In choosing between the new Subaru Outback and the Subaru Forester in Albuquerque NM what’s the better deal?

While not a deep philosophical question, it’s always troubling when you get down to the question of which is the better car to buy. You may have narrowed the choice down to two Subaru models that seemingly sit side-by-side next to each other. The Subaru Outback and Forester are two of the best sellers the company offers and are one reason the company has been so successful in the Rocky Mountain area. Both are similar in size, technology and even the engine they are powered by. A flat four 182-HP 2.5-liter engine powers both the base Outback and the Forester, while a more powerful 260-HP 2.4-liter version is available in the higher trim levels of the Outback. All models use the Lineartronic CVT and symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD) drivetrains that have proven so popular in climates with four seasons. The 2.5 engine in the Outback has been EPA rated at 26 city, 32 highway and 28 combined, while the 2025 Forester has not released any mileage figures. Either line offers more than acceptable safety and performance in both town and country.

The Small Differences in the Subaru Outback vs Subaru Forester in Albuquerque NM

But it’s in the smaller details that the answer may be, so let’s start with the styling and size differences. The Outback has a lower and more car-like shape than the Forester, together with a slightly longer and wider carrying capacity. Depending on whether you’re carrying sheets of plywood, valuable oil paintings or just lots of camping gear, you might find the Outback to be the best choice. But the Forester is about an inch taller, so if either the driver or passengers have trouble actually fitting in an SUV, the Forester may offer a significant advantage. The Outback reminds me more of a classic station wagon shape, although the styling is much more contemporary than what we might remember. And while the Forester still retains two box styling with a more upright seating position, its shape may actually offer a more comfortable seating position. Be sure to try it out.

Test driving the two Subarus also points out some other differences. The mid-sized Outback--with about nine inches more body length--offers a more controlled and relaxed ride. The higher trim level Outbacks (with a more powerful 2.4-liter turbo motor with 260 HP) can only enhance this feel at higher speeds. The Forester is a compact SUV and as such may feel more nimble in city driving, and the higher seating position may allow a better view for things like parallel parking. Both models will come equipped with Subaru’s latest Eyesight Driver Assist technology, which uses cameras to alert the driver of hazards, and offer a 360 degree view around each model. These safety systems come standard with both the Forester and the Outback, and include updated software, a wider field of vision and an electric brake booster to help prevent collisions with cars, bikes and even pedestrians that move into the path of the vehicle.

Price might come into question, with the base midsize Outback coming in about $2K more than the compact Forester. Of course, different option packages will change the comparison, but price may not be the biggest factor between the models. Numbers won’t tell the whole story as well, as things like taller passengers or families who carry mountain bikes around might find the compact (but taller) Forester shape better. For smaller (but more numerous) people and packaging, the 33 cubic feet of rear cargo area (albeit with the rear seats closed). The latest entertainment and technology packages will be included with both models, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and more available in the Outback as well as the Forester. It’s best to use this article as a general guide before taking some test drives in the new Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback in Albuquerque, NM.

Currently, Subaru will offer eight different trim levels for the 2024 Outback and four different trims of the 2025 Forester when it arrives in Spring 2024. Both models will be available in a wide palette of colors when they arrive in Albuquerque.  And while there’s no definitive date of what model, color or option package might be available until they arrive, look for both the Subaru Outback vs Subaru Forester in Albuquerque NM at the Fiesta Subaru dealership at 7100 Lomas Blvd. in Albuquerque NM on their website any time you wish!