Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

2012 Subaru Forester vs. 2012 Subaru Outback: Which One Should I Buy?

subaru forester 2012
2012 Subaru Forester

When you need to get there in style and possibly by crossing a rocky creek or mountain path, the mid-size SUV/crossover is the vehicle of choice. These semi-large people-movers provide a lot of range and a lot of space, but without the super-high price tag of the larger SUVs. A good interim step between a large family sedan and a mid-size SUV or van, these vehicles are multi-purpose and can be a lot of fun to drive.

The Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback are very similar models, with the main difference being the few extra options that the Outback offers and a little bit of a different look. The Outback is slightly more expensive in the base model, but again – it’s nothing to make most consumers pause before taking an extra look.

subaru outback 2012
2012 Subaru Outback

Interior Options

Many people could be drawn to the heated front seats that come standard on the Outback as well as the heated seatback, and the slightly more generous rear seat bench split of 65/35 instead of 60/40 in the Forester, but these changes are small. Both vehicles offer cloth seats and a standard CD player, but the entertainment system in the Outback wins hands-down with the option for a 2nd row LCD screen and the installed DVD player to keep the kids quiet on long road trips.

Stay Safe and Secure

The Outback and the Forester could be the same vehicle if you’re looking strictly at the safety and security features: both come with curtain 1st and 2nd row airbags standard, ABS and driveline traction control, height adjustable seatbelts, halogen headlights, standard daytime running lights and standard rear child safety door locks – everything that you would expect in a higher-end vehicle.

Exterior Features

While many things are similar, when you compare the exterior options you will see where the Outback earns its extra dollars. The heated door mirrors, standard roof rack and rails make it a sportier option; the two vehicles both have 16” steel tires, mud flaps and fixed interval rear window wipers to keep the view clean.

Economical Driving

Both the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Outback provide reasonable fuel economy with 21 and 19 mpg respectively for city and the same 27 mpg highway driving. There is little difference in their ¼ mile time or speed and while the Outback has a slightly higher curb weight, the difference is minimal.

Either of these two options will provide a solid entry into the mid-size SUV class – with high-quality interiors, good safety features and basic entertainment options even in the base model.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

How Long Does a Fuel Filler Neck Last?
Getting gas from the pump to your gas tank is the only way to keep a car going. The fuel filler neck is a metal tube that is welded to the...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...


Related questions

Q: Considering buying one

These vehicles have about the same issues as any other. If the vehicle is all-wheel-drive, make sure any tire changes involve replacing all of the tires at the same time, as tires with different tread can throw off the AWD...

Q: I drove threw a flooded street and after that the car was sputtering and the AT OIl Temp light is flashing.now it's hard shifting

Having driven through deep water may have gotten the transmission temperature sensor wet and caused it to short out. The light flashing indicated a fault code may be stored in the engine or powertrain control module. The sputtering can be...

Q: Driver's side low beam light is dim, even after replacing the bulb.

Did you see any corrosion or a broken connector on the dimmer side? Corrosion can build up in the circuit and rod the bulb of voltage causing a dim light. A technician with access to a wiring diagram can trace...