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99 CR-V 5spd manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
as the title states im looking for your opinion on which is better (i understand im going to get biased answers) but im stuck as to what i should get next. i currently own a 99 CRV 5spd but its spent its entire life in buffalo ny where we heavily salt our roads. the thing is becoming extremely rotted and im going to be looking south/west for a rust free one.

i love the look of the first gen forester. and is about the same size as my current crv. but i have never driven one or have i ever owned a subaru.

my questions:
to those that have driven/owned both what are your thoughts on each.

what are repair costs like on a forester? how hard are they to work on? (i am fairly mechanically inclined)

anything to look for specifically when considering a purchase?

thanks for any help in advance.
 

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03 XS AUTO
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847 Posts
A big issue with the earlier CRVs is the A/C. The compressor is undersized for the vehicle. It doesnt do a good job of heat removal. When it lets go, not if but when, it pollutes the entire system and the average repair is in the $2500 range. It may not be as big a problem in NY as it is here in TX, but it is an issue. They both have timing belts and are both interference engines.

The subaru will need headgaskets. I am very limited in my knowledge of the Forester, but I had the engine out under two hours and had it torn down in another hour. I could do it all again under two. I did it with only the info found on this site.

.02
TUGG
 

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99 CR-V 5spd manual
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thats something i have been noticing. almost any forester over 150k says that the headgaskets have been changed, as if its expected like a brake job.

also i cant figure out why some foresters have these taillights :shrug:


and others have these.


anyone want to tell me why? is it difference in L and S trim? specific years? i personally like the first pic where there are taillights on the tailgate and chassis and if it is something that can be done with just swapping taillgates then i wont be so picky while looking for one.
 

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The first pic is a 2001-2002 forester the second pic is a 1998-2000 forester. Same chassis but in 01 the Forester got a different front and rear. The L is a basic model, S stood for sport and got a few more goodies.
 

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2011 FXT 4EAT
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90 Posts
I owned a 99 CRV for 11 years before I bought my FXT. Although the CRV never let me down and I drove it pretty hard at times, I am glad I bought a Subaru. It feels more solid and planted. I have never driven a 1st generation Forester so I cannot compare that to the CRV, but FWIW, I am very happy with my FXT and it's capabilities. If you decide to get one, I am sure you will not regret it.
 

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2001 CRV manual
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41 Posts
My current daily driver is an 01' 5speed CRV. I bought it from the original owner with 240K miles and rebuilt the motor immediately. 3yrs and 50K miles later, it's been a solid daily. First gen CRV's or more specifically the B20 motors were prone to valve issues, valves getting burnt so play close attn to valve ticking and have the valves adjusted regularly. Don't know about the AC issue/comment. 290K miles and haven't had any issues so far (neither did original owner).

Pro's to the CRV:

It's a Honda and is super easy to maintain.
Yes, timing belt is needed every 90-100K miles.
full time AWD and is good in the snow.
It's a Honda and will run forever as long as you take care of regular maintenance.
I average 25/26MPG with a mixed 60%Hwy, 40%City driving.

Cons to the CRV:

No powah, very little torque

Just picked up an 04' Forester XT manual to replace my CRV. The Forester has 160K miles and currently has a piston misfire. I'm having the motor rebuilt in 2 weeks and will be going stage 2 in the early summer.

So in theory, I have plenty of experience with the V but still new to the Subaru. If you're considering first gen Forester, I'd keep the CRV as parts are cheap and abundant. I might be biased and say a Honda is easier to work on than a Subaru but that's me. There are plenty of online tutorials / DIY on maintaining your Honda.

From what I can tell, both my CRV and XT has about the same cargo and cabin space. Biggest difference is the extra power, especially the torque and I miss having boost.

If you're switching to a Subaru, try to go with the turbo 04-08'. Otherwise, I wouldn't say there's anything much better than the 98-02' Forester over the CRV.
 

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2001 CRV manual
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41 Posts
98-01' CRV's use the B20 motors. The next gen, 02-04' is when the motor changed (possibly the K), never looked into it.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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3,003 Posts
2003 Foresters have MUCH more front seat leg room than any CRV.

Trust me, I'm 6'4" these days (shrinking with age) BUT fit comfortably into the first 2003 Sube that I sat in while my knees were buckled in the 1998 Gen 1 CRV.

Our 1998 CRV finally suffered a burnt valve at 148K miles........at which point, we ditched it and moved to a used but maintained 2004 2nd Gen CRV for my wife which she loves...I still cannot fit well into the CRV, however.

Steve
 

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99 CR-V 5spd manual
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
The first pic is a 2001-2002 forester the second pic is a 1998-2000 forester. Same chassis but in 01 the Forester got a different front and rear. The L is a basic model, S stood for sport and got a few more goodies.
i found that stuff out. learned the S had a LSD, heated seats mirrors etc. thanks though, nice to see a subaru noob not getting scolded right away haha
Welcome to the forum from Niagara Falls! :bacon:
NF canada side or NY?
EDIT: nvm i saw your signature "1990 GTS-t", which means canada
I owned a 99 CRV for 11 years before I bought my FXT. Although the CRV never let me down and I drove it pretty hard at times, I am glad I bought a Subaru. It feels more solid and planted. I have never driven a 1st generation Forester so I cannot compare that to the CRV, but FWIW, I am very happy with my FXT and it's capabilities. If you decide to get one, I am sure you will not regret it.
ive only owned this CRV for a year, and i am sad that i have to let it go but if it was still solid i wouldnt be posting this.
My current daily driver is an 01' 5speed CRV. I bought it from the original owner with 240K miles and rebuilt the motor immediately. 3yrs and 50K miles later, it's been a solid daily. First gen CRV's or more specifically the B20 motors were prone to valve issues, valves getting burnt so play close attn to valve ticking and have the valves adjusted regularly. Don't know about the AC issue/comment. 290K miles and haven't had any issues so far (neither did original owner).

Pro's to the CRV:

It's a Honda and is super easy to maintain.
Yes, timing belt is needed every 90-100K miles.
full time AWD and is good in the snow.
It's a Honda and will run forever as long as you take care of regular maintenance.
I average 25/26MPG with a mixed 60%Hwy, 40%City driving.

Cons to the CRV:

No powah, very little torque

Just picked up an 04' Forester XT manual to replace my CRV. The Forester has 160K miles and currently has a piston misfire. I'm having the motor rebuilt in 2 weeks and will be going stage 2 in the early summer.

So in theory, I have plenty of experience with the V but still new to the Subaru. If you're considering first gen Forester, I'd keep the CRV as parts are cheap and abundant. I might be biased and say a Honda is easier to work on than a Subaru but that's me. There are plenty of online tutorials / DIY on maintaining your Honda.

From what I can tell, both my CRV and XT has about the same cargo and cabin space. Biggest difference is the extra power, especially the torque and I miss having boost.

If you're switching to a Subaru, try to go with the turbo 04-08'. Otherwise, I wouldn't say there's anything much better than the 98-02' Forester over the CRV.
I love the power in my CRV, or lack of. keeps me out of trouble, but its still enough and handles like a big older civic(96-00), but its still fun to bop around in. I would love to get an XT but college budget doesnt allow for that right now. im pretty much using any money i get for selling my V as a parts car/parting it out and my refund right towards a new daily (300whp D series hatch is my sunny day car, soon to be ~400whp). which keeps my options to 1st gens. not a fan of the way a stock non FXT looks.
2003 Foresters have MUCH more front seat leg room than any CRV.

Trust me, I'm 6'4" these days (shrinking with age) BUT fit comfortably into the first 2003 Sube that I sat in while my knees were buckled in the 1998 Gen 1 CRV.

Our 1998 CRV finally suffered a burnt valve at 148K miles........at which point, we ditched it and moved to a used but maintained 2004 2nd Gen CRV for my wife which she loves...I still cannot fit well into the CRV, however.

Steve
luckily being 5'11" i havent had any problems with front seat leg room in a car.

Thanks for all the replies. i found an 01 S down in N.Carolina. hoping to take a trip down in a weekend or two and check it out.

one last question, have these recent snow storms that have hit the south made used 4wd/awd car prices skyrocket? some people are asking a touch over $6k for a 1st gen(97-01) V with 175k+ miles. i have even seen some 1st gen fozzys posted for $7k on craigslist, just seems outrageous to me.
 
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