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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I currently have a 2020 Limited Outback XT --- prior to that had a 2016 Limited Legacy with the 3.6 -- I like the Outback but its a feels a little bulky for lack of a better word -- it is just me in vehicle most all the time -- have 2 kids that will both be in college this fall so they are rarely with me anymore sadly -- the Outback has an incredible ride on the interstate but in town driving its just too big for what I really need -- I am not a fan of the turbo lag in the XT at all the 3.6 was a much smoother engine imo -- had to have some maintenance on the Outback -- they gave me a 2021 Crosstrek with the 2.0 engine --- it was a blast to drive and I may consider a 2021 Crosstrek with the 2.5 engine or the 2021 Forester in probably limited or touring -- I am thinking that the Forester may be the happy medium -- has anyone else downsized to Forester and/or Crosstrek and been satisfied??
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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I have a Forester ('18) that is the wife's car. I bought the crosstrek for me. Be awaye the Crosstrek is a great vehicle around town. But it sucks on trips.
 

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2015 XT-P
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623 Posts
My son and his wife drove from Seattle to Boston in their Impreza, a lowered Crosstrek, and had no complaints. That's a fairly long trip. When they go 1000 miles to her family's home, they drive the Impreza and not their older Lexus LX. That either says something about the Subaru's comfort or the Lexus' gas bill.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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206 Posts
I went from a 2011 Outback 3.6R Limited to a 2017 Forester XT Touring. There are two things I miss about the Outback. The seats in the Outback are more comfortable for me, and the Outback has more luggage space. The luggage issue isn't a problem, as my son uses the Outback, so I still have it if necessary. And I've mostly solved the seat comfort issue by using a cushion under my butt.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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@adc - Sucks on trips?
I thought you liked the car...Is it too small for the interstate or???
I love the car and its more than fine on the interstates. But not for a looooong time. Remember I am comparing it to my wife's Forester XT .
 

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2020 Forester 2.5 CVT base model
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You guys now have the Crosstrek with the 2.5 option. Were that available here in the XV, I would have gone that way.
 

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We traded our ‘20 Outback Limited for a ‘21 Forester Touring. Absolutely love it and don’t miss ANYTHING about the Outback. We also have a ‘21 Crosstrek Limited which has been great as well.
 

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2020 Forester Touring Magnetite Grey Metallic with Black Interior
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For what it's worth, last May I traded up from at 2018 Forester Touring to a 2020 Forester Touring through the Subaru Trade-up program. Loved the first and continue to really love the second. Wanted to get the new frame (stronger, lighter and better handling) and the new safety features. Great around town - easy to park, great visibility and very nimble for an SUV (turning circle is outstanding). Have no issues with the power and economy is good for both city and highway. Not a great fan of the auto stop/start feature but it can be turned off so no biggy. Also very comfortable for long distance trips. The rear space is perfect for my needs - I fly RC aircraft and it's perfect for getting them to and from the field - and has room for my gear when I travel (just me and my dog). When trading up I did look at both the Crosstrek - cool looks but too small in back - and the Outback, but decided in the end to stay with the Forester as it was still the best vehicle for my needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We traded our ‘20 Outback Limited for a ‘21 Forester Touring. Absolutely love it and don’t miss ANYTHING about the Outback. We also have a ‘21 Crosstrek Limited which has been great as well.
which do you like best the Crosstrek or Forester?
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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In a sense, yes we made that change last year for Professor Dr. SWMBO. But it was less about "downsizing" and more about additional comfort and better visibility for a "mature" adult with some vision concerns. Our daughter benefited by getting the MY16 Outback Limited with Eyesight to replace the MY11 Outback Limited and my spouse benefited by getting a new MY20 Forester Limited. The Forester is kinda the "mini-me" to my Ascent :)
 

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I would not consider a move from the Outback to the Forester downsizing. More re-prioritizing. The Forester actually has about the same cargo space, it is just that it is vertical instead of horizontal like the Outback. Given that actually makes the outback more useful for cargo, but the forester is more open and upright (kind of like a higher ceiling house with a smaller floor plan) which I prefer. Anyway, another impact to consider is that the forester is based on the Impreza and the outback is based on the legacy. These are two different segments of vehicle and the outback is much nicer from a quality/features standpoint.

I would also recommend waiting for the 2022 refresh on the Forester. I expect it to be a big one. Next generation eyesight is pretty much confirmed. Though it could, I don't think it will bring back the XT option. However, I could totally see them upgrading the engine on the higher trims by using the CB18 engine.
 

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which do you like best the Crosstrek or Forester?
We like both. They are the same - only different. Technology almost identical and thus far mileage has been very close. Seating comfort (as expected) is better in the Forester and I attribute that to a combination of overall better seats and the higher seating position. We miss the heated steering wheel and dual zone HVAC offered in the Forester, but unavailable in the Crosstrek. While the Crosstrek is more of a daily driver and the Forester more for travel, we recently took a 2,000 mile trip in the Crosstrek and it was very comfortable with plenty of room for our travel needs.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Limited
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I have both...19 Forester LTD, 20 Outback LTD XT...I'm selling both and buying new ones (getting bought out of my leases with positive equity).

As I've been shopping, I realize I like the Forester better. More nimble and fun to drive, easier to park, easier ingress, better fuel mileage. And, most of all, dedicated switches for seat heaters and AC/Heat.

The XT has a powerful engine, but the chassis isn't really up to the power...the car just doesn't handle that well (it's a Subaru, not an Audi!)...nice on the freeway and uphill, but otherwise just not a great matchup.

My only decision now is whether to get a Forester LTD or Sport. Seems like the only difference are heated steering wheel, NAV, cloth seats and single climate control? None of which really matter.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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I had a 2015 Forester then upgraded to 2019 Forester Touring. My dad had a 2013 Outback, then upgraded to 2019 Outback, both 3.6R. I have to say, every time I drive his car, it felt smoother and more comfortable like a sedan. But it is a bigger car though.
 

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I currently have a 2020 Limited Outback XT --- prior to that had a 2016 Limited Legacy with the 3.6 -- I like the Outback but its a feels a little bulky for lack of a better word -- it is just me in vehicle most all the time -- have 2 kids that will both be in college this fall so they are rarely with me anymore sadly -- the Outback has an incredible ride on the interstate but in town driving its just too big for what I really need -- I am not a fan of the turbo lag in the XT at all the 3.6 was a much smoother engine imo -- had to have some maintenance on the Outback -- they gave me a 2021 Crosstrek with the 2.0 engine --- it was a blast to drive and I may consider a 2021 Crosstrek with the 2.5 engine or the 2021 Forester in probably limited or touring -- I am thinking that the Forester may be the happy medium -- has anyone else downsized to Forester and/or Crosstrek and been satisfied??
We have a 2020 Outback Limited 2.5i and a 2019 Forester Base Model, and like them both for different reasons. As you probably know, the cargo capacity is just about equal for the Outback and Forester, it's just that the Outback is longer and wider and the Forester is taller. We like the car-like ride of the Outback, and you're right, it's a gem to drive on the highway (we just finished an 850 mi trip, each way, from San Antonio to Tucson and back). The Forester feels tighter and sportier, and the large windows make the visibility much better. They really can't be compared, and I would encourage driving both back to back to see which you like better.
 

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2009 Forester XT LTD 4AT
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I currently have a 2020 Limited Outback XT...has anyone else downsized to Forester and/or Crosstrek and been satisfied??
I’ve had two Foresters, an Outback, a Baja, and I am now in a 2018 Crosstrek Limited. The Crosstrek is my favorite so far. I have had a mix of turbocharged and naturally aspirated rigs and am quite happy with this one.

I have done 1k+ miles trips in it in comfort, I think the specs will bear out that interior space is comparable to the other models. Cargo space is adequate for me, obviously less than both Outback and Forester. My roof rack solves any potential cargo challenges.

All said, I prefer the driving position, vehicle size, appearance, and overall vibe to the other models. It is certainly a value for the money.

A Crosstrek sounds perfect for your current life status.
 

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We also downsized?. We've had 4-5 Outbacks. over the years. DW wanted to be financially more conservative but yet get some more of the new bells and whistles so she saw our 2020 Forester Limited sitting there. We test drove the Forester Limited and I thought nice, not a bad ride, good view. I was still convinced to continue with an Outback. I went back and sat in an Outback, getting ready to give it a test drive.. All I felt was confined and that I was looking at the hood of the car. How much more of a view you get in the Forester. That had sold me to side with my DW and we now moved over (not .down) to the 2020 Forester Limited. DW is extremely excited about the new features they have now in these cars. She doesn't stop telling me how much she loves her new Forester
 

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2015 Forrester Touring CVT
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I love the car and its more than fine on the interstates. But not for a looooong time. Remember I am comparing it to my wife's Forester XT .
We feel the same way about our Forester & our Pilot. Anything over a couple hundred miles and we take the Pilot. Not that the Forester isn't a great driving, nice riding vehicle, but the Pilot is just, well you know...
 
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