Safety

As mentioned, the Outback boasts excellent crash-test ratings and a better rollover rating than an SUV. The standard stability system automatically means there's antilock braking and traction control. The front seats have side-impact airbags and active head restraints, and standard curtain airbags cover the side windows, front and rear, in the event of a side impact.

Outback in the Market

This trailblazing model has aged well. Compared to similar wagons, the Outback is a bargain — especially when you consider its standard all-wheel drive. However, the AWD's added weight makes the mileage lower than it otherwise would be. Even the hefty Venza beats it in efficiency, with either front- or all-wheel drive. The spoiler is that even Subaru loyalists have another choice, with a little more room for a little less money: the 2009 Forester.

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