While a vehicle may look promising on paper in terms of power and technology, you might still encounter problems while driving. That powerful engine might be too loud, or you might discover that the driver’s seat becomes uncomfortable during long trips. Thankfully, trusted automakers like Subaru pay attention to these little details.
According to Consumer Reports, both the Subaru Forester and Outback SUVs have the best visibility. A useful collection of safety tech is important, but so is actually being able to see the road. These two Subaru SUVs offer the best of both, making them excellent values.
The visibility factor
Thick roof pillars, small side windows, and narrow back windows can all hinder a driver’s visibility. Blind-spot monitors and parking sensors can make the situation better, but few models come with both of these features standard. Additionally, if the driver’s seat is too low to the ground, outward visibility can be limited for smaller drivers.
Consumer Reports says that the Subaru Forester has the best visibility by far compared to other SUVs. It has large windshield panels, thin roof pillars, and lower side mirrors for a better view of pedestrians. The Subaru Outback also has thin roof pillars, plus an elevated driver’s seat for the best visibility.
What Consumer Reports loved about the Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester comes standard with a capable 182-hp four-cylinder engine and standard AWD. It can be noisy when trying to accelerate, and it’s definitely not as agile as other cars in its class. Still, CR appreciated the Forester’s responsive handling and cushy suspension.
A unique feature called X-Mode gives drivers better traction over rugged terrain, perfect for some light off-roading. Testers were also impressed with the Subaru Forester’s efficiency. Even with AWD equipped, it gets a respectable 26/33 mpg city/highway.
The Subaru Forester’s cabin is also fairly upscale, clad in a distinguished monotone black, and plenty of soft-touch surfaces. Both rows provide plenty of room for taller riders, and the cargo area is pretty spacious as well. The standard cloth seats are decently comfortable, but higher trims come with leather upholstery and more adjustability options.
In addition to excellent visibility, the Subaru Forester has a lot of extra equipment to keep drivers safe on the road. It has standard automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, and a rear-seat reminder. The semi-autonomous technology includes adaptive cruise control and an alert for when cars in front of you begin moving.
The Subaru Outback is also a CR favorite
The Subaru Outback has the same standard engine as the Forester, but CR was more impressed with the optional turbo-four. Only available for the Outback XT, this motor makes 260 hp and comes paired with a CVT. It’s more agile and quieter compared to the standard motor but gets slightly lower gas mileage.
Even with the stronger engine, it still doesn’t feel as sporty as other SUVs. However, the Outback handles corners well despite its longer dimensions, and it excels at quick evasive maneuvers. Like its Forester sibling, the Outback also comes with X-Mode.
The interior is roomy and upscale, though CR felt that some components felt too cheap and flimsy. Because it’s a wagon, the Outback also offers generous passenger and cargo space. Almost 76 cubic feet of total storage space is available, plus roof racks and a hidden underfloor compartment.
The Subaru Outback has all the Forester’s safety tech, plus steering-activated LED headlights. However, CR reported that these features can be hard to manage with sluggish touchscreen responses. Despite this, the Subaru Outback is just as safe as the Subaru Forester and offers the same great visibility.