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05 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #1
Right now i've got a 98 Legacy L sedan which i love very much, but in march i'm planning on getting a subaru, but i'm torn because i want something that's got alot of leg room and just space in general, and i want whatever is more off road capable... Given i won't be doing anything extreme, but i do like the occasional light trail or gravel road, i'm sure either of the two would be fine for that since my legacy does pretty well except for it's lack of ground clearance. Also i'm gonna be transferring my alpine system from my legacy to whatever i get next, and from some of the pictures i've seen, the outback doesn't look like it'd take an aftermarket head unit too easily. But anyways, i don't know which i'd be better with, the forester or outback, i know they're very close, but which one is more offroad capable and roomy?
 

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Formerly 04 Outback 3.0R VDC, now 2011 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS DiD
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Well everything I've read says that the Forest is definitely more capable off road than the Outback, it has the same ground clearance as the current (8.7in in Australia) Outbacks apart from the XT, and shorter wheelbase, shorter front and rear overhangs all add up to being able to go places an Outback can't. You may not need the extra off road performance though.

Interior space wise though it's the other way around. A Forester is smaller than what you're driving now, being Imprezza based. Also the interior on the Outback is classier and more upmarket than the Forester.

Decisions decisions...

Cheers,

Karl
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
2005 Outback XT Limited MT
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G00fy.

I shopped them both for about a year (I was interested only in the 2.5 turbo engine mated with the manual transmission). I do no serious off-roading, but I've got some pretty rugged dirt roads up in my neck of Maine, and I definitely needed a vehicle that would handle those as well as the highway.

Frankly, I liked the Forester and was about to go with it until I heard that the Outback was being redesigned and given a turbo engine for 05. I decided to wait for its arrival, and I am glad I did.

It is higher off the ground by over an inch (8.7 compared to 7.5, and even the non-turbo is higher 8.4). Also, it has more interior space and is more refined.

As for tranferring the Alpine, I don't think I can help you there.
 

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Lord of ScoobyMods, ,
19' Impreza Sport 5 dr / 01' Forester S / 13' OB CVT / 10' Legacy 3.6R / 99 Mita MX-5
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I have both, the OB is an 02 VDC and the Forester is an 04 XT. I put some cargo info up here:

http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=9834#post9834

They are both good choices, the OB I have is much more refined but my XT being a stick is more fun to drive. My F-XT is much quicker too because I have a cobb stage 2 and about 285 BHP :) but now the XT OB is out too so it would be a tough choice. The OB VDC has the H6 and that motor is much smoother and quieter to drive.

Either way you end up with a good car.

Here is a forester site to poke around:

http://www.subaruforester.com/
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 111,000+ miles
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Jondalar said:
Well everything I've read says that the Forest is definitely more capable off road than the Outback, it has the same ground clearance as the current (8.7in in Australia) Outbacks apart from the XT, and shorter wheelbase, shorter front and rear overhangs all add up to being able to go places an Outback can't. You may not need the extra off road performance though.
Now hold on Karl, no Forester has a higher ground clearance than an Outback, minus the 2004-older 4-cylinder models. Mudge was right on about this. As far as it being better off-road, well it does have a shorter wheelbase, etc as you described although I wouldn't consider any Subaru as a true offroad beast. On top of that there are a few more mods you can do to an Outback: lift kits, push bars, bumpers, as well as being able to put larger tires on. As far as that aspect goes I'd say that the Outback fits goofy much better.

Although the part about the stereo, you're not going to do much with a new Outback for that matter :(
 

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05 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input guys, honestly i was hellbent on the Forrester until subaru changed up the outbacks looks for 05' and gave it more clearance, and that's what threw me off, but i think the outback would be better especially if it's got more room, since leg room wise i'm already 6'04" and possibly still growing for another year or two, and cargo wise i'd be taking up alot of space with subs, currently i'd be transferring the two from my legacy, and i'd be getting 2 more 10inch once i have the space in the new car whatever it may be. Somebody mentioned i wasn't gonna have much luck transferring the stereo over, so that could cause me to change my mind, and right now i'm on a tight budget so the only other thing that would make me go for the forester is if i could get a really good deal on an XT, cause i'd sacrifice the space for the turbo anyday...
 

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Hero Boots said:


Now hold on Karl, no Forester has a higher ground clearance than an Outback, minus the 2004-older 4-cylinder models. Mudge was right on about this. As far as it being better off-road, well it does have a shorter wheelbase, etc as you described although I wouldn't consider any Subaru as a true offroad beast. On top of that there are a few more mods you can do to an Outback: lift kits, push bars, bumpers, as well as being able to put larger tires on. As far as that aspect goes I'd say that the Outback fits goofy much better.

Although the part about the stereo, you're not going to do much with a new Outback for that matter :(
Weell HB it's there on the Subaru Australia site for all to see, the Forester here has had 200mm (8.7in) ground clearance for as long as I can recall. You can see the Forester beating the Outback in scoring here 2003 Best Recreational 4WD Note that this is the current Outback model too, MY04 Australian. The Outback scored higher for comfort ride and security but lost out too much in the 4WD sections to win...
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
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Lets put it this way, when I was buying my 03 Outback back in July 2003 I had seriously considered the Forester XT (and had previously considered a WRX). The only reason I got an OB was because I just couldn't fit into a Forester let alone an Impreza, the OB was kind of a tight a squeeze although I've found it to be quite comfy over time if not a perfect fit ;)

Anyway I'm 6'1" and I know I can't fit comfortably in a Forester or anything small so you being 6'4" would have an even harder time. I will say that the new 2005 Outbacks have a heck of a lot more legroom than the older generations did, I myself don't even have to put the seat back all the way. Just some things to consider as well :)
 

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05 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #9
Yea, that may be the deciding factor right now, cause even my legacy now gets kinda tight on long trips... But now i just gotta find out how i'd be able to transfer my system over...
 

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Superb Moderator, ,
MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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The Legacy/Outback has a considerable amount more legroom than the Impreza/Forester platform. I have an Impreza, the wife has a Baja, and her car can be adjusted much better to fit my body than mine. And the rear legroom in an Impreza/Forester is terrible. The rear Legacy's room isn't good but it's better than the Impreza. Brian
 

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05 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, i had no idea the forester was so small, i always thought it was a little bigger then the outback... but i guess not... Hopefully i'll be able to get a good deal on the outback or else i may be getting a legacy wagon instead...
 

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OBXT Moderator, ,
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The Outbacks are, however, more expensive than the Foresters, at least as far as initial purchase price is concerned. But, in the long run, the Outback is (IMHO) a more versitile ride.
 

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g00fy said:
Wow, i had no idea the forester was so small, i always thought it was a little bigger then the outback... but i guess not... Hopefully i'll be able to get a good deal on the outback or else i may be getting a legacy wagon instead...
I've heard the same thing, my step-mother had ridden in a Forester and when getting into my Outback said "Oh I thought the Forester was bigger and a lot higher off the ground". I'd always choose the Outback since I really think the slab sided look of the Forester is ugly, on road the Outback is better in pretty much every way, and it's only a little worse offroad. One thing tho, I actually feel the Forester has more room in the drivers seat, it's not as comfortable but did feel roomier to me. (I'm 6ft)

Cheers,

Karl
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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Goofy--

1. you'll prob find any of them will do the offroad stuff you're describing well enough.

2. i'm also 6'4". spent lots of time on long trips (600 miles at a sitting) in ex' 95 legacy. now own OB Sport (impreza chassis, like Forester). MUCH less leg room and it feels like i'm wearing it due to limited shoulder width. i love my car but really miss the room of the Legacy. (My SO made the final decision becuz the OBS was "cute" with its bug eyes (she never saw early A-H Sprites or Tr3s that way...)

3. have you considered a slightly used pre-05 OB? what i seem to be getting from list is that stereo swap difficulty only got really bad with the 05s.

4. you'll ultimately be basically happy with any of em. and welcome to the monkey house!
 

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05 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter #15
yea, I'm pretty sure either would due for the little off roading i would do, and besides i have found a site that sells 2 inch suspension lifts for all models, so if i ever needed the clearence that's what i'd do, and yea if i could get an 04' OB dealer demo model or something i'd definatly go for that, but yea the outback is sounding better and better for me with every post i read, although i'm getting worried about my stereo system since i just spent a ton of money on it and i was banking on the fact that'd i'd be able to swap it with what ever new car i got, i don't really care how difficult the swap would be as long as it's possible, thanks for all the input folks!
 

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g00fy said:
i have found a site that sells 2 inch suspension lifts for all models, so if i ever needed the clearence that's what i'd do,
g00fy: Can you share that site with us? I'm looking into buying a Forester or Outback in the next year or so. Like you, I'd probably look into a lift if I got stuck in fields or on muddy tracks too often.

i'm getting worried about my stereo system since i just spent a ton of money on it and i was banking on the fact that'd i'd be able to swap it with what ever new car i got,
My uneducated hunch is that you'd be better of eBay-ing your current stereo components and investing the money in your new ride. ;) Of course, I'm not an automotive audio kind of person.

Escher
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No way, there's no way i'm selling my system on Ebay, i love it too much... So I will transfer it to the new vehicle, no matter how i have to do it lol... Besides I probably wouldn't get enough money for it to really make a difference in what vehicle i can get... As for the suspension lift, try this site http://www.xcceleration.com/leg-drive-sup.htm the lifts are the last items on the page, they're a small company based out of Vermont, and they look pretty legitimate.
 

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Goofy--

look at iaperformance.com...they make adapters to fit higher end stereo components into a Sub and their gallery has great fotos of misc installation, incl an MB Quart component system with separate x-over inside the door panel. i got a set of the adaptors, abt $30-40 if i recall right, and am very happy with em...spkers fit right in.

bw
 

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and on the stereo issue----the big swappage problem seems to be the head unit from what i'm reading.

i've been pretty happy with my system using a Sub factory head unit feeding the amp through line level converters on the speaker output leads. remainder of system is 650wRMS MTX 5 channel amp (tested at 91x4+291 to sub), MB Quart RSC component systems, a/d/s and altec lansing aux tweeties, and 12" near-top- of-the-line RF sub, so it's mostly audiophile-quality gear. with enough tweaking of the levels on the converters and the amp gain controls, i've gotten it to where you can't hear audible distortion before it's loud enough to run you out of car if you're wise or cause hearing dmg if you ain't.

you don't get quite the flexibility of an aftermkt head unit, and physics suggests that the signal from preamp outs will be slightly cleaner than doing it this way, but my point is that you can get clean enough signal with factory h/u this way that you'll really have to have some top end components and golden ears besides to find it a major limitation. and with factory h/u, it's a lot easier to use in traffic and communicates "don't bother" to the thieves. most of the system is invisible, good thing since i park daily in a not entirely wonderful area abt 5 blocks from border with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (where the avg weekly wage tends to be $35-40)and have lost 2 aftermkt stereos in last 5 yrs. no one's bothered the OB yet.:7:

and if you may get TALLER than 6'4", don't even THINK abt an Impreza-chassis car......get a 1 or 2 yr old OB if you have to.
 

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Outback onsight...
'03outback, '98 forester S lifted m/t's, 4eat, lsd
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not much for comfort

My dad is 6'5" and has a '97 OBW lets just say hes not very comfortable at all!!! Now he gave the wife the OBW and he drives a '02 Ford explorer .

Your really pushing the limits of safety too in a crash dealing with height issues (headroom/legroom) you'll get more head/neck/leg injuries in a crash or worse pelvic,back!!! I suggust forgeting the Subaru altogether in the matter of safety!!!

Maybe you could remove the front seat and drive from the back seat like the NBA stars used to do years ago!!!LOL!

As far as offroad unless your into serious wheeling the outback is fine: remember 90% is driver experience! I've done things offroad an inexperienced driver in a in a true off road vehichle can't even comprehend how to approach the situation at hand.

The Forrester would be a more true offraod vehichle but rolly polly sususpension will drive you nuts on the road!!!

Your Alpine headunit should fit just fine! The outer trim plate on the Alpine unit will not be used.

good luck!
 
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