2023 Subaru Outback vs. 2023 Subaru Forester

Subaru Outback

MSRP Range $28,395 - $42,294
Towing Capacity 2,700 - 3,500 lbs.
Fuel Economy 26 mpg city / 32 mpg hwy
Seating 5
Max Cargo Space 75.6 cu.ft.

Subaru Forester

MSRP Range $26,395 - $36,495
Towing Capacity 1,000 - 3,000 lbs.
Fuel Economy 26 mpg city / 33 mpg hwy
Seating 5
Max Cargo Space 74.2 cu. ft.

Size and Shape

With its longer body shape and wheelbase, the Outback is designed for smooth, controlled handling.

The Forester is about 2 inches taller than the Outback, which gives the driver better outward visibility.

SUBARU BOXER® Engine & Towing Capacity

Both the Outback and Forester are powered by the reliable SUBARU BOXER® engines. The Outback also offers a 260-hp turbocharged engine option, giving it the ability to tow up to 3,500 lbs. The Forester can tow 1,500-3,000 lbs.

Engine availability varies by trim level. Tow capacity varies by trim level. Trailer brakes may be needed. Some safety features, including X-MODE, Blind-Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, may not function properly when towing See your Subaru retailer for details.

Fuel Economy

Both the Outback and Forester achieve excellent all-wheel drive fuel economy. The Forester has slightly better gas mileage on the highway.


26 mpg city | 32 mpg hwy

View Outback Inventory


26 mpg city | 33 mpg hwy

2023 EPA fuel economy estimates for 2.5L non-Wilderness trim levels. Actual mileage may vary.

View Forester Inventory

Seating and Cargo Space

Passenger Seating

Both models comfortably seat 7, however the rear seats in the Outback offer a bit more legroom.


The Outback has space for longer items and slightly more room behind the rear seats. 

  • 32.6 cu.ft. behind the rear seats
  • 75.6 cu. ft. max cargo space

The Forester is better suited for taller cargo and has a slightly wider rear gate opening. 

  • 28.9 cu.ft. behind the rear seats
  • 74.2 cu. ft. max cargo space

Both models have about the same total cargo space. 

The Outback has retractable roof rail crossbars standard. On the Forester, removable crossbars are an accessory, but not standard.

Retractable roof rail crossbars not available on Outback Wilderness trim.

Interior Features

Interior Material

Depending on the trim you chose, both the Outback and the Forester have options for durable cloth, perforated leather, or water-repellant StarTex upholstery. The Outback also offers a more luxurious Napa Leather.

Seating Features

Both models offer heated seats, and the Outback also offers front seat ventilation. The Outback offers a 12-way power drivers seat with adjustable thigh support to help make long drives feel that much quicker..


The Outback has a traditionally-sized moonroof that opens and tilts. The Forester offers a larger panoramic moonroof.

Availability varies by trim.


Rearview Mirror

The Outback offers a smart rearview mirror, which helps provide a better view of what's behind the vehicle. 

Outback Touring and Touring XT trim levels only.


The Outback has an available 11.6-inch touchscreen, but dual 7-inch touchscreens come standard. In the Forester, you can choose an available 8-inch or standard 6.5-inch touchscreen. 

SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™

Both the Outback and Forester include Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. The Outback offers available wireless connectivity. 


Both models offer Harman Kardon® premium audio systems, and the Outback has a few more speakers.

Availability varies by trim..


EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology is standard on both the Outback and Forester. On the Outback, you can opt to have EyeSight® equipped with a third camera for a wider field of vision to enhance pedestrian and cyclist recognition*.

*Outback Touring and Touring XT trim levels only. 

View Outback Inventory                                View Forester Inventory