Pros: Spacious interior with wagon versatility; controlled, comfortable ride; standard all-wheel drive
Cons: Middling fuel economy with 6-cylinder engine; some ergonomic issues with climate controls and available navigation system
CG Says: For 2014, Subaru Outback models with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) get adaptive transmission control for smoother performance and response, the company says. Also, the available navigation system adds Aha-based smartphone connectivity. Outback is a well-rounded combination of midsize car, station wagon, and sport-utility attributes. Competitive pricing and a roomy cabin are additional pluses across all Outback models. Some similar-in-concept competitors ultimately feel compromised by trying to be too many things at once, but not this Subaru. Car loyalists, crossover intenders, and even those searching for an at least mildly off-road-capable SUV will find a lot to like with the 2014 Subaru Outback.