An SUV alternative, the Outback wagon is roomy and functional, and appeals to the practical-minded buyer. It rides very comfortably, with secure handling. Standard AWD delivers reassuring traction in wintry conditions. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder returns 24 mpg overall and drives through a standard continuously variable transmission. Opting for the 3.6-liter six-cylinder makes the car quicker, quieter, and thirstier, conceding 2 mpg. The controls are all easy-to-use, including the touch-screen infotainment system. The wagon's generous rear seat is spacious enough for three adults. The generous cargo area is comparable to a Forester or Toyota RAV4, with a lower loading height to boot. The optional EyeSight safety suite adds automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.