Most of ya’ll… least most of ya’ll over 40 probably remember Volvo…right?

Maker of rather boxy, but solid, safe and reliable family haulers for decades.

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Well….Volvo’s off reinventing themselves as a sexier and higher-performance vehicle…..and Subaru has moved in and taken their solid, safe and reliable family-hauler title right from under their noses.

Subaru is the fastest-growing brand in America these days….and the Outback is one reason why. This is Subie’s top-of-the-line 5-seat SUV…and like all Subarus except their BRX sports car, the Outback comes only as an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

If you travel to the snow-belt….especially Colorado and New England…you’ll see Subarus everywhere. It’s almost like they issue you a Subaru at the state line.

But now Subaru sales are booming in the South as well. After all, all-wheel-drive gives you better traction in the rain, too.

Most Outbacks will probably come as our tester did….in “Premium” trim…one step up from the mid-20K base model which comes with with 17” wheel covers.

The Premium comes with an attractive cloth interior, 17 alloys, power lumbar, heated power drivers’ seat, automatic climate control….and offers a moonroof as an option. With backup cam and cross-traffic warning, lane-departure and a few other niceties, Subie’s Outback lists just a hair under 30K.

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Go with a “Limited” and you’ll get leather seating and a 576 watt sound system…for an additional 3K.

Or go all the way and order the 6-cylinder…which only comes loaded….and push your sticker closer to 40K.

Again, most Outbacks you’ll see will be the 4-cylinder variety….putting out 174HP from their 2.5 liter engines…running thru a continuously-variable transmission programmed to have a feel of a six-speed auto. It’s a good combination….and it’s good for 25 MPG city and 33 HWY.
33 Highway for all-wheel-drive is exceptional these days.

The Outback is a 5-seater….no third row….but it’ll tote those five folks and a bunch of their stuff in fine style.

And from the “tote and carry” department, Subaru has absolutely topped the class with its’ roof-rack system.

Subie’s standard roof-rack has built-in crossbars than stay tucked away in the front-to-back roof-rails….and swing out to become load-carrying crossbars in a simple 5-10 second operation. Your benefit….noiseless cruising when you’re not carrying a load on your roof…and no Yakima or Thule roof rack required when you are.

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According to KBB, Subaru’s Outback has class-leading resale value. But then, most Subaru owners get “married” to their vehicles….and keep them for quite a while. Nice to know that you can safely keep it or trade it tho’, right?