The 2019 Subaru Outback is making its dealer launch and arrives with a few changes for the 2019 model year. It’s been leading the Forester in sales all year until last month when Subaru of America sold more Foresters (13,453 units) than Outbacks (12,895). Outback still leads year-to-date, but Forester could overtake Outback as the all-new fifth-generation models arrive this month. Outback still beats the new Forester in two key areas.
3.6R vs 2.5i
Even though the new 2019 Forester gets upgrades in safety, interior room and improved driving dynamics, the popular Outback SUV/Crossover still beats the small SUV in power. The Outback is offered with two engines, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine with 175-hp and the 3.6-liter six-cylinder Boxer producing 256-hp. Forester only offers one engine for 2019.
All fifth-generation Foresters only come with one engine option. The new Forester 2.5-liter powerplant comes with direct injection, higher compression, along with active valve control system (AVCS). The engine produces 182-hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, versus 170-hp and 174 lb-ft in the previous-generation Forester. If you need more power, customers will need to buy the Outback 3.6R Limited or Touring models which offer the bigger six-cylinder Boxer engine.
1,200 more lbs.
The Subaru Outback has a 2,700 lb. tow rating with the optional 3.6-liter engine, but Forester’s powertrain only allows up to 1,500-lb. towing capacity. Many owners are looking for an all-wheel-drive vehicle that will tow a small camper, sailboat or multi-purpose trailer. A Forester SUV can tow a small utility trailer, but for anything bigger, you'll need the Outback.
Customers who want the larger 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine in the Subaru Outback will need to buy a 2019 model because it’s likely going away after this year. The new-generation models, when they arrive sometime next year, will likely be powered by new twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine similar to the new 2019 Ascent. So if you still want the larger displacement 2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R, you have one more year before they are a thing of the past.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA