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Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Subaru Forester



  • newguy53newguy53 Posts: 16
    2nd parahraph should read - as I plan on begining a family...proof-reading would help...
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes S.E. Wisconsin Posts: 892
    I'm pretty sure service on the Outlander does not have to be done at Mitsu dealer to keep the warranty intact. Service manager at local dealer said as long as the car is not obviously, abused, modified or neglected, should be no warranty issues.

    I think the premium fuel recommendation is just for the GT with the higher horsepower engine, my '07 with the V6 doesn't call for premium.

    My '07 Awd Outlander has been a great car with no problems whatsoever.
  • authurdentauthurdent Posts: 82
    edited April 2010
    Quick answer: Don't walk, but rather RUN to your local neighborhood Mitsubishi dealer and get yourself a shiny new Outlander! Seriously... here's my quick & dirty rundown of your top 4 candidates...

    CRV might be a fine car, but for me they're so ubiquitous to the point of nausea. Like the RAV4, I can go out my front porch and probably throw a rock at 3 or 4 CRVs. You *might* get reliability, but I bet you don't get a good value.

    The Sante Fe may be a good value, but I don't care for the styling or boring ride. And I'm not entirely sure about Hyundai reliability just yet. I think many overlook shortcomings with the very attractive warranty.

    The 2009/2010 Forester might be the very first Subaru I'd EVER consider. Never cared for Subarus in the past, but the new Forester isn't a bad looker, has great utility and good engines. Just not crazy about the seats and interior.

    And now for the GRAND finale.. drum roll please.. the Outlander takes top honors for exterior looks, excellent seats, qualified value and excellent warranty. Of course I'm partial, since I've had 20 years of Mitsus with zero problems.

    As always, take some test drives. Could be your decision comes down to something totally unpredictable, like dealer location or available colors or seatbelt comfort or even how sweetly the salesperson whispers... "how did you enjoy the handling?" :blush:
  • authurdentauthurdent Posts: 82
    edited April 2010
    And for greater edification, here is my less-than-expert

    Outlander vs. Forester Comparison

    ateixeira will stop by in the next 5 minutes to tell you the rest of the story! ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited April 2010
    All the V6s were upgraded to 230hp output and Mitsubishi recommends premium fuel for best performance. It is not required, but timing will be retarded to prevent knock, so it won't produce the full 230hp with lower octane.

    As for the warranty, you are protected by the Magnussen-Moss Warranty Act. As long as the parts and service meets the manufacturer's specifications, the warranty is still valid. Keep receipts and service records to be safe.

    Forester-pro- reliability, lack of depreciation, owner loyalty, solid build

    con- no bluetooth w/o nav (NY has hands free law), sub-par interior quality

    We own a 2009 Forester X Limited PZEV, so I'll focus on that.

    You're right about the pros, but I'd add that it's an IIHS Top Safety Pick, the only model you're considering that earns that title.

    The PZEV variant makes 175hp (vs 170hp for other Foresters) and of course is greener. Mileage has been quite good, on trips we can break 30mpg if we keep speeds reasonable. Also, it has big-for-its-class gas tank, at 16.9 gallons, so range between fill-ups is great.

    I notice you have a pair of capable 4 bangers and a pair of V6s. If you plan to tow, or haul heavy loads often, consider one of the V6s, or a Forester XT (turbo). You'll want the extra torque. Of course you'll sacrifice mileage and range for any V6/turbo, but it may be worth it. Consider your needs first.

    MT clocked a Forester X auto at 9.3 seconds to 60mph, which is more than adequate, but if you're a speed demon get the turbo (or maybe a RAV4 V6).

    Bluetooth - does your Garmin have that? I've owned 6 of them, and my Nuvi 265wt and 1490T both work well with my BlackBerry Bold 9700. I just got the 1490T for $239 (open box), and I love it. Text-to-speech is essential and one reason I ditched my old Nuvi 200w (it also had outdated maps).

    We had a 98 Forester for 9 years, then an 02 Legacy for 7 years, and now the 09 Forester. 18 years total and no major issues. My dealer jokes that I see him every 7 years, to pay cash for a replacement. I priced a 7 year bumper-to-bumper warranty for $715, so don't let that stop you.

    Plus - if you get a Chase Subaru credit card, you can use credits from that to pay for the warranty. I have $500 saved up, so I'd pay $215 right now. I also got $1600 off the original purchase. TCO is rock bottom for me.

    Other comments, let's see...

    Santa Fe: it's a bit long in the tooth. It got nice engine upgrades, though.

    CR-V: also got an engine upgrades, now at 180hp, with good mileage, too.

    Good luck shopping around, that's the fun part. :shades:
  • ok.. 6 minutes, but who's counting! :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    ateixeira will stop by in the next 5 minutes to tell you the rest of the story!

    Took me 3. :D

    Your comparison still has the mistake about AWD vs. 4WD.

    The lock button on the Mitsu locks the torque split, it does not lock front and rear axles. It's AWD as well, which is a good thing. AWD allows for the axles to move at different speeds, acting as a differential, so it can be used full-time and not just on slippery surfaces.

    CR-V has part-time 4WD, for slippery surfaces only. A rotary blade coupling engages the rear axle only when needed, and not above certain speeds (it reverts to 100% FWD at higher speeds). Since it cannot act as a differential, it must disengage (hence the part-time status) on dry pavement, else it would bind and make nasty noises when you made a U-turn.

    Outlander's Active Center Differential = full-time AWD
    Forester's Active AWD = full-time AWD
    Forester's Viscous Coupling (5MT models) = full-time AWD
    CR-V's RealTime 4WD = part-time 4WD
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited April 2010
    ok.. 6 minutes, but who's counting!

    Originally it was 3 but then I edited a typo (forgot to use past tense when saying the old Garmin "had" outdated maps since I no longer own it).

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,217
    newguy, you'll find that while ateixeira is a proponent of the Forester & I'm all for the Outlander, we can discuss the cars relative strengths & weaknesses without coming to blows. I think we agree that our personal choices won't work for everyone. You won't find that in many Edmunds threads. ;)

    Regarding the Outlander:
    1. Premium: The XLS & GT have the same engine & 6-speed automatic trans (but different AWD systems) so the Premium recommendation applies to both trim lines. Premium is not a requirement so you do not need to use it to maintain warranty. Running regular gas will drop the HP by a few, probably 4-8, but will show no adverse affects. I’ve been burning midgrade mostly and am exceeding EPA in city and getting it on the highway so far (4600 miles to date).
    2. Warranty: I have a ’99 Galant for over 10 years before getting the ‘10 Outlander GT. I had a couple of warranty repairs that were handled with no trouble and no griping from the dealer. By law you do not have to have a dealer maintain your vehicle to satisfy warranty requirements but you will need to keep records so you can prove you’ve done the maintenance. A dealer implying you have to have service done there is using a scare tactic and IMO should be avoided. That said, my dealer is convenient so we use them for pretty much everything. Regular maintenance is cost-competitive with most places, maybe a buck or two more but not enough to matter, and it establishes a relationship that can lead to the dealer being on your side if a repair is questionable for warranty coverage.

    As an FYI there are currently H4 and I4 engines but no V4s in passenger cars. Subaru uses Horizontally-opposed cylinders (H4; called "boxer" engines) and most everyone else uses an Inline cylinder (I4) bank. I think there are motorcycles with V4s but I haven’t heard of any in cars. Most 6 cylinders are in a V formation and are hence V6es though there are some I6es out there (IIRC BMW does some).

    The Santa Fe is good and there’s generally no problems with Hyundai reliability from ’01 forward. I simply found it competent but bland. I never drove the CR-V as I wanted a V6 and even with 180 or so HP most reviews called the CR-V’s acceleration adequate or anemic.

    You might also take a gander at the Chevy Equinox & Ford Edge.

    How about we try to help by looking at other features you may want or need? For instance, can you comment on or rate the following
    - 3rd row seats. Outlander has them, SF has them as an option I believe. Forester does not offer them.
    - Flat-folding 2nd row. Forester & Outlander have it, Equinox does not.
    - Backup sensors or camera. I seriously like the backup camera in the Outlander.
    - Premium audio system. The Rockford-Fosgate in the Outlander does some nice things. Besides being powerful, it includes a hard drive that records any CD you put in it so you don't have to keep your CD collection in the car.
    - Voice controls.
    - FWD or AWD.
    - Towing capacity.
    - Roof cargo capacity. Most are 75 pounds; the Outlander, non-GT, is 110 pounds (I only know this as I read it in the manual yesterday when I was reading up on cargo capacity before buying 800 pounds of dirt). So, then, cargo capacity: 1175 pounds for the Outlander.
    - Sunroof. The Forester has the Outlander beat here. Safety-wise, the Outlander's sunroof has 1-touch close and senses obstructions (like your arm) and won't close on them. The Forester may do that as well; I'm not sure. The 1-touch up driver power windows does the same.
    - Power this 'n' that.
    - Tech toys. I'm not sure what's on the XLS but the Outlander GT has rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, load-leveling headlights (lets you adjust them if the back end is weighed down), climate control, paddle shifters.
    - Tailgate design. Most CUVs have the traditional tailgate that goes up. The RAV4 opens to the side (the wrong side). The Outlander is a split design that has a fold-down section. It's useful to sit on for tailgating and also for allowing long, flat items to stick out the back whie allowing the upper tailgate to close.
    - Resale value. Mitsu won't win this contest, but it really only matters if you intend on keeping the car for 5 or fewer years. The longer you keep it the less resale matters.
    - Price you're willing to pay.
  • newguy53newguy53 Posts: 16
    Thanks for all the replies so soon- I knew this forum was the best place to go with my questions...

    For further clarity- towing, excessive offroading etc. is not much of an issue- live in an outer borough of NYC- mostly looking for a safe car to drive to the train during the week and highways on the weekend......
    bluetooth is preferable as a car based feature as I don't think wife would hook up garmin every time should drove- safety and legal issue otherwise...

    Forester's lack of blue tooth and subpar interior are the big strikes- love it otherwise....

    the hyundai is beautiful inside- love the interior and included features.... neighbor has one- 2003- before it was further refined- and loves it-the new engines look great too...
    biggest issue with the Sante Fe is the warranty horror stories i've seen- dealers look for any reason to get out of covered repair.... also- the fact that the warranty is only valid at dealer the car was purchased from- i plan on moving at some point- so to travel 2 hours for repairs is a dealbreaker....forgetting about possible dealership issues....

    does anyone have any issues with Mitsu warranty covered service?? are they more inclined to honor the warranty -i.e. opposite of hyundai??

    plan on using regular gas- so a few less horses is not an long as it wouldn't void any warranty....
  • newguy53newguy53 Posts: 16
    thanks for the info....

    the Edge & Equinox are out- staying away from GM and have the MKX- whihc is a nedge + 5K- like the car- but gas guzzler -and the egde interior is teribble IMO...

    biggest wants in features (besides warranty and reliability)-
    room for car seats and dog in the rear.....
    rear sensors are a biggie- forgot to mention- seems to be a dealer installed option at the level of CUV....
    good MPG- 20 at least in mixed driving..
    want a nice interior- good leather, astheticly pleasing...good features-useful display, good steror, bluetooth, i-pod hook-up (controlled through stereo if possible)
    flat folding seats are important- for storage- i.e. trips to costco, house chores..

    must be AWD- dealbreaker there...

    the Sante fe rear vent is a cool feature for the golden retriever on hot days...

    the Fuse feature is very similar to Sync- so that is a BIG plus..
    power tailgate feature would be nice- don't think I'll get that here...

    looking in the 25-28K range- before TTL...

    guess that's a start...
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 389
    edited April 2010
    Interesting comment about blue tooth. I haven't looked at 2010 Outlanders, but the blue tooth module used to be standard on XLS and was a few hundred $ option to add the module on the LS (no LS models these days) . The steering wheel controls are there in all models (except apparently the ES), and you have to add the module and have the dealer enable it. If this has changed (requiring the whole NAV package) it's sad. As others may have mentioned a lot of add-on GPS have blue tooth , so you could do your own GPS/Blue tooth a lot cheaper going this route. Otherwise, if you really want the steering wheel controls I'd check again to see if you can add the module without the NAV package..(somehow I think the salesman wants to sell you a "package" for more when the service department can add just the option. I added my own factory fog lights after the fact to my LS and just had the dealer enable it for free since the alternate instructions for a user to program it didn't work)

    Here is the module:

    Here is someone pairing up his cell phone to a previously enabled module
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    as I plan on begining a family...proof-reading would help...

    Yes, and our FREE spell checker is helpful too! :P

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Old school Subaru owners just wanted AM for news and weather band. They were up in arms when the digital era arrived and they dropped weather band, LOL.

    You can get Bluetooth in Outback without opting for Nav, I believe. Actually, you may want to add the Outback 2.5i Limited to your shopping list. Wards Auto gave the Outback the Interior of the Year for the Popular-Priced Car class for 2010. In the small SUV class they gave the nod to the Equinox.

    The interior on the Forester Limited is fine to me. The leather is perforated so it breathes, and you don't end up with a sweaty back/legs, a problem with our old Mazda 626. The steering wheel and gear shift knob are also wrapped in real leather. Beyond that, the surfaces are hard, but that's par for this class. The moonroof is gigantic (26" long vs. 11.5" for the Outlander) and really brightens up in inside, makes it feel airy. It serves the front and rear passengers. My kids love it.

    Also, on the Premium and Limited models, you get a fold-out tray in addition to the arm rest. That partition keeps my 2 kids at peace, and there is storage for toys and their portable video games.

    We got a vent-mount, which locates the GPS close to the driver, within easy reach. Most of the time I toss a hat over the GPS and you can't even tell it's there. NYC is probably a higher crime area, but if you route the power source in to the HVAC vent you could hide it completely.

    Let's see, what don't I like about it? Full disclosure...

    * square cup holders. Fire the guy who thought of that.
    * passenger seat is low and not height adjustable.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see your wish list...

    room for car seats and dog in the rear

    Pretty much all models in this class offer that. That's why this class is so popular and growing.

    rear sensors are a biggie

    You mean sonar backup sensors? Outlander offers the backup cam but it's packaged with Navi. Forester offers rear backup sensors, but I haven't felt the need for them because visibility to the rear is excellent. This page shows exterior options including the sensors in the rear bumper:

    good MPG- 20 at least in mixed driving

    That's iffy for the V6 or the turbo. Consumer Reports got 19mpg in their Outlander V6, 20mpg on on the turbo Forester. The 2.4l CVT Outlander and the Forester X (non-turbo) averaged 22mpg. If you can drive stick, the 5 speed manual Forester had the best mileage among non-hybrids at 24mpg. The catch - you can't get a Limited with the manual, only a base or Premium (you still get heated seats and a moonroof, though).

    want a nice interior- good leather, astheticly pleasing...good features-useful display, good steror, bluetooth, i-pod hook-up (controlled through stereo if possible)
    Check out the Outback. I think a USB input is standard even on the cheap models. iPod hookup is an accessory available on the Forester.

    flat folding seats are important


    looking in the 25-28K range

    Forester would be on the low end of that range, Outback towards the high side.

    So, have you driven anything yet? :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, I was wrong, and happy to admit it:

    2010 Forester news and updates

    2/7 new option - available starting February 2010, hands free cell phone bluetooth 'BlueConnect' now available on 2010 models with Clarion single disc stereo model #CP604U1 or Panasonic CH changer stereo model #PP644U6 installed after 9/2009. See image above.

    Cool, so you can get BT, no matter which of the 3 head units you choose. :shades:
  • newguy53newguy53 Posts: 16
    haven't driven anything yet- want to figure out what i want before I get to the dealer- hate stepping foot inside- this purchase will be done online- credit union price (USAA) vs. best internet price i can get- once I get a fair price - i know i have to test before then- but I HATE the whole dance one has to go through- and the dealerships over here are so terrible...unless I am blown away by one vs another on the drive it will most likely come down to items mentioned prior-
    keeping in mind my current CUV is the first one i've driven that I actually I am sure either one will pass the muster on the test drive....

    outlander is too wagon-like for my taste- only 30- not at the mini-van/wagon stage of life just yet....

    as for MPG- 20 is the guideline + or - a mile here or there isn't a huge issue- obviously for the V6 225 HP or so i could sacrifice a mile here or there- although the 22 on the Forester is def. attractive...

    don't want an OEM navi- so back-up camera looks to be out- but both Forester and Outlander seem to offer reverse sensors as an accessary- currently have it in the MKX and can't do with out it- for parking and safety....

    The backseat room and at least moderate storage is a must as well- which is why rogue was cut out (along with CVT issues)...

    i suppose last issue is dealership- Can't seem to find a well liked dealer in my area for either Subaru or Mitsu- although one or two Subaru dealers about 50 mon away seem to get positive reviews....
  • Never considered our rally red Outlander as old and farty, but maybe I'm too old and farty to notice! Not sure the Forester is any less farty given your criteria, unless you get that the XT with the turbo intake, and add some bitchin' rims.

    Sounds like you want a curvy CUV, but with space, so you can pretend to be young and vital, yet still be able to cart around passengers and gear in relative comfort. I think you already dismissed the Murano, but maybe that's your magic car!
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,217
    room for car seats and dog in the rear.....

    We were able to get a child seat + a booster in the 3rd row of the Outlander so doing so i nthe 2nd row shouldn't be a problem.

    Out 14 pound rat terrier fits just fine. ;)

    rear sensors are a biggie

    I still like the cam better but understand the need to keep costs down.

    good MPG- 20 at least in mixed driving..

    My first half dozen tanks were in winter and were breaking in the engine. On those I was getting 17.3-19.4MPG in mostly city driving. The last couple of weeks I've done a lot of highway driving and have gotten 22-24, mostly 23+ while driving at 75-85MPH. Lifetime average so far is 20.9MPG - 4574 miles and 218.9 gallons. I track economy & expenses in a simple Excel spreadsheet. That's mostly on mid-grade gas in a V6 GT.

    want a nice interior- good leather, astheticly pleasing...good features-useful display, good steror, bluetooth, i-pod hook-up (controlled through stereo if possible)

    I like the clean look of the Outlander interior. It isn't overdone with knobs & buttons everywhere. Of course the nav consolidates some controls which helps. The non-nav interior looks a little busier but still fine. The leather is on par for the class. Mitsu always provides good features for the price. iPods can be voice controlled via Fuse; the USB plug is in the center console along with the A/V inputs so the MP3 player can stay hidden.

    If you can swing the sun and sound package you get the killer stereo & the sunroof.

    A note on Bluetooth. You can use an outboard BT system like the one in a handheld GPS but it lacks integration. An incoming call won't pause or mute the stereo (and resume when done). Sounds like a small thing but when the phone ringing is already a distraction, really the last thing you need to do is be hunting for buttons to shut off the stereo. Also, the Outlander includes dual mics for voice pickup; audio quality is pretty good. The BT in my Magellan was barely servicable and I would up not even using it.

    Another feature is the FAST keyless entry. Grab the door handle and it unlocks (programmable for just that door or all doors at once which I chose). Hit the button when you leave & it locks. The fob never leaves your pocket. Combined with the climate control and the GT's auto-on headlights & rain-sensing wipers there's just less stuff you have to deal with; the car does it for you.

    flat folding seats are important

    Technically the Outlander seats are of the tumble-forward variety but they do lead to a flat cargo area. See image 4 at lery While you're there check image 10 for what the backup cam would show if you went that route.

    must be AWD- dealbreaker there..

    Agreed. Maybe it's because I grew up in and still live in the snow belt but I've never understood buying a pickup or SUV and not opting for AWD.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,217
    Never considered our rally red Outlander as old and farty..

    I think that was a typo & should have read Outback.
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