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Subarus have a reputation of being great SUVs for families and outdoorsy-types. It can be hard to tell the difference between these two SUVs, other than their relatively apparent size. What is the difference between the Subaru Outback and Subaru Forester, and is it easy to make a decision between them?

A blue Subaru Outback Wilderness driving through woods with a luggage holder on top.
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness | Subaru

Is the 2022 Subaru Outback or 2022 Subaru Forester better?

The 2022 Subaru Outback and 2022 Subaru Forester are both excellent SUVs. According to Kelley Blue Book, the Forester offers “reassuring safety scores,” is “spacious for the class,” and comes loaded with features and equipment. However, there’s no hybrid Foreseter, and it comes with a CVT transmission. In addition, you probably won’t be using the Forester for towing, as it can only handle up to 1,500 pounds. Yet the 2022 Subaru Forester price is reasonable, and Kelley Blue Book has given it the 5-Year Cost to Own award for subcompact SUVs.

On the other hand, the 2022 Subaru Outback is practical, has excellent safety features, and also has a great resale value. Yet Kelley Blue Book says that it has a “clunky start-stop” and feels more like a station wagon than an SUV. Still, it’s a best-seller and the new Outback Wilderness adds some off-roading greatness.

Is the Outback or Forester bigger?

The 2022 Subaru Outback is bigger than the 2022 Subaru Forester. In fact, it’s nearly eight inches bigger than the Forester. The Outback is also one inch wider and five inches taller. The Subaru Outback also has more cubic storage space, at 75.7 feet to the Forester’s 70.9 feet.

The Subaru Outback also has more space in the backseat, so if you’re buying a new SUV for use with kids, you might be happier with the Outback. It’s also a better SUV for taller people, as there’s more headspace available.

Which is better off-road, the Forester or the Outback?


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Subaru just released the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness and the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness. Each of these SUVs is designed for an optimal off-road experience. So which one is better? The Outback Wilderness edges out the Forester Wilderness.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness has more ground clearance than the 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness. While the Outback has 9.5-inches of ground clearance, the Forester only has 9-inches. In addition, the Outback comes with an advanced X-Mode, which allows for the Outback to switch easily from low-speed to faster speeds without a disruption in performance. The Forester comes with X-Mode as well, but it’s just a standard X-Mode, and it isn’t even as good as the X-Mode in the Forester Sport.

It’s clear that the 2022 Subaru Outback is the better SUV. While the 2022 Subaru Forester is certainly a sound compact SUV, it doesn’t quite compete with its bigger sibling. The Outback even has a more powerful engine, which means if they raced (as siblings often do), the Outback would also outpace the Forester. It seems that in this family, the bigger sibling remains the stronger, faster, better one.