Outback, silver, left....Forester, black, right
Outback has the longer wheelbase (the distance between the axles is four inches longer than the Forester). Lengthening the distance between the axles provides an even smoother ride because the vehicle platform covers more square area and therefore bumps are less noticeable. However, even with a wheelbase shorter than an Outback, Forester is much smoother than its competitors.
You're looking at the front axles, with the rear
axles lined up, out of sight. Outback, on left;
axles are farther apart.
is the same, at 8.7 inches, so both elude
obstacles that snag mortal vehicles.
Outback is almost two inches wider.
Outback is over eight inches longer.
Forester is two inches taller.
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Both have a "command driving position" allowing you to see over traffic in front of you. Forester and Outback were ranked #1 and #3 for best outward visibility among all vehicles! See the graphic.
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Dawg (and cargo) Space
See how Blue can stand up better in Forester because it's a little taller. He can lounge better in the Outback because it's longer. So you could say he prefers the waggin'.
35.5 cubic feet: seats up
34.4 cubic feet: seats up
Two adult bicycles fit easily inside the Outback, flat with the wheels on. They would fit in a Forester, too, but would require tilting the front wheels or removing them.
73.3 cubic feet:
74.7 cubic feet:
Power Tailgate Option
Optional on both Outback and Forester. Watch our instructional video here.
Total People Space
Outback is considerably larger inside.
108.1 cubic feet
103.3 cubic feet
About the same; both benefit from ingenious scooping of front seats so there's more room for knees.
Comparably equipped, Outback is about $1,700 more, which buys you a bigger and even more substantial-feeling vehicle.
Outback looks more like a
station wagon; Forester more like a sport utility vehicle. We have determined that there are Outback people and there are Forester people. Which one are you?
Forester can tow a small utility trailer but for a sailboat you'll need the Outback.
2700 pounds with
six preset gear ranges
(3,000 pounds with
optional six cylinder engine)
1500 pounds with
two preset gear ranges
Both have the six listed below:
To prevent "submarining," (sliding forward out of a safe position from under the seat belt) Forester offers a driver knee airbag. Outback gives both front seaters a cushion airbag in the flat part of the seats to hold you in place.
Eight total airbags
Outback uses two
cushion airbags for driver
and front passenger to
Seven total airbags
Forester uses knee airbag
for driver to prevent "submarining."
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest rating to both cars... "Top Safety Pick Plus."
Subaru Eyesight System
Subaru Eyesight includes pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, and much more. Both have Subaru's latest, third-generation system, which includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection.
Outback moonroof increased in size from previous generation, but only Forester offers an enormous panoramic moonroof big enough to eject unwelcome passengers.
Engines and Fuel Economy
Standard mills in both cars produce about 170 horsepower and displace 2.5 liters. Both run regular unleaded.
25 city, 32 highway
No manual offered
|Fuel Tank and Max Range||18.5 gallons, 591 miles||15.9 gallons, 508 miles|
Go-go motor option
Most folks find the standard engine sufficiently potent, but we can oblige your power hunger.
Optional 3.6 liter
six cylinder with high-torque
20 city, 27 highway
Optional 2.0 liter turbocharged
four cylinder with high-torque
23 city, 28 highway.
Of course we don't think a Subaru has any competition. But the nice folks who buy cars here say that they drove these vehicles before they bought a Planet Subaru. Click on any of the blue links for a dedicated comparison.
Rooftop Cargo Solutions
Except on Touring model, Outback offers standard roof rails (the bars that run front to back) AND integrated crossbars (the bars that run side to side).
Rails are standard on all Foresters except base model; crossbars optional on all Forester models.
Integrated crossbars are
posed partially open to
show how they work.
Optional crossbars (not shown)
are easily bolted on to the rails
Planet-exclusive high resolution photo galleries, videos, and much more...
Planet Outback center
Planet Forester Center
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