Last post on Sep 21, 2012 at 8:25 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, Sedan, Wagon
#225 of 1296 Counterpoint from a Forester owner
Jul 29, 2009 (12:42 pm)
I've always been a Forester fan, so I will step up to defend it.
Truth be known, on paper the Legacy/Outback often do better, we thought the same when we got our 2002 Legacy L. But...ownership experience wasn't nearly as rewarding as either of our Forester, 98 or 2009. Not even close. My wife may even say her Legacy was her least favorite car ever, while her new 2009 Forester is her favorite.
Some things are hard to quantify, but the Forester is just ... user-friendly. It has a tidier exterior size, you sit up a lot higher and can see everything and everybody, you feel like a King. The OB is higher than the Legacy but you're still not sitting on a King's Perch by a long shot.
The new 2009 Forester is very attractive, the 2010 Outback, to my eyes, is not. I could get over that, I'm sure, but the Forester's styling is easy to love. The Outback has a great personality.
Mind you it's not ugly, just not as attractive as the 05-09.
Forget the EPA cubic feet numbers, the Forester has a box-shaped cargo hold and the Outback does not. Sure the floor is a tad wider and longer, only a tad, but the rear glass impedes so badly that you'll need to fold the seats to fit a single large box. There's no reason the hatch glass shouldn't be a FOOT farther back, seriously. Great floor space, awful cargo height. So you can pack things in, but when you try to close the hatch - DOH! Gotra re-arrange the cargo again.
Good thing is has a cool roof rack with hidden cross bars. You'll use it often!
Where did the cool dual moonroof go? One small one? That's it? This is an $800 moonroof compared to the Forester's $2000 stadium-like retractable roof.
Night and day. $1200 value added, IMHO. The price is $2700 lower but factor in the moonroof and call it $4 grand.
The folding mirror doesn't matter until your wife drives into the 4x4 supporting our car port. On the 2002 Legacy it was a white paint stain, on the OB it would be 5 of our $100 Subaru Bucks certificates down the drain.
Gunma build quality > SIA in Indiana. Close, but true.
Forester has a useable eBrake. For steep inclines, playing in the snow, etc. I would miss it.
Angles of approach, departure, and break-over angles will be better on the Forester. Ground clearance is just the beginning. I'm sure the Outback's cladding will get caught up way, WAAAAAAY before the Forester's does. Park the OB and hike to where the Forester will take you.
My biggest gripe, though, is that in the higher price class where the Outback competes, it's lacking the soft-touch plastics that you might expect. It's a tiny bit better than the Forester, perhaps, but the Forester compares better with other vehicles in its price range.
Basically if I were willing to step up and pay $30 grand for a loaded Outback, as opposed to $25 grand for a loaded Forester, it's missing the things I would expect to get in that price range.
That's not quite fair - it's not $30 grand, but you get my point.
How much is a 2010 OB 2.5i Limited CVT? With a moonroof?
Jul 29, 2009 (12:54 pm)
OK so I looked it up.
2010 Forester X 2.5 Limited pseudo-convertible: $25,185
2010 Outback 2.5i Limited w/mini-Moonroof: $28,235
So I'm looking at spending over $3 grand extra and still giving up the most visible feature I love about the Forester - that huge moonroof.
I guess $28k is not a lot of money these days, I dunno. You could argue the extras it gets are worth it to some folks, but I'd still wait for the Forester to get the CVT and the best bits from the new Outback and get that instead, even if it takes until 2012 for the mid-cycle refresh.
#227 of 1296 Re: Counterpoint from a Forester owner [ateixeira]
Jul 29, 2009 (12:57 pm)
That's why they make so many different models...different folks are looking for different things. Off-roading, the Forester may win. But Rubicon doesn't interest me.
You must realize the new Outback is 3" higher than the old one. And contrary to your eye, I think it is far more attractive than the old one. But the biggest appeal to me is the better ride and handling of the Outback (over the Forester). If you don't mind a busy ride, then that isn't an issue for you. And mirrors are an easy and cheap repair (and rarely needed, sorry about yours) if you get creative with your body shop.
#228 of 1296 Re: Counterpoint from a Forester owner [gregg_vw]
Jul 29, 2009 (1:06 pm)
Of course, Greg, keep in mind mine was a counterpoint to all the Outback love pouring out here. Gotta keep people honest.
I'm not talking about the Rubicon, I just want to know that my bumper isn't going to scrape the curb when I park at the mall, or when I drive over that big speed bump. These are everyday places where the Forester shines.
The OB may be 3" taller but it still isn't up where the Forester is. People love SUVs for the high vantage point. I bet it's what they'll miss most if they move back to cars. Number one.
I don't find the Forester's ride is "busy", as you say, but I have always simply preferred small vehicles with shorter wheelbases. They turn in sooner and feel more nimble to me.
As for the mirror, aviboy might recall that I was a harsh critic of the previous-gen Mazda6 when it came out, because it lacked those also. To be fair, I think any shopper should at least be made aware of this. Honestly I think I've hit the mirror of every single car I've owned by mistake at least once. Probably twice on my 93 Miata.
You may not recall it happening simply because no damage is done when they break away!
I was the first to give kudos for the roomy passenger compartment and the ingenious cross bars built-in to the rack, search for my previous posts. But we can't just let them get away with cost-cutting and pretend we don't notice. They save 5 bucks, it costs us $500.
#229 of 1296 Re: Pricing [ateixeira]
Jul 29, 2009 (1:07 pm)
The Outback will always be nicer and more feature-contented than the Forester. It's simply higher up on the Subaru food chain. So, yeah, it's more expensive, but you get more for your money. I think Elliott from NASIOC did a good job listing the Outback upgrades—and he's coming from a Forester.
I know where you're coming from juice, but that huge moonroof is more a liability to me than a smaller one. On our Forester the moonroof way too noisy when open—so we never open it... I MUCH prefer the smaller moonroof on my WRX, as it's quiet and I get all the fresh air I need. Since we rarely use the rear seat, It doesn't matter to me if the rear passengers look up and see the roof and not the sky.
In 2012, when the Forester gets it refresh, I bet Subaru will find a way to keep the Outback a few steps ahead of it.
#230 of 1296 Re: Pricing [rsholland]
Jul 29, 2009 (1:10 pm)
Most buyers have kids. Especially people looking for a wagon.
#231 of 1296 Re: Pricing [ateixeira]
Jul 29, 2009 (1:14 pm)
And with that in mind, the Outback is roomier than the Forester, both in seating and in the cargo area. The seats are wider, and there's more legroom.
Here's a (long) video hosted by Dave Sullivan at the recent press event in Montana, and the specs are posted in there somewhere.
There are several other videos from this event, which occurred about a week ago.
#232 of 1296 Re: Pricing [rsholland]
Jul 29, 2009 (1:29 pm)
Bookmarked it for viewing tomorrow. Will definitely watch that when I get time, thanks.
In reponse to your post, though, I think the 09 Forester has more than enough space for our family of 4. If anything I would add length to the cargo area, not legroom, which is plentiful.
#233 of 1296 Re: Pricing [ateixeira]
Jul 29, 2009 (1:36 pm)
Keep in mind that your kids are small, so yeah, the rear seat room is fine. Once they become teenagers, maybe less so?
The point I'm making is, as good as the Forester is in terms of space, the Outback is simply larger.
#234 of 1296 Back-to-back drives: Forester, 3.6 and CVT OB
Jul 29, 2009 (2:24 pm)
Just got home from comparing ride comfort, handling and interior noise. There were two winners:
3.6l Outback Limited is a luxury ride in a class higher than any previous Subaru. However, handling was inferior to my present 3.0R VDC. Smoothness and silence equal that of premium marques. The seat was softer than previous Subarus.
Forester Limited had ride quality very slightly worse than my 3.0R but great visibility and handling. Sound control was ok. Seat comfort was ok, but seating position might take a while to get used to. Interior design seemed better than the OB
So the choice is between these two. The CVT sounded and felt like an old underpowered motorboat and handling, oddly, seemed inferior to the 3.6. All three of the new models have lighter steering and require less brake pedal pressure than my 3.0R.
So it is a choice between a more sporting drive with space efficiency and value or a luxury ride that seems to have lost any sporting pretense. And then there is the non-folding mirror problem on the OB.