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Hi Guys:ffice:eek:ffice" /><O:p></O:p>
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I am new here. I even don't have a Subaru yet!. I am just researching and trying to get away from my 2012 VW Jetta wagon TDI. If this subject has been discussed before, I am sorry, please direct me to the thread. If not, what are pros & cons. I know, this is outback forum but I am posting the same thing on forester forum.<O:p></O:p>
Is there any major possible issue with 2012/2013 outback (VW TDI has possible $8K HPFP failure!, Iced intercooler and etc). I also hear about outback steering shake. So far what I don't like about forester is their old 4 speed tranny with 2.5 base engine (that is what I am looking at). Is there a plan to upgrade the tranny? 5 or 6 speed tranny should get a lot better MPG.<O:p></O:p>
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Thanks<O:p></O:p>
 

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2007 Chrysler 300C built 5.7
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396 Posts
I drove a Forester for kicks when I was in the process of buying my Outback. It felt tinny in comparison. I thought it was pretty evident as to why the OB commands its higher price tag.
 

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'05 2.5i H4 4-Speed Auto w/Sportshift
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514 Posts
I have a friend whose Forester I drove when it was new, so I could compare the Forester with the OB.

The Forester, I believe, has a shorter wheelbase, making you feel the bumps more, in MY opinion. The Forester is a higher vehicle, which makes getting in and out easier than the OB. It also seems to have more room above your head (to the ceiling).

With that being said, I must say they are BOTH good vehicles, both good at what they each are good at. As with everything, there are pluses and minuses of each, in the end, though, I think they pretty much even out.
 

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2012 outback limited
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237 Posts
Shake on front end has been fairly resolved since 2010 models. 2013 would be best choice of improvement. I did not like the forester so much, could not turn around fast enough to return to dealership. But then we drove the outback first !!!! It is a personal choice after all said and done. One year later and still happy. Big differance would be getting the limited for luxury's, my 2 cents.
 

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2012 Silver Outback Premium 2.5 CVT
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175 Posts
I drove the 2012s head-to-head thinking I would like the Forester. As others said, the Forester felt a little cheapie and didn't quite have it on the bigger hills. Took out the very Outback I ended up buying and it was just a dream comparatively. Also took each one to my house to see how things like my mountain bike and my sleeping bag would work and that left no doubt that the Outback was better for me. I also load lots of stuff on top and the Forester would have been too tall.
 

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2014 3.6R Limited Ice Silver/2013 3.6R TBM/B
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174 Posts
Currently driving a 2013 Forester, while waiting for another 2013 Outback.

IMHO, there is no comparison, the Outback is way more refined. The Forester while nice, seems to be one step down from the OB.

Does anybody know why the OB comes with Continental tires, and the Forester comes with Bridgestone tires?
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Premium - Former: Golf TDI
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454 Posts
I had a 2012 Forester loaner for a weekend, here are my observations compared to my 2012 Outback:

-Ride isn't nearly as bumpy as I expected- a bit more is felt, however it's still a nice, compliant ride
-Handling in the Forester is hands-down better if tossing your car in the twisties is your sort of thing
-Sound-deadening is non-existent compared to the Outback; must more noise everywhere in the Forester. My Outback is scarily quiet at highway speeds, something I love as a highway commuter
-Interior materials overall just felt a good bit cheaper in the Forester- plastics seemed quite a bit cheaper and I just didn't dig the overall design, but that's just my subjective opinion
-I MUCH prefer the CVT and 2.5 combo for it's FE and smoothness compared to the 2.5 and 4EAT in the Forester. The Forester feels a bit more eager and peppy with the combo though, however I churned 26mpg in the Forester on the same routes which net 29-31 in the Outback. Again, much like the handling, the Forester is a bit more agile and peppy in everyday driving, whereas the Outback is a bit more relaxed and refined IMO

Both are great vehicles with different buyers in mind. If I was eating up highway miles everyday (which I do 30,000 a year of), it's the Outback no question- smoother ride, less noise, better fuel efficiency, better cabin materials. However, around town and on the backroads the Forester is a bit more fun to drive- just take your pick.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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604 Posts
Drive a friends 12 Forester and it is a nice drive. I agree that the 4 spd is way outdated and the 14 Forester is reported to have a better transmission be it the constant variable speed or 6 spd auto.
However if you drive in town a lot the Forester does the job nicely.
I don't notice the huge difference reported by others here regarding the ride quality and tinny sounds, they don't exist in the 12 I drive.
However I wanted Eye Sight and the lack of a modern transmission were both show stoppers for me.
Bear in mind that both the Forester and Outback are underpowered with the 4 cylinder unless you whip it good. If the Forester had Eye Sight and a modern transmission I would have purchased it over the Outback because it has much better visability to the rear.

HPFP failures by the way are no big deal. BMW had them in some 335's and they have this corrected where it is not often reported anymore on the forums and they give an 8 year 120K warranty for failure. I bet VW will do the same thing. I thought the TDI was a nice ride by the way more comparable to the Outback than the Forester by size comparision.

Also the Outback is heavier by about 250 pounds than the Forester which might contribute to the better ride quality reported by others.

Forester gets a change to major components in 14 (transmission, etc) and I think the Outback will be changed in 15 if they hold to 5 year cycles...
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Premium - Former: Golf TDI
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454 Posts
Drive a friends 12 Forester and it is a nice drive. I agree that the 4 spd is way outdated and the 14 Forester is reported to have a better transmission be it the constant variable speed or 6 spd auto.
However if you drive in town a lot the Forester does the job nicely.
I don't notice the huge difference reported by others here regarding the ride quality and tinny sounds, they don't exist in the 12 I drive.
However I wanted Eye Sight and the lack of a modern transmission were both show stoppers for me.
Bear in mind that both the Forester and Outback are underpowered with the 4 cylinder unless you whip it good. If the Forester had Eye Sight and a modern transmission I would have purchased it over the Outback because it has much better visability to the rear.

HPFP failures by the way are no big deal. BMW had them in some 335's and they have this corrected where it is not often reported anymore on the forums and they give an 8 year 120K warranty for failure. I bet VW will do the same thing. I thought the TDI was a nice ride by the way more comparable to the Outback than the Forester by size comparision.

Also the Outback is heavier by about 250 pounds than the Forester which might contribute to the better ride quality reported by others.

Forester gets a change to major components in 14 (transmission, etc) and I think the Outback will be changed in 15 if they hold to 5 year cycles...
The VW situation is a bit different. The reported statistics are still relatively low (1-2% failure rate), but the larger issue IMO is that when the Bosch HPFP in the VW CR TDI fails, it causes anywhere from $8-10K worth of repairs since metal shards are sent upstream and downstream throughout the system requiring replacement of all lines, pumps, injectors, rail, etc. My total repair bill in my 2011 Golf TDI was near the $9K mark, something I would never have wanted out of warranty and hence why I moved back to a Subaru.

BMW stepped up decently quick to resolve the issue and extend warranties, VW has still done nothing of the sort- not to mention you're talking $400 and 3 hours labor for BMW's HPFP repair, not $10K and 2 weeks of down-time like the VW :28:

To the OP, if you're thinking Sportwagen/Golf, just go with the 2.5. Not as torquetasic as the TDI, but your long-term cost of ownership will be MUCH lower in the 2.5 than the TDI and reliability will most likely be much better as well (no HPFP system, no DPF, etc). No doubt that both of them drive much better than the Outback, the interiors are a bit nicer in terms of materials/design, and they'll churn out about the same MPG. I preferred the Outback for a bit more size, utility, and expected reliability, but that's just me :29:
 

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2014 2.5i Limited
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951 Posts
I drove a Forester for kicks when I was in the process of buying my Outback. It felt tinny in comparison. I thought it was pretty evident as to why the OB commands its higher price tag.
This EXACTLY! I could never own a Forester after having an OB.

Nice 300 BTW.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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351 Posts
The VW situation is a bit different. The reported statistics are still relatively low (1-2% failure rate), but the larger issue IMO is that when the Bosch HPFP in the VW CR TDI fails, it causes anywhere from $8-10K worth of repairs since metal shards are sent upstream and downstream throughout the system requiring replacement of all lines, pumps, injectors, rail, etc. My total repair bill in my 2011 Golf TDI was near the $9K mark, something I would never have wanted out of warranty and hence why I moved back to a Subaru.

BMW stepped up decently quick to resolve the issue and extend warranties, VW has still done nothing of the sort- not to mention you're talking $400 and 3 hours labor for BMW's HPFP repair, not $10K and 2 weeks of down-time like the VW :28:

To the OP, if you're thinking Sportwagen/Golf, just go with the 2.5. Not as torquetasic as the TDI, but your long-term cost of ownership will be MUCH lower in the 2.5 than the TDI and reliability will most likely be much better as well (no HPFP system, no DPF, etc). No doubt that both of them drive much better than the Outback, the interiors are a bit nicer in terms of materials/design, and they'll churn out about the same MPG. I preferred the Outback for a bit more size, utility, and expected reliability, but that's just me :29:
2013 Outback (gen 4 rev 2) handles more like a VW than your earlier Outback (gen 4 rev 1). I can say that with certainty because we tested both and have all of Forester, both rev Outback and Jetta wagons within circle of friends and family. Note that I said handles and not drives. The turbo 4 diesel and CVT Subarus behave differently.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback Premium 2.5i All-Weather+Moonroof Venetian Red Pearl W/ Ivory Coth
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572 Posts
My suggestion is to drive both. Find a dealer that will let you keep one for a weekend. Ours in Indy does that. They also sell VW's. We owned a Honda CRV (2005) before our OB, which in terms of lack of sound proofing materials etc would be comparable to the Forester. I could live with it, but after driving the OB I would rank it up there with the quietness of my old Jetta which was overengineered in terms of sound proofing. As another poster said in town you would proabbly be ok with either, but on the interstate the hum of the tires on a car withoout much sound proofing will drive you nuts (or at least it did me). My old 2002 Jetta was a great riding car, but it was also the year of the 1.8T when all of the ignition coils were blowing thanks to Bosch. I had to go without my car for 4 months waiting on parts. VW replaced one off the coils and then two months later the formal recall went out. The other 3 were replaced in 3 hrs after I callled in. I think VW has simplified designs to be more compeititive as of late. The TDI's have always been reliable. Some of the scheduled maint is a little pricey, but with the fuel economy people can justify it. The interior room of the OB is far superior to the Sportwagen, which is why we did not test drive the Sportwagen, but if you dont need a lot of room its ok. The electronics had always been the VW's problem areas, but as they have simplified it may no longer be an issue
 

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If you have kids especially rear facing car seat kids the Jetta sport wagon vs tall drivers and rear facing kids ='s very tight seating space. Wife and I own an older Jetta sedan 1.8T top model with the stupid Mich - pilots leather - 5spd MT etc. The seating space in the new Sport wagon is slightly better but not by much! We have a friend who just bought the Jetta TDI sport wagon when their 2nd kid showed up last month. Both parents are sub 6ft and have already mentioned the Jetta Wagon is tight and looking like they are only using it for short around town stuff and the Q5 which is slightly roomier will get the longer trips.

As for us our VW doesn't even have car seats in it I'm just shy of 6ft and can't hardly sit in the front seats with the rear facing kids seat installed. The OB and our Sequoia haul the kids the VW goes to the Train station with the wife using it. I can't even remember the last time our kids rode in the VW?
 

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It felt tinny in comparison.
This. I can't believe they even sell any Foresters given the marginal price difference between them and the OB. The Foresters I drove felt cheaper than my old Saturn VUE. If you've ever driven a VUE, you know how bad that makes the Forester. Ever since they got rid of the MT in the FXT, I struggle to find a single reason anyone would buy a Forester.
 

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2013 2.5i SAP
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50 Posts
Currently driving a 2013 Forester, while waiting for another 2013 Outback.

IMHO, there is no comparison, the Outback is way more refined. The Forester while nice, seems to be one step down from the OB.

Does anybody know why the OB comes with Continental tires, and the Forester comes with Bridgestone tires?
I put about 1500 miles on an entry level 2013 while I was waiting on my rear hatch to be fixed and I also couldn't wait to get back to my OB.

My kids thought the back seat arm rest and cup holder were better in the Forrester and I also liked the cup holder up front because it would take my mug handle. However, I agree with others in build. Doors sounded poor when shut and I always felt I was going to pull the door handle off because it felt a little cheap. Driver seat has even less support for a taller person.

Drive was ok but not impressive. I had the auto trans and REALLY missed my CVT for it's smoothness.

Mine had Yokohama tires.
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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when comparing online i couldn't decide if i wanted an outback or forester. then i actually went to a dealer and sat in the forester for a few seconds. i then test drove the outback. the forester is a total POS in comparison, my opinion anyway. the forester will save you some money so if that's your bottom line go for it.
 

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2012 Outback Premium 3.6R
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My neighbor has a Forester. I really like the way they look. However, I need to tow a boat, so the Forester was never an option. The Forester doesn't have the 6 cylinder engine.
 
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