There are four families on my street with a combined number of eight children between the ages of three and eight; there are three Subaru Outbacks. That says it all. The Subaru Outback is the choice vehicle for today’s families. It’s easy to see why. They have a load of standard features such as symmetrical all-wheel drive, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and Active Torque Vectoring. The bottom line is that today’s families feel safe in the Outback. It’s comfortable, safe and is reasonably priced.

We drove the All-Wheel Drive Outback Limited XT in a stunning Tungsten Metallic. Neighbor Number One was bummed that hers was a lighter grey and preferred the newer color. Starting at $37,745, this edition features a 260-horsepower Direct-Injection Turbocharged  SUBARU BOXER®engine, which allows for more efficiency as the engine’s output flows directly into the transmission bringing about better fuel economy, making it more environmentally friendly. Now, not to get too tech, but the Boxer has a sort of punch and counter punch motion that results in a greater level of balance so there is less vibration. The engine’s handling is more responsive, and because it also has a lower center of gravity, the ride is better balanced and more stable, which equals better control. Suffice to say, there are a lot of safety and driving advantages to the BOXER engine.

But let’s face it, most soccer moms (can’t we let that name go away?) don’t care that much about engines as long as they work and go fast. But comfort is another matter and again the Outback delivers. The front features heated seats that are power-adjustable, 10-way drivers seats, and passengers will enjoy the dual-zone climate control and lots of USB ports. We loved the optical Starlink 11.6-inch multimedia navigation with 11.6-inch screen hi resolution. The resolution was amazing and was so helpful when parking. Its connectivity is quick, easy to use and, with the Limited, came a 12-speaker, 576-watt Harman/Kardon audio system.

There’s lots of room, which is another bonus. The front seat offers 40.1 inches of front seat head room room and 42.8 inches of legroom.The back seats offers an extra 1.4 inches of legroom with the back seat offering 37.7 inches and 42.8 inches respectively. There is 32.5 cubic feet of cargo room and 75.7 inches when the rear seat is lowered. More than enough for kids, groceries, dogs and sports equipment.

The 2020 model has been updated, but judging by the Subaru’s on my street, you couldn’t tell, and that’s a good thing. Like a classic black dress, you don’t want it to go out of style and with the safety and likability of the Subaru Outback, it’s a good bet that my neighbors will be driving their Outbacks for years to come.

— Mary Welch


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