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Subaru Forester vs. Subaru Outback

At first glance, the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback appear to be competing with one another for buyers. The Outback is physically larger than the Forester, however, and has a higher price point that includes a higher-quality interior and optional turbocharged engine the Forester doesn’t offer. For off-road adventuring and functionality, the Forester has higher ground clearance and more passenger room, as well as more cargo space. This comes from the Forester’s more traditional, boxy crossover design compared to the Outback’s car-like, station wagon shape. From a mechanical standpoint, the Forester and Outback share many underpinnings such as their standard engine, transmission, and all-wheel drive components. Buyers looking to stay on pavement while enjoying an upscale interior and turbo engine will prefer the Outback, while consumers looking to save money and spend time off road will find more value in the Forester.

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2022 Subaru Forester

2023 Subaru Outback

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$27,341 - $37,623

Used Asking Price:

$26,279 - $37,409

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

38.4%

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$30,779 - $41,601

Used Asking Price:

$28,564 - $39,998

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

39.5%

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.7 / 10

Reliability:

8.1 / 10

Retained Value:

8.1 / 10

Safety:

10.0 / 10

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.8 / 10

Reliability:

8.4 / 10

Retained Value:

8.0 / 10

Safety:

10.0 / 10

iSeeCars Rankings

4 / 61
4 / 61
4 / 24
4 / 24
8 / 24
11 / 61
16 / 61

iSeeCars Rankings

2 / 61
2 / 61
2 / 24
3 / 24
6 / 61
7 / 24
15 / 61

Summary Review

The Subaru Forester is a five-seat, compact SUV that foregoes the station wagon styling of other Subaru models for a more utilitarian, square-bodied design. The Forester has earned a reputation as a reliable and capable all-weather SUV with a spacious cabin and versatile cargo space. New models of the Forester cost an average of $32,632 and 3-year-old models average $23,752.

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Summary Review

The Subaru Outback has been a staple on American roads since its inception in 1994. Two different Subaru models, sold side-by-side, bore the Outback name: the wagon-style crossover-SUV we associate with the name today, and the Outback Sport, which eventually became the Crosstrek. The Outback is best known for its standard all-wheel drive, excellent utility, and all-weather capability. New models of the Outback average $36,354 and 3-year-old models average $25,939.

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Pros and Cons

  • All-wheel drive is standard
  • Better-than-average ground clearance and off-road capability
  • Large cargo area

  • Engine power could be stronger
  • Low tow rating may not match many buyers’ lifestyles
  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) not to everyone’s liking

Pros and Cons

  • Utilitarian with easy entry and exit and highly function cargo space
  • Comfortable ride quality with an upscale interior
  • Excellent all-weather and light off-road capability

  • Not always fast or inspirational for driving enthusiasts
  • Similarly-sized SUVs often have more cargo and passenger room
  • Fuel economy can be less than expected

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Trim Levels

Touring, Sport, Wilderness, Base, Limited, Premium

Trim Levels

Limited, Base, Onyx Edition XT, Onyx Edition, Touring XT, Touring, Premium, Wilderness, Limited XT

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

182 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque:

176 foot-lbs @ 4400 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.053 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

182 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque:

176 foot-lbs @ 4400 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.050 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Flat/Horizontally Opposed

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT Automatic)

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

26 / 33 / 29

Range (city/hwy):

432 / 548 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.5 liters

Engine Configuration:

Flat/Horizontally Opposed

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT Automatic)

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

26 / 32 / 28

Range (city/hwy):

481 / 592 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

N/A

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Available

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Standard

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

N/A

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

Available

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Available

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Standard

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

Available

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Available

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Available

360-Degree Camera:

N/A

Rear Seat Reminder:

Standard

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

N/A

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Available

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Available

360-Degree Camera:

N/A

Rear Seat Reminder:

Standard

Driver Attention Monitoring:

Available

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

41.2 inches

Front Leg Room:

43.3 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

58.1 inches

Rear Head Room:

39.6 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39.4 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

57.2 inches

Cargo Space:

28.9 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

74.2 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

140.5 cubic feet

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

40.1 inches

Front Leg Room:

42.8 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

58.1 inches

Rear Head Room:

39.1 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39.5 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

57.4 inches

Cargo Space:

32.6 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

75.6 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

141.6 cubic feet

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3454 lbs

Width:

80.9 inches

Height:

67.5 inches

Length:

182.7 inches

Wheelbase:

105.1 inches

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

3641 lbs

Width:

82 inches

Height:

66.4 inches

Length:

191.1 inches

Wheelbase:

108.1 inches

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

steel

Tire Size:

225/60R17

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

17.0 x 7.0 inches

Wheel Type:

alloy

Tire Size:

225/65R17