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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! I am an Australian from Sydney, and for the past few years have been driving my dad's old 2007 Forester. Unfortunately is has recently been written off I'm looking for a replacement. After doing a ton of research I eventually decided that a Subaru was probably the best car for me after all, but am still undecided on which one I should get. The two things I am still tossing and turning over are Forester vs Crosstrek and Diesel vs Petrol.

The whole reason Subarus appeal to me is because I live in the city but am a fisherman who loves to go on adventures into the bush, so having a car that can do it all is very important to me. I want something with decent fuel economy that drives comfortably, but can also handle off roading. And while storage space isn't much of a concern roof racks are super important, because I'm often lugging around my kayak on the roof.

Because of this an Crosstrek seems like a perfect fit, but I am hesitant because of the lukewarm reception it seems to get. Seeing it is notoriously underpowered I'm not sure how it would cope with a 30kg kayak on the roof and a bunch of fishing gear in the boot and back seat, let alone if I wanted to go with a friend and put two on there. Because of this I am leaning more to the Forester, but I really do greatly prefer the looks of the Crosstrek, and have always preferred smaller cars. While I'm sure any car would easily handle 90% of what I throw at it, it is the 10% of off the beaten path driving I do with a fully laden car that worries me about the Crosstrek. Would it be able to handle it, or would I definitely need the extra power of a Forester?

The second thing I was curious about between Crosstrek and Forester is in terms of servicing costs and fuel economy. While I have some money saved up and want to invest in a decent car because I drive quite often, I am a student so keeping servicing costs and fuel costs as low as possible is a priority. The Crosstrek seems to boast better fuel economy, but how do servicing costs compare between the two?

Lastly, I am unsure if the sort of driving I do is more suited for diesel or petrol. I am luckily in walking distance of my university, so all of my driving is either quick trips to the shops or any other local spots or long trips out to the bush of an hour plus both ways. I'm also a big road trip fan which I try to find time for at least a few times a year which is something I am definitely considering. I know petrol tends to better for short trips and diesel for long ones, but what I do seems to fall squarely in the middle.

Thanks for reading if anyone made it this far, I know it was a bit of an essay so sorry for that. Any help is greatly appreciated, I'll post updates once I've eventually bought my new Sub :smile2:
 

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There is no difference in fuel economy between a Crosstrek and a Forester. There is a price difference but not by much. For you use in going off road a smaller car would be preferable. Dimensions: Width 1800 vs 1815, Height 1615 vs 1730, Length 4465 vs 4625. Shorter in height would be helpful when loading a kayak or sneaking through low hanging branches. Ground clearance (220) is the same for both. Foresters are good for families where you need the extra room for seating and luggage. Diesel fuel is worthwhile if you do a lot of driving in a year. Maintenance cost for a diesel can be higher than petrol. Diesel engines are very robust but so is a properly cared for petrol engine. Some users have found the Crosstrek very responsive and the bigger engine on the Forester not so. But this all depends on your use. There are paddle shifters on the Forester that will allow you to gear down if you need to pass someone on a short passing lane. On the motorway not a problem with the Forester.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your help Marty. I completely forgot to mention that I would be buying used, I can only afford something in the 2014/15 range for each car. Does everything you said still apply for cars from those yers? I know they did a big overhaul on the XV in the 2018 model.
 

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^ @marty2019 good advice!

G'day & Welcome aboard @Crocs

The XV (as it's called over here) with a 2.0L engine and approx 80 kg lighter has slightly better fuel consumption. You can no longer buy a new Subaru diesel and given the regular DPF issues with city driving and that Subaru have dropped diesel I would avoid diesel. (I have a Triton diesel for my extended outback trips but, thankfully, it does not have a DPF.)

While the XV may be suitable for your short fishing or off-roading trips the Foz would handle the extra gear needed for a longer trip i.e. imagine you want to go to Fraser Island or Cape York. I imagine you'll want to carry a fridge and I think the sloped rear of the XV would limit your choice.

I can only guess that servicing costs would be nearly identical between both (petrol) vehicles and, yes, diesel is more expensive to maintain. I rarely get away under $1,000 when servicing the Triton. But, after the upcoming election I'm hoping that the legislation gets passed that forces manufacturers to share their servicing systems with other service centres just as it is in other parts of the world - this should reduce servicing costs.

PS just saw you post re 2nd hand - my daughter recently purchased a 2015 Foz from a Subie dealer and you can get a 3 year warranty.

PPS there is a Subie Club in Sydney of which I am a member: Subaru & Recreational 4WD Club Inc | Welcome to the Subaru and Recreational 4WD Club | Subaru & Recreational 4WD Club NSW : Australian Subaru Club
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks @Kevin, a lot of good info there. In that case a petrol engine definitely sounds a bit better for me. In terms of XV vs Foz I'm thinking I might just set some search alerts for the two of them and grab the one I can get the best deal on. The pros and cons of each are pretty much perfectly balanced in my eyes so I'll let fate decide. When it comes to storage I think the XV should really do the job fine. It is actually a touch larger than the 2007 Forester I used to have, and I never had much issue fitting my gear in it. If worst comes to worst I have plenty of space in my kayak hull anyway.

The next thing I need to decide is manual vs auto. Is there any distinct advantage in a manual over an auto in the Forester or XV? Unfortunately because my family only had auto cars I never learned manual, but now that I am legally allowed I figure it might be a good time to learn. I've heard that the CVT transmissions aren't great, but also that manual is a pain in city driving. Anyone have a preference?
 

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