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Discussion Starter #1
I thought both cars share many common components including engine, transmission, and Eyesight.

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2015 Legacy 3.6R ES, 2014 Forester Touring ES, 2005 Jeep Liberty Limited
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I own a Legacy and a Forester and hands down the Forester has been trouble free. I would recommend the Foz to any and everyone who is interested in a Crossover/ SUV.

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2018 3.6R Limited - Magnetite - LP Adventure lift
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A lot of outback trouble comes from infotainment.

Mine has been fine so far, with the occasional blutooth oddity. The only thing thats broken on mine in 10 months is the 12v plug in the center console. Which, I need to get fixed.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Why does Consumer Reports rate Forester reliability much better than Outback
Three possibilities:

1) CR reliability ratings are based on data self-reported by owners. Despite the large sample size, those ratings may or may not be statistically representative of the entire fleet.

2) The Forester and the Legacy/Outback are assembled in different plants, in Japan and the U.S. respectively, and there may be some difference there.

3) Different designs may stress the components in subtly different ways.

It could also be nothing more than statistical scatter. Consider that even the mechanical twins ... Legacy and Outback ... have slightly different ratings within most model years.

A lot of outback trouble comes from infotainment.
True ... and the relative weighting that CR applies to the reliability of different aspects of vehicle operation (e.g. drive train vs. infotatinemt system) is not clear.
 
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2018 Outback, 3.6R Touring
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A lot of outback trouble comes from infotainment.

Mine has been fine so far, with the occasional blutooth oddity. The only thing thats broken on mine in 10 months is the 12v plug in the center console. Which, I need to get fixed.

I would agree with this being a likely reason as well. I remember when Ford first released their MyFord Touch system it was very buggy and they got beat up in reliability ratings.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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1) CR reliability ratings are based on data self-reported by owners. Despite the large sample size, those ratings may or may not be statistically representative of the entire fleet.

2) The Forester and the Legacy/Outback are assembled in different plants, in Japan and the U.S. respectively, and there may be some difference there.

3) Different designs may stress the components in subtly different ways.

[4)] Statistical scatter. Consider that even the mechanical twins ... Legacy and Outback ... have slightly different ratings within most model years.
5) CR relies upon consumer self-reported incidents for assembling their statistics, rather than conducting a scientifically sampled polling of the owner base. This injects a statistical bias into the sample population. We have the same issue with our HG failure log, FWIW.
 

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2017 OB Limited 3.6
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Last year when looking to buy I considered the Forester and the Outback. CR gave the Forester a noticeably higher Overall rating score than the OB 84/76. Yet, they had the same Road Test score of 85. When you read the individual write-ups it seemed as though the reviewer actually preferred the OB. Perplexed about this I wrote the CR reviewer asking for an explanation. I never heard back.

I've been a CR subscriber for almost 40 years and have noticed some changes in how they review. It seems to me that they weight their scores for "value" and/or "affordability". When I research a vehicle I want to know about performance, specifications and dependability. I will make the determination about Value and whether or not I want to pay more for a vehicle that has the features and characteristics I want.

This is what I suspect anyway and I've had discussions with people that feel the same.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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CR data is tainted. They only query PAYING SUBSCRIBERS to get their data. By definition, this colors the results.


Do not get me wrong,... Certainly their ratings can be a SOURCE of information.... but the reader needs to understand how it is collected and how it may be biased.


For example: If their ratings show a preponderance of brake problems covering several years... then it is likely that vehicle may have more brake problems than

other vehicles of the same age.


On a personal note -- I do not give much credence to "infotainment" issues. I do not not own a cellular device and only expect a vehicle to provide reliable transportation of my ass from point A to point B. I RARELY turn on the audio system in my vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The difference in reported reliability is so large that it probably is not a statistical error. 3/5 vs. 5/5.

Are the infotainment systems different between Forester and Outback for 2018 model year?

By the way, I made a mistake. This topic should have beeen in Gen 5 Outback section. Can someone move it there or let me know how how to do it?

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2017 OB Limited 3.6
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FWIW - The OB scored excellent (5) in the following areas surveyed for vehicle reliability - Engine Major/Minor, Engine Cooling, Transmission Major/Minor, Drive System, Fuel System, Climate System, Electric System, Suspension, Brakes, Exhaust, Paint, Trim, Body Integrity & Hardware,

It scored Good (4) in these two areas - Power Equipment and In-Car Electronics. That's all the areas. There's no way you can come up with a Reliability score of 3 when the lowest score received is a 4.
 

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2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0 T AWD
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As someone already said. Because they are built in different plants. Japan vs. US.
I've had multiple Outbacks and Foresters. Most recent is a 2018 Outback and I've noticed some quality control issues. Which I believe Subaru have come out and admitted there's been quality issues for the last several years.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
FWIW - The OB scored excellent (5) in the following areas surveyed for vehicle reliability - Engine Major/Minor, Engine Cooling, Transmission Major/Minor, Drive System, Fuel System, Climate System, Electric System, Suspension, Brakes, Exhaust, Paint, Trim, Body Integrity & Hardware,

It scored Good (4) in these two areas - Power Equipment and In-Car Electronics. That's all the areas. There's no way you can come up with a Reliability score of 3 when the lowest score received is a 4.
Look here it says 3/5 overall reliability. And yes, individual reliability does not look bad for 2016 and 2017 but prior years were bad.


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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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I do not give much credence to "infotainment" issues. I do not not own a cellular device and only expect a vehicle to provide reliable transportation of my ass from point A to point B. I RARELY turn on the audio system in my vehicles.
I can almost hear the economy collapsing now.


I've been a CR subscriber for almost 40 years and have noticed some changes in how they review. It seems to me that they weight their scores for "value" and/or "affordability". When I research a vehicle I want to know about performance, specifications and dependability. I will make the determination about Value and whether or not I want to pay more for a vehicle that has the features and characteristics I want.
There are much better sources out there than CR to learn about performance, specifications and dependability.
 

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A lot of outback trouble comes from infotainment.
I can't help but wonder why they still sell them together. I would much rather buy the car with a tidy little void in the dash, then get it fitted with good electronics elsewhere.

Yeah, yeah they're trying to get this integrated with that. And they've been trying that for 30+ years and they're still failing miserably, industry-wide.

I just went through this with a new car we bought last month. I yanked out the factory garbage and installed something good after 4 days. I won't buy a car that doesn't offer this possibility.
 

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Seriously? Because they can still make a lot of profit at it.
Perhaps I can say it better this way- I'm surprised to see how much damage automakers are willing to accept to their reputations in exchange for the profits on these in-car electronics.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Perhaps I can say it better this way- I'm surprised to see how much damage automakers are willing to accept to their reputations in exchange for the profits on these in-car electronics.
Quite a bit of damage, apparently.

They probably feel that, despite Tesla's inroads, they will still be able to control both the market, and also their fundamental business model. And that model says they dictate to suppliers what goes into their components.

Now when was that Apple car supposed to launch again?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Don't both Forester and Outback use the same infotainment system? If yes, what (other than the place where cars are assembled) should explain such a drastic difference in predicted reliability 3/5 vs 5/5?

I assumed (maybe incorrectly) that assembly problems do not often lead to long term reliability concerns and CR reliability ratings are mostly influenced by long term reliability problems.

Any thoughts ?

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Don't both Forester and Outback use the same infotainment system? If yes, what (other than the place where cars are assembled) should explain such a drastic difference in predicted reliability 3/5 vs 5/5?

I assumed (maybe incorrectly) that assembly problems do not often lead to long term reliability concerns and CR reliability ratings are mostly influenced by long term reliability problems.

Any thoughts ?

Non. Scientific. Sampling. Methodology.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Don't both Forester and Outback use the same infotainment system? If yes, what (other than the place where cars are assembled) should explain such a drastic difference in predicted reliability 3/5 vs 5/5?
I think johnre covered it well- if they simply did the same sampling procedure again they may well come up with different results.

Apart from that, my guess is that you're seeing the effect of different ages of buyers.

Many foresters are purchased by older buyers. If the radio turns on and plays the desired station, it's a win.

Many Outbacks are purchased by younger people still growing their families. If one of the apps is laggy or a few pixels are the wrong shade they will complain.

There is nowhere near enough granularity in these results to make a truly informed decision, and as johnre pointed out, not enough rigor in the collection & processing to be meaningful.

I rank them both as "Mostly harmless."

Personally I think all 5-point rating systems should be considered with a 3-point error margin. Thus only differences of 4+ points are meaningful. This has saved me a lot of time dealing with ride shares, app stores and review sites.
 
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