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2011 Forester XT Touring Auto
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177 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have two foresters (2005,2011) and I was planning to buy new forester.
However, I noticed that dealers are providing much much better quotes on outback.
Apparently, subaru just announced 2020 outback (I assume redesigned) releasing in Fall.

I haven't test drove outback but what are your thoughts?
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i CVT
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600 Posts
I have two foresters (2005,2011) and I was planning to buy new forester.

However, I noticed that dealers are providing much much better quotes on outback.

Apparently, subaru just announced 2020 outback (I assume redesigned) releasing in Fall.



I haven't test drove outback but what are your thoughts?
When I compared for myself back in 2017. Outback was less premium.
No LED projectors.
No panoramic sunroof.
Poorer approach and departure angles on rutted service roads, less off-road capable.
Less headroom in cargo for our 50lb dog.
I was shopping the fuel sipping base 2.5... and its more spry in the Forester. Likely due to its lighter weight compact chassis.

But from what Ive read some of that can vary year to year... IIRC
2018 outback got headlight upgrade, leapfrogged with Carplay, but still tiny old school sunroof.
2019 Forester leapfrogged again with new chassis, engine, interior, driver alert, inclinometer.
2020 Outback should be baller if they do their new 11.6” infotainment well, and bring in what has become an industry standard glass roof.

Most I talk to shop Outback for wider butt seats or towing capacity. YMMV on what your desires are.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,926 Posts
@mooo -
I guess it depends what you want the car for and what your preferences are.
They are both good cars.
Outback is wider and longer where the Forester is shorter and taller. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Like @Menel said, the Outback has a 6 cyl engine option and has some other advantages - especially if you tow.
My next door neighbor bought one and loves it.
The Outback with a six has a LOT more power than the new Forester and gets better mileage doing it, likely because it is not so tall, has less vertical glass and is more aerodynamic.
As a result it is also less impacted by cross winds with the lower profile. That may or may not matter to you.
My neighbors do a lot of cross country driving with grandkids in different states and they get 35+ mpg with the 6 cyl engine out on the Interstate at 75+mph, something a Foz can't do. At 75, the difference in wind resistance is very significant between the two cars.
If you just mainly drive around town, that wouldn't matter so much.
It is a lot more "car like" vs "SUV like" so that's either good or bad depending on your viewpoint.
Going up a steep hill on the Interstate locally, the difference in performance is dramatic compared to the Foz, which should not be a surprise.
If you instead of going from a turbo XT to a 2.5NA Forester, you likely would be less disappointed pressing the skinny pedal in the Outback with a six..
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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162 Posts
We drove both this week, we were told by salesman that he could deal easier on OutBack as the Forester is just selling real well at present. Said Subaru was offering special loan deals on OB.

We found they both were really nice, OB seating lower, more laid back than Forester.
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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123 Posts
I think of the Outback as more of a station wagon and the Forester as a better choice for off roading. Cargo space isn't that much different, but towing limits differ by 2x. Different tools for different jobs. There have been several good responses already, but if you provide your concerns and what driving conditions you expect it to handle, you'll get better responses. A lot of this is personal choice and I suspect the internet is full of opinions on one vs the other and finding and reading those threads will help you decide. https://www.planetsubaru.com/forester-vs--outback.htm seemed to have high level differences

Start by test driving both vehicles and seeing if that helps.
 

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2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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7,254 Posts
We have owned 4 Foresters and 2 Outbacks. Last November we went car shopping and test drove just about everything. We wound up purchasing a 2019 Outback Limited 3.6R. We absolutely love the car especially the 3.6. It is so smooth. The Outback is quieter, larger and a dream to soak up highway miles. Frankly the 2019 Forester felt under powered. If there was a 2019 Forester XT with the Limited package it would have been a tougher choice.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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35 Posts
The seating position is different. You’ll see as soon as you sit behind the wheel. You might like it, or hate it.
Coregrind is right. We have both 2019 Outback and Forester. once you sit behind the wheel you will notice the difference. It's not really about the amenities and features. One is more car like, sits low, longer nose in the front. the other is more SUV like, you see everything around sitting more straight up. Outback is a comfortable ride, and I think in my experience it's also quieter than 2019 Forester.
 

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2019 3.6R & 98 Forester Atlanta, GA
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7,254 Posts
Also, the Forester has a taller more upright windshield. That is one thing I really miss when driving the OB.
Had a 2018 Forester loaner today we did miss the amenities and features.
 

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2006 Forester
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20 Posts
Your are correct on why the Outbacks are priced to sell, 2020 on Global Platform just announced this morning. Just find a few dealerships and pit them against each other, they'll sell you a Forester cheap, I got about $4000 off my Sport recently... and that's in the elusive dark blue pearl.

I'm not sure how anyone manages 35+ mpg in a 3.6 - my friend is lucky to average 20 the way he drives it but that's all about the weight of your foot.

The sunroof cannot be matched in any other Subaru except the Ascent. The X-mode 2.0 is only in the Forester until the new Outback arrives (I think they said 5 modes in the video????), driver assist (stupid).

I personally think the Forester looks better an would only hop into the Outback if I needed that extra power of the 3.6 or coming soon 2.4 turbo.
 

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2018 Forester Touring CVT
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81 Posts
Every time I don't smash my glasses that are on top of my head into the roof, I am thankful for my Forester purchase.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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1,987 Posts
When I bought my 2014 Foz in 2013, was offered a great deal on a 2013 OB 3.6 R (top line, loaded, same price as a Foz Premie...)... Drove it around the loop and found -

* too bouncy - reminded me of an old 70s era Buick wagon. The back end bounced like a bouncy house.
* funky dash - the center stack had this odd sliding cover for the bin. and the finish was ... 80s disco.
* seating position - felt too low compared to Foz.
* that sunroof! I can't ever go back to a "regular" size moon roof after the huge Foz glass

Seat of the pants feel? The OB 3.6 was faster (for sure) but felt less stable on the road, less sporty. It felt like the body roll was extreme and that it would slide off a curve...

I even tried a 2014 XT Foz at the same trip. Felt vastly superior over the OB on the loop. Big drawbacks? All that black leather (or cloth)... I live in the deserts of SoCal - so it's often 90 degrees and above from May through September and more days of sun... That leather gets hot, Hot, HOT! In the mile or so test loop, the front was just starting to feel cool but the sales guy in the back seat was still sweating... The 2.5 Foz (and OB 3.6) with the lighter interiors (light grey Foz, beige OB) the front was cold and the back was cool about half-way through the trip.

Interested in the 2020 OB - looks OK. Like some of the new trim styling.
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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2,936 Posts
For me, the field is muddied right now. With the lack of a '19+ FXT and the introduction of the '20 OXT... I'm conflicted.
 

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I drove a few thousand miles in both a 2019 Outback 2.5i Limited and ’19 Forester. While I’m happier with the Forester than the Outback, there were a few notable areas where the Outback excelled:

1) The Outback 2.5i has a surprising amount of power, especially mid-range. Even this model OB is way faster than the Forester.

2) The Outback has much more responsive steering than the Forester (even in Sport mode). Combined with #1, I’d even describe the Outback as fun to drive, which I can’t really say about the Forester.

3) With or without the seats down, the Outback holds much more cargo than the Forester. To move large quantities of furniture, boxes, and other items, the Outback was the hands-down winner.

Plus one big drawback:

The Outback’s length makes it difficult to find appropriately-sized parallel parking spaces in cities. If you park on city streets often, this may not be the car for you.
 
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