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The great and the not so great

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/26/2016 Scott

We have leased our Outback 3.6R for 16 months and are overall very satisfied with the car. Previous car was a Toyota Sienna minivan and a Dodge Grand Caravan before that. In regard to the Subaru, I should mention that we had an unfortunate encounter with a deer who tried to become our hood ornament, nine months into the process, but after $14K of repairs (thank you insurance company) the car seems like it was before the accident. The deer... not so much. Having our first experience with the airbag system was spooky when it happened but reassuring after the fact. It's nice to know the system works so quickly and really keeps you cushioned during a collision. On the plus side, the 3.6R is a joy to drive - super easy to get on the highway and able to accelerate quickly even at high speed to pass cars etc. It's a quiet engine, but you do get just enough of that nice throaty rumble when accelerating, a reminder of the VW GTI I had when I was in college. The automatic setting shifts at the right time to make accelerating smooth and easy unless you really jam the pedal down in which case the car can make you feel a little like you're getting shot out of a cannon - not something you often feel in a wagon. I love the handling and the seats and cockpit are pretty comfortable. The instrumentation is attractive, well thought out and placed and the car is very easy to see out of, with few blindspots. Even those are helped by the digital warning system and the rearview camera provides a nice hi def image. On the negative side, gas mileage is not good - much lower than what was promised by Subaru - but I've never owned a car that has matched the MPG number on the sticker price. We do A LOT of local driving in Brooklyn, NY traffic, so we don't expect much, but during a year and a half driving this car we have averaged just over 16 MPG for our entire usage. That's the average for both local and highway driving. On long highway trips we are in the low 20s. That is disappointing but not surprising for the size of the engine and weight of the car (not to mention my heavy foot on the gas pedal). One other design flaw, at least in our car, the safety belt does a poor job of retracting when you unbuckle it, so I've slammed the door on the belt more times than I can count. All things considered we really love this car and will probably re-up after the 36 month lease is up unless something comes along that suits our needs while offering better gas mileage. I like the convenience of a wagon and the 3.6R allows me to have the performance of a sportier sedan. I guess I'm willing to put up with the poor gas mileage trade off. I suppose I should feel guilty about that, but after twelve years of minivans (the mileage is about the same) I get to enjoy driving again for the last few years we have kids in the house, while still transporting them in a comfortable and convenient way.

Average Rating : 4

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