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Subaru outback vs forester

I need a larger car in order to better fit a carseat in the back seat. (I have a Subaru Impreza with a carseat for my newborn, but now the front seat cannot be reclined and legroom is extremely limited, which is a problem since I am tall).

I am thinking about another Subaru, maybe an Outback or a Forester. A few questions:

- Is there a legacy wagon anymore? It used to be the same as an outback, but less expensive, but I couldn’t find a legacy wagon on the Subaru website.

- Thoughts on Outback vs Forester? I was surprised to see that they have equal gas mileage, and the Forester is less expensive. I like the look of an Outback better, but not enough to pay a few thousand dollars extra.

- Or is there another wagon recommended with enough room in the back seat for a carseat and still be able to maintain legroom for the front seat passenger?

Thank you.

I have good news and bad news.
If you live anywhere outside of North America, the Legacy wagon still exists.
If you live in North America, only the Outback wagon and Legacy sedan exist on that platform.

As to gas mileage, the new Outback with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is actually rated better than the Forester on gas mileage. Outbacks with the CVT actually get better gas mileage than Outbacks with a manual transmission.

The Outback is more expensive than the Forester, but it rides better, is much quieter, and overall is a more luxurious vehicle. On the other hand, if you are shopping strictly according to sticker price, you would be better-off with the Forester.

Since front seat room with the car seat installed in the back seat is a major issue, try out you seat in each see which one you like. I like the slightly smaller size of the Forester, but that’s me.

The Subaru Legacy wagon left the market in 2007. The Subaru Legacy now remains sedan only.

Go to the dealership with a car seat and check it out. I have received both new Outback and new Forester as free loaners and Outback appears to have more rear seat room and I think a better car.

Lastly remember a rear facing car seat is only about 1-1.25 years tops. A temporary thing in the ownership of a vehicle.

Thank you for the responses.

In addition to the outback and forester, are there other (non-Subaru) wagons anyone would recommend with enough room in the back seat for a carseat? I do not like big cars and do not want to buy an SUV, although I guess I would consider a smallish SUV if it got comparable gas mileage and were similar in price.


The problem is inexpensive wagons are not readily available. The only other I can think of and a great vehicle is the VW Jetta SportWagon. However its MPG is no better than a Subaru which is poor considering no AWD and reliability/repair cost is a wild card.

Subaru does incredibly well filling in the niches missing from other car makers.