has always but utilitarian first and refinement last. But with this generation of the Outback you'll be surprised at how improved the on road dynamics have become. It still won't be as sharp to drive as the sedan couterpart but it is still engaging to drive and is quite frankly enough for what it is. Handling is secure and the steering offers decent feedback. You'll never hurl this thing into tight corners and bends so for the smooth ride it offers it exceeds our expectations.
The interior has been improved dramatically over the years. Now it controls and dials are attractively designed but are very user friendly. We do love how easy it is to navigate through the infotainment system without all the fussy dials some of its keen rivals have. The front seats are comfortable and offer plenty of support. Rear passengers won't feel short changed for legroom or headroom, both are very good. The boot is massive and when you fold the rear seats down there's even more space. If you run out of space with this you don't need a car you need a transit van.
The 2.5 premium trim is the pick of the range. It offers extra kit the standard 2.5 doesn't have and is still within reason in terms of pricing. Although all forms of the Outback offer decent kit but for our money we'd stay closer towards the middle which offers the best of both worlds. Air-con, CD-player, keyless entry and daytime running lamps are standard. Those wanting leather will have to pay extra or step up to the top of the range 3.6 engine.
Buying one shouldn't break the bank too much and resale value will be through the roof because most Subaru owners don't sell their vehicles as quick as other automakers making the second hand market for Subaru a small catalog to search through.
It's standard all-wheel-drive means that it can make nasty weather feel safe and secure. It handles with confidence and is one of those cars you'll love taking on a camping trip or to the ski resort. It really is a jack of all trade and is our top pick for all-wheel-drive vehicles on the cheap. No other car can blend utilitarian and functionality quite well like Subaru. With the new updated styling and improved quality. It may even be harder not to resist taking a closer look.
Likes: Vastly improved over previous generation. Cheap all-wheel-drive yet its functional, cheap to run thanks to a efficient power-train.
Dislikes: Overly sensitive headlights. The rest are nit picking so we decided not to even bother.