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Subaru Outback vs Ford Freestyle

king6king6 Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Ford
Hi, new to the site and not sure if this had been started yet, but as a very proud ownder of a 99 Outback, I am a little annoyed by the introduction of the Ford Freestyle wagon. It looks virtually identical to the Outback, down to the contrasting grey fenders and bumper, factory roof rack, and windows. Isn't there some kind of copyright infringement going on here? Is it okay to buy this car instead of the Subaru because maybe some people dind't want to buy a Japanese car? Well there is a difference, which is so typical for american cars, it's bigger, what's worse is it's classified as an SUV (how does that work?) which means different tax breaks.

Are all the car companies going to start jumping on the band wagon (er station wagon band wagon) now?


  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is also classified as an SUV FYI.

  • The Freestyle gets much better milage than the Outback -my wife and I have averaged about 23 mpg in the year we've owned our 2006 Freestyle FWD, which cost us $24,000. I believe the Outback is more expensive.

    I have no idea what the Outback's safety rating is. The Freestyle is one of the safest vehicles on the market, such as the highest side-impact ratings WITHOUT side airbags.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Of course FWD is going to get better milage than AWD. That's like saying my Hyundai gets better milage than a Viper RT!

  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    I thought all Outbacks were AWD? Also, the MPG figures (for the 6cyl OB) are similar for the AWD FS. Prices for the AB's are a bit higher and don't feature the discounts that the FS's have. IMHO
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    All Subarus have full-time AWD.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    That is all true, but the steeper the discount, the lower the resale. Depreciation on the Freestyle is typical Ford - not a concern, of course, if you are keeping it for a long period of time, but if it is financed then GAP insurance is a good friend! Then there are reliability concerns. I have not heard good things in that department from locals who own them, but aside from the bugs, they do like the vehicles. *shrugs*
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Greetings:

    I have a friend who purchased a 2005 Outback a few months before I got my 2005 Freestyle. It is a nice enough vehicle but much smaller than my Freestyle. He rode in my Freestyle and noted how much roomier is was. I also took a ride in his Outback and noticed how cramped I felt inside. I'm 4' 26" and there was barely enough room for my legs with the seat in the rearmost position. Plus, there is very little cargo room behind the rear seats whereas the Freestyle has lots of room. The OB does have nicer interior materials, but the lack of space and power (his is the 2.5i) in comparison to my FS confirms I made a good choice. Of course the OB is fine for those who don't need a larger AWD vehicle. The B9-Tribeca is more similar to the Freestyle than the Outback is.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    When the Freestyle is in for brake line replacements (ala Tarus) in 2 years....

  • How unfair of Ford to offer a low-milage vehicle to customers who want one!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Freestyle holds 7, Outback holds 5. Different class of vehicles. There are a lot of crossovers now that are pretty similar looking today, just like many 4dr sedans all look pretty similar.

    Actually though, the Freestyle doesn't look all that similar to the Outback: -outback-06810061990006.jpg

    If anything, the Cadillac XRX looks a lot like the Freestyle: PanRight01Fixed.jpg

    As does the Saturn Outlook:
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    Consumer Reports was clear on the Freestyle: Poor reliability. So, if you want one, lease it. But as McCloskey says, its more comparable to a Tribeca, on size. Edmunds TMV is $26,840, but you can find $3,500-$4,000 on a rebates, take'em for repairs. Tribeca TMV is $31,070, bu you can find '06s at $27,000.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    If you look in the latest CR it's considered Average (open circle). And it's not comparable to a Tribeca on size,USB70FOC192A- 0

    The Tribeca is 10" shorter on the outside and inside, it has 6" less 2nd row legroom, 3" less 3rd row legroom, 2.5" less 3rd row headroom, and only 8CuFt of luggage space behind the 3rd row as compared to 20CuFt with the Freestyle. Comparisons can be made on other aspects, but in terms of interior space there is no comparison.
  • Greetings bobw3:

    I agree that the FS is noticably larger than the B9, and more versatile too. However, my comment was to say the B9 was a better comparison to the FS than the OB. The Feb '07 issue of Automobile has a 'Four Seasons Wrap-up' on the B9. In summary, they place the B9 behind the FS, Pilot and new CX-9 in the 'booming' CUV segment. While the B9 certainly has its attributes, the full article confirms my choice of purchasing the FS was the best one for me. With just a bit over 32K miles in L/T 2 years, I hope my FS will provide me with many more trouble-free miles.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I wouldn't consider a Subaru in the same class as a Ford.

    Ford/Hyundai/Chevy/Dodge - All bottom feeders

    I consider Subaru a more mid-line manufacturer, so although you can look at the figures, the level of manufacture, quality, reliability, etc are vastly different.

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    the level of manufacture, quality, reliability, etc are vastly different. Please provide the facts, web links, etc backing up this overgeneralization about the vast differences.

    Plus if quality is the number one issue, then the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot are just as vastly better than Subaru then you claim the Subaru is vastly better then the others you mentioned.

    And even if the quality of the Tribeca is slightly higher, if it doesn't meet the needs because of it's small size, then it doesn't make sense to buy it.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Toyota and Honda are vastly above the level of Subaru, just as Subaru is vastly above the level of Ford.

    It would be like comparing an AWD Ford 500 to say an AWD A6.

    Both are mid-size sedans.
    Both are AWD.
    Both have V6.

    But would you really consider them comparable in both price and quality? I highly doubt it.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Just my opinion therefore I don't need any "facts" as I'm not sure where one would find any "facts" that tell of how a car feels, all of those would be opinions.

    I know you are gonna pull out the "but the explorer is the #1 selling SUV in america, therefore it can't be bad" that's an old arguement that doesn't hold water.

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Actually, I don't have any opinions on the Explorer, but if it's your opinion that after driving both vehicles, the Ouback feels better than the Freestyle, then that's a fair opinion.

    Also, if you feel that Honda is vastly superior to Subaru, and Subaru is vastly superior to Ford, then what adjective will you use to compare Ford to Honda ;)
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    CR Overview

    Highs: Ride, access, visibility, useable third-row seat.
    Lows: Engine noise, tire grip, stability control unavailable.
    The Freestyle combines traits of a wagon, minivan, and SUV. Interior packaging is impressive, and even the third-row seat offers sufficient space for adults. Cabin access and visibility are commendable. The ride is firm but comfortable. Handling is fairly agile, although the Freestyle's tail slid easily in our avoidance maneuver. Unfortunately, stability control is not available. The V6 provides adequate performance and returns 18 mpg overall. Engine noise is pronounced when accelerating. Side- and curtain air bags will become standard later in the 2007 model year. Reliability has improved to average.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Maybe you could copy/past the same information for the Outback or Tribeca and maybe we'll find some vast differences. ;)
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    Freestyle recall no. 1:
    Nov. 05: Ford is recalling 127,493 Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego sedans and Freestyle wagons because the straps that secure the fuel tank to the vehicle body may break, causing the fuel tank and fuel tank heat shield to drop onto the driveshaft or exhaust system, the automaker and U.S. safety regulators said.
    Recall no. 2:
    Sep. 06: Latches/locks/linkages
    Dealers will install a shield over the front latches; seal a drain hole in the rear window trim molding on the freestyle rear side doors; and apply grease to all front and rear side-door latch mechanisms free of charge. The side door latch mechanisms may experience water intrusion allowing the latch mechanism to freeze in cold weather as a result, the door latch pawl may not return to the latch position when the door is closed, and the door could open while the vehicle is moving.
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    According to, after 4 years:
    Tribeca: 32%
    Freestyle: 26%
  • Lows: Engine noise, tire grip, stability control unavailable.

    I wouldn't want to be on the road with any of those CR drivers if they think they need stability control on the vehicle. ;)
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    And if the Tribeca costs 6% more to buy, then so what if the residual is 6% lower for the Freestyle. Plus I like my Freestyle enough that I'll probably keep it for 10 years. I'm not interested in buying something unsatisfactory just so 4 years down the road I'll get more money for it when I trade it in.

    There's no arguing the fact that the Tribeca, with it's tiny 3rd row and practically no cargo space, is not a vehicle capable of carrying nearly the same amount of people and cargo as the Freestyle.

    The Tribeca is more style over substance as a 7 passenger vehicle, so for those needing space for 6-7 people plus cargo, the Tribeca isn't even a consideration.

    Now if you want to compare something to the Tribeca, then compare it to the Toyota RAV-4 or Highlander.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I wouldn't want to be in any of those Outbacks with a defective side airbag ;) : SUBARU Model : OUTBACK Year : 2005
    Manufacturer : SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC.
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 04V274000 Recall Date : JUN 04, 2004
  • I guess I'll chime in here, I own an '06 AWD Freestyle and a '96 Outback. Now I know there's a decade between the two but... the OB is much more "sporty"? than the FS. The FS is alot bigger, third row seats and all. The initial build quality on the FS is outstanding, but I doubt the FS will hold up as well as the OB after 10 years, I am very impressed as to how well the OB has held up after 138k miles! The OB and the FS are unstoppable in snow! If I didn't need that 3rd row I would have bought a new OB mainly for the resale value compared to the FS. The concept is very close between the two cars though.
  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    Like the famous judge on obscenity, I know when I see it. That applies to my quality concept. Until now, no car manufacturer is close to Toyota, Honda and Subaru, no other american, japanese or euros. Don't close your eyes. If you have been in Japan you'll know that we americans are over them in most of the industrial aspects (they don't have a Boeing, or a 3M, a Microsoft or Apple, an Intel...). But in car quality, we lag. Problem is, our pride didn't let GM to wholly acquire Subaru or Suzuki. Ford never has let Mazda take a prominent role, and Chrysler bought a corrupted company in Mitsubishi.

    To be fair, the Freestyle is a very interesting concept of a 7 pass wagon, while to say that the Tribeca is a 7 pass is like Pamela Anderson wearing an "A" cup bra. But I like Pamela even wit

    About Subaru and Ford, every morning I wake up confident that today isn't the day when my car is going to let me stranded. This friday I'll let my home in Minnesota, all the way to Mackinaw, around the big lakes, on the cold, not being afraid of anything. And saturday morning the way to the autoshow is going to be a sweet drive. That's the Subaru advantage. If you can get that on your Ford, lucky you.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    When Subaru makes a vehicle practical enough to fit my needs, then let me know. I'd rather wear a $200 suit that fits me perfectly, then buy a $250 suit that doesn't fit but is made out of slightly better material ;) BTW I own a Honda Fit as well as my Freestyle.
  • The american makers and Ford in particular have come a long, long way in quality,the warranty numbers show it, there just isn't the amount of warranty work being performed on the newest models that have come out lately, Mustang, Fusion, Freestyle, 500. I have no fears what so ever taking the FS on a long trip, that is just ridiculous! Now if the american makers can do something about that old perception they'd be in good shape.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I've driven my Freestyle over 43K miles in two years, and on many long road trips. I was so afraid of it breaking down that I'd hire a tow truck to drive behind me for the entire trip. It was expensive but worth the peace of mind. :surprise:
This discussion has been closed.