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Old 02-01-2013, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Forester vs OutBack?

Assuming you all have Foresters on this forum, why did you pick a forester over an outback?

What do you like better about the forester vs the Outback?

I'm looking at both & dont really see too much difference between them?

Same drive line I assume?
Same AWD systems I assume?

Is it just the bodies & the interior?
Does one ride better?
Is one bigger inside or outside?
Does one have better road handling or Off Road better over the other?

Help me decide?
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Forester vs OutBack?

Didn't really look much at the Outback but some of our reasons for our choosing the Forester were:

- same footprint as the Civic it was replacing so a good fit in my garage.

- Higher driving position more SUV like which we prefer.

- better manoeuvrability. It's great in parking lots and light off roading.

~2k less expensive than the Outback.

Advantages of the Outback based on my limited knowledge.

- nicer interior and quieter more comfortable and car like ride.

I'm sure you'll get lots of input. Did you ask the same question on the Outback forum?

Cheers
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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No I didn't start start thread over there as I did here. Maybe I should?

You say the outback has a more car like ride?
Why is that?
Do they have different suspensions?
Or does the Forester just run it stiffer?
Does it weigh more that needs it?
Does the forester tow better than an outback?
I have a small boat that weighs about a total of 1,800 lbs including trailer.

Being I've had a Fiat spider that was backed into 3 times while I sat in it & now have a Mazda Miata that's basically the same size I worry about my wife backing into one herself, & that sorta is why I like the lower Outback vs most suv types, does the forester sit higher or are the windows bottoms at the same Height?
I don't want her backing into small car like that.

The two seem so similar, yet if the forester has a stiffer ride there must be something beyond looks to these two?

And does the forester typically cost $2.000.00 less than an out back?
& if yes why?

Thanks for all your input.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Forester vs OutBack?

Nothing like trying them both out if you have a dealer nearby. Forester is built on the Impreza platform, the Outback on the Legacy platform. Like the Civic and Accord or Corolla and Camry.

The Forester with it's long suspension travel does a great job soaking up the bumps although it can feel bouncy at times. I expect the Outback would be even better with its added 5" wheelbase length.

Consumer Reports found the Outback tended to swing its tail out when pushed hard through their avoidance manoeuvre but still gave it a decent score.

According to Consumer Reports the 2013 Outback vs. the 2013 Forester is:
72" vs 70" wide
189" vs 180" long
64" vs 66" high
108" vs 103" wheelbase
39' vs 37' turning circle

A number of members here have both so you should hear from them. I read one post that said they found the Outback more comfortable on long trips.

Not everyone finds the Forester seats comfortable on a long drive. Personally, I've found the high seating position and large seats on a Dodge Caravan very comfortable on a 17 hour drive. But it's not the kind of vehicle I would buy for myself. I've done the same drive in the Forester and it's not as comfortable for me as my right leg gets sore. Common problem for me in many vehicles which a higher more chair like seating position seems to help

Outback has had a CVT auto transmission for several years now while the Forester up to 2013 has used a conventional but dated 4 speed auto. The new 2014 Foresters now come with the newer CVT which improves mileage. However, not everyone likes the way a CVT drives.

It's good to research but its hard to beat trying them out on the road to reach a decision. You may want to see if you can rent one or both first since it's hard to get a good feel for a vehicle on just a short drive. Of course, sometimes all you need to do is sit in it.

Any vehicle you buy is going to be a compromise; you have to decide what works best for you. My wife especially liked the Honda CRV better for looks and features but we chose the Forester for its superior AWD prowess and road clearance seeing as we drive in winter road conditions several months of the year.

Last edited by B&B; 02-02-2013 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok great info, but I suppose I forgot to mention, I'd prefer a low milage used one rather than the higher payment of new.

Yet , I've also been researching the CRV because it's seems very friendly towards flat towing?
Tell me your thoughts & her thoughts on the CRV as well please, we live in Los Angeles & never get snow, yet I'm an avid off Roader & want something to allow me just enough from time to time to make it fun.

Maybe a fun simple trail or some sand at piano beach, font get me wrong, I under stand neither the Subies or CRV are real off road rigs that will climb sand dunes or crawl well being no low range & other things.

I just want to know if I happen to be out in this next vehicle, I have the option to go a bit further into the fun stuff when the times come. :)

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Old 02-02-2013, 03:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Original from B&B
Forester is built on the Impreza platform
Sorry, B&B, but that's only right for every Forester up to and including the model year 2007.

Since the model year 2008 the Forester is built on the Legacy platform.

About the platform of the new Forester 2014 I have no informations.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GMork View Post
Sorry, B&B, but that's only right for every Forester up to and including the model year 2007.

Since the model year 2008 the Forester is built on the Legacy platform.

About the platform of the new Forester 2014 I have no informations.
So would this mean as of '08 they have the same ride quality?
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Forester vs OutBack?

What! I've been driving a Legacy and didn't even know it :-/ Thanks GMork for correcting my misinformation.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Forester vs OutBack?

What years are you looking at?


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Old 02-02-2013, 10:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Blanco View Post
So would this mean as of '08 they have the same ride quality?
That would be '09 in US terms.

Technically, both the 08+ Impreza and the 09+ Forester are built on the previous (05-09) generation Legacy chassis.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What years are you looking at?


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Not sure at this point & why I keep asking so many questions to narrow it down a bit.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Blanco View Post
Yet , I've also been researching the CRV because it's seems very friendly towards flat towing?
Tell me your thoughts & her thoughts on the CRV as well please, we live in Los Angeles & never get snow, yet I'm an avid off Roader & want something to allow me just enough from time to time to make it fun.
My son has a CRV. Its a bulletproof vehicle. I really don't like it because it looks, handles, and rides like a big box. It will not have the capability that Subaru has with respect to off-road. I have no experience in this area however.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
My son has a CRV. Its a bulletproof vehicle. I really don't like it because it looks, handles, and rides like a big box. It will not have the capability that Subaru has with respect to off-road. I have no experience in this area however.
I must agree about the Subies being much better looking. ;)

& from what I have learned so far the Subarus AWD system is a true AWD & should perform much better.

Yet having a flat tow friendly car is important to me & the CRV is flat towable even with automatic trans.

Subie's do have many more parts spinning while flat towing & if I was to do it would have to have a manual trans.
I don't really mind that myself, but the wife prefers a auto trans....

Still trying to learn all I can before I buy.
It's really all I can afford to do at the moment. :o
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I test drove a '12 Forester and '13 outback back to back.. here were my impressions:

- Forester has awesome airy greenroom. The windshield is very high for great visibility. OB felt like any other car.
- Power delivery felt the same between the two vehicles. FB2.5 4AT on the Foz, CVT on OB.
- CVT on the OB was noticeably whiny, esp driving around at 20-25pm. I was old the '13 OB is more refined than previous OBs.. so the other ones must be worse.
- Ppl say the forester is loud on the highways. I couldn't detect a difference in road noise between the forester and our '09 Hyundai Sonata, which is not known as a loud vehicle
- I truly could not observe the $2.5K in premium of the OB over Forester.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have and love both! (granted they are older than the models you are probably looking at)
The main difference between the models that i have are that the Outback has more interior room (EXCEPT head room), rides lower/more like a car and has a larger footprint.

CRVs are great vehicles as well. Their main drawback vs. Subaru is their all wheel drive system but that might not be of concern for you since you're not in the snow belt.

Drive them all!
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