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:

    Checking the fluid level
    The power steering fluid expands greatly as its temperature rises; the fluid level differs according to fluid temperature. Therefore, the reservoir tank has two different checking ranges for ...

    Operating the HomeLink Wireless Control System
    Once programmed, the HomeLink Wireless Control System can be used to remote-control the devices to which its buttons are programmed. To activate a device, simply press the appropriate button. The in ...

    Select lever
    : Shifting is possible with the brake pedal depressed. : Shifting is possible whether the brake pedal is depressed or not. However, while the ignition switch is in the LOCK or Acc positio ...