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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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The April issue of Motor Trend compares 8 compact SUVs. The Honda CR-V was 1st, the Mazda CX-5 was 2nd, and the Forester was 3rd. The Forester was criticized for lack of power, and poor ride and handling from a soft suspension.
 

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Cant speak to the Honda CR-V, but I would put the Forester far and above the CX-5. Ill prefrence this by ssaying I love in Syracuse NY, snowiest city in the country. Test drove both on the same day in the same snowy conditions and the forester way out performed. The interior space and comfort goes tot he Forester. The CX-5 obviously has the most "get-up-and-go" but not as much as everyone seems to tout. From a handling perspective I cant really say the CX-5 is that much better. Overall, its personal needs but the CX-5 is way in 3rd for a crossover for me.
 

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2019 Premium CVT
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Motor Trend's 'judgement' about cars can be gauged by some of their past choices for the Motor Trend 'Car of The Year':

Chrysler PT Cruiser;

Lincoln Town Car;

AMC/Renault Alliance;

Chrysler K cars/Dodge Aries/Plymouth Reliant;

Chevrolet Citation;

Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare;

Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon.
 

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In my opinion, I don't think I'd want any more power than I already have. I'm fine passing people on highway, and if I blink I'm pushing speed limit +20 and have to slow down. It drives much more aggressively than the 2011 Outback it replaced, so I don't think it's a question of the CVT, even though car mags love to hate on them. I find the Forester excellent at handling, with nice, tight, steering.
 

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2017 Forester
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Man, you brought back memories! The Chevy Citation was my first company car as a rookie sales rep.

They don’t make them like they used to.... in the case of the Citation that’s a good thing.
 

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2019 Premium CVT
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Consumer Reports -- which is not dependent on advertising and buys the cars it tests from dealer lots -- ranks the 2019 Forester Premium above both the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5.

Consumer Reports gave the 2019 Forester an overall score of 88, while reporting, "The ride is comfortable and supple, the steering is responsive, and there is little body lean around corners. Consumer Reports gave the 2019 Forester a Road Test score of 90.

To put that into perspective, the $51,630 Lexus RX 350 bought and tested by Consumer Reports was given an overall score of 78 and a Road Test score of 77.

The Mazda CX-5 Touring bought and tested by Consumer Reports was given an overall score of 81 and a Road Test score of 80.

The Honda CR-V EX (1.5T) bought and tested by Consumer Reports was given an overall score of 76 and Road Test score of 82 (while being ranked below both the Forester and the Mazda for 'Predicted Reliability').

I bought my beloved, recently-departed 2005 Forester X based on nothing more than the Consumer Reports ranking. I knew next-to-nothing about Subaru and was simply looking for an inexpensive vehicle for Michigan's winter snows and for carrying my kayak (tasks at which my Mercedes E-Class was not good). It turned out to be the best value for money of any vehicle -- or any product -- I have ever owned.

When Motor Trend was owned by Petersen Publishing getting the 'Car Of The Year' award was contingent on a commitment to a sizable amount of advertising by the 'winning' car company. I doubt that attitude as to how cars are reviewed and judged has changed.
 

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I would figure with the price range they did on the comparison they could of used the turbo CX-5. Car and driver will probably do a similar comparison next month and the 1 and 2 finishers will be flipped.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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I can only speak to MY 2014, but Honda's interior quality is quite a bit better if you are comparing Forester to CR-V. I'm surprised to hear the other criticism though.
 

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19 Forester cvt
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This year's CR-V any bigger inside? I test drove last year's model, and it felt as cramped inside as the 2008 Fit I used to drive. Which isn't to say I didn't fit in the Fit, but at my height that was only by leaning the seat back. Not the case with the current Forester at all. On the other hand, back in 2008 the Forester I tried then, didn't have enough driver leg room for me. Subaru's certainly learned a lot about the size of some Americans since then.
 

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2019 Premium CVT
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I test drove last year's model, and it felt as cramped inside as the 2008 Fit I used to drive.
It was the visibility delivered by the 2019 CR-V that I found to be a deal-breaker. Turning my head to look out of the driver's side my vision was blocked by the 'B' pillar. Not good. The acceleration of the 1.5-liter turbo and the interior fit and finish were impressive, however. Room wasn't an issue (I'm 6" 1').
 

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2019 Sport w/ Opt 24 pkg CVT
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I was considering the CRV but was scared off by the gas mixing into oil issue in the cold climates with short trips when the turbo engine doesn't get completely warm. They "say" it is fixed, but if you follow the forums, people are still complaining about it being a problem after the fix. Since I'm in MN and have a short drive to/from work, I stayed away. Plus Honda has a history of not really fixing things, or delaying fixes for issues. I lived through the VCM vibration fiasco on a Pilot that I used to have and that really soured me on Honda.

I travel for work a lot and get a lot of rental cars, so that ruled out Kia and Hyundai....lots of various issues and just cheaper feeling if you look really closely, though they are getting better in recent years.

My wife has a RAV4, so one of those in the family is enough, it was never in the running. :grin2:

I'm really happy with the Forester, it has been fantastic on the snow and ice covered roads in this bad winter we are having. Plus there are videos of how good it is in the deeper snow, and when researching I remember seeing a video review on YouTube of a Forester pulling out a stuck CX5 during a review. Sounded like the CX5 wasn't as good in the bad weather driving.
 

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Motor Trend's 'judgement' about cars can be gauged by some of their past choices for the Motor Trend 'Car of The Year':

Chrysler PT Cruiser;

Lincoln Town Car;

AMC/Renault Alliance;

Chrysler K cars/Dodge Aries/Plymouth Reliant;

Chevrolet Citation;

Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare;

Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon.
sorry if i offend anybody, but pt cruiser? seriously??
whats with the chrysler love from motortrend?
growing up working with my dad for domestic cars, they produce a load of garbage.
 

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19 19 Touring, 17TrgXT CVT
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Motor Trend is biased towards advertising revenue. Basing a buying decision on their recommendations is about as sound as getting your news from the various supermarket tell all rags at the checkout lane. I trust Consumer Reports and my own judgement after test driving various SUVs before buying my first Subaru back in late 2016. Price was not as much as a consideration as overall value, safety and reliability. With those three considerations Subaru leads the pack.
 

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2017 Forester XT CVT
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284 Posts
It's underpowered for a ton of people and the sport is a turn off for many.

Common knowledge
I drove a bunch of 2017 MY crossovers before my purchase of an fxt. The preimary reason I got the fxt is it was the fastest one I drove.

The lack of power in the 17 crostrek i drove feel dangerously slow. Mazda was ok but felt very much like a moms grocery getter. The forester offered speed and a little more “outdoorsy” clout. - the secondary reason I got an fxt over the competition.

I did like the rav4 but hated the styling! But I have a better brand image of Subaru then Toyota.

I really like the 19 but haven’t driven one... mostly because I felt the 17 2.5 NA forester is also WAY TO DANG SLOW and with all the underpowered criticism I don’t think there is much need.

...2 more cents for the pile...
 

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2018 Forester XT
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I really like the 19 but haven’t driven one... mostly because I felt the 17 2.5 NA forester is also WAY TO DANG SLOW and with all the underpowered criticism I don’t think there is much need.

...2 more cents for the pile...
I like the 19 interior minus the sport trim. I’ve driven the 19 and yup, very underpowered...at elevation and on long inclines, it struggles. It is what is
 

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I'm more curious of one of those new Honda Passports vs. the Subaru Forester. That seems more apples to apples to me. The CRV just looks like a Civic on stilts.
 

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2018 Forester Touring 2.5 CVT
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We bought a CX-5 in stead of a Forester because of a previous experience with CVT's. We made a 2500 trip to San Diego and back with it right off. I could never get a comfortable driving position where leg room, steering wheel position and arm rests would work for me. Also very tight inside. Drove a CRV and the outward visibilty was like the CX-5 and its ergonomics are just as bad for me. Also hated the center stack user interface. Our daughter has a new Cherokee and although the seats are night and day better than our Forester it is bigger on the outside and much smaller inside. She commutes 30 miles a day round trip with 90% freeway and averages about 20 MPG now that she has slowed down to 65 MPH with C/C on. 9,000 miles on the Forester and no looking back. I am still getting used to the acceleration surge from a stop and the artificial gear changes of this CVT. One thing that does help is that I have left foot braked for years after an Achilles tendon tear so when leaving a stop I give a little gas just before letting up on the brake pedal.
 
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