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CR’s 9 Easiest Cars To Drive - Subaru Forester, Outback, Legacy Score Best In Category

How easy to drive are the 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Legacy for everyday use? Consumer Reports say they are the best in their category.


The 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2022 Outback midsize SUV, and Legacy sedan are the best new vehicles for everyday use. What does that mean for SUV and car shoppers? According to a new study from Consumer Reports, the three Subaru models and the six models below are the most effortless to drive every day with comfortable seats, straightforward controls, and good visibility.

CR's nine easiest-to-drive new vehicles

The Volkswagen Jetta wins the small sedan category, 2022 Subaru Legacy and Kia K5 score best among midsize sedans, Toyota Camry is the best Hybrid midsize sedan, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 Prime are the best Small SUVs, 2022 Subaru Outback scores best 2-Row SUV, Chevrolet Traverse is the top Midsize 3-Row SUV, and the Honda Odyssey is the best Minivan.

What were Consumer Reports' criteria for choosing the top models?

CR says, "We looked for vehicles with the highest scores in nine variables. The nine new models boast smooth rides, easy access, uncomplicated infotainment systems, and unobstructed views. They have quick-reading gauges, a quiet interior, and a nice driver positioning. They also have strong reliability, owner satisfaction, and road-test scores.

2022 Subaru Forester
2022 Subaru Forester

Consumer Reports says, "As in years past, the Forester is a no-nonsense practical vehicle with a roomy interior, a smooth ride, and good fuel economy. Large door openings provide easy access. An upright driving position and tall windows make for easy outward visibility."

What is the best Forester trim level?

"Unlike other Subaru models, the Forester has a simple infotainment system, with physical buttons and knobs that make the climate controls easier to use. CR says the Premium trim offers single-zone automatic climate control, and the All-Weather package adds heated front seats and side mirrors. Lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control come standard on all trims," says CR.

2022 Subaru Outback
2022 Subaru Outback

Consumer Reports says, "With its slightly elevated ride height and upright driving position, the Outback has most of the benefits of an SUV in an easier-to-manage, not-quite-SUV package. It outshines similar SUVs in ride and handling but offers strong light-duty off-road capability. Outward visibility is excellent, and the interior is roomy, with lots of cargo space, especially with the back seats folded down."

What is the best Outback trim level?

CR says, Like the Forester, the Outback Premium trim comes standard with Subaru's safety technology, and rear automatic braking are optional. "Both front and rear doors offer good access to the seats, which are supple and supportive. The Outback has a quieter cabin than the taller, slightly smaller Forester, and its roof rack crossbars swivel easily to the side when not in use to further reduce wind noise at highway speeds," says CR.

2022 Subaru Legacy
2022 Subaru Legacy

Consumer Reports says, "The Legacy sedan is a perennial favorite among CR testers, not least because it offers the sort of smooth ride, quiet cabin, and desirable features often seen in luxury cars that cost a lot more money. The Legacy also delivers the best ride comfort of any midsized sedan we've tested and even eclipsed much more expensive sedans, such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Lexus LS, in the ride comfort category."

What is the best Legacy trim level?

CR says the Premium trim includes supportive leather seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat, and with the more basic cloth seats offered in, the lower trims are comfortable, too. Heated and ventilated front seats are available and add a bit of extra comfort during inclement weather.

"Slim roof pillars allow excellent outward visibility, and the Legacy's driver's seat area can accommodate people of various sizes. Regardless of the trim, generously padded armrests add to the driver's comfort," says CR.

Consumer Reports says they conducted the survey to find the easiest to drive new vehicles after hearing Nancy Williams, a retired public school administrative assistant, talk about her 2018 Subaru Forester.

Until Williams leased her first Subaru Forester, with its expansive windows, comfortable seats, and simple controls, she always considered her vehicle "simply a way to get me from here to there."

"It's a perfect size," says the 74-year-old, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky. "The GPS screen is large and easy to follow, and you can pack a couple of kids in there."

Along with the 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV, Consumer Reports says the 2022 Outback midsize SUV and Legacy sedan are ranked the best in their category for everyday use.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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