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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m replacing my ‘04 4Runner and totally confused on what to do. I’d go with another Toyota but there’s not a model I like (I like the Forester over the new RAV4). We love our Odyssey but the other Honda offerings are boring IMO.

So here I am with Subaru, which I have eyed for years. The problem is that I’m confused which model is best for me. Again, we’ve got an Odyssey so my car is not the primary hauler for our family of 4 (kids are 3 and 9 months). So is the Ascent too big? Is the Forester going to be too small? The Outback is an option but with a refresh upcoming, I’m a little timid to get it.
Anyone been in this position? Any help or input is greatly appreciated!!


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19 Forester cvt
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The Forester carries four large adults comfortably, plus cargo. Or three smaller people in the back seat. The Outback holds about the same. The Ourback is longer; the Forester is higher. The Outback is more of a traditional wagon; the Forester is more in the old Jeep tradition. Both have the same ground clearance, and get about the same mileage.

The global platform is a nice improvement on the Forester; it will likely be for the Outback too, but the current Outback isn't as much in need of it, as it was already a smoother ride.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i
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4 adults fit fine so it should be right for you. foresters are great grocery getter erand runner cars. you should like going on short runs by yourself better than a large vehicle. easier to fit and park and maneuver thru congested lots etc. once the kids get older you'll be minusing strollers and cribs you'll be able to take it on some trips.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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Why would a forester be to small for 4 people in a Second Car?

Things have changed. We had a camaro and had 2 kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Why would a forester be to small for 4 people in a Second Car?
Mainly because we’re unsure how much the 2nd car would be utilized to carry more than 4 people. For example, toting kids to and from school or sporting events. The Ascent would obviously provide enough room but would we be underutilizing the space more often than not?

It just feels like one of those things we may not know the answer to until actually buying the car.

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Very simple and you are over thinking it. If you think that you will have the need to carry 5+ people on a fairly normal basis, the Forester is not for you...get the Ascent. If you will only need to carry 5 every one in a while, the Forester will seat 5 comfortably (especially kids in the rear) on short trips so get the Forester. No one on this forum can tell you what you to do...you are a big boy and have to make a decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
^^ Agree with Security Guy.
Your going to spend $30-40k on a new SUV and your asking strangers what to do???

You and @securityguy are missing the point here. I’m not asking what I should do. I’m just asking what others in my situation have done and how that worked out for them.

... but I will agree with @securityguy on one thing - I might be overthinking it.
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I have 3 kids at home, teens and pre-teens, and the Forester is a great second car. A couple of things that really help are how wide the rear doors open and the height of entry. These make getting kids in and out of the back seats pretty convenient. The fuel efficiency, turning radius, ride height, and visibility are all great with the Forester. With just two kids, you may find yourself leaving your Odyssey parked and taking the Forester more often than you expect. Good luck!
 

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2019 Sport cvt
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Without looking things up, I'd guess the Odyssey and Ascent will be similarly sized. We had the earliest Odyssey in the Isuzu trim and it was fine for a family of four. Now they (Odysseys) are larger. At this point and for some time, you will be needing car seats. I'd guess that Honda will have figured out the 3 row seating issues more completely over the years the Odyssey has been around if needing both car seats and more passengers. Note that the Pilot and the new Passport are possibilities - and likely somewhat comparable to the Ascent, etc. I'd think you are at least 4 years before needing to tote more kids, and more likely to need more adults instead.

Minivans (most of them now) have the sliding doors, Ascent, Pilot, etc., have swing open doors. That can make a difference when navigating parking lots and loading/unloading bck seats or car seats. The Odyssey has, I believe, a fair amount more convenient usable space behind the second row of seats compared to a SuV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anyone have experience with fitting 2 car seats in the back?


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Very simple and you are over thinking it. If you think that you will have the need to carry 5+ people on a fairly normal basis, the Forester is not for you...get the Ascent. If you will only need to carry 5 every one in a while, the Forester will seat 5 comfortably (especially kids in the rear) on short trips so get the Forester. No one on this forum can tell you what you to do...you are a big boy and have to make a decision.
Exactly.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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I have 2 booster seats for my toddler grandchildren and not the easiest things to get buckled. I think there is a thread about the seating. I would suggest you take your car seats for a test ride in the Forester. I don't have the grand children as much as I used to so I don't deal with it often. Plenty of room for 2 seats, my boosters do not fit in the middle. I really like my new Forester. Good Luck!
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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I have 2 booster seats for my toddler grandchildren and not the easiest things to get buckled. I think there is a thread about the seating. I would suggest you take your car seats for a test ride in the Forester. I don't have the grand children as much as I used to so I don't deal with it often. Plenty of room for 2 seats, my boosters do not fit in the middle. I really like my new Forester. Good Luck!
I have buckled grand kids in multiple multiple car seats. All about the same-honestly. By the time they are two and a half they do it themselves.
 

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I have what you're thinking about getting.

Our house currently has a 2012 Honda Odyssey EXL and a 2018 Subaru Forester XT Touring (previously Subaru WRX STi). We have 2 kids (7,2) with 1 on the way.

I think it works well, but really,it comes down to your lifestyle and how you will use the cars.

Family road trip, we take the Odyssey, its comfortable, just cruises great, holds everything. RES

Day trip, I like taking the Forester as its new, my commute is short and I like to have ti stretch its legs some.

running errands, taking my son to sports or wherever, I take mine(forester), my wife takes hers (Odyssey).

If we have to take someone else's kid, its easier in the Odyssey since we have seats that don't have car seats. While the back of the Forester has a booster and a proper car seat.

I haven't had the Forester with a rear facing seat, so I don't recall how that is, It did eat room in the STi.

Honestly, it has been a while since I've been in a 4Runner, but from what I remember for people space.... it wasn't any better than the forester.

I personally subscribe to not needing 2 LARGE vehicles in the house. My wife kept reminding me of that when I would look at the CX-9... which is gorgeous... because honestly, most of the time its just me in the car. If its not just me, its me and 1 kid. If its not, its me and 2 kids... either way I'm fine. When 3 comes along, If it really is just me and 3 kids which likely won't happen often... well, i'll take the van.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5I Prem CVT
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Chrysler T&C is my main family vehicle but we have been hauling all 5 of us in the Forester around town a lot since we bought it. No issues. We have 1 forward facing car seat, one high back booster seat and the oldest sits in the middle. I would not take the Forester on a long family trip but it has been just fine running around town. The kids still like going in it due to the "new" factor and the moonroof.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring CVT
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I have 3 kids in the back (7, 3.5 and 6 months) and I am 6'3". Fitting 2 kids in the back in not an issue in any configuration expect rear facing seat behind me. But it can fit in the middle (connected with seatbelt NOT latch) or behind passenger (my wife is 5'6").
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you all. It's reassuring to hear from many of you in similar situations. As @securityguy can tell you, I've been on the car prowl for several months now. I have gone Outback > Forester > Outback > Ascent. Going into this, I had no idea this would be such a tough decision but there doesn't seem to be a car that checks all of the boxes for us. A couple check many of the boxes, but not all, and this just results in the situation I'm currently in - choosing the "lesser" of two evils (although all 3 options are very good).

I've had my 4Runner for 14 years, so we'd like to do that with this car as well. Hence, the reason we are considering the Ascent. However, with 2 kids, maybe a more budget-friendly option is the way to go ... and hence the Forester & Outback. At the end of the day, we don't know the answer and that's why your experiences have been so much help. I never thought I would be "that guy" but this has truly helped.

We're still undecided right now but feeling more and more like we can't make a wrong decision.
 
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