Subaru

Planet Subaru

596 Washington Street
Directions Hanover, MA 02339

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Comparison of Forester and Outback


 


PLANET'S EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The HR-V slots right under the Honda CR-V in price and size, just as the Toyota C-HR takes up a little less space in your garage and budget than does the Toyota RAV4.  (If you've had your fill of the confusing alphanumeric soup that Honda and Toyota are using on their small sport utility vehicles, you can protest by buying a Crosstrek!)


Both HR-V and C-HR are considered "mini-utes."  They began life on small car platforms and then Honda and Toyota treated them to some rugged styling and high heels.  They are seeking sales in a market that is drifting away from traditional sedans toward versatilte crossover vehicles that have the economy of a car but the utility of a truck.   


Crosstrek comes standard with Subaru's legendary Symmetrical All Wheel Drive; Honda will offer HR-V in both front drive and all wheel drive. Comparably equipped, they cost almost the exact same, around $24,000 for the mid-level models compared here.  See Crosstrek pricing and models here.


Crosstrek offers smoother ride, less cabin noise, and more comfortable accommodations for front seaters.  Despite the six inches HR-V gives up to Crosstrek in length, the Honda offers a plenty of room in the rear seat and cargo area that you configure in a variety of different ways.  





Review
 



Crosstrek

 HR-V

All Wheel Drive System

Crosstrek was built from the ground up with all wheel drive; Honda started with a front driver and bolted some extra hardware later.  More sophisticated Subaru system responds more quickly to a loss of traction.











All wheel drive optional. 
Ride Quality
Crosstrek offers a cushier ride because it has more "travel" up and down over bumps.  "Travel" is just a fancy way of saying that there is more space for the suspension to compress, which results in a more compliant ride. 





 
There's more "dead cat
space" between the top of the
tire and the bottom of the
wheel well.  (That's the
technical industry term,
believe it or not.)

 

Don't worry, we really
love cats.








 





Key Dimensions



Ground clearance. 
HR-V does well considering its petite size, but almost 9" in Crosstrek can get you past snow and obstacles that would waylay a mortal vehicle.

7.1" (estimated)
7.3"
Length
HR-V is a dream for tight Boston parking decks, but Crosstrek's six extra inches offer much more comfort and utility.

171" (estimated)
169"
Width
Almost the same.

73" (estimated)
70"
Height
Almost the same.


59" (estimated)
63"
Cargo space, seats in place
Almost the same.
22 cubic feet (estimated)
24 cubic feet






Driver Assistive Technology

Both Toyota and Subaru offer suites of optional technologies to help you drive more safely, even including automatic braking if you're distracted.  These features are optional on the Crosstrek, but to get a full function system like Subaru's Eyesight, you'll need to choose the more expensive Honda CR-V.












 


 





















 


 



This system is available
on 2015 CR-V, but not HR-V.  However, on the HR-V you can tick the option box for "Lane Watch," which is a blind spot camera that shows a side view in the infotainment screen.



Standard Engine and Fuel Economy
Crosstrek is also available with
hybrid powertrain.  Honda offers HR-V Hybrid in Japan and we expect to see it stateside eventually, too.  Small HR-V gas tank is mounted under the front seats, adding valuable cargo space in the hatch area but limiting range.















1.2 liter turbocharged four cylinder
with
133 horsepower


1.8 liter hybrid four cylinder
with
120 horsepower



Fuel tank:  15.9 gallons








 
1.8 liter four cylinder
in-line engine with
138 horsepower


Continuously variable
auto transmission:

27 city, 32 highway


Fuel tank: 10.6 gallons




Outward Visibility
On the HR-V, notice how the side windows taper to a point where the door handle is integrated in the window frame, and how rear glass is quite narrow.  Crosstrek has glass where HR-V has steel and plastic.  Both offer standard back up cameras.







 



Subaru Competition
While you can't go wrong with a Honda or a Toyota, Subaru builds worthy competitors.  Plus, you'll really love doing business with Planet.









Search our inventory for your Crosstrek:

    

...Or look at our nice Honda and Toyota trades
 Used Honda
 Used Toyota
















Exclusive Planet Benefits: 





















  





 





If you're interested in learning the release date, availability, pricing, specs, or anything else about the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR, then Planet Subaru near Boston and Plymouth is your dealership!



Executive Summary


"What is the difference between the Forester and the Outback" is the most common question we hear at Planet. 

Outback is Subaru's number one seller, and Forester number two. 
Outback is a longer, more substantial vehicle--a "midsize crossover" where Forester is a "compact crossover."  Outback looks and feels more like a wagon, Forester looks and feels more like a small sport utility vehicle.  Comparably equipped, Outback is about $1,000 more.  Many shorter drivers like the Forester's high perch; other drivers prefer the Outback's smoother ride and European handling.  Despite a little more size and weight, Outback gets slightly better fuel economy. 

Both won "Top Safety Pick Plus" awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  Forester won Motor Trend's "Sport Utility of the Year" award in 2009 and 2014; Outback won in 2010 with the previous generation.  Forester and Outback offer the utility and all-weather prowess of a sport utility vehicle with the lower cost, higher fuel economy, better ride, and superior outward visibility of a car.  They boast many safety features, including full-time symmetrical all wheel drive (with no buttons to push).  They both come with a 3 year/36,000 mile comprehensive warranty and a 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Subaru will be revising Forester for 2017 model year...see a sneak peak.



 Details
Outback left..........Forester right
  


Ride Quality
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.













Ground clearance

is the same, at almost nine inches, so both vehicles elude obstacles that snag mortal vehicles.






 










O
utback is almost two inches wider.


 








O
utback is over eight inches longer.




 
 












Forester is two inches taller.


 

 



                   


 



Outback

Forester
Outward Visibility
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.







 



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:

seats down

74.7 cubic feet:
seats down





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

Rear Legroom

About the same; both benefit from ingenious scooping of front seats so there's more room for knees.







 
38.1 inches

38.0 inches


Price

Comparably equipped, Outback is about $1,000 more, which buys you a bigger and even more substantial-feeling vehicle.


 






Image Perception

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?

















 


 










 


Towing Capacity
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



Airbags
Both have the six listed below: 
  • Two front airbags (deploy from steering wheel and dashboard);
  • Two torso airbags (deploy from the edge of the front seats);
  • Two curtain airbags (deploy downward from the roof protecting all four outboard occupants)

PLUS:

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
prevent "submarining."

(#4 above)









 

Seven total airbags

 Forester uses knee airbag
for driver to prevent "submarining."
(#4 above)

Crash Tests

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. Outback gets Subaru's next generation upgrades including Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection.  Next generation Eyesight will appear on 2017 Forester.










 
Price:  $1,295


Next generation cameras
are smaller,
but see 40%
farther and wider
.



Forester System
Price: $795


Optional Moonroof

Outback moonroof increased in size from previous generation, but only Forester offers an enormous panoramic moonroof big enough to eject unwelcome passengers.










 

Regular Size

 
super Size









Engines and Fuel Economy
Standard mills in both cars produce about 170 horsepower and displace 2.5 liters.  Both run regular unleaded. 



















Continuously variable
automatic transmission:

25 city, 33 highway

No manual offered


175 horsepower






 

Continuously variable
automatic transmission:

 24 city, 32 highway

Six-speed manual:
22 city, 29 highway

170 horsepower






Fuel Tank and Max Range












18.5 gallons, 611 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
Lineartronic Continuously
Variable Transmission

    20 city, 27 highway









Optional 2.0 liter turbocharged
four cylinder with
high-torque
Lineartronic Continuously
Variable Transmission


23
city, 28 highway.


Typical Competitors
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

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
shown here
.



Exclusive Planet Videos








Outback Walkaround







Planet-exclusive high resolution Photo Galleries














Digital Brochures







New Inventory











Used Inventory



















Search
Pre-loved Outbacks










Search
Pre-loved Foresters

 















 






If you're in the communities of Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, Plymouth, or Somerville, Planet is your best bet to buy or lease your Subaru Forester or Subaru Outback.