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So I'm looking to get a subaru in the next year or so. 

 

My considerations:

 

I'm really petite (less than 5 feet).

 

I'm looking at either a Forrester or an Outback.

 

Best vehicle for:

Dogs - I do dog sports and space for crates and hauling things is a must.

Snow - fiance and I are going to be relocating to a place with pretty significant snowfall.

 

So between the Forrester and the Outback which are the best bet for the tiny active girl with dogs?

 

Thanks!

 

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Forester provides more room in the cargo area then The outback. My forester has a drivers seat that can be adjusted to go up and down, Ideal for shorter people.

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extria,

 

I've owned 4 OutBack LTD's since 1997, a 1997, a 2004, a 2007, and my present 2012.

I obviously voted for the OutBack instead of the Forester. Note that while I'm 6 foot 2, my Bride is only 5 foot 2, and she enjoys driving the Subie, especially in winter, when her Lexus stays in the garage.

 

Don't take anyone's opinion on which model to buy. They are both terrific for what you are considering. Both have exactly the same engine and transmission, the Forester is slightly smaller and thus easier to park and get into tight places, while the Outback has more interior and rear passenger room and can carry slightly more cargo.

 

Take my advice:   go to a Subaru dealership and test drive each vehicle with the same equipment on it that would work for you. Do at least an hour's drive with each, taking time to park them somewhere where you can fold down the rear seats and check them out for dog use, and passengers. Try parking each of them, adjusting the seats up and the steering to your liking, etc.

 

Make your own informed decision afterwards. And yes, the Forester will be cheaper to buy, about the same to maintain parts and service wise, and maybe , just maybe a little less expensive at the gas pum,p since its slightly smaller and weighs less.

 

You really can't go wrong with either car. We look forward to having you join the Subie family. Good Luck!

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I second gb's comments, but as a short woman myself, and having had both models, I can tell you that the Forester does offer one more advantage over the Outback:  it has better visibility for a short driver. 

 

Emily

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The two cars also offer different steering and suspension feels, if that's something important to you at all.

 

Good luck finding your ideal Soobie!

Both are going to be fantastic in the snow by the way :)

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So I went to Subaru yesterday morning. I can't say enough good things about the dealership - I was upfront that I was pre-shopping and wanted to get an idea. Was also comparing the Jeep Patriot which was my next stop after this (Fiance is a 'buy American'/Jeep fan type).

 

I looked at the Outback and Forester. Crossed the Outback off my list because Forester offered better height for dog crates.

 

Test drove the Forester.

 

Fell in love. 

 

Like hell if I had the finances right now I would have bought it right then and there. It just 'fit' and - I had excellent height and great visibility, fantastic tight turning radius and handling, nice pick up and go. Great room for the doggies. It was fantastic. 

 

Went to Jeep afterward.

 

Test drove the Patriot.

 

I have never had such a visceral reaction of HATE toward a vehicle before. I sat in and had to force myself to drive it off the lot. The interior was awful - felt super cheap and plastic. Handling was icky - felt like I was turning a boat and I was not comfortable in the vehicle at all. 

 

Drove it back.

 

They convinced me to take out a Cherokee.

 

I did it to get the bad taste out of my mouth. 

 

Which was one heck of an improvement over Patriot but still no comparison to the Forester.

 

Kind of sad because I have Jeeps in my family - aunt has a fantastic Liberty that my uncle steals during the winter to go to SD on hunting trips with their lab. 

 

They don't make the Liberty anymore.

 

Cherokee wasn't a good substitute for the Liberty.

 

And I still cannot get over how much I HATED the Patriot. And if you had asked me honestly the Patriot was the car I was really set on over the Forester.

 

So I'm getting a Forester.

 

Just need to get finances and everything in order for it!

 

At this point my current car would probably be a straight trade since I probably owe as much as it's worth as I've only had it a year. Argh. 

 

I'm a convert now.

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I am an OLD jeep fan myself, own a 94 grand Cherokee, It is a great vehicle with over 220k on the 5.2 engine. You couldn't pay me to take a new jeep. junk from the ground up. 

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Congrats!

 

Soobies are the best :)

 

Which Chicago area dealership did you end up going to? (I'm originally from there too  :D )

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extria,

 

Forget about JD Powers reports on initial quality when buying a car. What you need to look at is Consumer Reports of reliability several years down the road. Guess which make is at the VERY bottom of the list and has been for years? ..... Jeep. And right behind them is Chyrsler.

 

Every year the makes and models shuffle up and down a bit, but Subaru always finds itself in the top 15 percent as being reliable and costing less to maintain, as well as anything made in Japan.

 

If you want to make it an even better purchasing experience, forget buying new, and buy a two year old Forester that screams Pride of Ownership. Let someone else pay for the big depreciation that ocurrs in the first two years. My wife and I upgrade our cars about every 4 or 5 years, and we always buy used that are about two years old. We beat the depreciation of a new car, and are always able to afford a much upgraded model that, while we could well afford to purchase it, we couldn't really justify the added expense as a first year model.

 

My Bride loves her Lexus, and I get the Subie "get you anywhere in the snow mobile without any white knuckles driving" car. We always drive fine looking and well maintained vehicles without paying through the nose for them.

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Ask about a CPO (Certified Pre Owned).  Save money, get good well cared for and thoroughly check out car with a warranty!

 

Emily

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I'd test drive another one - just to make sure since you're asking.  Though you sound completely sold.

 

cars101.com has lots of measurements, i think even sometimes has pictures of dogcrates in the back - go check it out, it's very informative.

 

Is it that big of a savings in all areas to buy a two year old Subaru?  The prices are high in many areas.


It's a good plan and I recommend it, but it's simply buying a cheaper car, I dont think depreciation is being avoided. Two year old Subarus on dealer lots carry a premium price tag and "take a hit" as soon as they drive off the dealer lot as well.  The average consumer is unlikely to turn around and sell it for what they paid for it.  I think it's just paying less for an older vehicle, rather than tricking the market.

 

I know it's more complicated than this but to keep it simple, my local dealer today:

2013 Premium  $24,200

2015 Premium  $25,300. 

Pretty small difference for 40,000 miles and a new car.

Edited by grossgary

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Buy one a year old, off lease, whatever.  As you said your at break even on your current car, if you get one a year old you'll be in better financial shape with it by not losing the "off the lot" depreciation and paying less.

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