Last post on Feb 12, 2010 at 6:41 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru XT, Toyota 4Runner, Wagon, SUV
#1 of 47 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner
Jan 30, 2006 (9:51 pm)
I am looking at getting a used 2005 Subaru Outback XT Limited or a 2005 Toyota 4Runner Limited. I spend most of my time in the burbs, but do get out to go skiing and camping/backpacking. I currently own a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
I can rationalize for either the Subie (better gas mileage) or the 4Runner (bigger cargo to hold my Irish Setter and Lab).
What are the pros and cons of each one?
#2 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [badburro]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Feb 01, 2006 (8:31 am)
Maybe changing the discussion title will help generate some interest in here. I like my Outback for trips to the local ski hill. I don't know if it's really roomy enough for a big Lab. When friends come to visit with their Lab, our minivan is barely big enough to tote him around.
#3 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [badburro]
Apr 02, 2006 (11:57 pm)
They're really in a different class. The 4Runner is a truck based SUV with a 2-spd transfer case capable of intense, low-speed off-roading. It's solid rear axle makes it give up some rear cargo room to car based SUVs like Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. If cargo space is a major consideration, Highlander or Pilot, while perhaps looking a little smaller than a 4Runner on the outside, have more cargo space. 4Runners are great, but it sounds like you may be considering it for less than ideal reasons.
#4 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [badburro]
Jun 29, 2006 (9:30 am)
This thread just appeared on my radar now, even though the question was asked a while ago.
The Outback's cargo bay is not that tall, so a lab may not be able to stand up.
The Forester's cargo area is actually taller, so check that out. I've carried two dogs, a lab and a lab/great dane mix, but that was with the rear seat folded, and both dogs sitting down. Danes are very tall, you might need a van if you want them to stand.
4Runner has a pretty high cargo floor, so make sure the dogs can jump up that high, and get in and out easily.
Jul 25, 2006 (7:10 pm)
is fairly athletic, and he has a bit of trouble sometimes with getting in and out of the rear hatch of my 4Runner. It is pretty high.
Unless you are an offroader, someone who tows, or the vehicle will spend half the time off the pavement getting beaten up a little at a time on dirt roads, I would go for the Outback. The 4Runner is overkill unless you meet one of those conditions.
Plus in the turbo Outback you get a little better fuel economy and way better handling (and it goes without saying, MUCH more power and speediness, especially noticeable on the highway) in the Outback. Oh yeah, and in the Outback, your passengers don't have to climb up into the vehicle (something not everyone is fond of, and some people have a very hard time with!).
Now of course you get a higher seating position in the Runner, which some people like, and a certain sense of rugged indestructibility, which it has earned over the years. And very good resale, if that matters.
Bottom line: unless you intend to do things in the Runner that the Outback is really not capable of at all (rock crawling, towing, mud-stomping, running crappy forest service roads 50 miles at a stretch), the Subaru will serve you better.
#6 of 47 Outback vs 4-Runner
Jul 26, 2006 (8:46 pm)
I've owned both cars. I have traveled with 2 medium sized labs in both and the outback was fine for space. If you don't need the truck aspects of the 4-runner, I think that the subaru is a better choice due to fuel economy, drive comfort and price.
#7 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [badburro]
Aug 08, 2006 (7:16 pm)
Wow, these were exactly the 2 vehicles I was considering. While some people seem puzzled as to how these 2 get the top spots when you consider my criteria it becomes more clear.
What I wanted was a vehicle that had decent 4 or AWD. At least 30 cu ft of cargo space, and a decent roof rack. While there are other vehicles that fit those requirements many of them had one issue or another. Volvo and Audi - too expensive. The other so called SUV crossovers I didn't really care for, and most of them had sub-par AWD. Outback and Pilot had decent AWD and of course 4Runner is the best you can get. I scratched the Pilot more due to looks. So I was left with the Outback and the 4Runner.
All things considered the OB was about 2k less when comparing the Limited package to a 4runner Sport. I also did extensive calculations on expected mileage and fuel cost per year. I figured I'd save about $300 - $400 /yr on fuel with the OB. Total 4 year savings about $4,000. That's what I thought anyway.
So this past February I sprung for a shiny new OB. I can't tell you how disappointed I've been. You see, everything about the OB is small. I did take it for a long test drive in the pouring rain. It handled quite well actually but I think the rain caused me to be less cognizant of other issues. First, I take a size 10.5 shoe. My left foot has no place to rest comfortably. The dead pedal on the left is only 2/3 the size of my shoe. My foot usually ends up twisting in some weird way. The odd thing is a friend of mine has a 2001 OB w/ MANUAL shift and there is plenty of room in that car for my left foot. Subaru took a step backwards on this.
Next up - trunk is not really that big. Cabin room is not very roomy. Sun glass compartment is smaller than glasses.
Now overall it's not really a bad vehicle and could be OK for some people. But the REAL kicker is - BAD gas mileage. Seriously - I'm only getting about 18mpg's - if that. If you read the sticker on the car closely you will see BIG numbers 22 - 28 city/hwy. But read the fine print next to it. It says 18 - 23 city, and 26 - 33 hwy. Now my tendancy has always been to drive on the fast side but I've cooled it down and I still barely get the lower side of those estimates. In my previous vehicle, a 2000 Maxima 6 cyl 222hp, I often drove fast and hard, and it would do it too, and I averaged around 20 - 22 mpgs. Better than my 4cyl OB gets even when I baby the thing. I had fun driving the Maxima I can tell you.
So if you have little feet, and don't carry a lot of cargo - go for the OB. But if want to have plenty of room and want real 4WD then I'd get the 4Runner - I wish I had. You will only benefit from the gas mileage if you drive for long highway trips. I did get 25 mpgs on one highway trip in the OB, but another only 21 mpg due to cargo and kayak wind resistance. From what I've read the 4Runner will get close enough to what I'm getting in the OB, and that's comparing a a 4cyl to a 6cyl.
#8 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [jeffer3]
Aug 09, 2006 (11:21 am)
Your mileage is well below the typical OB buyer's. Most average around 22-24 mpg with that powertrain.
Just know that YMMV, and it does.
#9 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [ateixeira]
Aug 09, 2006 (1:06 pm)
Which Engine do you have in the Outback?
#10 of 47 Why I decided on the OB over the 4runner
Aug 09, 2006 (2:37 pm)
Only 3 weeks ago I was on the same road that jeffer3. I pretty much had 3 options, after discharting leather and costly goods, prices approx.: OB 2.5i ($21.6K), OB XT ($27.5K), 4runner SR5 ($27K). As you see, the differences start at more than $5k. Then, that week, gas went over $3. Knowing from other family members that the 4Runner gives you less than 17 mpg, I realized I'm talking about maybe $600/year, on 4 years that's like $8,000 between price and gas. And the more costly options have higher insurance, maybe $300 more in the XT. Decided on the cheaper 2.5i.
In Minnesota I drive mixed, and I've got 23 mpg. Of course I miss the power of the XT, and the "indestructibility" of the 4R off road, but about 35% of cost is something I prefer. Anyway, my OB can take me to where the hiking starts, or to family cabin.