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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2011 Forester, it's ok, but I want a better ride and more rear storage.
I am thinking of moving up, are there any issues with Outbacks.
I would be going 4 cylinder automatic. Would that be underpowered.
The Forester is peppy for a little car.
I would be getting the base model Outback, good move or not.
Is the 4 cylinder enough engine.
 

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I have a close relative who owns a fairly new Forester. The wheelbase, I believe, on the Forester is shorter than that of our OB.

When we bought the OB, we bought whichever was the one with the longest wheelbase and are glad we did. It rides so much more like a car than the Forester my relative has!

And, that is the second Forester this person has had, the original one rode the same, kind of jarring on the lower back on bumpy roads.
 

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the forester is an impreza on stilts with a higher roofline. i was looking at a forester when i got the outback, what a piece of crap in comparison! but it wont be underpowered, the outback is about 200 lbs heavier, in addition with the new FB25 and CVT, i doubt you'll notice much.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Forster does seem chintsy. i got it for myself, for golf, beach, commuter car...it's ok, but after a year, i wish i had gotten the OB, and i am going to see if I can make it work.
 

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We've had both -- the Forester is better around town; the Outback is better on the road. Rear storage is about a wash in terms of volume, but it's configured differently. You can put taller stuff in a Forester and longer stuff in an Outback.

It's true that the Foresters just don't have the same level of finish that Outbacks do. And I especially dislike their 4-speed auto transmissions. HPH
 

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...Luke...move to the light side of the force...LOL

Make the switch, you won't regret it. We had our OB in for service on Friday and they gave us Forester as a loaner. What a difference. A much tinier car overall. Still a great vehicle, but the OB is much more refined and solid feeling compared to the forester....
 

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thats funny "the OB is much more refined and solid feeling compared to the OB" and then your sig talks about stupidity. awesome.
...:jump:... :brainfart! I ususally don't proof read my posts...although I have been off on holidays for the last two months so my brain has gone kinda mushy. Oh well, back to work on Tuesday so things should get better...lol.

I'll now just edit that out now...
 

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I traded my 2010 Forester 2.5 5 speed for a 2012 OB 3.6R Limited top of the line model. Couldn't be happier as this car is a huge upgrade. I expect the base OB would be as well. Also the back is much bigger... We were struggling to fit our large stroller Forested and it just goes in lengthwise in the OB leaving tons of room for other stuff.
 

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I recently traded in my 2009 Forester 2.5X in for a 2012 Outback 2.5i Premium. The Forester felt more nimble on the road and the Outback has a more luxurious ride, most likely due to the longer wheelbase.

I agree with others, the Outback simply feels higher quality, although it was the Forester that made me a dedicated Subaru owner (we replaced a 2001 Beetle for a '99 Impreza Outback Sport).

The Outback is a great city vehicle and fantastic on the highway, especially if you get one with CVT. Gas milage is astounding.
 

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I'd say take the short step up to the Premium. Even if you're strapped for cash you should be able to work out a pretty good deal. The step up gets you alloy wheels, fog lamps, leather wrapped steering wheel, and a power driver's seat. You can also still get a manual tranny if you wish.

It's an extra $1500 spread out over the time of your loan. Well worth it.
 

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Just my 2 cents...

First of all, Outback all the way. You will be happy if your main concern is hauling stuff/people. Second of all, I occasionally take trips to the mountains, and also long trips on the road where I am carrying 3 extra people and LOADED to the gills with "stuff" (probably 800 lbs extra, including the weight of the people.) For this reason, my XT (turbo-powered) is a necessity. If you are getting an outback for added space, then it stands to reason that you will want some extra oomph as well. But then again, they only made the XT models in years '05-'09. If you're looking for a newer model ('10+), then I've never owned or driven the 6-cylinder models.

If you are DEAD SET against the extra power, at least step up to a premium. You will not regret it, especially if it is a daily driver.
 

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Go with the OB.

Both of my parents have a Forester. My mom has an '09 with the old 2.5. My dad has an '11 with the new 2.5. The both love em and like that they are a bit smaller. But when I drive them they feel cheaper. IMO the power/weight difference is miniscule and only multiplied by the horrid 4EAT. It always feels like the Forester doesn't have enough guts because it either has the revs high to get me going, or lugs at too low of a gear, like any 4AT will.

With the OB, the CVT helps mask the power delivery by giving you linear consistent power delivery without maxing the engine out on revs or lugging along needing to downshift. As I understand it, the revised CVT ('13) does an even better job of it.

The biggest thing I notice is the tinny feel the doors have when closing them. On the OB you get a nice thud. Even my wife noticed and mentioned it.

Now if you can wait a year, I REALLY think the new ('14) Forester is going to be a game changer. It HAS to be. CVT, 2.5, nice interior and great handling. But the current gen Forester is just behind the times.
 

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I have one of each! 2011 Forester X, auto, alloy wheel package, and a 2011 Outback Premium. I have driven both from Florida to Maryland and back, including towing a boat, and a 4x8 enclosed trailer.

For going the distance, the Outback is way ahead. The Forester is not bad at all, but does not come near the OB for a easier more relaxed drive.

Both are 2.5, and unless you are looking for a "performance" vehicle, a 4 cycl. is fine. Never felt underpowered, even when towing.

If I were only driving around town, or quick trips, I like the Forester's quicker steering feel and quicker feeling acceleration. I doubt there is actually much difference. Forester has the timing chain, and gets lower MPG, the Outback has the timing belt, and has gotten close to 32mpg hwy, ....but at 100k you will have to replace the belt, so maybe the cost of operation is about the same.

Good luck.
 

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Bought the Premium with the 4 cyl. And no looking back. I was concerned about the power issue, but it has yet to do me wrong. No more racing but I'll take the much better gas mileage instead. And it still tows my fishing boat just fine. I tested the outback, forrester, and the impreza extensively. with the family and driving over a hundred in town miles a day the ob 2.5 premium was the best choice. Lots of people complain about the radio, I however find it more than suitable, I haven't been 18 in a long time.
 

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Well everyone here is pretty consistent. I bought a 2013 OB (it has a timing chain, not belt). My sister who lives on a farm in Pa with her husband went from an OB to the Forester and really likes it. I do a lot more highway and they a lot more country roads and dirt roads. She said she liked the more upright seating position. She has owned both, I have only owned a OB and only for 2 months. OB is fine for me but I think it depends on what you will do with it and how much you want to pay. I went with the premium package as I wanted nice but not so nice I would feel bad throwing muddy things along with fish and a wet dog in the back while I slide in the front all muddy and probably smelling like fish and a wet dog. The limited is very nice though. Your call.
 

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On a monthly payment basis for a 60 mo loan a Premium with all weather and moonroof is not a lot different than a base model. Good luck finding an actual "base" model though. Most dealers dont carry them and if you have to trade for one the dealer may not negotiate with you. Wait till around November and buy a 2013. The dealers may be more likley to deal toward the end of the year. Our Indianapolis dealer had Subaru employee pricing which got us into the range we wanted. Also you have a really recent Forester so you have some bargaining power. Most dealers these days do not negotiate much on the car you are buying but you can negotiate on your trade in value for your Forester. Given that you would be trading a Subie for a Subie they may give you more money. The market on slightly used Subies is really good so they will have no problem selling it. Hit them hard on negotiating the new Outback but hit them harder on negotiating for the trade in. This is just my experience. We had a 2005 Honda CRV with 120K miles for our trade in. I was able to get more than $1200K more beyond their first offer for the trade in by simple negotiation. I also like using the tactic of the monthly payment max. The dealer finance people love that ;). They will try and extend you out to 64 months, but dont let them. Tell them you want a particuilar payment max and if reasonable the will figure the trade, whittle off some from the sales price etc to get you there!
 

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Tell them you want a particuilar payment max and if reasonable the will figure the trade, whittle off some from the sales price etc to get you there!
Never, ever negotiate based on payments. Should be rule #1 of car buying.

CR sums it up well:

4. Focusing only on the monthly payment when negotiating.
Salespeople like to focus on a monthly-payment figure while negotiating a deal. Indeed, "How much were you thinking of paying each month?" might be one of the first questions to greet you when you meet a salesperson. Don't take the bait. It's the first step down a slippery slope of being manipulated with numbers and overpaying for your vehicle. Using the monthly payment as the focus, the salesperson can lump the new-vehicle price, trade-in value, and financing or leasing terms together, giving him or her too much latitude to give you a "good price" in one area while making up for it in another. Instead, insist on negotiating one thing at a time. Settle on the vehicle's price first, then discuss a trade-in, financing, or leasing separately, as necessary. A leasing tip: Don't bring up your desire to lease until after you've agreed on the vehicle's price.
 
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