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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Buy Forester or Outback ??

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Esteban_*

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 04:25 PM

I am considering buying a used Forester or Outback. 1997-2001 model.[automatic] It MUST be able to tow #1500 for 50 mile trips on level ground.[ Florida] Which is best overall in quality,towing reliability, price, etc. Any SERIOUS problems with either.

#2 Guest_86 subaru_*

Guest_86 subaru_*
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Posted 17 June 2003 - 05:44 PM

we have a 2000 outback wagon , the head gasket blew at 36,000 mi but all under warranty , so you might want to make sure the wagon you are looking at had it replaced , our next one will be a forester

#3 Guest_scoobtech_*

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 05:58 PM

My personal preference is Legacy . Bigger , better looks , & assembled in the USA . :cool:

#4 Guest_gbhrps_*

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 07:40 PM

I have no Forester experience, but I tow an 18 foot fibreglass boat with a heavy I/O motor and trailer with my 97 OB and my new 02 OB. Both were automatics and had no problems at all. I used the Subaru factory hitch and when towing I certainly knew the boat was behind me. Since I live in verrrry flaaaaat Southern Ontario, Canada, and only tow the boat 20 miles one way to put it into the water at the beginning of the season, and once again at season's end, I didn't install a tranny cooler or auxillary brakes on the trailer and I locked the tranny into third gear when towing, No problems, but if I were to tow this much weight more often and longer distances I would certainly add the brakes and tranny cooler. Since the Forester and the OB share the same drivetrain, I wouldn't expect that you'll find either one any different when towing.

#5 Guest_rtp373_*

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 07:51 PM

I'd go with the OBW only because the pre-2003 Foresters just don't suit my tastes. I LOVE the new ones.

HOWEVER, if you're not discouraged by the looks of the old styles, you do have larger windows, and a tighter turning radius (as compared to an outback), both of which I'd think would aid in backing up the trailer. Like gbhrps says in the previous line, they're identical under the hood.

Also up my way, I'm seeing a lot of 1999-2002 Foresters getting traded in for a new ones, so you may get a better deal with buying a Forester.

Back seat is a little tighter legspace-wise.

And trust me, go with an automatic. My standard is a little tricky with my utility trailer.

#6 Guest_wrxsubaru_*

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Posted 17 June 2003 - 10:36 PM

the cars to sare the same drive train, but the forester has to weigh a couple hundred pounds less than the out back so the trannie should be able to tow a liitle more, with out breaking.

#7 Guest_brattysvx_*

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 09:30 AM

Either would me more than fine for your towing needs. You definately don't need a freaking death trap truck or SUV for hauling a 1500lb trailer for such distances. If you get an automatic I'd highly recommend a tranny cooler esp if you're gonna be towing more than 5 or so times a year. Shouldn't cost more than $100 or so installed.

I tow my Sailboat (800ish lbs) with my 73hp 86 Brat maybe 20 times a year for 50 miles 1 way over the hills of PA and on interstates. It has not had a single issue and cruises just fine between 55-65 on the highways. Long hills tend to slow it down a bit but its still faster than most tractor trailers. Prior to the Brat I had a 1.8l Impreza that did the job even better!

Get whatever fits your needs and personality better. Either is a fine choice.

#8 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 03:23 PM

avoid the pathfinder. underhood looks like the designers forgot neatness and barfed cables everywhere. awful to work on. takes 2 extensions and a u-joint to change the plugs. I towed a 1800 lb camper with it, and the suspension was so soft (coil springs) that the ride for those in the rear were MISERABLE (it was rated for 5,000 lbs, but I don't see it...).

oem AM/FM CD head was built by FORD, oem amp by clarion. amp was fine....head unit was "tinny."

Have fun reaching the oil filter...

drove well empty, and the AT was, IMO nicely built and tweaked.

oh well.

Considering the OB has some more length to it, and longer wheelbase (?), it will be a more stable tow vehicle than a forester. If you're pushing it on the weight, 4 wheel discs


#9 Guest_Esteban_*

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 07:06 PM

I presently have a Blazer with which I towed larger boats for years. I am scaling back to a lighter, smaller boat, & wondered about these two choices. I have had great service with a Justy,[ don't laugh, 230,00 miles], I am looking at Subes. Saw one today, a 98 Legacy Brighton wagon, with the 2.2, auto. What is their towing capacity & will one do the job?I will have the trans cooler added.

#10 Guest_meep424_*

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 07:16 PM

Brighton is rated to 2000 lbs, if I recall. 2.2 is solid, but will be anemic with a trailer. AT 1st gear pulling power should be looked at for climbing a ramp w/ loaded trailer. Not sure how it would do.

I'd definently do a drum-disc swap on the rear, especially if no trailer brakes. Not that I had problems in our 2.2 brighton 5spd, but I think I'd want the extra umph of discs with a grippier pad, like a semi-metallic.


#11 Guest_LegacyOutback98_*

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:25 PM

My 98 Legacy Outback (automatic) towed a 1500-lb trailer from NH to KS last summer -- no sweat. And it's been pulling my boat trailer (~1000 lb) everywhere and often all its life. So ... you know my recommendation.

#12 Guest_Esteban_*

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 03:21 PM

That is pretty convincing news on the 98 OB. I just looked at a nice one for sale. It was at a dealer but the price seemed good.
1998 OB, white w. silver bottom.Very clean, 2.5 auto, 61,000 miles, all power, new Michelins, roof rack. $ 11,997.
Is that a good price in your area? This one is in Fl.

#13 Guest_Martinjmpr_*

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 03:46 PM


6 years and 61k is <strong>just</strong> out of warranty, so if I were you I'd have the head gasket checked. Price seems a little on the high side for a 6-year old car, but I think it's within the acceptable range, and the new tires are a nice bonus.

Does it have any "goodies" like CD changer, heated seats, etc? Of course, I'm guessing that heated seats aren't much of a requirement in Florida, right? :P


#14 Guest_Esteban_*

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 07:25 PM

I don't know if it had heated seats. Rarely need those here.It had a single disc player, though. After checking around, I found the price to be a little high for this area. They did offer 90 day ,50/50 warranty.Will continue to look for either model. Thanks

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