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Old 05-11-2006, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Outback vs. Forester

Hello all,

I am moving to Salt Lake City in a few months for graduate school, having lived my whole life in Texas. When I visited the university, I nervously eyed some rather steep hills and imagined them with a little ice and snow, and determined that AWD was going to be required...but AWD isn't available on that many cars and I don't want a big SUV...then I heard about Subarus.

I've been reading every review and bit of info I can find on the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback. Both of them impress me, but I've been trying to figure out what the practical differences between them are, and if one is better suited for me than the other, so I have a few questions for you...

1. What model Outback did you choose, and why?

2. Why did you choose an Outback over other possibilities, like a Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc?

3. What do you like most about your Outback, and why? What do you hate most about your Outback, and why?

4. How have dealerships treated you for maintainance issues?

5. If you couldn't have your Outback, what would you have gotten instead?

6. Why did you choose an Outback over the Forester?

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2006, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome, s!

When I chose my OB in 98, the only other candidate was the Forester. But I like the longer, less boxy OB better, plus the cargo floor is slightly longer.

The Forester is built on the Impreza chassis, so it can share a lot of performance parts with that line (which includes things like the STi and WRX). Some argue it is more of a rally-born platform.

Like you, I didn't want to drive an SUV (damned Mobile Blind Spots) and no ther manufacturer has an attractive drivetrain in that type of vehicle.

*G* years before Outbacks existed, I always wanted an AMC Eagle wagon
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Old 05-11-2006, 01:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Outback vs. Forester

1. What model Outback did you choose, and why?
I have a 2003 Outback Sedan Limited - 4 cyl - fully optioned - leather, moonroof, cold weather package - PW/PS/PL 6 CD about the only thing it doesn't have is the wing

2. Why did you choose an Outback over other possibilities, like a Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc?
I was looking for an AWD sedan, not wagon - and never even considered an SUV

3. What do you like most about your Outback, and why? What do you hate most about your Outback, and why?
Love it - it's the right size - I live on dirt roads, winters are challenging - love the AWD Hate - wouldn't say hate, but don't care for the idea that I might someday have to replace all four tires because one is shot - but then that is with most of the newer AWD cars anyway...

4. How have dealerships treated you for maintainance issues?
No problems - they are loyal, I sensed a certain pride about them (2 anyway)

5. If you couldn't have your Outback, what would you have gotten instead?
My first choice was a Jaguar X-Type - went with the Outback cause I got a better deal on the car AND insurance

6. Why did you choose an Outback over the Forester?
I wanted the Outback vs the Forester because the Outback was for me, not my father-in-law
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Old 05-11-2006, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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1. XT LTD Wagon. Didn't like the sedan, wanted the amenties of the LTD over the base XT. Wanted the power, but not the price of the H6.

2. Comfort, performance, price? The outback is more "car" like compared to real SUV's and offers more real world driving performance than the SUV's with their higher CoG.

3. Like most? Ride/interior comfort. It's like a luxury car. Like Least? Fuel Economy. It bites when Premium is $3.75

4. Great.

5. a Porsche 911 Turbo (AWD). Oh, for the same price? Probably the Volvo Cross Country(used), Audi All-road (used), Legacy GT wagon, Dodge Magnum.

6. Size, quality, refinement. The outback is bigger, to me, higher quality interior, and more refined than the Forrester XT. Oh, the extra HP helped too!


I would also reccomend you look into the Subaru Legacy/Legacy Wagon.
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Old 05-11-2006, 02:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1. OBXT AT. Best value and standard features (e.g. side curtain airbags, heated seats, 6-disc CD changer, etc.) of just about any car out there.

2. Those other cars you mentioned aren't bad, but I would not consider them over a Subaru. IMHO, Subarus have much more character and I presume are much more fun to drive. I believe the Subaru has a better AWD system and would handle better in the snow than its taller competitors. I've driven through 30in snow drifts no problem. And, Subaru reliability is as good as the Toyota and Honda.

3. Love: The Turbo, obviously! Reliability, smoothness quietness, looks in and out, steering, and AWD. Hate? I hate nothing about it. I think the MPG is not THAT bad for an AWD turbo. If I could change anything about it: I would give it low range for off-roading!

4. No dealer problems--though they do like to say "normal" when I complain about nit picky issues. But, it's never really in the dealership, so...

5. Toyota 4Runner. Ended up with the Outback b/c of the turbo and standard side curtain airbags. I could get airbags on the 4Runner, but had to then purchase 10 options I did not want. I also did not like the low roof line of the 4Runner...made me feel clausterphobic.

6. Both the Outback and Forester are great. Drive both and you should be able to tell which one you like better. I went with the Outback b/c it was more car-like than utilitarian. But, I still like the Forester whenever I drive one. I also don't like how the Forester's roof sounds when it rains--kind of tinny. The back seat SEEMS a little smaller in the Forester. But again, both are GREAT cars.
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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1. What model Outback did you choose, and why?

2.5i Lmt w/5spd. No need for turbo and wanted better MPG. I wanted the moonroof and leather interior as well.

2. Why did you choose an Outback over other possibilities, like a Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc?
I've never really like small-SUV's as I think they are useless. In previous years their MPG was almost as bad as mid-size SUV's so what's the point?

3. What do you like most about your Outback, and why? What do you hate most about your Outback, and why?
I love the improved ride, fit and finish and overall feel of the Gen3 Outbacks. I love the AWD and safety ratings. I hate the ACC, and the radio/ACC combined unit that can't be replace and doesn't have an AUX jack.

4. How have dealerships treated you for maintainance issues? Perry Subaru in Virginia Beach has been excellent so far.

5. If you couldn't have your Outback, what would you have gotten instead? Honda Element, VW Jetta Wagon, VW Passat Wagon, Audi A3, Saab 9-3 wagon, Volvo V50 T-5 AWD.

6. Why did you choose an Outback over the Forester? The Forester is just a little too boxy for my taste and the Outback seems to have better road manners.
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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1. What model Outback did you choose, and why?
'06 Outback...first time I drove it I knew

2. Why did you choose an Outback over other possibilities, like a Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc?
Rav4s were too small at the time (new ones are nice); Element was/is too boxy(test drive it on a windy day like I did); Matrix doesn't offer a MT w/4WD

3. What do you like most about your Outback, and why? What do you hate most about your Outback, and why?
Like the cargo room, power, fit & finish, uniqueness; Dislike nothing so far

4. How have dealerships treated you for maintainance issues?
none yet

5. If you couldn't have your Outback, what would you have gotten instead?
good question, I really don't know, maybe a Legacy wagon

6. Why did you choose an Outback over the Forester?
Found the Forester/Imprezas too narrow for me
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Outback vs. Forester

1. What model Outback did you choose, and why?
Accidently ended up with an OB on Business, fell in love with AWD, and interior. I chose the XT b/c of Turbo baby!

2. Why did you choose an Outback over other possibilities, like a Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, etc?
OB has more character as someone pointed out. Plus, I have always had a thing for wagons.

3. What do you like most about your Outback, and why? What do you hate most about your Outback, and why?
Love the open sunroof, interior, AWD, off road ability, and safety.
Don't like so much the lack of power (I intend to correct with COBBB), wish it was a little bigger inside. Just a little bigger.

4. How have dealerships treated you for maintainance issues?
No experience yet.

5. If you couldn't have your Outback, what would you have gotten instead? Toyota FJ cruiser.

6. Why did you choose an Outback over the Forester?
Forester too boxy...

Thanks! [/B][/QUOTE]
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Old 05-11-2006, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have an Outback Sport, a baby Outback. Same chassis as a Forester, but with OB two tone paint and a raised suspension. I like it because it is much cheaper than a Forester or a big Outback.

It is a great little wagon.

Brian
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Old 05-11-2006, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The Impreza platform IS phenomenal. And I don't want to say it, but it MIGHT be superior to the Legacy.
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