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2020 Outback Limited
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I’m in a bit of a dilemma, I thought I was dead set on a 2020 Forester touring. I had to order it and it will be here by the middle of December. Unfortunately, I got a little curious and test drove a new 2020 outback limited fully loaded. Which coincidentally has the same features as the touring Forester for about the same price. Has anybody else been through this situation, and what made you choose one over the other?

Also, on the outback with the large infotainment system, if you are using Apple CarPlay, do you still have easy access to the radio or do you have to navigate a bunch of screens?

if any of this has already been addressed could someone please point me in the direction of that thread, I have tried searching but apparently my search abilities are a bit lacking
In my case, my wife has a 2017 Forester, which we both love, so I thought that would be the choice for my next car when the time came. Over the summer, we had some work done on the Forester and I had the chance to drive a 2019 Outback they gave me as a loaner. I loved it, I'm 6'6", and while I fit in our Forester, there is so much more leg room in the Outback. I find the seat extension helps a lot, and the seats are much more comfortable than in our Forester (a common problem with the 2017 Forester, not sure if it's been addressed in the current model year). I have an Outback Limited, and I use the built in NAV, rather than Android Auto, but I think you can access the radio functionality on the bottom part of the screen since AA and CarPlay only use the top half (maybe someone else can chime in). I would pick the Outback over the Forester if given the choice again, more room being the #1 reason.

Cheers,
Dave.
 

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2010/2016 outback
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729 Posts
All depends on your needs and likes.

I owned an OB and my wife owns a Forester. My wife hated the seating position in the OB and I hate the seating position in the Forester. She also thought the OB was too big.

If you have senior family members to be concerned about, the Forester is definitely easier to enter and exit.

MPG will be about the same between both vehicles.

OB has a bigger cargo area if you have the need for a bit more space.

If you like driving the Mustang GT, you will quickly tire of either Subaru. They are practical but not much fun.
Check out the Edge or Explorer ST.
I'm thinking new Corvette!
 

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Sorry, can’t find the link ...if Brucey is monitoring, maybe he can post it. But basically all you do is in-zip the zipper on the back of the front seat that’s closest to the door. That allows you to pull back the back of the seat cover, exposing a 10” x 12” white plastic molded piece in the lower area of the seat back. Gently disconnect it and slide it out the bottom. It takes some fiddling to ease it out. And once it’s out, chuck it the recycling as you will quickly realize how much you hated it without know it. Good news is the electric lumbar still works but it’s much less aggressive and doesn’t poke into your lower back.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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In my case, my wife has a 2017 Forester, which we both love, so I thought that would be the choice for my next car when the time came. Over the summer, we had some work done on the Forester and I had the chance to drive a 2019 Outback they gave me as a loaner. I loved it, I'm 6'6", and while I fit in our Forester, there is so much more leg room in the Outback. I find the seat extension helps a lot, and the seats are much more comfortable than in our Forester (a common problem with the 2017 Forester, not sure if it's been addressed in the current model year). I have an Outback Limited, and I use the built in NAV, rather than Android Auto, but I think you can access the radio functionality on the bottom part of the screen since AA and CarPlay only use the top half (maybe someone else can chime in). I would pick the Outback over the Forester if given the choice again, more room being the #1 reason.

Cheers,
Dave.
Your 2019 Outback has a seat extension?
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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Sorry, can’t find the link ...if Brucey is monitoring, maybe he can post it. But basically all you do is in-zip the zipper on the back of the front seat that’s closest to the door. That allows you to pull back the back of the seat cover, exposing a 10” x 12” white plastic molded piece in the lower area of the seat back. Gently disconnect it and slide it out the bottom. It takes some fiddling to ease it out. And once it’s out, chuck it the recycling as you will quickly realize how much you hated it without know it. Good news is the electric lumbar still works but it’s much less aggressive and doesn’t poke into your lower back.
Obviously, that lumbar support is subjective per individual. I have a natural curve in my lower spine and welcome the lumbar support. I had long road trips the last couple of days. I was comfortable the whole time and have no back issues today.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks everybody for all the input and recommendations. I think I might be sticking with the Forester. After watching multiple videos about the new outback screen, if you are using Apple CarPlay it only uses about a 6 inch section of the screen, where as in the Forester it uses the entire 8 inch screen. I wasn’t a huge fan of the small section where the HVAC controls are and if you really get to looking. The 11.5 inch screen... you really only get 8 inches of usable real estate. The bottom portion is the HVAC system, the very top is the scrolling bar thing and in the middle is what is really usable which is only 8 inches and this is first generation tech for Subaru.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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@Brucey peeps be looking for a link to one of your how to videos,....presumably not involving a blow up doll . :eek:
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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Wow, oh my gosh, thank you so much for that amazingly helpful answer. 😒
Unfortunately I think it's the correct answer.

The Forester people will say Forester.

The Ascent people will say Ascent.

The XV people will say XV.

The Outback people will say Outback. Minus Dug.

I think for me the Forester is a better city car and the Outback is a better road trip car.

But they're not so similar that either are good cars and neither have a huge advantage over others.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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The XV people will say XV.
a raised impreza ruined by parts choices, sold by advertising ?

if those owners test drove any other subaru, ...they would not have bought one.

and you were a XV person until you saw the light,...when you were Benedict brucey. (aka judas escariat hog-waller)

 

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2020 Outback XT Limited
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10 Posts
Thanks everybody for all the input and recommendations. I think I might be sticking with the Forester. After watching multiple videos about the new outback screen, if you are using Apple CarPlay it only uses about a 6 inch section of the screen, where as in the Forester it uses the entire 8 inch screen. I wasn’t a huge fan of the small section where the HVAC controls are and if you really get to looking. The 11.5 inch screen... you really only get 8 inches of usable real estate. The bottom portion is the HVAC system, the very top is the scrolling bar thing and in the middle is what is really usable which is only 8 inches and this is first generation tech for Subaru.
I'm late to the party but I'll put in my .02.
FWIW I bought a 2020 Outback XT after owning a 17 Outback, 2.5 Limited but I had a 06 Forrester XT years ago and it's the only car that I've ever owned that I still miss to this day.

If I miss my Forrester so much why did I go with the Outback? For me, it was the size and shape of the cargo area. The Forrester has about the same cargo capacity but its' taller instead of longer. So for example, if you have a couple of large dogs, the Forrester will be a better choice because they can stand up. If you are going to be hauling a bunch of long things, or you want to sleep in the back of your car occasionally the Outback will be the better choice.

I'm sure there are those out there that will tell me why I'm wrong, but that was some of my reasoning.

Good luck with your purchasing!
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT
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I'm late to the party but I'll put in my .02.
FWIW I bought a 2020 Outback XT after owning a 17 Outback, 2.5 Limited but I had a 06 Forrester XT years ago and it's the only car that I've ever owned that I still miss to this day.

If I miss my Forrester so much why did I go with the Outback? For me, it was the size and shape of the cargo area. The Forrester has about the same cargo capacity but its' taller instead of longer. So for example, if you have a couple of large dogs, the Forrester will be a better choice because they can stand up. If you are going to be hauling a bunch of long things, or you want to sleep in the back of your car occasionally the Outback will be the better choice.

I'm sure there are those out there that will tell me why I'm wrong, but that was some of my reasoning.

Good luck with your purchasing!
This is why I got the outback. I wanted to haul one long thing, myself, in the back while camping 😃
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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The length of the cargo area is also mostly why I went with the Outback. My rear seats are almost always folded down to make use of the room. A while back I sat in a 2019 Forester Sport and I liked the feel of sitting in it better than my Outback, with the seating position and the higher roofline. Almost enough to think about trying one to replace my 2017 Outback, but in the end I think the overall smaller size just won't be enough for me.
 

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The length of the cargo area is a pretty huge reason alone to get the Outback. All the other reasons I like the Forester, I can work around them. There is no way to work around a cargo area that is too short.
 

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The length of the cargo area is a pretty huge reason alone to get the Outback. All the other reasons I like the Forester, I can work around them. There is no way to work around a cargo area that is too short.
It was difficult taking the family to Disney World in the Forester. Even worse coming back with souvenirs and other things squeezed in.
 

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Thanks everybody for all the input and recommendations. I think I might be sticking with the Forester. After watching multiple videos about the new outback screen, if you are using Apple CarPlay it only uses about a 6 inch section of the screen, where as in the Forester it uses the entire 8 inch screen. I wasn’t a huge fan of the small section where the HVAC controls are and if you really get to looking. The 11.5 inch screen... you really only get 8 inches of usable real estate. The bottom portion is the HVAC system, the very top is the scrolling bar thing and in the middle is what is really usable which is only 8 inches and this is first generation tech for Subaru.
Coming from a 19 Outback, we struggled with the choice between 20 Forester, Outback, or Ascent. Ascent seemed so perfect, but ultimately got dropped because of the price premium and lower fuel economy.

We almost went with the Forester because it has the same 8 inch screen (in higher trims) and technology as our 19 Outback, whereas the 20 Outback effectively has the same size screen as the lower Forester trims. That 8 inch screen in the 19 Outback and 19-20 Forester is fabulous using Google maps in Apple CarPlay. The screen in the 20 Outback has the same functionality with Google maps in Apple CarPlay as the 19 Outback and 19-20 Forester, but the font is so tiny with the smaller effective area that it is not nearly as user friendly in actual use, especially if you have older eyes that need reading glasses.

So we were leaning heavily towards the Forester just because of how much we disliked the effective screen size in the 20 Outback, but ultimately went with Outback anyway and are very glad we did. What it came down to is we liked just about everything better on the Outback except for the screen, so it was a choice of what feature that we dislike we would rather live with for the next few years. The pluses for us on the Outback are the longer cargo area than the Forester, but mostly the drive. We liked the feel of the 19 Outback over the 20 Forester, and the 20 Outback is even better still. It seems strange how Forester and Outback are now on the same platform, yet feel so different. Coming from the 19 Outback and going into the 20, it feels like we have stepped up a couple levels in quality and class of vehicle. It's hard to quantify in a forum post, something you don't truly appreciate until you've lived with the vehicle for a while.

Recommendation: do a long test drive in both before deciding, and choose what is best for you. They are both good choices. We really wanted the bigger screen in the Forester, but are so glad we chose the Outback for its better overall feel (for us). We still dislike the 20 Outback screen when using Google maps in Apple CarPlay, but we'll live with it.
 

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Coming from a 19 Outback, we struggled with the choice between 20 Forester, Outback, or Ascent. Ascent seemed so perfect, but ultimately got dropped because of the price premium and lower fuel economy.

We almost went with the Forester because it has the same 8 inch screen (in higher trims) and technology as our 19 Outback, whereas the 20 Outback effectively has the same size screen as the lower Forester trims. That 8 inch screen in the 19 Outback and 19-20 Forester is fabulous using Google maps in Apple CarPlay. The screen in the 20 Outback has the same functionality with Google maps in Apple CarPlay as the 19 Outback and 19-20 Forester, but the font is so tiny with the smaller effective area that it is not nearly as user friendly in actual use, especially if you have older eyes that need reading glasses.

So we were leaning heavily towards the Forester just because of how much we disliked the effective screen size in the 20 Outback, but ultimately went with Outback anyway and are very glad we did. What it came down to is we liked just about everything better on the Outback except for the screen, so it was a choice of what feature that we dislike we would rather live with for the next few years. The pluses for us on the Outback are the longer cargo area than the Forester, but mostly the drive. We liked the feel of the 19 Outback over the 20 Forester, and the 20 Outback is even better still. It seems strange how Forester and Outback are now on the same platform, yet feel so different. Coming from the 19 Outback and going into the 20, it feels like we have stepped up a couple levels in quality and class of vehicle. It's hard to quantify in a forum post, something you don't truly appreciate until you've lived with the vehicle for a while.

Recommendation: do a long test drive in both before deciding, and choose what is best for you. They are both good choices. We really wanted the bigger screen in the Forester, but are so glad we chose the Outback for its better overall feel (for us). We still dislike the 20 Outback screen when using Google maps in Apple CarPlay, but we'll live with it.
So, you traded in your 2019 Outback because the 2020 Outback feels higher quality?
 
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