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03 Honda Pilot
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Brand new here, and have decided to switch from Honda to Subaru. But, I need advice. Forester or Outback? I own an older CRV and an 03 Pilot, both with over 155K on them. One is moving to college aged kid, and I need a new "ride". The Forester seems more CRV-like, but the drawback is its 4 speed auto trans and resulting fuel economy. 5 mpg on the highway is a substantial advantage for the Outback. If it really gets 5 mpg better than the Forester. Size and style of Forester are more to my taste. Not enough difference in pricing to sway me one way or another.

Suggestions, experiences, warnings? Thanks.
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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Welcome! IMHO, if you are looking for refinement than the Outback is a no brainer. However, preference is subjective only to each individual and I would suggest you go test drive both vehicles to see what fits your need best. Either choice is great and we welcome all Subie owners here.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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Where did you hear the Outback gets 5 mpg more then the Forester on the highway ? I got 29.4 mpg in my Forester last summer on a trip from PA to CT so the 4 speed really isn't all that bad.
IMO you cant go wrong with either one.
 

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2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
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Welcome aboard!

Where did you hear the Outback get 5 mpg more then the Forester on the highway ? I got 29.4 mpg in my Forester this summer on a trip from PA to CT so the 4 speed really isn't all that bad. IMO you cant go wrong with either one.
'10 Foz 4EAT = 26mpg HWY EPA Estimated

'10 OB CVT = 31mpg HWY EPA Estimated (IIRC, it may be 29-30, I'm not quite sure)

Either way the Outback is estimated to do better, and you could certainly best the EPA numbers with it, as you did in your Forester.

Personally, owning both (albeit older models) the Outback outshines the Forester in build quality and refinement. Road manners are also more composed. The Forester on the other hand, is lightweight, a lot more fun to just toss around, and more capable offroad. It's also easier to park due to the shorter wheelbase. They both have their strengths and weaknesses.

As others have said, drive them both! You may not like the CVT in the new OB, I don't really like it that much because it just feels odd. :shrug:
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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Where are you getting these numbers?

Straight from Subarus site






ok CVT 2 mpg
 

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2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
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Where are you getting these numbers?

Straight from Subarus site


ok CVT 2 mpg
I wasn't positive on them, as I spent too much time at the Stealer this summer looking at the different models. I think the Leggy CVT got 31 then. Not sure.


Anywho, I was saying that he could probably do better than the EPA rating if he tried, just like you did. I've done it as well, squeezing 33mpg out of our Foz. I've gotten 31 out of the Outback.

I never really take EPA ratings as gold. :N_poke:
 

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Did anyone notice that the Ob has a sloping rear window and a thick roof line that robs the Ob of cargo space. Though more aesthetically appealing, that design doesn't make sense for a wagon or SUV when you need to put something in the back. One would really have to put the rear seats down to get any real utility. The Forester has an almost upright rear window and very little rear wheel arch intrusion into the cargo area.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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Yeah but the Outback's cargo area is noticeably longer. I would totally take a '10 Outback over a '10 Forester in terms of hauling crap in the trunk.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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To answer the original question: go drive both.

If price is not a factor, basically with the Forester you'll sit up higher and it'll feel more zippy in terms of handling.

With the Outback, ride quality is smoother, cabin is much quieter, and the longer wheelbase makes it a nicer highway cruiser. Plus it's a little bigger, and you get a nicer interior.

One is a compact platform, the other a midsize platform, it's kinda apples and oranges. Just go experience both. I like 'em both for different reasons.

Oh, and if you're picky in terms of seats, they have different seats.
 

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I really dislike rising hip lines with windows that get smaller going from front to back, like the CR-V. Subaru should really use the good stuff from the Subaru Outback and use it in the Subaru Forester. :)
 

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I really dislike rising hip lines with windows that get smaller going from front to back, like the CR-V. Subaru should really use the good stuff from the Subaru Outback and use it in the Subaru Forester. :)
Not my favorite look either, it reminds of show bred German Shepherds with that broken back looking walk.

:icon_sad: :icon_sad: :icon_sad: :icon_sad:
 

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Did anyone notice that the Ob has a sloping rear window and a thick roof line that robs the Ob of cargo space. Though more aesthetically appealing, that design doesn't make sense for a wagon or SUV when you need to put something in the back. One would really have to put the rear seats down to get any real utility. The Forester has an almost upright rear window and very little rear wheel arch intrusion into the cargo area.
Not sure if you've been in one yet , but the interior and cargo space is enormous! I don't think you could need more space. The forester has a lot of room also but the OB does have more. I guess the exterior appearance is a little misleading.
Both are nice vehicles but as mentioned before if you want a smoother more luxurious vehicle, the OB is the way to go. I also like that you sit a little lower/deeper in the OB.
Too bad SOA won't change the 4-speed transmission on the FXT as that is bothersome to me.
 

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Not sure if you've been in one yet , but the interior and cargo space is enormous! I don't think you could need more space. The forester has a lot of room also but the OB does have more. I guess the exterior appearance is a little misleading.
Both are nice vehicles but as mentioned before if you want a smoother more luxurious vehicle, the OB is the way to go. I also like that you sit a little lower/deeper in the OB.
Too bad SOA won't change the 4-speed transmission on the FXT as that is bothersome to me.

Two fully grown adults could sleep back there on soft stuff, right? In both the Subaru Forester and Outback with the 60/40 seats folded down?
 

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Two fully grown adults could sleep back there on soft stuff, right? In both the Subaru Forester and Outback with the 60/40 seats folded down?
In my 04 a futon mattress almost fits perfectly (aside from the strut towers, which are gone in the 09+)in the back. Definitely plenty of space in either if you need to!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sorry for the mix up re EPA MPG. I used the XT mileage for the Forester and compared apples to oranges with the non-turbo Outback. That's why I thought it was 5, and not just 2 mpg. That substantially narrows the difference and makes me lean towards the Forester. The CRV I have is a "Gen 1" which is as square as any Forester and essentially devoid of styling tricks. But current CRV is too curvy/cute for my taste and I suspect it won't age too well. Which is another demerit for the new Outback, too. Reminds me of Mazda C7 or whatever its called. More minivan than SUV.

Question #2: and there may be a thread already, if so I apologize. But, what's with Subaru and cloth seats in very light colors? Platinum? Ivory? Or black. Take your pick, I guess. Are people here sorry about choosing light colors for interiors? I'm too old to devote my weekends to detailing my cars anymore.

Thanks for the input.
 

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I was curious about total price of ownership so what I did was, I took the two 2010 Outbacks and looked at their MSRP (based on the photo on page 1), their listed MPG (again, from the photo), used $3/gallon of gas for both and 150,000 miles of ownership. I came up with this:

Total cost of ownership for cost of car + gas:
-2.5i Premium w/ 27mpg: $40,961.67
-2.5i Limited w/ 29mpg (w/ CVT): $43,512.24

So in the long run, the CVT doesn't pay for itself because it costs a lot more up front and doesn't make up the price. Obviously not taking into account for options on either car.

And for those of you who are still reading, gas would have to be an average of $9 over those 150,000 miles for the CVT to break even in price :)
 

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Mine has Platinum interior and I was worried about it getting dirty but so far its held up fine. I bought a can of scotch guard and treated all the seats when I first bought it so maybe that helps too .. Not sorry I got the light interior at all it stays cooler in the summer then black .
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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But, what's with Subaru and cloth seats in very light colors? Platinum? Ivory? Or black. Take your pick, I guess. Are people here sorry about choosing light colors for interiors? I'm too old to devote my weekends to detailing my cars anymore.

Thanks for the input.
My '09 has the black interior. I picked it because I felt that the light gray color was too much and made the interior sort of bland. Nevertheless, I generally favor lighter interiors. Another bonus is that my dog's hair is black so it doesn't stand out as much other than the fuzzy look to the upholstery. You need to sit and drive in both colors of interior to figure out which suits you best. Oh yeah, get some Weather Tech floormats, they are a must.

I don't believe that you will find much compromise moving from a CRV to a Forester, they are pretty transparent with build quality. I did own an '06 Pilot EX-L before my '09 Forester Premium All Weather and had to grow in to loving my FOZ. On the surface everything on the Honda Pilot was nicer, leather, solid feel, etc. but the sticker was almost 10 g's more than my Forester. I decided on what I really needed and got a new Forester. Nevertheless, I have never felt more excited about any vehicle before by FOZ. Perfect size, sporty feeling, great utility, excellent sunroof, decent gas mileage, better off-roading than my Pilot, better AWD than the Pilot (able to plow through about 2ft of snow in the backwoods and not get stuck), 100% more fun to drive than the Pilot.

Still try the Outback too, it looks nice IMHO.
 
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