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Hey all. I'm looking for a new vehicle and am currently on the fence between a XT Limited (w/o nav) and a Mitsubishi Outlander XLS. I've test driven both a couple times and really like the Outlander, with the exception of the horribly uncomfortable seats (the warranty and 0.8% financing help too!). I also really like the Forester, however the relative lack of standard/optional features is almost a deal breaker.

Has anyone else here been in a similar situation and/or can provide some insight that might help sway me one way or the other?!


That was my exact top two as well!!!

I test drove both 3 times and did all my comparisons as well. The Outlander XLS has a pretty good feel to it. I liked the trim (but did NOT like the fact they charged $4000 for the NAV AND rear DVD player! My test on the Outlander factory NAV concluded that it is does NOT have text to speech (announcing names of streets) but decent POI storage and address book space. Although I was told that the Outlander XLS could run on reg gas they "recommend" premium. I called 3 different dealerships and the answer was the same. You can, in fact, use reg gas but performance will be affected slightly. I liked the 0.8% financing and the drive felt pretty good with a great turn radius. I got to test it with a lot of snow and was impressed with the AWD capability. I liked the paddle shifters too but really, who uses those after a week of driving the car?

I worked out the mileage to be decent and compares to the Forester XT Limited. It has a higher Torque/HP rating but if you test drove a Turbo Forester you will notice a fun car to drive and not the difference in these stats.

OK... So why did I choose a Forester XT Limited?

First, I know Mitsubishi has come a long way in their AWD but Subaru has been doing it for juuuuust a little longer. (you know what I mean)

Also, if you compare cargo space you will find that the Outlander is lacking somewhat. (Third row seating is ummm... yeah.) Even with the pull latch back seat lift design you get more space in the Forester. And forget about the height in the 2nd row seating. Even with the seat reclined back (and moved back all the way) my head touched the ceiling (I'm 6'1). Leg room didn't compare to the Forester and you gotta love the extra wide moonroof on the Forester. Smaller details include the arm rest in the back seat and how the cup holders in the back are also illuminated blue. Both have HID lights in Canada..I believe the Outlander has adaptive lights.

In the front I found that (as you mentioned) it was much more comfortable in the Forester, especially for longer drives. The Outlander felt stiff and rigid (or as Mitsubishi calls it..."Sporty"). Also, I believe I have a lot more leg room on the Forester for my longer legs and the head room definitely beats the Outlander. I should also mention that the Forester drives much more like a car, not an SUV, which my fiancee loved.

If you get a Forester XT buy an aftermarket NAV as this car does not have the same hands-free, blue tooth NAV integration as the Subaru Outback 3.6R. This way for less money you can get a NAV that will smoke the factory Subaru unit (I'm getting the new Pioneer AVIC X920BT) and end up with way better features. If you get the Outlander without NAV the dash is kinda blah with the display only being that red/orange 2 line readout. An aftermarket NAV would be better on this car as well (you would have to buy their Nav install kit to do it)

I drive at least 60,000 kms a year so I wanted a car that is VERY dependable and comfortable to drive with great sight lines and fun to drive.

When it comes down to it I can start pointing out small details for each car but everyone has their own likes and dislikes in a car. I found that both appealed to my taste for looks. LOVE the hoodscoop turbo on the Forester but also loved the jet engine face on the Outlander. Both cars have impressive AWD and the trim is quite similar. Both are roughly the same price (Outlander may be a bit cheaper with their financing).

I went with the Forester in the end because my gut instincts told me so. And I don't regret that decision one bit. One thing that REALLY surprised me in the end... how much Subaru car owners love their cars. I caught the fever myself.

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