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Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Subaru Forester

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  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    What you are describingis 4WD on demand system similiar to Toyotas system in the Highlander and RAV4, for example. This is not a full time AWD system, nor is it as sophisticated as the Forester, which is:

    1. Full time AWD.
    2. Able to vary the bias from about 90/10 to 45/55 (maybe more in earlier models).
    3. Varies the bias based on slippage and accleration.
    4. In fuel economy mode uses a 90/10 split.

    On the Outlander. You have to flip a switch, to put it into AWD mode? How low tech is that? Hit a puddle..., wait... hold on car while I put this into AWD mode. The reason Mitsubish didn't design full time AWD is the gas mileage would go into the toilet even more than it is. System is the same one on an Explorer if I recall correctly, which wasn't a great system either.

    Those are three great choices? The Forester can have full time AWD because Subaru has figured out how to do it right. Even Mitsu Motors website describes the AWD system on the Outlander as "on-demand" to save on fuel consumption.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 389
    On the Outlander. You have to flip a switch, to put it into AWD mode? How low tech is that? Hit a puddle..., wait... hold on car while I put this into AWD mode. The reason Mitsubish didn't design full time AWD is the gas mileage would go into the toilet even more than it is. System is the same one on an Explorer if I recall correctly, which wasn't a great system either.

    This is way over the top. (how do the vast majority of people ever survive in FWD vehicles going through a puddle? The Horror!!! :confuse:

    I like selecting FWD on dry roads. If I see threatening weather AWD is there very quickly (you make it sound like you gotta stop and get out of the car and lock the hubs for Pete's sake) How can you say Subarus get equal MPG in AWD as with a FWD car? I always accepted that Subarus got worse MPG the FWD cars of the same weight/size because of the AWD.(price you pay) There is always some frictional loss. Next claim I'm waiting to hear is how you find more gas in you tank than when you started your trip (only Subarus can defy physics) ;)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    This is way over the top. (how do the vast majority of people ever survive in FWD vehicles going through a puddle? The Horror!!! :confuse:

    That what's make the Subaru AWD an inherently better system. No switch flipping. :shades It may not make a difference to you, but the drivetrain made a difference to me.

    With the capability to dynamically shift torque load between front and rear based on acceleration and braking the 90/10 split under light throttle at highway speeds makes for saving fuel. Nail the gas and torque switches to the rear to move the car forward without spinning the wheels or torque steer. Or flipping a switch.

    If it's raining I don't have to make a choice between saving gas or AWD. The AWD system makes the best choice best without driver intervention.

    Different strokes for different folks. For me the drivetrain and engine was a priority more than the gadgets and doo-dads.

    I always accepted that Subarus got worse MPG the FWD cars of the same weight/size because of the AWD.(price you pay)

    Even if there is no frictional loss in 2WD mode the Outlander is still carrying around the excess weight of the AWD system so there is a fuel penalty. AWD will get slightly worse mileage than FWD, but is a much safer ride than FWD especially in bad snow conditions. You can argue any car can make it through almost anything and I'd agree. But the Subaru thankfully doesn't know the difference between two feet of snow and dry pavement. It operates exactly the same.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, I checked.

    You said the Outlander had 37" of cargo height clearance vs. just 30" for the Forester.

    Maybe we measured in different places, but the mininum clearance for the Outlander I measured was only 35". For the Forester I got 32".

    So you claim a 7" advantage, but by my tape measure it's just 3".

    Then you say the cargo area is not wider - well, again, when I measured width between the wheel wells, I got 42" for the Forester and just 38" for the Outlander. 4" wider, in fact, for the Subaru.

    For length I measured 38" for the Mitsu and 37" for the Forester, a small advantage for Mitsubishi. You can recline the seats and make up that inch, if you really needed to.

    Your summary was 37" vs 30" and you left it at that. I find that very misleading.

    Forester is 42"x37"x32". (min. width x length x height)

    Outlander is 38"x38"x35".

    Honda Fit isn't even in the same class.

    Do we really need to measure the moonroof, too? :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    say things like Subaru can transfer “100% of the power to either axle.”

    First of all, I said that about the TRIBECA, not the Forester.

    Also, I said that in a Tribeca thread, which doesn't even include the Outlander.

    Why were you even in that thread in the first place? Lost? Unhappy with your Outlander? :P

    Besides, David Sullivan of SoA, Product Manager for the Tribeca, confirms the Tribeca has that capability, so I stand by what I said. I've also shown videos to prove it.

    I won't share the link here because this thread is about the Forester and Outlander, not the Tribeca.
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    >> On the Outlander. You have to flip a switch, to put it into AWD mode?

    You don’t have to flip a switch. If you wish, you can drive Outlander for the years in just AWD Auto economy mode, which is the same as Subaru’s front biased on-demand system (90/10 – 45/55). And you don’t have to switch ANYTHING, unless you want to.

    Or you can drive Outlander for years just in the AWD Lock mode with 50/50 split, which is a true full-time AWD mode (unlike Subarus’ on-demand system). On Subaru you can’t do that: on Subaru all you’ve got - is a front biased proactive system which is dependent on computer ability to react to road conditions.

    Outlander gives its owner more choices:
    the Forester-like dynamic AWD Auto mode and the true full-time AWD Lock mode. You can drive either system of your choice for years and no flip switch is required. I drive AWD Auto mode 90% of the time, but in a heavy rain or snow I could use the magic switch and select the AWD Lock, while Subaru’s owner could not.
    .

    >> How low tech is that? Hit a puddle..., wait... hold on car while I put this into AWD mode.

    No “wait” and “hold” needed. Outlander can switch instantly between 3 modes at any moment and at any speed. No need to stop, “wait” or “hold”.
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    According to your measurements, the volume with rear seats folded comes to 49,728 cubic inch for the Forester and 50,540 cubic inch for the Outlander, which comes to 1.9% difference. That's wrong.

    According to Subaru site, the Forester has 63.0 cu. ft. with rear seat lowered.
    And the Outlander has 73.0 cu. ft. with rear seat lowered.

    So the Outlander has 16% more cargo volume with rear seat lowered. That's the official numbers with no "master's of hyperbole" shaking hands involved.
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    >> First of all, I said that about the TRIBECA, not the Forester. Also, I said that in a Tribeca thread, which doesn't even include the Outlander.

    You’ve said in this very thread about the Subaru’s Active AWD, that
    “the Active AWD system, found on the low-price automatic models. They say 90/10 default (which is correct) up to 50/50 max, which is incorrect…. It should be 100/0 to 0/100.”
    .

    >> Why were you even in that thread in the first place? Lost? Unhappy with your Outlander?

    As our host Steve fairly said “It's ok to talk about a car even if you don't own one”. So I don’t need anyone’s advice which thread I should be in, nor I suppose to report my reasoning. Also personal attacks are not encouraged by this forum.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    Subaru has a new ad series coming out - Trying to Connect in a Crowd .

    Data gathered by Carmichael Lynch (the new ad company) has "determined that most automakers, including Subaru, “were trying to out-argue each other based on rational reasons: features, benefits, the deal,”

    “Certainly, rational reasons are important, but it has to be more of a blend to get people to put us on the list.”

    I think the ad company must have been following this "out-argue" discussion for a while and decided to take the opposite tack. :P
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Or you can drive Outlander for years just in the AWD Lock mode with 50/50 split, which is a true full-time AWD mode (unlike Subarus’ on-demand system). On Subaru you can’t do that: on Subaru all you’ve got - is a front biased proactive system which is dependent on computer ability to react to road conditions.

    Factually incorrect. The Subaru is a full time AWD system with no switch flipping involved. You are right on the Subaru you can't lock the split, but, it's not needed with variable torque shifting between front and rear. The Subaru is not FWD biased like the Outlander. To conserve fuel it puts itself into a FWD bias torque split. As soon as the accelerater is nailed, torque immediately shifts toward the rear.

    Contrast that to the Outlander. FWD and good gas mileage or AWD and less gas mileage. The Outlander as far as I can tell does not dynamically shift torque unless slippage occurs.

    As it it the Outlander gets worse gas mileage than the Forester under all conditions. At $4.00 gallon you do have the leather. :shades
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    First of all, I measured with the seats up, not lowered.

    I did not measure volume, I measured the minimum width, height, and length. I made that very clear. Think of the largest box you could fit inside.

    You stated it was 37" to 30" height. That is misleading. If the opening is 35" tall, how are you going to get a 37" object inside? You can't.

    Then you underestimated the height of the Forester's cargo bay.

    You went on to say the Outlander had a wider cargo area. You said nothing about volume, you said it was wider! Between the wheel wells, it's a few inches more narrow, actually.

    So you also underestimated the width of the Forester's cargo bay.

    These are not opinions, they are measurements anyone can verify for themselves.

    You also said I could save $240 per year on gas with the 4 cylinder Forester, your numbers, not mine. A little later you say it's $200. You misquoted yourself, apparently.

    So now you are understating the fuel savings, as well.

    3 strikes, you're out. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have provided links to videos that show how when only one axle gets traction, it alone can power the Forester up a ramp simulating frictionless surfaces. You can see, plain as day, that the axle with no traction stops spinning because the transfer of power works effectively.

    You refuse to accept those as legit. How convenient.

    Then again, by your logic, a 37" tall box fits in a 35" space. Convenient.

    $240 fuel savings adds up to $200. OK, if you say so!

    38" is wider than 42". Sure!

    Hyperbole: when 35 > 37, when 240 = 200, when 38 > 42.

    3 solid examples.
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    No offence, but from some of your posts it seems like you are not familiar with the 4WD system in the Outlander. You may want to read this:

    2007 Mitsubishi Outlander 4WD System Explained

    When in FWD mode, the power goes to the front only. This is supposed to be the economical mode, but in my experience, the fuel saving is marginal - around 1 mpg or so. Going by how some are hooked on 1-2 mpg fuel economy gain, it may make sense to use it.
    When in the "4WD Auto" mode - AKA "normal" mode, the power goes to both front and rear, so I think it’s as full-time 4WD as the Forester. The percentage varies depending on the driving conditions, up to 15% of the power goes to the rear in normal driving or up to 40% under certain conditions like full throttle acceleration or slippage.
    When in "4WD Lock" - true, the label is misleading, 50% more power is sent to the rear for up to 60%. This mode is recommended for low traction conditions or maximum straight-line acceleration. According to Mitsubishi, this mode does not lock the torque distribution in a 50-50 split. The split could go as high as 40/60 as needed.
    Note that you can switch between the modes at any speed and it holds the setting regardless of the speed. You have three setups to choose from, but 4WD Auto is all you really need most of the time.

    I keep mine in 4WD Auto all the time, and I did not have to use the 4WD Lock mode even when I was driving through 1ft. of show last winter (on stock tires). In several occasions last winter, I took the Outlander through deep snow, with ice underneath, on hilly side roads, to test its limits, but I couldn’t get it stuck or even close. I stopped in deep snow and started off from a stand still, but I had no problems. This tells me that the setup works very well for its purpose.

    Now, I haven't seen a Subaru OFFICIAL, detailed explanation of the AWD system in the 2009 Forester so I cannot really comment on (do you?). If you have an official description please share the link.
    However, on the Forester vs Outlander 4WD system debate, unless we see them tested under the same conditions and by a third-party, any claim about which one is better is just another “mine is better than yours” discussion.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    No offence, but from some of your posts it seems like you are not familiar with the 4WD system in the Outlander. You may want to read this:

    No offense taken, I'm always willing to learn. Seems there are some who don't understand the Symmetrical AWD either or don't care to find out. Thanks for the link.

    The Symmetrical AWD doesn't need to have full throttle acceleration to transfer power to the rear as the article states for the Outlander. Stepping on the gas from a stop causes torque to be rear biased on the Forester. In addition, one doesn't have to choose economy FWD mode as under constant throttle torque bias settles to the front. Step on the gas, make a turn or de-accelerate and torque will shift. So there are some similarities and some differences between the two.

    My comment and I stand by it, is if AWD full time were the only option gas mileage on the Outlander would be even worse than it is. It's a klunky design to boost FE. Some people may not care, some do.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm telling you, all we need is one of each and access to one of those ramps that tests if one axle (or even one wheel) can drive the vehicle up the ramp.

    If anyone knows of a local 4x4 club, they often have access to those to test their locking diffs.

    Theory is great, but the bottom line is can it perform in the toughest of conditions - an uphill climb with traction to only a single wheel.

    Run 'em both up, and put the AWD debate to bed.
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    The Symmetrical AWD doesn't need to have full throttle acceleration to transfer power to the rear as the article states for the Outlander.

    I’m not sure if you purposely misinterpret the information, but the article clearly states that under normal driving conditions, up to 15% of the torque is sent to the rear. So no, you do not need full-throttle to send the power to the rear. Under full-throttle, more power, like in more than 15% is sent to the rear, up to 40%. The amounts above are 50% higher if the car is in "4WD Lock" mode.

    My comment and I stand by it, is if AWD full time were the only option gas mileage on the Outlander would be even worse than it is. It's a klunky design to boost FE. Some people may not care, some do.

    No. The Outlander's EPA numbers for the 4WD models are in 4WD mode and for the 4-cylinder model are at par with the Forester (and the rest of the compact SUVs). The V6 version is lower by about 2 mpg combined, as any reasonable person would expect.

    The 2WD setting on the Outlander is only meant to slightly improve the baseline (in 4WD Auto mode) and not to accomplish the EPA published fuel economy. I would say it's nice to have all these settings although personally I chose to use 4WD Auto all the time. I know some Outlander owners drive around in 2WD during the summer time to further save some gas.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I’m not sure if you purposely misinterpret the information

    When "4WD Auto" mode is selected, the Outlander 4WD system always sends some power to the rear wheels, automatically increasing the amount under full-throttle acceleration. The coupling transfers up to 40 percent of available torque to the rear wheels under full-throttle acceleration, and this is reduced to 25 percent over 40 mph. At steady cruising speeds, up to 15 percent of available torque is sent to the rear wheels. At low speeds through tight corners, coupling torque is reduced, providing a smoother feel through the corner.

    Nope don't think I misinterpeted anything.

    Additionally, how do you know with what mode the testing was done?
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    When "4WD Auto" mode is selected, the Outlander 4WD system always sends some power to the rear wheels, automatically increasing the amount under full-throttle acceleration. The coupling transfers up to 40 percent of available torque to the rear wheels under full-throttle acceleration, and this is reduced to 25 percent over 40 mph. At steady cruising speeds, up to 15 percent of available torque is sent to the rear wheels. At low speeds through tight corners, coupling torque is reduced, providing a smoother feel through the corner.

    If you would read the whole sentence, you would understand that:
    "When "4WD Auto" mode is selected, the Outlander 4WD system ALWAYS SENDS SOME POWER TO THE REAR WHEELS, automatically INCREASING the amount under full-throttle acceleration."

    Plus:
    "AT STEADY CRUISING SPEEDS, UP TO 15 PERCENT OF AVAILABLE TORQUE IS SENT TO THE REAR WHEELS."

    Additionally, how do you know with what mode the testing was done?

    Basic common sense. EPA publishes fuel economy numbers for the following Outlander models:
    2.4L 4-cylinder 2WD
    2.4L 4-cylinder 4WD
    3.0L 6-cylinder 2WD
    3.0L 6-cylinder 4WD

    Why would they test a 4WD vehicle in 2WD mode when they tested the same 2WD model?
    The question I don't have an answer to would be which of the two 4WD modes did they test. If you assume they tested the worst-case scenario for fuel economy, it would be the 4WD Lock. If they tested the "normal" mode, it would be the 4WD Auto. In any case, the logic would say they tested one of the 4WD modes for the 4WD models.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The way I'm interpeting your explanation this is normal traveling bias is about 15% to the rear wheels, under full throttle acceleration additional torque can be transferred to the rear wheel. So it seems torque to the rear end is either a nominal 15% or 40% under full acceleration.

    Why would they test a 4WD vehicle in 2WD mode when they tested the same 2WD model?

    You tell me. Sounds like you don't know either. AWD is optional, if they didn't specify all one can do is wonder.
  • piastpiast Posts: 269
    "I know some Outlander owners drive around in 2WD during the summer time to further save some gas."
    That would be me. I drive most of the year in 2WD, and switch to 4WD only on wet, slippery or icy roads. That's the way I drove my old, real 4X4 SUV for 8 years, that's the reason I selected Outlander - to have a choice and save on gas, not the space or utility. My friend is driving 4 cyl Outback, with fuel economy of my wife V6 Accord. Many people, including me, don't see any need to drive in AWD all the time. This must be the reason Subarus are not selling that well in southern part of the country. People are refusing to pay premium for AWD system they don't need. Traction & stability control + ABS should take care of any wet road in FWD vehicle. Since here in Chicago we may have snow just a few times in winter (except last winter :mad:) , 4WD Outlander with 2/4WD selector make perfect sense.
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