2010 Subaru Forester vs. 2010 Subaru Outback

Published: 16th June 2010
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Following the third generation Subaru Forester that came out in 2009 and won Motor Trend's Sport-Utility Vehicle ("SUV") of the year award, the new generation 2010 Subaru Outback debuted and again won the award for the current model year. Deciding which model to buy comes down to budget and needs but there are definite advantages to buying the Outback.

The models compete in separate segments of the new SUV market. While many people associate the Outback as a wagon, it has grown considerably over the years and the new model actually has a larger interior than mid-size SUV competitors such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Venza. The Outback is also nearly nine inches longer than the Forester.

The Forester competes in the compact SUV class against such competitors as the Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, and Toyota RAV-4. It comes standard with a 2.5 liter 170 horsepower four-cylinder boxer engine. It has seating for five passengers. The Forester offers several different trims include the.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Limited that comes with a turbocharged version of the base engine producing 224. It only costs $500 more than comparable base trim moels. However, fuel economy is about two miles per gallon less with the turbocharged engine.

The Outback also comes in base form with the 2.5 liter 170 horsepower 4-cylinder engine. However, instead of the turbo, the Outback offers a 3.6 liter V-6 which produces 256 horsepower. In base form, the V-6 costs $5,000 more than the 4 cylinder model. All Subaru models come standard with all-wheel drive.

While it is not readily apparent from the outside, the Outback offers more interior space than the Forester. While the Forester about two inches taller than the Outback and has a more upright appearance, the Outback is about two inches wider and nearly nine inches longer. This allows for more hip room for passengers.

For hauling loads, the Outback has 34.3-cubic-foot of rear cargo space and 71.3-cubic-feet with the rear seats folded. This compares to 33.5 and 68.3 for the Forester. Forester XT trims have about thee cubic feet less smaller cargo room than the other model trims.

In terms of price, a Forester 2.5x Limited has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $25,995 while the against the Outback 2.5i Limited comes in at $27,995, a $2,000 difference. These models have comparable features including power seats, leather, ABS brakes, Stability Control, and air conditioning. The Outback 3.6R Limited is priced at $30,995, $4,000 more than the comparably equipped four cylinder model.

The Outback features Subaru's new Lineatronic continuously variable transmission ("CVT"), which makes the vehicle more efficient than the Forester. The CVT is an option but is standard in the 2.5i Limited. The Forester retains Subaru's old four-speed automatic transmission.

In CVT form, the Outback is more fuel-efficient than the Forester. Outbacks with the CVT are rated at 22-mpg city, 29-mpg highway. The four-speed automatic Forester is rated 20-mpg city, and 26-mpg highway for the Forester, which is comparable to Outback's with the standard four-speed. For the Outback 3.6R, fuel economy is rated at 18-mpg city, and 25-mpg highway.

The 2010 Subaru Forester and 2010 Subaru Outback are both strong competitors in the compact and mid-size SUV classes, respectively. Get the latest new SUV news and more at http://www.newsuv.org.

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