Exterior

A sporty wagon that can get me where I need to go quickly and safely shouldn't have to worry about what it looks like. It's just that I know those crafty Subaru engineers can put together a sharp-looking car, and I wonder why the Outback is a little plain Jane this time around.

That being said, the Subaru Outback is probably the only car I would ever feel comfortable buying in green. My test car came in a pretty Cypress Green that made me feel like hiking and making s'mores.

Getting in and out of the Outback is great; its ground clearance is just high enough to get you through the snow, but it's not so high that it's difficult for kids to get in and out on their own. Opening the doors was a cinch for my 5- and 7-year-olds, but younger kids might need a little assistance.

The taller doorframes will make everyone happy because there's no head-bonking on the door jamb when loading infants or toddlers into child-safety seats.

The roof rack on the Outback is cool. With the Outback, the roof rails, which run from the front to the back, are permanent. The roof rack's crossbars tuck away into the rails when not in use. This reduces windnoise and improves aerodynamics.

SENSE AND STYLE

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Excellent

Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times

    See also:

    Tilt/telescopic steering wheel
    WARNING Do not adjust the steering wheel tilt/ telescopic position while driving. This may cause loss of vehicle control and result in personal injury. 1. Adjust the seat position. Refer to “Fro ...

    Voice command system
    Talk switch To turn on the voice command system, press the talk switch briefly. To turn off the voice command system, press the talk switch for more than 1.5 seconds. The commands available ...

    Oil pressure warning light
    CAUTION Do not operate the engine with the oil pressure warning light on. This may cause serious engine damage. If this light illuminates when the engine is running, it may indicate that the e ...