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Thinking of getting an Outback or Forester

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Good evening all.  I'm  complete "Scooby newbie".  My wife is thinking of getting either a Forester or an Outback.  Probably looking for something 2-4 years old.  It would have to be an auto, as it is going to replace a Nissan X-Trail that was written-off in a nasty accident.  Her injuries were such that we're looking for an auto.

She likes the idea of the Forester because it's bigger and higher-up.  Obviously, crashworthiness is important to her!  She's likely to do an average annual mileage - maybe a bit less.  Say, 8-10,000 miles a year.  Our youngest is a keen cyclist, (as indeed my wife was before the crash, and hopes to be again as she regains movement), so we'll need a towbar so that we can fit the bike rack for 3 bikes.  When it's just the lad, however, it would be handy to be able to throw the bike in the back of the car.

Could I ask for any advice or views on what to go for, please?  I hear the diesel engines can be troublesome?  As mentioned before, auto transmission is a must.  She'd like something with drive to all wheels as we live in rural Cumbria and it can get very slippy on the untreated roads in Winter.  We also sometimes see a bit of flooding, so wade depth is of interest.  Performance is less of a priority, although I have a 2 ton trailer that we sometimes tow.

I'm an enthusiastic amateur mechanic, so would probably be looking to do all my own servicing once the manufacturer's warranty has expired.

Looking online, I see that "real world" fuel consumption figures appear to be about mid 30s for both petrol autos and low 40s for both diesel autos.  Does Seem about right?

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Welcome!

Tough choice between the two! The Outback is bigger, but the Forester is higher, with 20 mm more ground clearance. Either way, they are both solid cars with good safety ratings.

I've also heard that the diesel is iffy (plus they don't sell them anymore, because???) They did do an Outback diesel with a CVT (auto) 'box until a couple of years ago (stopped around 67 or 18 reg), but beyond that you'll need a petrol to get the CVT. Since then most (possibly all?) have CVT as their Eyesight safety system only works with that gearbox.

I've not seen wading depths listed but the air intake is on the bonnet slam panel, so quite high. (Whether it will float before then, I'm not sure!) I think the Outback has a greater towing weight, too.

MPG sounds about right for the petrol. My wife's XV (2.0 petrol) gets low 30s pottering about but high 40s on a run. My Levorg (1.6T) gets high 20s and mid 40s respectively.

I think either would suit your wife. Maybe the Outback is better for chucking a bike in the boot and towing, but the Forester has the ride-height. Your best bet is to take a trip to Stan Palmer's in Rosehill and have a look / test drive them.

(Either way, make sure the one you get has Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, as the standard sat-nav is oblivious to traffic and expensive to update.)

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

 

 

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Oh, and when it comes to servicing, I don't think they're any worse than other modern cars (boxer engine access may be an issue?), although I've read on here (somewhere) that coolant changes can be tricky.

Not tried any servicing yet as ours are still under the 5 year drivetrain warranty (at least until next year...🤔)

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Many thanks Seb.  Interesting that they discontinued the diesel.  I didn't know that!  Do you know if that was just UK or across the whole EU?  Might have just been getting too tricky to meet the emissions limits, I guess.

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I think they've dropped the DERVs globally. Possibly a combination of not getting the boxer configuration to work reliably (main / big-end bearings seem to be the issue, from what I've read) and the backlash from the VW debacle. Honda and Toyota dropped diesels from their car range around the same time (at least here in the UK.)

 

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