THE BUZZ: Yes, it's a wagon. But thanks to its bigger size and meatier (3.6-liter) six-cylinder boxer engine, it feels more like the SUVs of yore with superior gas mileage.
THE TEST: All-wheel drive and traction control provided a solid, responsive feel, while the 256-hp motor's torque made punching the gas an unexpected thrill. Inside, it was like a cargo ship. Our six-foot cohorts easily fit in the backseats, and the rear seats folded down to stow two 29er bikes without removing the front wheels.
THE VERDICT: Plenty of pep and a ton of room, especially for a wagon. From $28,000; mpg, 18 city/25 hwy; subaru.com