Here in Colorado, there tend to be two very dominant AWD vehicles battling for dominance on the roads; Audi and Subaru. In most cases, these two would rarely be pitted against each other, often just a glance of the eye in the direction of the other from one. but in the Mile High state, there is a different dynamic and need when it comes to the daily vehicle. With Colorado’s weather as random as the lotto, it can be a crap shoot of conditions on the roads. Because of this, AWD has become a dominant feature on many car buyer’s lists, and respectfully, Audi and Subaru really own that area.
As an Audi fan, I am often the one glancing in the direction of the Subaru, never giving them second thought beyond knowing what they are and their capabilities, and showing a bit of respect for them. That is, until I had the and was able to really experience everything the wagon had to offer, putting it up against just about every weather condition I could in a week’s period.
This is not a special car by any means, and feels quite regular and familiar. It drives well, is solidly built, and has all the features I love to see in vehicles these days. It has some of the known Subaru quirks (two controls for the sunroof – really?), but aside from that, it holds up well to the notion that Subarus are well built machines designed for longevity. I can’t necessarily say the same about other rides out there, and in that sense, the Outback hits all the marks of necessity, technology, and comfort that should be standard in rides. For that, it is not special.
But on the opposite end of the spectrum, it is very special, offering a wagon where most manufacturers charge premiums if offered at all, simplifying the drive controls to being very natural in use, and ultimately ensuring that the base of the ride, the AWD system, is as solid as can be.
Heading into the Colorado mountains over winter is always an adventure, and for this trip, the Outback proved to be the key to success. In the four days of travelling, we were able to drive through everything from warm, sunny valleys to blizzards through hairpin passes, rainy mountain roads, ice on steep grades down a mountain, and back to perfect conditions. Even in white-out, snow-packed weather, with the driver’s assist packages all turned on, not once was there a lack of confidence in the handling and safety of the Outback.
Comfortably seated as we explored the Rockies, along with a packed car and a dog in the back, we took on each weather pattern with full gusto and confidence, pushing through safely to each destination, pulling off here and there for photos and site seeing, it felt like the perfect fit for the adventure. And that’s when it really started to stand out, to surpass my love of the Audi (I know). Beyond the fact that it is more affordable, and yes a different car overall, it just felt more at home with everything that came its way. There were no worries of being too low to the ground, or having too much technology in the way of the drivinig experience, and the Subaru Outback just performed as it was intended to.
So what more can be said about this wagon? Well, not much, but I can say while I don’t own one and will still be a fan of the four rings, that glance I give a Subaru in passion will no longer be casual, but one of respect. It’s at home here in Colorado and with the active lifestyle many residents have. I can see now why it is so popular and perfect for this state.