Pls help decide between Forester/Outback - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Pls help decide between Forester/Outback

I'm pretty sure I'm going for the Forester but would like to ask others what made you decide Forester over the Outback. Comparing the two it seems the interior is a bit nicer in the Outback but if I recall the price is higher as well comparing same trims (premium to premium and limited to limited). Outback is a bit longer and no added benefit for my use. The ride was smoother in the Outback but not bad in the Forester.

Not sure if I will get premium w/eyesight or get limited w/out eyesight (can't have both w/the cost increase between trims). Would it be better to get premium with eyesight or the upgraded features in limited but w/out eyesight? The color I want outside only comes with the light gray interior which I wasn't too happy about and why I was thinking the upgrade to the leather was a good option since it would be easier to clean. As long as it has BSM and rear camera, I think I could live w/out eyesight. I also heard eyesight would add to costs should a windshield need to be replaced, etc.

The biggest concern I have is OIL...as I've researched I've read bad things about head gaskets, oil consumption, etc. Does this continue to be an issue for the 2017s of either model? Also concerned about the costs associated with oil changes, diffs, etc. Dealer is $77 for oil (required synthetic) every 6,000 miles. I am wondering if I can get oil changes at a shop with same type of oil for less $ w/out there being an issue with warranty. I've read that the costs of ownership for Subaru is generally higher because of oil and maintenance with AWD system.

Thanks everyone for your input; much appreciated!!!

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:36 PM
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what made you decide Forester over the Outback.
More headroom in the back for the dog.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:30 PM
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You could buy a set of rhino ramps and do oil changes yourself for about 35$

I am cheapo but I stock up on Mobil 1 with rebates for under $15/5qt jug

Even the tools required are minimal. The oil filter is on top.. super easy.

There is an access on bottom for the drain plug.

Oil changes take 10min if I'm being slow.


Outback feels considerably bigger at least 6" longer and more rear legroom.
Also no Manual transmission available.
it handles like a bigger wagon.

The forester handles like a smaller car, tighter turning radius.. slightly more interior headroom esp. if no sunroof.

The outback is generally slightly upscale a level above the forester.

it is also a better highway cruiser.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:37 PM
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:57 PM
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I chose the Forester for the more utilitarian aspect. Could have gone with the Outback and been perfectly happy. Get what you want, and make it good for you either way.

As for oil changes and your warranty, as long as you can document that you have followed the recommended service intervals, and type and weight of oil, and filter, the mfg cannot deny a warranty claim. You will find somewhere that Subaru like all other mfgs publishes a list of qualified oils, and oil type as well as filters. I take my cars to WalMart for synthetic oil changes for $39. I'm sure any name brand oil (P66, Castrol, Valvoline) will have a qualified oil for the car. Document the work done, and save your receipts for proof.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 06:20 PM
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List of approved API grade SM oils for the 2006 and later Subaru engines:

List of GF-4 (or SM) approved oils:
Amsoil ASL High Performance 5w30
Amsoil XLF Extended Life 5w30
Castrol Syntec 5w30
Pennzoil Platinum 5w30
Redline Synthetic 5w30
Valvoline SynPower 5w30

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What is NOT GF-4 (or SM) approved?
-Royal Purple
-Motul
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 06:44 PM
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Add P66 Shield Armor, and Kendall GT-1 Max to approved oils. API SN rated(exceeds API SM rating)
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docmirror View Post
List of approved API grade SM oils for the 2006 and later Subaru engines:

List of GF-4 (or SM) approved oils:
Amsoil ASL High Performance 5w30
Amsoil XLF Extended Life 5w30
Castrol Syntec 5w30
Pennzoil Platinum 5w30
Redline Synthetic 5w30
Valvoline SynPower 5w30

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What is NOT GF-4 (or SM) approved?
-Royal Purple
-Motul

I thought it took 0W20. Or could I use the 5W30 and be okay?
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 07:39 PM
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0w20 is correct for the 2.5i Forester. The turbo takes the 5w30.

The Forester is my wife's car. We didn't consider the Outback, mainly because of its higher price, but we both also wanted something that was a bit "higher." The Outbacks seemed to be a bit whale-like to us. Heh!

It sounds like you've done a lot of research. In case you don't know about the following site, it has a ton of useful and specific information (and pics) about all Subaru vehicles:

Subaru Research Site- specs, prices, options, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.... Outback, Legacy, Forester, XV Crosstrek, Hybrid, WRX, STI, Impreza, BRZ, Tribeca

Mike
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minimalist View Post
I thought it took 0W20. Or could I use the 5W30 and be okay?
All of those API rated oil mfg offer a 0W-20 grades.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 07:34 AM
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Forester feels more nimble and less like a boat, Outback is more comfy. But if I had gone with Outback I'd be pretty happy with it too.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 07:52 AM
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The new Outbacks are nice, and I would have no problem owning one. They are larger vehicles, I think once Subaru comes out with their 3rd row SUV then you will see a lot of folks switch to that one.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 08:12 AM
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I at times wonder if we should have gotten an Outback vs. Forester for the extra creature comforts as the seats I think are the weakest link on our Forester (minus that we didn't get a turbo) ... I liked the outward visibility from the FOZ vs the OB and that certainly helped make the decision, along with higher roofline for our dogs and lower MSRP helped but didn't restrict the decision.

------- Aka - Chris W.
17 Touring 2.5i ES/NAV/RB
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 08:31 AM
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I test drove both a few weeks ago before settling on the Forester. I cross shopped an Outback 3.6 Touring, eyesight vs Forester XT Touring, eyesight. Between those two, Outback was only quoted $1,800 more. The Outback is much more refined and luxurious than the Forester but my reason for the Forester over the Outback was the turbo engine. If I did not care about having the turbo, I probably would have gone with the Outback.

I'm enjoying the Forester and it is nice having something a little different. I previously owned an 05 legacy gt wagon and then an 09 outback xt. Its world different driving the Forester because of the higher ride and bigger windows. I'll agree with other, the seats are not as comfortable as my last two Subaru's.

As for oil leaks and maintenance, I doubt they all have the oil leak problem and overall maintenance is not that expensive on Subaru's vs other car brands. I change the oil myself and it saves a lot compared to the dealers oil changes. A few other people I know that have newer Foresters have not had oil leak problems.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 08:34 AM
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Good morning,
I am a member of the SubaruOutback.org forum and jumped over here to see if this topic existed. Happy I did!

May 2016 my wife and I traded in a 2008 altima 3.7L 6 speed manual for a 2015 OB Premium 2.5L without Eyesight. We also have a '97 Jeep Wrangler in our garage. The biggest factor for us is knowing we were trading in a car that excelled on the highway, and we wanted to keep the car-feel instead of a suv-feel. If we were trading in the Jeep, we would have gone with the Forester and been happy with the more obvious road jarring. I also prefered the more refined feel of the interior environment, but that was not a category that was truly a make or break area for which Subaru to buy.

You mentioned something about oil changes. I'm not sure how it influences the warranty, but I do my own changes. With the 8.7" of clearance, I couldn't get under the car all that well, but was able to take the drain plug out blind (just by feel). A fumoto valve would make it easier, but I don't think I want to go down that path. I put in Mobil 1 extended performance synthetic

Finally, this past weekend I did more research for what is coming after the Jeep dies. I really want a truck, but am having a hard time justifying the cost of those things. My needs are to move a snowblower, motorcycle, and 4x8 sheets of plywood. My plan is to spend $300 for an ecohitch plus wiring, and rent a u-haul trailer for $15 a day whenever I need it. Going that route, I would have to rent the trailer a few hundred times to spend the same amount as the additional cost of a truck would be. Because of this, I am now leaning towards a forester as the replacement for my old Jeep Wrangler. Yeah - I would have two subies in the garage
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