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Subaru Outback vs. Subaru Forester

Subaru Outback vs. Subaru Forester

The Subaru Outback and the Subaru Forester are so similar that you might have a hard time distinguishing them if you saw them next to each other on the road. These popular SUVs share a similar design, as well as many features. Either of them would make a great choice for your next vehicle, as they both offer impressive handling and reliable performance, advanced safety and convenience features, and beautiful styling.

Despite their many great, shared qualities, the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback do diverge in small ways that can make a big difference to some buyers. The friendly and knowledgeable associates at Tim’s Truck Capital are ready to help you explore the finer points of both models to ensure that you are making the right choice for your particular needs. Visit us today to explore selection and learn more. Here are some of the differences you’ll find when you review these models in person:


Any time you are comparing previously owned models, it is important to remember that there can be great variation between them, depending on what year it is. Even if you are looking at two of the same models from different years, there can be great variation.

Generally speaking, the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback are going to deliver the same performance because they are going to have the exact same base model engine each year. However, the Outback is usually going to deliver more power overall because it is typically offered with more engine options. The Outback usually comes with a turbocharged engine option that will help you tow heavier loads and will give you more oomph over rough terrain. When shopping for previously owned models, you’ll need to look for an Outback that was previously configured with the turbocharged engine. You will not be able to add it on later.

Both the Forester and the Outback also come with automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive, making driving easy and giving you surer footing on rough roads and paths.

Interior and Cargo Space

In most model years, the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback have been within inches of each other when it comes to length and width. That means that the interior has been similarly sized, and both models have offered ample space for all five passengers to ride comfortably.

However, where the two converge is often in the cargo space. The Outback puts those extra inches to work in the rear, giving you more room for luggage, groceries, and gear. The difference isn’t dramatic, but it’s enough to come in handy when you know that you’ll be carrying around more gear, either because you have kids or because you like to take weekend trips.

Convenience Features and Technology

Both Subaru SUVs come with some great features that make driving fun. The newer the model you are evaluating, the more features you are likely to find. However, Subaru has been at the forefront of technology for quite some time, so you are going to find some great features even in much older models.

The Outback tends to edge out the Forester with features in most model years, including things like a larger touchscreen display for the infotainment system and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Newer models on both come with great standard features like satellite radio, USB ports for charging and streaming devices, automatic climate control, and more.

Of course, when you are looking at a higher trim level of any given model, you will find even more features, such as a wifi hotspot, built-in navigation, and a premium audio system.

Exterior and Interior Features

The exterior of the Subaru Forester looks markedly similar to the exterior of the Subaru Outback in most model years. Sometimes, one gets a refresh before the other, and then you’ll see some more noticeable differences. Over time, both models have taken on a sleeker and more refined look, departing from their rugged roots.

Inside, you’ll see the same evolution over time, with more refined style and higher quality materials. Overall, the Outback tends to add features before you’ll see them on the Forester, such as ventilated front seats and a moonroof. But the base models tend to have the same features inside and out, with little variation.

Safety Features

Both the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback are designed for rough and uncertain terrain. They have features like reinforced suspension, traction control, all-wheel drive, and more that give you more control even on rough roads to keep you safe.

In addition to these standard performance features, the Forester and the Outback both have additional safety features, such as a comprehensive suite of airbags, a backup camera, and automatic emergency braking. They also have more advanced safety features, such as front-collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and a rear seat warning/reminder signal.

Both the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback have received top marks from the National HIghway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety year after year. You can feel confident knowing that when you drive one of these SUVs, you are driving a safe vehicle.

Choosing between the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback

While there are some differences between the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback, they are minor. Most buyers would be happy with either SUV. The choice comes down to a matter of personal preference and unique needs. The only way to know which vehicle is right for you is to review them in person and take a test drive. Fortunately, Tim’s Truck Capital carries a large selection of previously owned Subarus, including the Forester and Outback. Visit us today to explore our selection and start learning what the Forester and the Outback each have to offer.

Our finance specialists are ready to help you find the perfect terms for your budget after you find the right model. We’re ready to support you through the entire stage of the buying process, from selection to financing to after-market maintenance. Visit us today.

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