I have a 2015 Subaru Imprezas. They are a little smaller than Outbacks but also have a smaller (2.0L) engine. Mine is a manual, which I love. I think it has plenty of power - sure you have to plan your acceleration rather than just mash the pedal at the last moment, but that is fine. I was under the impression that standard transmissions were going to be discontinued in 2016, but looking at the subaru website it appears they still exist.
My wife also has a recent Impreza, but hers is the CVT automatic. It is actually driveable, unlike the previous technology automatic.
We downsized from one Outback and one Impreza to both Imprezas when our son left home.
I thought about getting the Crosstreck, which is basically an Impreza with 3 inches more ground clearance. In the end I decided it wasn't worth the extra $3000.