Subaru Forester or Outback? Which is Better?

Subaru is known for its highly reliable SUVs including the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback. However, if you get to pick the better SUV, which one would it be?

The Forester and Outback are placed in different automotive categories. Hence, it is targeted at different customer demographics. In this post, we will discuss which among the two is better suited to your needs and preferences.

Subaru Forester and Outback Similarities

Both the Forester and the Outback use the same 2.5-Litre horizontally-opposed Boxer engine and have All-Wheel Drive features. Furthermore, the latest models of both SUVs have adapted Subaru’s newest Global Platform that gives them incredible crash absorption abilities and impressive handling.

Additionally, both SUVs are equipped with the award-winning Eyesight driver assistance system which aids the driver, using technologies such as anti-distraction system and Driver Focus. Furthermore, the two cars also offer their own version of X-Mode that helps it drive through different terrains such as uphill’s and downhills with ease.

In terms of ground clearance, both have it at 8.7 inches. Subaru also has a powertrain warranty of five years or 100,000 kilometres on both vehicles, while their comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty is at 3 years or 57,000 kilometres.

However, the Forester and the Outback have a lot of differences, especially in their specifications and value proposition. Hence, what might be appealing for one group of people may not be as alluring to another type of consumer.

Subaru Forester and Outback Differences

The Subaru Forester is a five-seater compact crossover SUV which is good for a small family. The Forester looks and feels like a genuine Sports Utility Vehicle, only smaller, thanks to its off-roading capabilities. Interestingly, the Forester is two inches taller than the Outback, which gives the former better outward visibility and headroom.

On the other side of the fence, the Subaru Outback has a 4-inch longer wheelbase and is wider by two-inches compared to the Forester. This allows it to have a bit of an edge in the passenger space department at 109 cubic feet compared to the Forester’s 107.8 cubic feet.

The Outback’s price is higher by $2,000 or more compared to the Forester. The added cost is a bit justified given that the Outback has one more airbag and better towing power at 3,500 lbs versus the Foresters 1,500 lbs.

What are the Pros and Cons of a Subaru Forester?

To give you a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of the Subaru Forester, here is a list of its pros and cons.

Subaru Forester Pros and Cons


  • Good fuel economy
  • Comfortable ride quality and excellent handling
  • Numerous safety features
  • Comes with an All-Wheel Drive as standard
  • Large panoramic moonroof


  • Underpowered engine
  • Weak towing power at just 1,500 lbs

Compare this to the strengths and weaknesses of the Subaru Outback.


  • A large fuel tank of 18.5 gallons that goes for 610-mile range
  • Impressive towing power of 3,500 lbs
  • Longer wheelbase resulting in larger legroom
  • Slightly larger cargo space


  • Fewer exterior updates than the Forester
  • Louder cabin noise


Overall, both the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback edges out one another in different departments. Whether you pick the Forester or Outback, you are getting a good deal given that both are strong contenders in their categories.