My wife and I are seriously looking at the 2017 Outback. We love everything but, during our multiple test drives, most unfortunately, my wife complained that "this is the most uncomfortable seat (front passenger) I've ever sat in - it feels like there something jamming me in my bottom. I don't think I could stand sitting in this seat for very long" By the end of the test drive, she was ready to get out. The driver's seat was somewhat better for me, it seemed, but not at all comfortable. The "lumbar support" jammed me in the mid-back, and made me feel like I was sitting on cross-beam of a medieval church seat (designed for fanciness, not comfort). Releasing the lumbar inflation (only available on the driver's seat) mitigated it somewhat, but it still was not comfortable. When she drove it, and made some adjustments, she agreed he driver’s seat was better, but still complained about the same things. I sat in the front passenger seat and agreed. I couldn't stand it.
(I might add that my wife and I are trim, average height, no unusual body features. In short, we’re the people that this ought to be designed for.)
We tried the plastic seat model as well (some call it "leather" but I call it "sweaty" after 10 minutes of sitting in any weather, especially summer), A little better, but still terrible.
So, Subaru has obviously not fixed this problem since the comments from 2014!!!. When we mentioned this to the salesman, he just shrugged, laughed and said "we sells thousands of them..." In other words, "you people are fussy and making this up."
Having lived in Japan for 15 years, we can attest that the Japanese do many things well, but making comfortable seats (home, office, car, anywhere) is not one of them. Clearly Subaru doesn't get it.
Also, this doesn't seem to bother the backs and tushes of their many happy U.S. customers. That, I don't get. I drive about 25-30 different rental cars a year on business. Subaru isn't much in the fleet business, so I don't have a chance to rent them., however, I’ve never gotten a rental - Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, Chrysler - and brought it back because I couldn't stand the seating. It's just not something I think about. Yet as soon as you sit in a Subaru, you think, "What idiots designed this uncomfortable seat?!"
The other problem - not unique to Subaru - is the idiotic headrests in some cars, and unfortunately Subaru is one of them - that slant forward, so you either have to drive with you head down, or recline your seat way back so that it isn't touching your back, a la "LA pimp style". Who drives like this? What idiots design seating like this? And if you’re a woman with a pony tail, or any sort of braid, it’ll be hard to lift your head up to see where you’re driving!
It's unbelievable that such fundamental ergonometric factors are completely overlooked by Subaru!
Having said that, it's obvious that Subaru won't change because there are plenty of odd-shaped Americans whose tushes conform to rock hard seats and whose eyes work with their heads bent down who can drive comfortably in these cars, or have much higher pain-thresholds than us. My wife and I aren't among them. We'll be buying something else. Too bad. Every other detail about the car is nice.