Forester vs. Outback - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Forester vs. Outback

Did anyone evaluate these two?

Curious to know which you ended up with, and why.

David (heading to the dealer Sunday... coming home with one or the other)

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 11:46 AM
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I've had both. This has been discussed a few times before but basically what are you wanting to get out of the car? What's the main purpose? Both are good choices but it sort of depends. Best thing is you are doing already. Check them both out. In general the outback is bigger and has more room. The rear cargo area is more usable but not as high as the Forester. Also the seats go flat in the OB as you can flip the rear seats bottom up. Check this place out for specific dimensions:

Very good site.


2016 BRZ, 2010 Leg 3.6 R, 2013 OB, 2001 Forester S and 1999 Miata
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 12:04 PM
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We own a Forester and looked hard at Outbacks a few times, both XT and 2.5i models. The Forester is my car and I was also considering a WRX Sport Wagon at the time. When deciding to replace my wife's car, it was between a Legacy or an Outback. They share the same platform so both cars felt somewhat similar. Mechanically they are a wash, and they also share motors (for the most part) with the Forester.

So here's what I think: The Forester is great for my working car - cargo capability is very good and it isn't so nice that I'm afraid to abuse it a little bit. The Outback is a very nice car, especially when you go up a few trim levels. This would be our choice for a family car if we didn't already own another wagon (my Forester). We ended up with a Legacy sedan after about a week of deliberation. If not for already owning the Forester, we'd have an Outback in the driveway, for her.

Forester: more suitable for rough-and-tumble
Outback: can also do the outdoorsy stuff but it's a nicer vehicle so would be ideal for family duty and if luxury is a concern.

Hard to go wrong with either one - both are great cars.

'12 Forester, 5spd - hers
'08 Legacy SE, 5spd - hers
'09 OB SE, 5spd - mine
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 03:15 PM
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When I bought mine in '03, I looked at both used. I chose the Forester partly because I found a nicer one, but also because of the nice moonroof, the more agile feeling of the shorter wagon, and because I thought with the 4 cylnder 5-speed I'd appreciate having the lighter vehicle.

The biggest selling point for me for the OB was ability to sleep 2 in the back (instead of just 1). Not sure how well that would work though.

I think the emergency handling is probably better for the OB. Highway cruising is certainly quieter.

And in the current models the OB has more clearance. Although the 09 Foresters coming shortly may change that.

If $$ were not an object, right now, I'd choose an OB XT.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 03:46 PM
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Are you considering modifying the car in the future? If so, many Impreza parts will swap right over to the Forester, you have more options there. That was one of the reasons I got the Forester. If you are considering an AT, Outback has the Sportshift.


Shocks > struts.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 04:34 PM
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If you need the room go with an Outback. I am happy with the space of my Forester but the girlfriend and I rented an Outback in Yosemite and the added space was very much noticed (especially with all the camping and travel gear we had).

MY05 FXT MT Crystal Gray, Stage 1, ghetto wheels
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 09:53 PM
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We had 2 outbacks when I was younger, but then when we were looking for a car that I would eventually get (primarily to get up to college) we picked the forester. The outback is a little more refined, quieter, and more family oriented. The forester is perfect if it will primarily be used by one or two people and with some stuff in the back.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-16-2008, 02:30 AM
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Hello David and welcome along. Either will serve you well and it all boils down to what you need the car for. I can't expand on what's already been said so I'll shut up now
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 06:13 PM
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Forester has a better seating position and more space around the driver.

I like sitting on a chair, not a bean bag!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 05:12 AM
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I was looking at both. Went with Forester cuz it is shorter in length so easier for NYC parking. OB was too big. Plus I really liked how Forester handled.

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