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I looked at a Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson ( my previous vehicle), Kia, and VW. The Forester blew them away on interior quality, mpg, and visibility. Almost bought the Mazda but the angle of my arm on door when resting on it was very uncomfortable. A minor reason but one that was important to me.
 

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Our 2008 Ford Taurus has 216K miles and needs replacement. Nothing offered by Ford, GM, or Chrysler had the safety features, reliability, and the mileage we wanted. So, we looked at a CR-V, Odyssey, Accord, RAV4, Prius, Camry, Santa Fe, Niro, Soul, and Outback. Not buying a domestic vehicle was a change for us.

Today's sedans are not like our Taurus - they're lower, with poor visibility and a low greenhouse, so we crossed them off the list quickly.

We eliminated the Odyssey due to its poor gas mileage, and its higher price.

The Prius felt too constrained, especially for people in the back seat. The RAV4 hybrid drove well, but we both disliked the styling and the interior -- felt closed in. Less comfortable than the CR-V and Forester.

We really liked the Santa Fe. Good warranty, drove well, interior was pleasant (my favorite), and competitively priced. But the gas mileage is comparatively poor, and our mechanic warned us about Kias and Hyundais. So we crossed that off the list, along with the Kias.

The Outback was comfortable but didn't fit me or my wife as well as the Forester, so we dropped that as well.

The CR-V was good. We had concerns about the oil dilution issue, but it's a good car. Drives well, comfortable, economical. Interior is well laid out. Good exterior colors too! I would have been happy with the CR-V.

The Forester beat out the CR-V because of its better visibility and more spacious feeling cabin. We'd also heard from others how well it handles in the snow. We found a certified 2019 Forester with under 8000 miles and the rest is history!
 

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We really wanted another Forester, it would have been our filth. After driving most everything even close to it we bought a 19 Outback 3.6R. The lack of an XT or more performance orientated motor was a killer for us.
 

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We were turning in a 2016 Grand Cherokee Limited and wanted to be a bit more eco-conscious. The increase in price and fees over the last few years on Jeeps made it easier to start looking for alternatives. Looked at the CR-V and the VW Tiguan, and also briefly thought about going all-electric with the Kia Niro EV, but it was just too small for our multiple annual trips to see my folks 300 miles away, and our summer vacation where we pack pretty heavily.

The Tiguan didn't offer quite enough for us to overlook the two horrible local VW dealers, so we wrote that one off pretty quickly.

It was tight between the CR-V and Forester, but we saw a video online from Australia testing the real-world safety tech and how well it worked, and the Forester was the only vehicle that was really beyond reproach when it came to safety features that actually WORKED. Still, we gave the CR-V a chance. Drove the Forester and the CR-V back-to-back. The visibility in the Forester is obviously unmatched. However, the CR-V felt WAY more refined, had more power, and just felt like a better driving vehicle. But we did love the greenhouse in the Forester compared to the cocoon-like interior of the CR-V. Seats seemed better in the CR-V as well, and I expect reliability would be better as well (yeah, I know there's an oil dilution issue that people still claim is valid, but it seems like it's mostly in VERY cold regions of North America, so I discounted that pretty quickly). Sad to say, styling was also an issue. I haven't been a big fan of Forester styling, but the 2019 is SO much better looking than the new CR-V. My son hates the front of the CR-V, but I hate the rear more. It's just hideous.

In the end, we went for the safety features and Subaru's proven AWD, plus the visibility and the "slightly more fun to drive" factor. We had a 2003 Forester that we bought new that lasted 160K miles before it blew its seals, and it was otherwise reliable for us and for my stepson who inherited it when he graduated from high school. If we can get 10 years and 160K out of this one (my son is 12 now and this will probably be his car someday), I will consider it a solid investment.

In 1600 miles now, we're already having a couple annoying quirky issues with the locks (won't unlock by pulling handle all the time - often need to unlock using FOB) and tailgate (sometimes it opens, sometimes it doesn't) which is worrysome, but maybe a software fix will take care of that at some point.
 

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My doors on my 17’ unlock instantly every time (and so should yours) in comparison to that overpriced pos MB we have which doesnt unlock 80% of the time. Ya know “the best or nothing”
If my Forester is considered “nothing”, …Ill take it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I looked at 4 other brands before buying my ‘19 Forester Limited.

Hyundai Santa Fe - I actually liked everything about the Santa Fe better than the Forester except the gas mileage. That became the deciding factor in me selecting the Forester.

Honda CR-V- the oil dilution problem made me decide to eliminate it from consideration. I didn’t want to chance major engine problems in the long run.

Toyota RAV4 & RAV4 Hybrid - I’m 6’2” at my head was right against the sunroof. Plus the interior seemed to “close in” around me and the engine is really buzzy. The hybrid wasn’t readily available in March and it became rather pricey when you added popular options.

Mazda CX-5 - For some reason the seats just were not comfortable for me. Many people have raved about the seats, but not me. Also, I thought some of the advanced safety features didn’t work quite as well as the other brands.

After 6 months with the Forester, my only real dissatisfaction is with the jerkyness of the CVT at low speeds.
 

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I had had an Oldsmobile sedan, 626 sedan (neither of these were my choices), and Civic hatchback. Then we had a kid and I found that folding the seat forward and putting the infant seat into the back of the car was a lot of hassle, and whenever I needed to bring the kid somewhere I was always asking my wife if I could use her car. So then we decided to upgrade my car, and I had 3 requirements: AWD, manual transmission, and hatchback body style (4 doors). The search revealed a Volvo, an Audi, and the Forester. I wouldn't consider American cars. The Volvo and Audi were $10 k more than the Forester. Didn't even test drive them. Enter the 2007 Forester XS (with limited slip rear diff).

In 2018 I upgraded to a 2018 XT Limited with EyeSight, because I had planned to get an XT someday but I accidentally discovered that the 2018 was going to be the last year for the XT. There are some weird quirks like if you aren't super gentle starting from a dead stop, the car jerks forward, but apparently this is an XT throttle mapping thing, and I'm not going to change to aftermarket mapping to fix it. The light above the cargo area has gone away. And the powered rear hatch is too slow. But I like the CVT better than automatics with discrete gears, and the 250 hp is awesome. I'll eventually have to learn how to do walnut blasting but I really like the car, and think it's a great upgrade over the 2007 XS.

In 2017 we upgraded my wife's car to an RX350. We looked at quite a few different SUVs but disqualified a lot of them for various reasons, including being on a list of "worst vehicles to have in the snow." Like, how can you make an SUV that makes it onto that list? She didn't want a Forester unfortunately, or we'd have two.
 

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I looked at 4 other brands before buying my ‘19 Forester Limited.

Hyundai Santa Fe - I actually liked everything about the Santa Fe better than the Forester except the gas mileage. That became the deciding factor in me selecting the Forester.

Honda CR-V- the oil dilution problem made me decide to eliminate it from consideration. I didn’t want to chance major engine problems in the long run.

Toyota RAV4 & RAV4 Hybrid - I’m 6’2” at my head was right against the sunroof. Plus the interior seemed to “close in” around me and the engine is really buzzy. The hybrid wasn’t readily available in March and it became rather pricey when you added popular options.

Mazda CX-5 - For some reason the seats just were not comfortable for me. Many people have raved about the seats, but not me. Also, I thought some of the advanced safety features didn’t work quite as well as the other brands.

After 6 months with the Forester, my only real dissatisfaction is with the jerkyness of the CVT at low speeds.
Your thought process was almost the same as mine. I was surprised at how much I liked the Santa Fe, but the fuel economy is not good. The CR-V --- well, we live where it gets cold, so the oil dilution issue was somewhat of a factor. Also preferred the visibility of the Forester.

We did not like the interior of the RAV4 -- as you put it, it feels closed in. Toyota definitely was sacrificing utility for style points, and we didn't even like the styling.
 

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Checked out:
Lexus RX300 (or RX330?) - Just didn't excite me
Audi A6 AllRoad - Put off by common problems and price of parts - Only available in Auto.
Volvo XC70 - Too slow and the Euro 4 diesel was scary unreliable.
Legacy and Outback - Not as much aftermarket support vs Impreza/Forester. Similar performance of the SG XT was the Spec B which was a bit thirsty

Liked the idea of a WR1 but insurance was a bit much and sat a bit low for my needs.

SG XT made sense
 

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Nothing. We have had a CR-V, CX5, and a Tiguan. Our daughter had just bought a new Cherokee Trailhawk which had really impressed us with its front seat comfort but after driving it a few times I decided I couldn't live with a touch screen controlling almost all interior functions. Then the interior space is lacking compared to the Forester. But the biggest problem was fuel mileage. 9 MPG less for similar driving doesn't work for us.
 
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