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Went to the LA Auto Show yesterday. I came away convinced and amazed anew about the quality and overall goodness of my '04 Forester XT, and all Subie vehicles. The value and quality and distinctiveness, for the money, is truly impressive. I keep thinking in my darker moments, "This thing is too good to be true. Something will happen--Subaru will screw up, or Toyota will buy all of the company, or something, so I'll have to find another brand and model for that day, hopefully in the distant future, when I need to think about a replacement."

With that in mind, I looked at the Honda Pilot. Yes, there are a half-gazillion of them out there, but--call me crazy--I've always been somewhat attracted...until yesterday. I'd never sat in one before. To my surprise, I have as much room in the front seat of my Forester, if not a bit more! And while it was a Honda and, so, basically a good quality vehicle, it somehow felt cheap compared to my Subie interiors. (We have a new Legacy wagon also.)

Honda Element--again, good quality, but too...elemental, too crude. And it looks like something pieced together at the junk yard.

I'd read good things about the new RAV4. I got into the line to try out the driver's seat in one, finally was next to have a shot...and passed. Didn't even want to get in. One good look...no need to sit in it. Just not appealing. And still, rightly or wrongly (sorry, ladies), considered a chick car here in SoCal. You NEVER see a guy driving them.

Only vehicle that I liked, but would never buy because I don't need a truck, is the Honda Ridgeline. Large interior, and practically a filing cabinet of storage spaces and compartments between the front seats; and a very large lockable trunk under the cargo deck. A nice piece of work. But, too large on the outside; and it weighs about a ton and a half more than necessary for my needs.

Mitsubishi...I won't even go there. Nissan? Nothing of interest. Toyota? Sorry, yes, high quality, but all the current products remotely comparable to the Forester (e.g., Highlander, Matrix) are just boring, or underpowered, or both.

There are some interesting "crossover" vehicles in the pipeline. Maybe next year's show (date now moved to early December) will have new possibilities. For now, folks, we still have in the Forester a vehicle like nothing else on the market, at least not here in the US.
 

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2006 Forester, LLBean 4EAT
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Hal said:
For now, folks, we still have in the Forester a vehicle like nothing else on the market, at least not here in the US.
How true! My requirements for a new car were: 1. wagon, 2. raised, 3. AWD, and 4. not too big.

The only two serious contenders came from Subaru. And the Outback didn't fulfill requirement no. 4. So the Fozza it was. It didn't hurt that I've wanted a Subie for many, many years.

Escher
 
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Cars I looked at before I got my Forester

Hey all,

Yeah I did the whole shopping around thing before I got the Forester. First things I looked at was the Hyundai Sante Fe. It has a very agressive look, and a spacious interior but it was just more than I could afford at the time.

Then I saw a Honda CRV, not enough room and a kinda cheezy image, no guys driving the thing.

Suzuki was up next, and was probably what I would have gotten if not the Forester, but the Grand Vitara is kinda small in the cargo department.

I also checked out an Element. I like the way the interior was. It seemed like it was extremely rugged with the rubber floor, and the seats folding up against the wall, but... The front end was really squishy, reminded me of a rubbermaid garbage can. Not much protection there. And the lowest part of the car is... *gasp* the gas tank. Its in the very middle, actually sticks out below the frame. It is a big, plastic, rectangular thing that has a kind of protective frame around it. The bottom is completly exposed where a good sharp rock could get in there and whoops!

Nissan Isuzu and Mitsu all seemed out of my price range.

I went to Toyota to look at a Rav4 and a Matrix, but the salesman could not even tell me if either one of them had a tow rating.

I checked out the Jeep Liberty, not a bad car, but the gas milage sucked, and I didnt care too much for the way the rear gate opened.

The Vibe was cool, but a little on the small side, and expensive.

It came down to a car at a reputable dealer that treated me like a human with specific needs, and I literally got exactly what I was looking for at the price I could get financed. This car does more for me than I thought a car could, as far as being fuel effiecient, comfort, power, and towing and cargo capacity.

Derek
 

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The Acura RDX seems to be the coolest "crossover" vehicle coming out... 240 Hp I believe out of a 2.3 liter turbo... and it's also AWD. I love the way it looks the only downside is you cannot get a manual transmission.
 

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CR-V Tailgate

We ruled out the CR-V because of that durn swing-out tailgate. I know that you can raise the glass and reach inside, but to get heavy grocery bags and luggage out, the tailgate must be swung open and that's a tall order in our garage. Either you pull in nose first and stand outside in the rain unloading or you back in and can barely open the tailgate, which also has a tire hanging from it. Forester's lift gate and tire well are much more practical for my family.

We never drove the CR-V, but I'd be surprised if it were as much fun to drive as the Forester.
 

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06 FXT
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Fitz Ingarage said:
We never drove the CR-V, but I'd be surprised if it were as much fun to drive as the Forester.
Not even close (my sis-in-law bought one), trust me. And the whole vehicle looks and feels weak, as if I can tare it apart with my bare hands (like the bonus level in Street Fighter II).
 
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