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Subaru Forester vs. Subaru Outback

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Subaru Forester

2016 Subaru Forester
$645
Annual Repair Cost
on average

Subaru Outback

2016 Subaru Outback
$657
Annual Repair Cost
on average

Overall Reliability Rating

Above Average

The Subaru Forester Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 20th out of 26 for compact SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $645 which means it has average ownership costs. The frequency and severity of repairs are both fairly average when compared with all other vehicles.

Above Average

The Subaru Outback Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 17th out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $657 which means it has average ownership costs. The severity of repairs is low while frequency of those issues is average, so major issues are uncommon for the Outback.

Reliability Rating Breakdown

Cost
Average annual repairs total
$645
inexpensive
very expensive
$657
inexpensive
very expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.5
not often
way too often
0.5
not often
way too often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
10%
minor issues
major issues
9%
minor issues
major issues

Overall Car Ratings & Details

(26 Reviews)
(25 Reviews)
Rating Details
5 star
(3)
4 star
(20)
3 star
(3)
2 star
(0)
1 star
(0)

The Subaru Forester ranks highest in drive train and ranks lowest in body.

Read more detailed reviews here.

“Extremely practical, very roomy. Good at everything, bad at nothing. A/C could blow colder, and ride is a bit harsh, but I love this vehicle. The AWD is excellent. Superb gas milage. 30000 miles wi...”

Rating Details
5 star
(1)
4 star
(11)
3 star
(10)
2 star
(1)
1 star
(1)

The Subaru Outback ranks highest in suspension and ranks lowest in engine.

Read more detailed reviews here.

“I have a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 with 32,000 miles that I bought used in 2012. Four years later I now have less than 52,000 miles on it. After going to the shop 4 times for chugging on accelerati...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback have a lot of similarities, as you’d expect of two cars from the same manufacturer. The Forester is a compact, two-row SUV, and the Outback is a midsize, two-row, wagon-based SUV. Both of these vehicles come with all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

The primary differences between the Forester and the Outback come down to their platforms. The Forester is built on a shorter wheelbase and sits the occupants more upright. The Outback is built on a longer wheelbase and sits the occupants lower within the vehicle. This makes the Forester taller and less long, while the Outback is longer, with a lower roofline. 

Despite the variations in dimensions, the Forester and the Outback have nearly the same amount of cargo space when you fold down the rear seats. The Forester has 74.7 cubic feet, while the Outback offers 73.3. 

Both of these vehicles offer state-of-the-art driver assistance features, optional engines with higher power ratings, and several trim levels with increasing amounts of comfort and luxury. Choosing between them comes down to the details you prefer. Drive them both and see which one you like better.


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