2018 Subaru Outback vs 2018 Subaru Forester Comparison

2018 Subaru Outback
2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Outback

2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Outback vs 2018 Subaru Forester

Serving Columbus, OH

Outback and Forester are Subaru’s two top sellers. The Forester is a small SUV, whereas the Outback is a heavier, larger wagon. The Outback costs about $2,000 more than a comparably equipped Forester, but both share the same base engine – a 2.5-liter boxer-4 -- and a continuously variable transmission. Both are AWD and offer X-Mode low-speed traction control. They both feature the same 3-yr/36,000-mile basic warranty and 5-yr/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Another similarity: both have earned a 5-Star Overall Crash Test Rating, and they each offer the EyeSight suite of active safety features.


The Forester offers generous ground clearance and a high vantage point for the driver. The vehicle’s wheelbase is 4.2 inches shorter than the Outback’s, and is 8.1 inches shorter in overall length. But the Forester cabin features more front/rear headroom, front legroom, passenger volume and cargo capacity. Only the Forester comes with a driver knee airbag. The 2.5-liter boxer-4 outputs 170 horsepower, 5 less than the Outback’s, but both models deliver 174 lb-ft of torque. While they both offer a CVT, only Forester also offers a 6-speed manual transmission. The optional Forester engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-4 with 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.


The longer, wider Outback is about 200 pounds heavier than the Forester. It offers more shoulder room front and rear, and more rear legroom. In addition to the base boxer-4 engine, Outback offers a 3.5-liter flat-6 with 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. The Outback is rated for a 2,700-pound towing capacity vs 1,500 pounds for the Forester. Outback is available in four trim levels (the Forester has six). The optional power liftgate allows you to program its maximum height. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on the Outlook but not the Forester.

Are you undecided? We invite you to visit our Subaru dealership and test-drive both models. The nice thing is that both models are winners, so you can’t go wrong whichever one you choose. One thing is certain – our excellent customer service makes your satisfaction our top priority, so come by today!

* EPA-estimated fuel economy. Actual mileage may vary..

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