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Old 12-13-2008, 01:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Difference between outback and forester?

Hey all i'm new to this site (not to cars, but new to subarus) Whats the differnce between these two cars? besdes size? I like the looks of the outback more just wondering what the differences are. Thanks for the help in advance.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you comparing '09 to '09? When I was shopping [for '08s], the salesman used this [over?]simplification: "Forester: Light SUV, Outback: Heavy-duty wagon."

Here is a good place to get started: http://cars101.com/ I BELIEVE that this is the side project of a salesperson or sales manager at a dealer.

Here are some differences that carry through most models:
-Looks
I'm sure you've noticed this, but it is one of the differences. Sorry, not being coy, but if you really preference the look of one over the other, the other differences might not make a hill of beans to you.

-Size
The Forester is built on the smaller Impreza, and the OB is built on the larger Legacy. This is most noticeable in length, the Forester is shorter. Oh, you said difference apart from size....well...

-"Luxury"
The OB is supposedly more luxurious, or 'refined.' I actually felt that when I compared an '08 AT Forester to an '08 AT Outback, the OB did feel slightly 'better' driving but in a very subjective, intangible way (except the sport mode on the tranny was WAY better in the OB, or felt that way to me).

-Cost
The Forester should come in slightly less expensive than an OB with similar options.

-Options quirkieness:
Depending on your budget and what is important to you, it may be that one of them offers a package right in the 'sweet spot' so you have to research them carefully, Subaru does their options packages in kind of a confusing way. My being wrong about the leather before I edited this is kind of an indicator of that...

-Center of gravity ('09 specific)-- higher in the Forester. Simple as that, it must be just by looking at the car. Salesperson told me that Subaru put an anti-rollover system in the Forester that tracks suspension travel (tire off the ground = max downward travel) and, um "sideways pitch" -- what is that called? Yaw? -- anyway the sideways lean of the car.

This 'tallness' means that you have a taller cargo area and a taller rear cargo opening. Cargo room is a different story, you have to use the compare tool which I am magically predicting will be posted below. Suffice to say, they are similar on overall room but different in regards to L-W-H.

There are more, but maybe that can get you started thinking. I also like the look of the OB more but that is very subjective. The older Forester looked cooler to me than the new one (new one looks a bit generic IMHO), but I liked the OB more even then.
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Old 12-13-2008, 04:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Using the most basic models only:

http://www.subaru.com/tools/comparat...odelCode1=9FB&

subaru.com and then go to compare vehicles.
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow it's scary almost how much alike they are. I guess it just comes down to personal preferance. I think the Outback looks better imho. Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SevenBridges
Wow it's scary almost how much alike they are. I guess it just comes down to personal preferance. I think the Outback looks better imho. Thanks for the help guys.
The plus side of that could be that there is less to regret about choosing one over the other. Functionally, yes, they seem quite similar to me as well.
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very true, you wont feel so bad saying you chose the wrong one.
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought I would chime in as well but the Forester does not handle as great as the OB. The OB feels like its on rails, the Forester well, doesn't even come close. I think the weight distribution (front to back) is more balanced in the OB.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Although the new (09) Forester is larger than its predecessors, it's still based on the Impreza chassis, as noted. That affects handling significantly, as the wheelbase is shorter, making it quicker but less comfortable on the highway. I liked our Forester XT around town, but I like our Outback XT on the road for precisely this reason.

Other differences have to do with cosmetics (the luxury factor discussed here) and, importantly, drive-train options. In that area, Outbacks take the cake, frosting and sprinkles and all. The 5EAT transmission available in the Outback is light-years better than the 4EAT in Foresters; getting the SI-Drive is also a nice touch, although it's also somewhat of a gimmick, IMO. And the Forester XT has a detuned (by 25 HP or so) version of the powerplant that's in the Outback XT. If you're looking at NA versions of both, however, these differences are not an issue.

In the previous version of the Forester, interior stowage space was about the same as in the Outback -- but it was tall and short instead of low and long. That turned out to be a big issue for us, in retrospect, as it's harder to transport landscaping plants with the low roof. Because the new Forester is bigger, I expect that this comment applies now as well.

We got our Outback for road trips, and I'm glad we did. If I wanted an around-town wagon, though, I'd seriously consider another Forester XT, although that 4-speed is a bit issue for me. HPH
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Alright so basically the OB is the top notch all around on everything. Alright looks like my gut instinct has not failed me again. Thanks guys.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There are alot of similarities between the two, and I found the differences to be mainly personal preference. The Forester is shorter, but taller. It has more rear legroom, but less rear cargo room with the seats up. The OB has a little longer wheelbase, giving in my opinion, a slightly better ride. Although the rear seat is "tighter" because of the much larger cargo area. Those were the differences I looked at when I decided on my OB. Subaru has made it a little more difficult because of the similarities mechanically.
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