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2017 Forester 2.5I - 6 Speed
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994 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I did not look to much at the Outback (Legacy) before buying the Forester. The seemed so close in terms of size and power (not considering the H6) So what is the difference between the two? The Outback supposedly has a smoother ride, but I think the Forester is fine.
 

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Premium Member
06 FXT
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2,262 Posts
My first choice was the Legacy GT. I love the styling and it seems to be a notch above the FXT interms of luxury. But as soon as I heard Subaru didn't offer manual for the 06, the LGT went off my want list. *A very questionable move, considering Subaru is well known for sporty wagons*.
 

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6/22/76 - 12/21/14 , Gone but not forgotten
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742 Posts
If you wanted a truely sporty wagon, though, the WRX wagon is the choice for you.

I'm sure the market for the LGT wagon coming in manual wouldn't be very high in terms of sales. Perhaps just a select few, like us ;) That's where the Forester comes in!
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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19,156 Posts
When I bought my 03 Forester the Outbacks of the time looked just too funky. Forester had the cleanest look of the entire line. But a good bit of Outback's funkiness has gone away in the ensuing years.

Other than appearance, I guess I was attracted to the bit of extra height that the Forester afforded.
 

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Premium Member
03 2.5X 5MT
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653 Posts
bbottomley said:
I guess I was attracted to the bit of extra height that the Forester afforded.
x2 plus the added cost of an Outback (we were'nt going all out for the bells and whistles bit).
 

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77 Posts
I'm not sure of size. I took the FXT because it looks more like an SUV. I really didn't want the wagon. Some people call the Foresters a wagon. I call it a small SUV. But I'm really happy with my FXT. The new Legacy sedan looks really nice. But I don't need two cars. =)
 

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2016 Forester XT
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35 Posts
I just went from an FXT to an Outback XT - the OBXT has a bit more room for the types of things I carry & is a lot quieter on the highway. As I drive about 30k a year the latter is important to me...
 

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2003 XS MT
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303 Posts
I've had an OBW a couple of times as a loaner when my Forester was at the dealer for warranty repairs.

The OBW (2.5l AT) was quieter & smoother riding on the highway. IIRC it also has a more comfortable driver's seat.

My Forester (MT) accelerates faster. The Forester is lighter, shorter and feels more agile to drive. I looked at a 98 OBW when I bought the Forester and felt the same way about that.

The newer OWB has more ground clearance than the Forester. I recently got stuck when I high centered the Forester along the whole length of the vehicle on snow. Probably wouldda been OK in the OBW. Woullda been OK in the Forester too if I hadn't had to stop. After I lost momentum it was over.

The OBW has a 150MPH speedometer which doesn't have marks at 5MPH intervals. It's hard for me to read quickly. That's the only real deal-breaker. Especially since it won't go 150MPH without a steep downgrade...
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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8,063 Posts
We had an 02 OB wagon. It rides smoother because of the longer wheelbase and wider track, it also has more soundproofing I think. As far as room, the OB has more passenger room and usable space in the rear. It is a bigger car though so that's to be expected. I liked how the back seat bottom on the OB wagon flipped up and then you flipped the seatbacks down. That made for a flatter surface to put stuff on. It wasn't nearly as fun to drive though. For me my F-XT has enough utility, but when we went on long trips with the kids and stuff the OB was much better.
 

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German tech
MY16 Audi S3 Sedan DSG 6 speed
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3,563 Posts
Peaty said:
We had an 02 OB wagon. It rides smoother because of the longer wheelbase and wider track, it also has more soundproofing I think. As far as room, the OB has more passenger room and usable space in the rear. It is a bigger car though so that's to be expected. I liked how the back seat bottom on the OB wagon flipped up and then you flipped the seatbacks down. That made for a flatter surface to put stuff on. It wasn't nearly as fun to drive though. For me my F-XT has enough utility, but when we went on long trips with the kids and stuff the OB was much better.
When I was looking at OB's and Forries before my purchase I checked them over a lot.

The OB had no foot room for rear seaters and it felt cramped. I also felt the front cramped and too enclosed. I much prefer the open cabin feeling in the Forrie

The ride was better as expected on the corners with the OB - more car like.

I didn't note much diff in luggage area and preferred the higher luggage area loading ability of the Forrie (easier to fit my bike and gear in).

I enjoy the drive much more in the Forester and all of those reasons convinced me to buy one.
 

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Premium Member
2012 camry se 6AT
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2,809 Posts
I am getting old. Outback XT or Leg GT wagon for me. The only thing I would miss from my Foz is the front driver/passenger space. This is my take getting to drive a 2005 H6 Outback from time to time.
 

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AU MY06 XS Luxury Auto
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442 Posts
The Outback is a fair bit longer. It's also a bit lower. The shape is more for looks than utility, so while it would suit certain types of goods in the back, the Forester is higher and the roof doen't slope back. The packaging inside the Forester also feels airier than the Outback. And hey, if you ever want to change that music head unit...
 

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I personally chose the Forester over the Outback because the seats where killing me in the Outback. Im 186 cm tall. At first they where more comfortable, but after an hour of driving they started to feel really bad.
The sunroof really rocks on the Forester, I can drive in winter time with sunroof open 75% without turbulence on the highway. The Outback sunroof gives a lot of turbulence even in lower speeds.
 

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Premium Member
06 FXT
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2,262 Posts
sleepy said:
If you wanted a truely sporty wagon, though, the WRX wagon is the choice for you.

I'm sure the market for the LGT wagon coming in manual wouldn't be very high in terms of sales. Perhaps just a select few, like us ;) That's where the Forester comes in!
I like the styling, but the moment the family and I sat in the wagon, we knew right away it wasn't for us as it felt claustophobic. The LGT wagon strikes a nice balance between luxury/space/sportiness.

Not offering manual tran for the LGT wagon is a PR mistake, IMO. The OB gets it, but not the LGT wagon??? Subaru should have left it alone and let us, the consumer, to decide for ourselves if we want to drive auto or manual rather than assuming [potential] LGT wagon buyers want auto. Bottom line is more options = better for everyone, both consumer and manufacturer.

Anyhow, it worked out in the end as I couldn't be happier with the FXT. I get the power while the family gets the space & unitility required. The sleeper status is also a plus. IIRC, a member here mentioned that the new Forester styling is more feminine than the last gen. Excellent! That's exactly what I like to hear as it means I don't have to worry about attracting attention from certain kind of crowd (fast & furious type), including the law. The expressions I get from people as they're being pass by a 'girlie' wagon is humorous as well.
 

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55 Posts
Different Lengths

My wife wanted the Outback, but we went with Forester because it's shorter and conserved garage space. My work bench is directly behind her car and it's convenient to use it and not have to pull her car outside. In retrospect, the Forester has been fine for everything. We added a roof basket for extra capacity when needed and it's worked out fine.
 

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Premium Member
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261 Posts
I'm driving a 2000 Forester because of the easy in/out and extra visability over the OB. I expect to get a new Suby in about 2008 when I get to~150,000 miles. I will go through the exercise again and drive both before I decide. I will drive both demos long enough to settle on one of them. Really too bad if you don't do your homework, take too short a test drive, buy one and 6 months later change your mind. JMW. Ed
 

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55 Posts
SKSTI said:
LOL That explains your screen name. :D
Ha! Thanks. Yep, storage space is at a premium around our house, but my wife and I care deeply about our vehicles and insist on garaging them each night. We keep our average vehicles for 15 years and 200K Miles+; every bit of care helps.
 
G

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When I researched in 99 the OBW was listed as being a foot longer than the Forester. The Outback is based on the Legacy platform and the Forester is based on the Impreza platform. Both were considered cars as far as meeting emissions standards, which I don't believe the Tribeca has to. Most of the larger SUV's are based on truck platforms and don't have to meet as tough restrictions as passenger vehicles. My understanding from reading I have done over the years is that Subaru tries to keep their various parts numbers down and try to use as many common pieces between models as possible. I don't know if this is still true, but I can't complain, haven't found anything else I want to drive.
 
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