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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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2011 forester vs outback

i am considering a 2011 forester. i loved everything about the car until i drove it...then i was a bit shaken, literally! the ride was just a bit rough, as i had been warned of online. yet i have friends who love theirs, say you get used to it, etc. here's my dilemma - i also tried out an outback , which had a much smoother ride. however, the greater reliability of the japanese-made vs american-made subarus seems to be an issue. i am especially afraid of the dreaded steering wheel shimmy on the outlack/legacy since 2010. i considered waiting for subaru to fix the problem but wonder about other reliability issues. can anyone educate me here?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 04:11 PM
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I'll leave out all the gory details, but I had a 2011 Subaru Legacy, which developed the dreaded shimmy. Dealer was great to work with, so test drove more for to consider as a "swap" -- most all Legacys on the lot had the "shakes" to some degree. Then test drove an Outback -- still too much steering wheel vibration, plus, I was a bit hesitant given it has the same suspension as the Legacy. Test drove a 2011 Forester Premium -- we have a winner! My wife drives a 2009 Forester, which is fantastic. I couldn't be happier with my choice, and while I wish I had the extra gear (it's an a/t) and a couple of more miles per gallon, I know I'm going to take this car way above 100,000 miles.

Frankly, if you're set on an Outback, I'd wait to ensure they have the shimmy resolved for the 2012 model year. The ulcers from my "shimmy" experience are just now beginning to heal.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 07:45 AM
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I test drove both the Outback and Forester twice. I didn't notice any shaking at all. I also test drove RAV4, CRV, Equinox, Terrain. The CRV had the worst highway drive out of them all. The RAV4 had more wind noise than the Subarus. This past weekend I took a Forester on a 45 min test drive and I was sold. It handled great on the highway and the rough roads. The Outback had a great ride too but I was concerned about it developing the steering wheel shake. My Forester was due in yesterday but didn't show up. I am scheduled to pick it up Friday, I hope it gets here.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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thanks, guys!

i am so grateful for your input; it really helps because i dreaded having the feelings you allude to so well. i will head back for some more driving.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 05:16 PM
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Last year I researched and test drove many cars. The Subaru Outback was my first choice. And then I found a thread on the Outback Forum about the shimmy problem. That was all I needed to eliminate the Outback from consideration. Not all Outbacks shimmy, but obviously more than a few do shimmy. I didn’t want to buy a problem. That single thread has now grown to a sub forum. Steering Wheel Shake Issues - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

There’s a 2010 Forester in my garage.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 05:30 AM
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The potential shimmy problem knocked the Outback off my list as well. Even though the two I test drove did not have the issue I didn't want to take the chance. I pick up my 2011 Forester today at 1:00pm.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 06:23 AM
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Drive the Forester again but bring a tire pressure gauge with you. Check the pressure against the recommended pressure on the drivers door placard. I've found they way overfill the tires at the dealer. That would make it ride like a tank, I've had it happen myself.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 06:32 AM
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Drive the Forester again but bring a tire pressure gauge with you. Check the pressure against the recommended pressure on the drivers door placard. I've found they way overfill the tires at the dealer. That would make it ride like a tank, I've had it happen myself.
+2

Just to add forester still will not be a OB, they are targeting different markets, and I don't think those two cars should be compare together.

Forester, CRV, Rav4, etc.

Outback vs other Wagon like cars volvo, Jetta wagon etc.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 08:04 AM
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+33 1/3.

There's a apparently a shipping tire pressure, which is around 40 psi. My 08 OBS was deleivered over 40 psi and around 7 psi difference between wheels.

After reminding the (same) dealer to please check the Forester before delivery, it was delivered with all tires at 38 psi.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 12:37 PM
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Just to add forester still will not be a OB, they are targeting different markets, and I don't think those two cars should be compare together.

Forester, CRV, Rav4, etc.

Outback vs other Wagon like cars volvo, Jetta wagon etc.
That’s probably true for most of the time. There is the ‘typical’ and expected comparison between cars in a particular market segment. But when I was looking for a new car, I wanted to compare a LOT of different cars.

The list of cars I looked at crossed over a few market segments. Not in any particular order; Honda Pilot, Honda CR-V, Honda Crosstour, Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Toyota RAV4, Toyota 4 Runner, Mercedes GLK350, Ford Flex, Ford Edge, Ford Escape, Nissan Xterra, Nissan Pathfinder, Land Rover LR4.

Not too many people who would consider a Mercedes or a Land Rover would “typically” compare to any Subaru. And the Honda Pilot, and Crosstour are probably not typical comparisons to a Forester either.

And in the FWIW category… all of these cars were compared to the cost of repairing our 1999 Land Rover Discovery 2 again.

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 04:50 PM
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I've been hashing out the Forester VS OB delimma too. For me the issue is the CVT and SOHC engine in the OB and the 4EAT and DOHC engine in the Forester. It's vice-versa good and bad in both vehicles.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 06:48 PM
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Also, which one would you be wanting to see in your garage for the next 4-10 yrs? I just plain liked the looks of the Forester, better. I do like the looks of my brother's '04 Outback a lot, but not the new ones.


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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 07:02 PM
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i've had my forester for a week and i like it a lot. very peppy, i think the 4 speed at works fine.

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 08:37 AM
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I'll have to respectfully disagree with you there, grace.
I drove several smallish SUVs/CUVs and found the Forester's ride to be the most supple and controlled.
Also, online, the same things were said about the Forester's ride; supple and controlled (where I checked ie Edmunds, Consumer Reports, Cars 101, etc.).

The Outback is simply a more upscale vehicle, in my opinion, and had a very nice ride indeed. That, I can't disagree with...

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 09:14 AM
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I'll have to respectfully disagree with you there, grace.
I drove several smallish SUVs/CUVs and found the Forester's ride to be the most supple and controlled.
Also, online, the same things were said about the Forester's ride; supple and controlled (where I checked ie Edmunds, Consumer Reports, Cars 101, etc.).

The Outback is simply a more upscale vehicle, in my opinion, and had a very nice ride indeed. That, I can't disagree with...
I bought my Subaru two years ago. We test drove the RAV4 and then the Forester. I much preferred the Forester's ride over the RAV. The RAV seemed a little busy over the bumps, whereas the Forester was smooth and more controlled. I also felt the Forester's engine was more responsive when I needed power, the RAV hesitated when I punched it, perhaps due to software programming? Didn't consider the CRV due to the horrible blind spot. Never considered the Outback, as in 2009, it just looked weird all jacked up like it was. If the Legacy Wagon was still sold in 2009, would have considered it.

I've driven my Subaru for 9 hours on the freeway on a road trip, 570 miles, and it was great.

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