Compare the 2020 Subaru Outback And 2020 Subaru Forester

They may seem like completely identical models, only one is a bit smaller, but the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback aren't twins. These Subaru siblings have a lot in common, but they have their differences, too. Here are some points to consider if you are trying to pick between the pair for your expeditions around the Jackson, Ann Arbor, Brighton, and Adrian areas.


  • Both vehicles offer symmetrical all-wheel drive standard, so you can drive with confidence on the back roads and through rough weather conditions.
  • Daytime Running Lights offers visibility so others can be aware of your presence, and both Subaru models offer this as a standard feature. The Outback and the Forester also offer LED Steering Responsive Headlights that curve with the road ahead of you.
  • The Outback and Forester are reliable vehicles that provide safety, plus great fuel economy with both options providing 33 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg while driving in the city.
  • Each comes standard a 2.5-liter H4 engine that delivers 182 horsepower and a maximum of 176 pound-feet of torque.



  • Passenger volume with the Forester comes in at 111.9 cubic feet versus the Outback's 109 cubic feet.
  • Cargo space for these two are also close, with the Forester offering 35.4 cubic feet and the Outback giving 32.5 cubic feet. Folding the back seats down increases the Forester's storage space to 76.1 and the Outback's storage to 75.7 cubic feet.
  • Drivers who love their infotainment systems will enjoy the STARLINK® Multimedia setup. Both models offer Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration standard, but the Outback provides larger screen options with a standard 7.0-inch and available 11.6-inch screen. The Forester is standard with a 6.5-inch screen and offers an 8.0-inch screen in higher trim models.

Exterior & Engines

  • From first glance, you notice the Outback appears bigger than the Forester and offers a broader backside.
  • For towing, you can expect to bring along a small boat or trailer with the Outback, which offers 2,700 pounds of towing capacity. The Forester is rated at 1,500 pounds, which could mean a popup camper or trailer.
  • If you're looking to take your adventures off-road, the Subaru Outback comes standard with X-MODE®, which allows you to take on mud, snow, and gravel with ease. The Forester also offers these features, but it's not standard for the lineup.
  • There are more trim options with the Outback, making it easier to upgrade your experience with premium features.
  • Engine options for these models are similar, but performance is slightly different. The Outback offers 182 horsepower on the base engine and 256 horsepower on the Onyx Edition trim options. The Forester features 182 horsepower standard for its lineup.

Overall, the choice is yours as to which of these models is the best fit for you and we hope we've helped you decide one way or the other. If you are still uncertain, a test drive may be the best tie breaker, but it also is important to remember what type of adventure you want to experience in these models. Since both offer all-wheel drive, the option to take your drive to unexpected places is there, so you, your family, your pack of dogs, and your friends could feel comfortable stretching out for the long haul.

The Outback is a great choice if you are searching for a versatile mid-size model that affords the space you desire, but if you want a lower starting price and slightly more passenger volume, the Forester is your best bet. Contact us today for a test drive and discover what each model can offer you.

The Forester & Outback - What's the Difference?

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  1. Subaru of Ann Arbor

    3771 Jackson Rd
    Ann Arbor, MI 48103

    • Sales: 734-662-3444
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