Outback 2.5i, 2.5i Special Edition & 2.5i Limited

For the best mileage, the 2.5i manual is your best bet, rated at 20/27 mpg city/highway. Along with 1 mpg better highway mileage, the five-speed stick will help you get better acceleration out of the base horizontally opposed four-cylinder. The automatic has enough oomph for grocery-getting and other errands, but it quickly gets winded when pushed hard. The transmission could use a fifth gear; in many cases you can press the gas pedal halfway down without inducing a downshift, which doesn't help your passing confidence.

Outback 3.0 R Limited

On the other end of the spectrum is the 3.0 R Limited's normally aspirated 3.0-liter H-6 engine, which shaves another city mpg in exchange for ... not much. As the table shows, it brings a negligible horsepower increase and much lower torque — at higher rpm, where you don't want it. This option is the key to towing 3,000-pound trailers, rather than 2,700 pounds with the four-cylinder. If you're not planning to tow, I just don't see the point of this engine.

    See also:

    Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) (if equipped)
    The tire pressure monitoring system provides the driver with a warning message by sending a signal from a sensor that is installed in each wheel when tire pressure is severely low. The tire pressu ...

    Unlocking the doors
    Press the “” button to unlock the driver’s door. An electronic chirp will sound twice and the turn signal lights will flash twice. To unlock all doors and the rear gate (Outback), briefly press ...

    Photosensors
    Photosensors The mirror has a photosensor attached on both the front and back sides. During nighttime driving, these sensors detect distracting glare from vehicle headlights behind you and automatica ...