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Subaru Forester vs Mitsubishi Outlander

silver909silver909 Posts: 2
edited April 27 in Subaru
Hi I've been looking into a lot of SUV type cars lately.. and have narrowed it down to two: the forester and outlander. Does anyone have advice for me, on which one is the better deal? Could I go wrong with either of them? I like that the forester comes with more features, but the outlander's exterior appeals to me more being more sporty and all. Can anyone help me out??


  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    You may want to look at the availability of dealers in your area that can service these. In my town, we have an ample number of Mitsubishi and Subaru dealers around. I have heard that in other towns (smaller), it can be difficult to find a Mitsu or a Subaru dealer within several miles.
    The Forester is a better performer than the Outlander, and also holds its value better. Personally, I own an Outlander. We needed an inexpensive AWD vehicle for my wife to drive to work in bad weather (she is in the medical field and has to go to work regardless of weather), and for us to haul the canoe and dogs to the lake in. I bought it as a 1 year old vehicle with 10K miles on it, and paid right around $13,000 for it. I plan on keeping it until the wheels fall off of it, so in my opinion, it was the better deal for me.
    My Outlander now has 30K miles on it, and has been trouble free. We also get 24-25mpg around town, and have gotten close to 30mpg on the highway - not bad for a full time AWD vehicle. I have also established a pretty good relationship with the service advisor at one of our local Mitsu dealers, so I am also pleased in that regard.
    My advice to you would be to shop both. See which one you fit most comfortably in, and see which one fits your budget the best. If you plan on trading the car in a couple of years, I would definitely reccomend the Subaru as it will hold its value better. As I said before, the Subaru is also the better performer, so if that is your main priority, the Subaru would again be the way to go. You said you prefer the exterior of the Outlander. Remember, you have to live on the inside of the vehicle, so make sure which ever one you get you will be happy with the feel of the seats, ergonomics, etc...
  • deskdesk Posts: 20
    I've been driving my '98 Forester for years with no complaints, only compliments. I love the size of it. I can fit tons into it. It is easy to drive. Gas mileage is good. It's reliable and I've had no problems with maintenance. I drive it long distances and find it very very comfortable. I have 127,000 miles on it now and am trading it for a new Forester because I'm lazy and I want a new car, even though I am sure this one will last another 100-200,000 miles with no trouble. But when I started looking it became clear to me that I wanted a car the size of the Forester, one that handled like a Forester, one with good mileage, good reputation, comfort, one that inspired confidence in bad weather and one that I enjoyed driving and felt that it was built just for me - in other words, I just wanted another Forester.

    At my place of work there are about 70 cars, and 11 of them are Subarus, 6 of those are Foresters. All the Forester owners I know just love their cars.

    Good luck in your search and have fun.
  • I have never driven a Forester though I am sure they are good vehicles. My wife and I do have an 04 Mitsubishi Outlander, it is mostly driven by my wife, and we like it very much. Fuel mileage is quite good for an AWD plus I like the sportronic automatic transmission feature. My wife doesn't use it but I like it in town to downshift and save wear and tear on the brakes. A 5 speed stick is also available. Our vehicle has just under 20k and absolutely trouble free.

    I would disagree about the Mitsu having a lower residual value as they have significantly reduced fleet sales in the last 2 years and thier worth is increasing. Also, they have a tremendous warranty. 10/100,000 engine-drivetrain, 5yr/60,000 bmpr-bmpr. They also have a 45,000 mile free maintainance program. All of that is transferable also.

    If you like the looks of the Outlander better (ours is electric blue) and the driving experience is about the same I'd say, based on the warranty, the Outlander is the better value.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 366
    Be sure and look at Edmunds long term road tests. They have a long term test file on the Outlander and Forester with lots of good info on both:

    I think either one could serve you well.

    I owned the predecesor to the Outlander, a Mitsu Expo with the 2.4 L engine. It was a comfortable, economical little hauler that we drove for 80,000 miles. The only problem I had was the auto tranny died at about 72K. I did a fair amount of towing with a 2,000 lb boat which I strongly believe resulted in premature transmission death. I also owned to Mitsu Mirages. I believe that Mistu makes great cars, but they have not done very well against their competition in the the U.S. as they are not quite up the the standard (at least historically) of other Japanese cars

    I recently bought a used 03 Forester. I looked at but did not drive the Outlander. I got the Forester because of superior performance and the fact that there are many more Subie dealers & cars on the road. Mitsu has been struggling for many years & I was concerned about the long term availablity of dealers & parts & the fact that that the Forester has a much stronger following.
  • Hey Silver.

    My husband told me about your question & it was like deja-vu because the Mitsubishi Outlander was my first car less then a year ago. I was pretty settled on a Mitsu because my dad had a Galant, about a 92 I think, & he said it was the best car he ever had. I did some checking myself & found out that the first Outlanders from 03 were a little underpowered for the USA & they put a more powerful 4 cylinder in them. My 05 cranks out about 160 hp which is good because I have a custom interior painting business & carry about 300 lbs of equipment with me most of the time. As you can guess, the back seats are down flat most of the time. Fuel mileage is great, I average about 26/28 with an auto & AWD plus the extra weight. I got it in November & have almost 35,000 on it. I know that's a lot but it is my only vehicle for business & pleasure. It has run great in fair weather or foul, plows right through the snow & muck. The only problem I had about 2 months ago was the plastic container that holds the windshield wiper fluid had a crack in it. I thought it had a radiator leak but that was all it was. The dealer put a new one right in. This car has a great warranty but I think I'll hit the 100,000 before the 10 years is up.

    The best thing I like about it, not related to driving, is the looks. I got an all white Outlander & a friend who worked at an autobody shop put some cranberry colored stripes on it. It looks fantastic & every customer I had I think has asked me about it. A real eye catcher.

    I don't know about any problems with Mitsubishi here in the U.S. My dealer is adding on to his shop area next month & has been doing pretty good I guess. I am real interested in the new Mitsubishi Spyder convertible & he says he will be getting them in early spring. If my business stays good I am going to be taking a good look at one of those, hopefully.

    The only other advice I can give you is to save the copy of every bill when you have it serviced & staple them together so you can show it to the service manager whenever you take it in. I keep mine in the glove compartment.

    Well, hope this helped you out. I don't know about Subaru but I don't think you can go wrong with a Mitsubishi. Just follow the service manual & this SUV will do the rest.

    See ya on the road.
  • Briefly-- I test drove both, extensively.

    The 2005 Outlander is what I just bought, so I guess that tells the tale from my viewpoint. It is far better than I imagined it would be.
  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    One thing to consider is that the Outlander is scheduled to be redesigned for the 2007 model year. You can read about it on the "future vehicles" section of this site. The redesign will mean that a 2006 Outlander will look sort of outdated after a year and may depreciate more quickly than would otherwise be the case. The Forester got a moderate redesign a year or two ago, and therefore should remain much the same for the next few years.
  • As well as a few more horses under the hood for both the turbo and N/A motor, better fuel economy, updated interior and revised trim levels. Someone could post a link to some edmunds info in it to see full details or go to Subaru's website.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just got a face-lift for '06, so a new one won't arrive until '08. They're up to 173hp now, 230hp for the turbo.

    Compared to the Outlander, Forester has less rear seat room but more cargo room. The Mitsu has bigger rear doors for good ingress/egress.

    I drove the old 2.0l Outlander, and found that engine noisy and a bit underpowered, but the 2.4l should be better.

    The warranty is great but I worry about Mitsu's financial condition, if they'll even be around to honor that warranty given the red ink they're bleeding right now. Just take that into consideration.

  • Where did you drive a 2.0l Outlander? In the US, they have had 2.4l since their inception. 2003 was the "non MIVEC" 2.4l with 140some hp. In 2004, the 2.4l incorportated the MIVEC technology and went to 163 (I believe it is 163).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For some reason I thought the displacement got bigger, I guess not. My bad.

    I drove an LS back in summer '03, pre-MIVEC updates I guess.

    Consumer Guide says it's 160hp for the '05 model, might be more or less under the new SAE guidelines.

    Mitsu should put the EVO powertrain in this thing for some real fun, but I doubt they will given Japan now has an EVO wagon.

  • was the Outlander vs the Suaru and what Subaru trim level was it comparable to. We are also considering a Forester. Everytime I see it though it just looks so small. Maybe because it sits 4" lower than all other mini-SUvs. I am driving one this week but alsolike the looks of the outlander. In fact we looked at an 05 Outlander early this summer but it did not have mist of the safety feature of the Subaru.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think they are sized similarly.

    Basicallly the Mitsu has a longer wheelbase so that creates a bigger back seat, but slightly smaller cargo space.

    Forester is the opposite - more cargo space.

  • Mistu has a lot of hidden fees. Some refere to them as Mistufeeme. I own a Forester X-Premium, and for the money, it is the best vehicle on the market.
    This is from carbuying
    "Mitsubishi Dealers
    Mitsubishi has insanely high fees. Their dealers charge you for holdback and floor plan assistance, double collecting. It's even itemized on their invoices. This is unfair, and unacceptable. Any dealer who pulls this on you does not get your money. Here's what you might see on a typical Mitsubishi invoice such as one I have for a 1998 Eclipse GS, with a base invoice of $16158, and base MSRP of $18580:

    Sales Promotion Fund $100 per vehicle $100
    Dealer Advertising 3% of base invoice price $484
    Dealer Holdback 2% of base MSRP $371
    Floorplan Assistance 1% of base MSRP $185
    Grand Total (Usually at least a grand, anyway) $1140!

    You buy an $18580 Eclipse, they want you to pay 6.13% more in fees? This is why I call them Mitsufeeme. Their ad fee is about $600. Many Toyota dealers only charge a $250 ad fee. So why is Mitsubishi's ad fee double? Do they spend more on ads than Toyota? I doubt it, I can't even remember any Mitsubishi commercials."

    Good Luck!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not all dealers are the same. I'd say just shop around. Fees like that are ridiculous, and in this buyer's market noone should accept them from any dealer, for any brand.

  • Another source to consider is Consumer reports. They recommend the Forester as a "good bet" based on overall reliability.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Detroit Free Press just had an article about CR and I believe both these models were listed among the most reliable small SUVs. Good news for all.

    What do the Outlander owners think of the new model just unveiled in Tokyo? It has that swept D pillar like the Murano now.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    And from that:

    Small SUVs
    Toyota RAV4
    Honda CR-V
    Honda Element
    Subaru Forester
    Mercury Mariner
    Mitsubishi Outlander

  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    The new Outlander will be a good vehicle if done correctly when it comes to production. What I mean is - the Eclipse for example was an awesome looking concept, but then it comes out with either the 2.4L normally aspirated engine (too weak for this car's image), or the 3.8L (too heavy for this car IMO).
  • Dear silver909,

    I have no idea if you've made a decision yet, but I'd like to talk from personal experience . . .

    I live in New England, an area where Subaru's adaptability is beyond measure. I own a 2002 Forester, which I have put on 96,000 miles since August of 2001, and I have not had a single major mechanical problem. I drive a lot of miles every day, 70 miles round trip to be exact, and I never have a problem during commute.

    I know that Mitsubishi has had quality issues in the past; Subaru has always stood by their quality as #1 priority.

    Just my two cents . . . xnewman1 :)
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