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Discussion Starter #1
I know that this is an Outback site and the replies will be biased, however, I need info on the Outback vs. the Forester.
Is the Forester basicly the same car just taller, or is there mechanically differences?
I prefer the look of the Outback, but the extra space is nice also.
Thanks.
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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589 Posts
The Forrester is essentially the same as an Impreza, just taller and more SUV-ish. The Crosstrek is even more identical to the Impreza.

The Outback is based on the Legacy.
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i sport package
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30 Posts
I went to Subaru about 3 weeks ago with the Forester in mind. Took it out for a spin and loved it...But i felt it was too small (interior). I have 2 kids...and a wife that always over packs... :)

I was disappointed but the salesman pointed me to an Outback...Loved it. Not that much bigger but space is noticeably bigger. Loved my test drive and bought it soon after (some dealing involved ! :) )

It is the 4cyl with CVT. MPG should be about the same as the Forester which is a plus. Others can chime in on this...but overall, i am satisfied so far with the MPG. I am coming off a 2003 Dodge Caravan that consumed gasoline like there was no tomorrow!
 

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2006 Outback XT
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96 Posts
I too took a Forester to the dealership for a pre purchase inspection. I wasn't happy with the feel of the car and drove my OBXT while I was waiting. I returned and told them they could stop with the other inspection and we then made a deal on the outback.

The outback was much more "finished"
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,122 Posts
I know that this is an Outback site and the replies will be biased, however, I need info on the Outback vs. the Forester.
Is the Forester basicly the same car just taller, or is there mechanically differences?
I prefer the look of the Outback, but the extra space is nice also.
Thanks.
as said, they start from different design parameters and really only 'share' engine/transmissions and maybe a few smaller parts.

Outbacks are assembled in Indiana, Foresters in Japan.

Give us some idea of what the intended use is of the vehicle and what your main desires are.

We aren't particularly biased here - many of us own or have owned other soobs besides Outbacks.
 

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22,802 Posts
I know that this is an Outback site and the replies will be biased, however, I need info on the Outback vs. the Forester.
Is the Forester basicly the same car just taller, or is there mechanically differences?
I prefer the look of the Outback, but the extra space is nice also.
Thanks.
Forester is built on a smaller Impreza platform and traditionally speaking was targeting a cheaper lower cost price point. It's interior materials, sound proofing etc all falls into this lower price point factor.

The Legacy platform which is Subaru's flagship platform regarding comfort - interior seating space and upper level interior trim is what the Outback is built on.


Lets just look at this another way if you were shopping 4dr sedans which models are the larger more comfy models?
Honda Civic or the Honda Accord?
Toyota Corolla or the Toyota Camry?

Subaru Impreza / Forester or the Subaru Legacy / Outback?
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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3,284 Posts
2014 Forester have better MPG, cheaper and pano moon roof. Higher trim forester have x mode that OB do not get. Forester also comes with turbo option. Forester hv better approach, departure angle. Better rear view visibility.

Other than that OB wins. But the gap is getting smaller.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,526 Posts
I know that this is an Outback site and the replies will be biased, however, I need info on the Outback vs. the Forester.
Is the Forester basicly the same car just taller, or is there mechanically differences?
I prefer the look of the Outback, but the extra space is nice also.
Thanks.
Bias or not bias - I traded my "still under warranty" 2010 Forester XT for 2013 Outback mainly due to suspension. Forester is and feels mushy cornering, over the speed bumps bottoming out, etc etc. If you are considering buying; drive a Forester and them immediately drive an Outback - you will "feel" the difference in a flash! You are comparing apples with oranges but everyone has it's own preferences and tastes. Therefore, if you've placed that question on these pages, each and everyone will respond with their own opinion, taste and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, I am looking for an older car. 1996-2002 depending on price, miles, condition, etc. I do want the larger car. I need a daily driver and family car.
I think the Forester will be too small.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,526 Posts
Thanks, I am looking for an older car. 1996-2002 depending on price, miles, condition, etc. I do want the larger car. I need a daily driver and family car.
I think the Forester will be too small.
Have a look at Mazda 5 .... you may like it!
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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3,284 Posts
Thanks, I am looking for an older car. 1996-2002 depending on price, miles, condition, etc. I do want the larger car. I need a daily driver and family car.
I think the Forester will be too small.
if you are looking in those model years. Stay Away from the 4 cyl 2.5 engine on all Subarus unless you're a mechanics. Thise 2.5 engine are all plague with Head gasket failure.
If I am shopping fro a SUbaru in those model years, It will be the H6 engine. That H6-3.0 engine is bullet proof. and depending on years, it also have slightly better AWD than the 2.5 in those years. (ie. Traction control).
 

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Thanks, I am looking for an older car. 1996-2002 depending on price, miles, condition, etc. I do want the larger car. I need a daily driver and family car.
I think the Forester will be too small.
You want the best bang for your buck get a Toyota 4cylinder they ran Timing chains on those and they post good mileage and are nearly impossible to screw up.

Matrix
Pontiac Vibe - Same car
Corolla
4cylinder Camry

All very capable of doing 300+K with nearly zero care other than oil changes. Neighbor drives about 45-60K a year for his company he owns. He's been driving used Camry's for the last 15yrs he buys them with 100K or so and keeps them till he's in the 350-400K range. His current one is at 410 early 2000 model 4cylinder he drives it every day last time I talked to him he said this one might hit 500K before he dumps it. Car looks fine you would never guess it has that many miles on it.

Not exciting but if your budget is small that type of longevity and low cost to keep running is hard to ignore.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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might be a Legacy wagon in that early year range with the 2.2 ?

if you could hold out for a 3.0 Outback, probably be more reliable. If you can get a 2.5 with blown HGs cheap enough - and have a knowledgeable person properly re-build it, that could be a way to go.

But those early 2.5s had a lot of HG issues. If you don't know how much it overheated, or you don't know how well it wwas rebuilt and what gaskets were used, etc. It's a gamble.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, I am looking for a wagon, and would like AWD. I hate SUVs and do not like the crossover things either. I like the Outback and think that is the way to go. As for mechanical ability, not an issue. I have an Assoc. Degree from UTI in Auto/Diesel Tech and over 20 years experience. I can fix almost anything, but I do prefer the OBDII cars, easier to work with.
 
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