An SUV alternative, the Outback is roomy and functional, and appeals to the practical-minded buyer. It rides very comfortably, with secure handling and standard AWD. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder returns 24 mpg overall and drives through a standard continuously variable transmission. A stronger and thirstier 3.6-liter six-cylinder transforms the car, making it quicker and quieter. The controls are 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 an SUV's, with a lower loading height to boot. The optional EyeSight safety suite adds automatic emergency braking. For 2018 the Outback is less jumpy when accelerating from a stop, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard.