What Are the Key Differences Between the Subaru Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek?


The Subaru Outback, Crosstrek, and Forester are three of the company's top SUVs. In recent years, these crossovers have been the top-selling AWD vehicles in their classes. Although these SUVs share many of the same exciting features, they are different in several ways.

Explore the differences of each to discover the option that is best for you.

Subaru Crosstrek vs. Outback vs. Forester

The Outback tends to look more like a station wagon while the Forester offers that distinct SUV look. The Crosstrek is the only subcompact SUV with a versatile yet maneuverable design. When the three SUVs are side-by-side, the differences in exterior design are quite noticeable. Although the Outback is 9 inches longer than the Forester, the Forester is over 3 inches taller than the Outback.

All three SUVs offer 8.7 inches of ground clearance, allowing for driving in rugged conditions with confidence.

Forester models without a moonroof offer 74.7-cubic feet of cargo space with 108.3-cubic feet of passenger space, while Outback models without a moonroof offer 73.3-cubic feet of cargo space with 107.1-cubic feet of passenger space. When a moonroof is included, the Outback offers more space than the Forester. The Crosstrek provides ample cargo and passenger room for its class, with up to 55.3 of cargo space and 100.9 cubic feet of passenger volume.

As far as towing capability goes, the Outback outperforms the Forester. The Outback can tow up to 2,700 pounds while the Forester can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The Crosstrek can tow the same amount as the Forester with a maximum of 1,500 pounds of towing capacity.

Both the Forester and the Outback offer almost the same fuel efficiency. The Forester comes with a 2.5-liter engine and all-wheel drive for 26/32 MPG while the Outback offers up 25/32 MPG with the same features. The Crosstrek offers 33/27 MPG when equipped with similar features.

When it comes to safety, all three SUVs offer similar available driver-assist technology features such as adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, lane-departure assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross traffic alert. EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology comes standard for the Outback and Forester, but the Crosstrek has it available for all trim levels.

From 2007-2019, these features have helped the Forester, Crosstrek, and Outback to earn top safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you want to learn more about the differences between the Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, and Outback, explore more of the features offered for each model:

Contact us and schedule a test drive to learn more about each model.

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