• Comparisons

2018 Subaru Forester vs 2018 Subaru Outback

By Autolist Staff | September 7, 2018

2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Outback

Automotive Website Analyzed


96%

The Best

You should buy it

96%

The Best

You should buy it

Our User's Take

What owners think


-%

Would Buy Again

- Ratings

-%

Would Buy Again

1 Ratings

What’s better about the Outback?

Refinement & features. Though they’re from the same brand, the Outback is noticeably more comfortable, quiet and refined than the Forester, which can feel cheap and tinny at times. While the Outback does cost more, this is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for.” The Outback also comes with better features and amenities.

Towing. Though neither of these Subaru models has a particularly high towing capacity, the Outback handily beats its Forester sibling. The Outback wagon is rated to tow up to 2,700 pounds, a significant advantage over the Forester’s 1,500-pound capability. Even better about the Outback’s tow rating? That’s on the base four-cylinder model -- you don’t even need to upgrade to the more expensive six-cylinder version since its rating is the same.


What’s better about the Forester?

It costs less. Depending on trim levels, the 2018 Forester was about $2,100 - $2,500 cheaper than the 2018 Outback. This means you could get a well-equipped Forester for the same money as a more entry-level Outback.

Smaller footprint. Despite having nearly the same amount of interior space and cargo room, the Forester measures about eight inches shorter than the Outback. This makes it easier to park and maneuver, without giving up any of its practicality.


Autolist’s take:

Critics loved the Forester and the Outback in equal measure (both scored a 96 in Autolist’s ReportCard), praising each for their safety measures, hearty all-wheel-drive systems and their practicality. While the Forester wins extra praise for being less expensive and better at packaging its space within a smaller footprint, it definitely feels cheaper, less refined and offers fewer amenities than the Outback. For that reason, we say Buy the Outback.

Cost of Ownership

2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Outback

Annual Fuel Costs

N/A
15k miles at $2.237/gal
$1,198
15k miles at $2.237/gal
Fuel Economy

N/A
City
25 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
N/A
Highway
32 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Outback

NHTSA Crash Test Results

5 stars
Overall
5 stars
Overall
Safety Features

Available
Autonomous Braking
Available
Autonomous Braking
Available
Blind-Spot Warnings
Available
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Available
Lane-Keep Assist
Available
Lane-Keep Assist
Available
Cross-Traffic Alert
Available
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Outback

Interior Features

-
Leather
-
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Available
Moonroof
Available
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

-
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
-
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
-
Navigation System
Available
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Outback

Powertrain

CVT
Transmission
6-Speed Shiftable CVT
Transmission
AWD
Drivetrain
AWD
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

170 HP @ 5800 RPM
Horsepower
175 HP @ 5800 RPM
Horsepower
174lb-ft @ 4100 RPM
Torque
174lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
Torque
H4
Cylinders
H4
Cylinders