Maybe ten years ago, we had 2nd? gen outback that we spent WAY too much money on while resurrecting it. A serious test of our budget and marriage.
But-- we both loved how it handled. Since then we have gotten a 2008 Outback that has been a great car for us. It would have cost $12k at the time we bought it. With the hail damage, we got it for $7k. It has 205,000 miles on it now and has been well worth it. We are able to camp in the back. We made removable screens for the rear windows. They tuck into the rubber channels interior to the back seat windows. A weighted rope from an old fish net seals the bottom edge. The screens allow the windows to roll up and down for ventilation while sleeping in the back. Now we have just purchased a 2016 Crosstrek in Desert Kahki. 45,000 miles and no hail damage. We feel pretty fancy.
We paid $20K which is probably $1000 too much, but-- it is just what we wanted. This is now my wife's daily driver to the VOTEC school where she works. Most of the kids and faculty drive aggressive four wheel drive trucks. Just when I thought I couldn't love her more (my wife, not the car), she said "I think the Crosstrek would look good with a lift kit."
I will be shopping for a lift kit, wheels, and tires at SOME point but in the short term just want tires that look cool and are durable for our "creek graveled" county road. I am a master at plugging tires on a car---while they are still on the car. The car has set us back pretty good, so I'll be looking for good deals--even used stuff. And hopefully we can share our successes as our new Subie has now joined the family.