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Tiguan vs. Forester vs. CR-V

I'm in the market for a cute ute and have narrowed my search to the Tiguan, Forester and CV-R. I had been a loyal VW owner since the early 70s but early transmission problems in my last 2 Jettas convinced me to buy a 2003 Forester last time around. The Forester, which I bought new, has been rock solid dependable but offers a white toast driving experience. Test driving the CV-R left me with the same impression. Then I made the mistake of test driving a Tiguan a few weeks ago on a whim and fell in love all over again. This car feels like a Lotus next to the Forester and CV-R. Someone talk me out of this! The Tiguan SE's a good $4000 to $5000 more than a comparably equipped Forester or CV-R, is probably not as reliable as its Japanese counterparts, and the VW dealer doesn't seem to appreciate the economic imperative of offering a recession-busting deal. Should I spring for the sexy Tiguan or stay with the Old Reliables? I should mention that I typically keep cars for ten years or longer. (I'm holding on to my '03 Subie.) Also, any word on VW offering a 0% APR on the Tiguan in the near future to even their pricing with Subaru and Honda? I'd like to buy in the next month or two. Thanks much!


  • Wow! I’m almost in the exact situation as you are. I too have had VW/Audi products and know how expensive they can be to repair. I also have a 1999 Forester, and am looking to replace it with the Tiguan. I have looked at the new Forester, but have been disappointed to find that after 10 years Subaru has not changed the mechanicals of this model. I thought that my Forester was a bad example of Subaru reliability. I bought it new and during its life it has had numerous head gaskets replaced, and every wheel bearing replaced at least once with the rear wheels having theirs replaced twice. The transmission has always had a rattling noise at 60mph, a noise confirmed by a Subaru technician, but later explained as “normal mechanical sounds” of the Foresters transmission.

    Luckily all the break/fixes were done while the Forester was under warranty, and ‘knock on wood’ the transmission is still working fine. When I started researching the 2009 Forester I was shocked to find that I was not the only one with head gasket problems, and that Subaru has had problems with the Turbo engines in the 2009 Forester XT. Subaru had to put a “Stop Sell” bulletin to the dealers as these engines were not even lasting 500 miles before the engine makes a horrible noise and seizes. Something to do with piston rings not being within spec from one supplier. Entire engines have to be replaced.

    In short I haven’t had that “Subaru Reliability” experience with my Forester, and have not been impressed with what I’ve read so far on the 2009 Forester. Body integrity/Paint durability/Interior material quality, all seem better in our older Foresters then what people are commenting of the 2009 model.

    I once considered a CRV, but even paid more for my Forester, once I found that the CRV could not come close to the Forester when it came to deep snow. This winter it proved its merits admirably, as I drove around a stuck CRV and RAV4 as their “Real time All Wheel Drive” or “AWD” could not get them out of knee high snow that the “full time awd” in the Forester did.

    The Haldex “4Motion” of the Tiguan seems to be the next best thing. It’s not exactly like the Subaru’s, but far superior to the CRV’s/ RAV4’s/ Outlander’s. So far I haven’t seen a CRV, Outlander, or Rav4 that is capable of this.

    The price of the Tiguan keeps me reevaluating the competition. The new Forester for me would be like my old Forester with a new bigger body. To me the new Forester looks like it copied that basic shape from the Mitsubishi Outlander. The Outlander is also a contender as it has the most features/content for the price. I’ve read that VW can’t make the Tiguan fast enough for their European/World Markets, and the profits that they make abroad are far greater that what VW makes selling the Tiguan here in N.A. That might explain why dealer are reluctant to haggle on price.

    I’ve got 5 months before I need to replace my Forester, and all the popular comparison vehicles except the Tiguan will force me to make a compromise on awd traction/extreme weather capability that the Forester has. I too hope that the car buying market will improves favorably with better financing offers, or incentives from VW.
  • k2chadk2chad Posts: 18
    I think of the Tiguan in a different class than the CRV and Forester. On paper, you are looking at 4 cylinder small SUV's with AWD. But in reality things are different. You're more into BMW X3 territory, and having had both the Tiguan is a worthy competitor. 6 speed transmission is huge, Forester sure doesn't have this, much more refined. Not to mention a sporty 4 cylinder. I feel the Tig interior is a bit lacking on my SE, but the SEL with leather is very hard to find in the US, especially in 4Motion. On the other hand, my X3 had leatherette. I really with VW would have put the Jetta base leatherette in the Tig instead of cloth. The cloth is fine, and the seat heaters are very HOT, but I prefer something wipe-able. As far as reliability, this is a REAL german car. Actually made in Germany, unlike some other VW's made in Mexico. And the new X3 (south carolina).
  • I agree, as soon as you step inside a Tiguan you sense the higher level of quality within the materials used and the fit and finish is impeccable. The SEL/Highline models here in N.A. seem to be in a higher class, and are scarce and in great demand. Dealers that have one are quickly sold.

    For some economic/business reason….most likely the “Keep profits as high as possible” business plan. VW has decided to keep North American consumer away from the most popular options, and configurations that are available to the Tiguan for the rest of the world.

    Is VW afraid that the Tiguan will become too popular here in N.A? It’s like we are getting punished here, or are in some kind of marketing experiment. The more I researched the Tiguan, the more frustrated I got. There are so many great options, features, combination of options that consumers in other countries can choose from.

    When I asked for these popular option combinations at my VW dealer I got a swift “No!” as an answer.
    -Can I get the Tiguan with the Diesel engine with 4motion and a 6 speed manual?
    -How about the Diesel engine?
    -Can I get the Tiguan with the Dual charged engine, the off-road package, and 6 speed manual?
    - Dual Charged engine?
    -Off road Package?
    - Auto Parking feature (like Lexus has)?

    What’s going on here? Is VW so backed up in Tiguan orders that we here in N.A. are forgotten? Sure the Tier2 Bin5 emission standard we have is tough, but VW has a 2L Diesel in the Jetta that meets that standard and could drop right into the Tiguan.
  • It came down to a Tiguan or a 2009 Forester for me and I chose the Tiguan. The Honda does not offer a manual transmission and that was a deal-killer for me. The Tiguan will not allow you to have the neat options like the huge moonroof or heated seats or NAV or leather or mileage computer and the Forester would allow such options with their non-turbo 5-speed stick (the Tiguan has a 6-speed stick and, of course, it's turbocharged). Due to the lack of availability of upgrades, I almost bought the Forester. It really came down to the actual driving experience and the VW is just more fun to drive.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Whichever one of the three gets diesel first, especially if it is not urea-injection, will be the one I buy. With gas being increasingly watered down with ethanol, I will not buy another gas powered vehicle.
  • anyone who compares a high performance tiptronic 6 speed automanual (yes you get both and its standard on all VWs) transmission to a dinosaur regular transmission (one on the CR-V) is at least an idiot if not a biased liar.

    there are those who lead, and those who follow and you cant compare them.

    while the Tiguan is riding in the future train with all the cool cars having new and creative feature and without jeopardizing elegance, performance and comfort, Honda is bragging about how the new, yet old, featureless CR-V is reliable.

    Honda and Toyota will now play the waiting game, and when the new features which are present in todays cool cars are tested on German and American cars, Honda and Toyota will include them as standard five years from now and start claiming again that they are the most reliable.

    how pathetic.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    anyone who compares a high performance tiptronic 6 speed automanual (yes you get both and its standard on all VWs) transmission to a dinosaur regular transmission (one on the CR-V) is at least an idiot if not a biased liar.

    I am pretty sure that Honda was the first to have a small cross over SUV.

    I am pretty sure Honda had ABS standard across the product line way before VW.

    I am pretty sure Honda was the first to have VSC standard across the product line before VW.

    I am pretty sure that Honda had EBD way before VW.

    I am pretty sure Honda had independant suspension at all 4 corners while VW was still using torsion beam from 1937.

    Sounds like VW is playing catch up here.

    As to this "marvelous automatic"... what man drives automatic? :confuse:
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    The head gasket problems were common from 1999-2003 but not since.
    The 2009 XT problem was not piston rings, but disintegration of copper con rod bearing shell, and those engines have been replaced:

    "... FHI have identified the problem as abnormal wear on con rod big end bearings..." n-08-09-models-31757/index5.html#post372840

    "... Turbo Engine Stop Sale checking Procedure.
    Engine Screening Procedure Two... A) If there are copper particles larger that 1 mm in the material residue, the engine is damaged.... It may be necessary to clean the particles to determine if they are copper. Copper is reddish in color..." n-08-09-models-31757/index10.html#post381869dels

    The Forester has the same drivetrain as the Outback, which has been selected as SUV of the year: ex.html

    The Tiguan seems out of the Forester's class, more like an Acura RDX. More upscale, luxurious, refined, and expensive. Less practical, less capacity and tow rating, worse mileage on premium fuel only, and probably less reliable.
  • The Tiguan seems out of the Forester's class, more like an Acura RDX. More upscale, luxurious, refined, and expensive. Less practical, less capacity and tow rating, worse mileage on premium fuel only, and probably less reliable.

    have you sat in a Tiguan? You must have missed the part about the chassis and interior components being the same as a Golf or Jetta. That's like saying the RDX is based on a Honda Civic. It's not, more like a TSX. The CR-V however is.

    It might be closer to the RDX in terms of performance. But's it would be more comparable to a Honda CR-V with the RDX engine. Basically with a Tiguan, you're paying a lot for the 2.0T motor, but not getting all the bells and whistles, apce and quality you expect frm a car with that drivetrain.

    The Tiguan would be more comparable to the other compact SUV's in it's class if it had the 5 cylinder engine out of the Jetta. The 2.0T places it in a strange class of it's own, somewhat like the V6 RAV 4.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    That's like saying the RDX is based on a Honda Civic. It's not, more like a TSX. The CR-V however is.

    I hate to break it to you, but RDX is based on the Civic. No matter what the first impression may be, it is just a CR-V in better clothes.

    There are no other vehicle in the US that is based on the TSX, which is the global Accord platform. The US Accord is different and is sold as Inspire elsewhere.

    Both Tiguan and CR-V/RDX are lifted compacts underneath.
  • nop Honda was not the first to have ABS
    and surely was not the first to use :
    and still does NOT have ESP as standard while VW does !

    i dont know who told you that but have clearly been scammed into buying a Honda...

    Tiguan has a Turbocharged 4 Cyl, economic and yet powerful enough to drive it forward while CRV is lamely slow.
    Tiguan has enough torque while CRV has to make engine noise even in an alley
    Tiguan has a panoramic power roof and power shade while CR-V doesnt
    Tiguan has a Tiptronic 6 speed while the CRV doesnt
    Tiguan has decent leather inside while CRV has cheap interior
    Tiguan has Heated external mirrors while CRV doesnt
    Tiguan has Multy adjustable memory front seats while CRV doesnt
    Tiguan has perimiter Lighting while...
    Tiguan has an auto dimming rear view mirror ...

    so who's gotta do catch up now? Honda will now play the waiting card, when those technologies are 5 years old and cheap enough for them, they will then introduce them as standard and claim super reliability. thats actually the same definition as a : "Scam"

    as for :
    "As to this "marvelous automatic"... what man drives automatic? "

    yes some men find the need to keep their hands on the stick, maybe that gives them the feeling of being "Big", as for me, i know i am and do not feel the need to prove it, and who knows maybe im a woman?

    so besides the sexist bitter flavor of you comment, it fails to deliver any comedic value.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    I never said Honda was first to have ABS, I said it was first to have it as standard equipment across the model lines. ABS has been around for many, many years, but most often it was reserved for the higher trims, or as optional equipment. There is a difference between offering it to people at extra charge, or just including it on everything. (WRONG!!!! Try again!)

    ESP is VSA/VSC in Honda talk, kind of like Pohtatoe Potahtoe debate...Honda CR-V has been offered with VSA/VSC as standard equipment across the model line since 2005. (WRONG!!! Try again!)

    Honda CR-V has been offered with heated outside mirrors since 2005 on the SE model in the US. (WRONG!!!! Try again!)

    Auto dimming mirror has been optional for quite a few years now.

    I could spend all day proving your wrong, but...

    Tiguan has a Turbocharged 4 Cyl, economic and yet powerful enough to drive it forward while CRV is lamely slow.
    Tiguan has enough torque while CRV has to make engine noise even in an alley

    I think you answered your own attempt at comedy, see bolded edit of your original statement.

    yes some men find the need to have the high horsepower, maybe that gives them the feeling of being "Big", as for me, i know i am and do not feel the need to prove it, and who knows maybe im a woman?
  • just helped my sis buy a crv. The VW although very nice inside, was never a consideration, since VW's and their scheduled services costs scared my sister straight off the bat.
    She liked the forester (non-turbo) because it rode a bit higher, and the visibility was a touch better, and i think the AWD drive system is better (i.e. always awd, vs. honda's realtime, kicks-in when you need it 4wd). also thought the perforated leather of the forester was much nicer than the honda leather.

    She ended up getting the CRV because of several factors:
    - she keeps her cars a long time - she traded her 98 civic w/ 60k miles on it and got $4000 from the dealer, so in 10 yrs, i think the crv would have better resale than the forester
    - she knows and trusts honda, even though our siblings have 2 subarus that have been just as reliable as the civic.
    - convenience - there are 3 honda dealerships on the way into work for her, so dropping the car off would be a snap, vs. the closest subie dealer to her is only 7 miles away, but in the opposite direction of her work.

    these forums are great.
  • i can keep repeating the same thing over and over again, avoiding questions will not prove your point.

    Tiguan has a state of the art 4 Cyl 200hp turbocharged engine while CRV does not !
    Tiguan has a state of the art tiptronic 6 speed transmission, CRV does not

    and the "horse power comment" is kind of lame, it was funny the first time though...

    but i think you are just making up stuff now to cover your pointless arguments, nobody talked about "HIGH horse power". Tiguan has ENOUGH horse power to drive it forward with a decent torque while CRV suffers from a severe lack of power, thats a conclusion that anyone who drove both cars can easily draw, and that has nothing to do with gender by the way.
    the 09/10 crv is but an illusion of an SUV, made for an audience who cant afford a real SUV, so honda is giving them a car that looks like an SUV but acts like a cheap econo bottom of the line car, with cheap interior and accessories, a weak engine coupled with a large mini van like body...
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    Ha ha ha, Tiguan is no different that CR-V. It is the same overblown Compact 5 door hatchback made to look like an SUV. It is just VW is about 13 years too late to the game, First Honda CR-V was launched in 1995 as a 1996 model in Japan. VW was no where near having or even thinking of having a small cross over SUV.

    At least CR-V's go off road, and people have proven their off-road capability. In fact, at the last Oshawa meet, a 1998 CR-V, the "severely" underpowered 127 hp CR-V, pulled a Jeep Wranger out of a mud hole.

    I have yet to see a Tiguan or Toureg join any of the off-roading events, even though I see plenty of them on the road. Maybe it is the VW buyer who just likes to pretend something they are not? Dare I say poseur?

    As to the "state of the art engine" you just have no clue, do you? Honda has been making race car engines for years. Until recently, Honda was suplying engines to McLarren, and still dominates Indi race circuits. Their racing technology is used in street going vehicles within few years. When was the last time you saw a VW powered race car win any competition, or even participate in it?

    Honda developed the stratified fuel charge which allows Honda engines to achieve air to fuel ratio higher than normally required for stoiochemical burn. It was fist used on Honda CVCC in 1972, which later became the Civic. The CVCC technology allowed Honda vehicles to surpass the 40 mpg fuel economy without the use of hybrid techonology in the 80's.

    The development of 12 valve and then 16 valve engines in the late 70's coupled with CVCC yielded higher horsepower per liter of displacement engines that competition.

    I know, I had an '85 Civic that went 250,000 miles before I sold it (it has over 400,000 miles now, still driven daily). It was reguraly getting 40-45 mpg.

    The 1991 Jetta, on the other hand, failed to break the 120,000 miles. It required 3 water pumps, 2 power steering pumps, all of the Bosch Jetronic Fuel injection sensors to be replaced. This was a simple 8 valve engine with a cast iron block, same design since the inception of the internal combustion engines.

    Honda perfected the Valve timing and adjustable lift engine techonology in 1991, and put it on 2 cars. One at the top of the Honda line up, Acura NSX, and the other at the bottom, in a Honda Civic VX. Which made their engines have dual personality. High fuel efficincy, stability at low RPM's, and high revving high horsepower at the other end of the spectrum, all combined in one engine, and a reliable system.

    The Tiptronic in the Tugian is not the DSG that is offered in the GTI and Audi. It is just a fancy word for a slush box for poseur boy racer who can't manage to work with 3 pedals. You want fancy, drive stick. No computer can bean the manual's prescision and reliability. No automatic can predict the driver's intentions and select the porper gear in ADAVANCE. All they do is react to what has happened. Even DSG are REACTIVE systems, not ACTIVE!

    I guess to some a fancy word and flashing lights mean state of the art, and to some, like me, the undelying techonolgy that reliably works and provides real world proof are the state of the art.

    Enjoy your flashing lights. :P
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    I love it when people come on here and spout erroneous information! Duh, to say the CR-V is "an illusion of an SUV", etc takes the cake, Tiguan has "state of the art" engine/transmission, that why VW's maint costs are so high and their products unreliable compared to Honda??.....

    That is soo rich....... :sick:

    Winner by TKO: blueiedgod!...... :)
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,803
    I love it when people come on here and spout erroneous information! Duh, to say the CR-V is "an illusion of an SUV", etc takes the cake, Tiguan has "state of the art" engine/transmission, that why VW's maint costs are so high and their products unreliable compared to Honda??.....

    That is soo rich.......

    Winner by TKO: blueiedgod!......

    Thanks. :D

    My post above yours has a statment that is not 100% true, which I did on purpose.

    Carlitos seems to be an automotive expert by categorically declaring what state of the art is, and what defines automotive superiority. This is a test, if he responds back with rebuttle of the flawed statement I made, I may believe in his ability to judje vehicular content, otherwise.... he should just go back under the bridge.
  • One problem is that you always try divert the discussion from Tiguan VS CRV to Honda VS VW, sorry but its not gonna work here today...

    i agree with you that Tiptoronic is a fancy thing invented by Porsche (from Germany!) and adopted by racing cars, thats why, and among many other things, its on the Tiguan and nowhere to be found on the CRV ;)
    and yes DSG is on VW cars too and not on Honda cars, why? because Honda is now playing its waiting game, when the technology will become cheper 10 years from now, they will integrate it as standard, throw a dumb commercial tailored for dumb people, and guys like you will be blatantly bragging all over the internet about how honda was the first to have that technology as standard !

    i also agree with you that honda makes excellent racing engines even for Formula 1, however, i think you are very selective in your knowledge, you seem to only know things that will support your choice and explicitly ignore the other facts that may burst your bubble, for example, as a reasonable non biased person, i know that honda makes racing car engines. i dont deny that and i actually love honda's racing engines, but i also know that those engines have nothing to do with the engine inside the CRV nor any of those engines inside their line of cheap mainstream car. i also know that honda has their luxury line called Accura, with fully featured line of cars and with much higher price tags and with lower reliability because of the newer technologies used (same as most German cars and many luxury American's). so when honda and toyota wanna compete with VW and others in the luxury market, they make Lexuss and Accuras, but when they wanna sell cheap for cheap they sell honda's and toyotas.

    for the rest of your wall of text, all i could read is: "honda did this..." "honda did that ..." blah blah blah... who cares about the history of your country? the matter of fact is that now honda is selling el-cheapo cars for the rich wanna be who cant afford real fancy cars with serious gear. the type of person who can make such ridiculously insane comments as yours.

    and at the end, CRV will still remain a cheap car, made out of cheap materials, with a noisy bumpy ride, with a cheap underpowered engine, with a mini van like look and with at least 5 years old options and inside ergonomics.

    we may argue for ages about which is better, automatic or stick transmission, thats why Tiguans are available with either one, yes ! you got to choose, while CRV does NOT offer you the Tiptronic ;) its not even an option.
    and if you knew anything about racing transmissions as you claim, you would have known that high speed racing cars all have steering wheel 2 button based transmission... and btw, even honda that you have been praising for ages now uses Tiptronic under different names: ( iShift, S-matic, MultiMatic, SportShift) in many of its vehicles and its high end sport vehicles :)) i think this is an area where you should consider doing some research before making fat pathetic assumptions.

    and thanks, of course i will enjoy the flashing lights, the sweet turbocharged 200hp engine and the Tiptronic 6speed transmission, i will also enjoy, the well designed look, the rSAP Bluetooth phone system, the power panoramic moon roof, the self retracting side mirrors, the fancy leather memory seats and the comfy, quiet and safe ride :)
    while im doing that, enjoy your shovel ware.
  • "VWs maint cost is higher" is half of a good statement, the other half is "where? in which part of the world?"
    so as you can see, many people think they are smart while in reality they are at least bellow average, and its those kind of people who actually buy those kind of half facts from a high school drop out salsmen ;)

    one other thing is that Hondas and Toyotas all have cheap standard plasticish stuff that looks all the same... and that why their parts are cheap and even the 5years protections plans are cheap. in other simpler words, nothing goes wrong because there is nothing !
    i see where youre comming from with your logic but it is a flawed logic, maintenance cost is hardly an indicator of anything unless you compare two homogenous things and with having a complete set of data.
    based on that same logic, a Ferrari is a no good car because of its extremely high maint cost. while based on a correct logic, the high maint cost on the ferrari coluld be an indicator of either :
    1-the car sucks (as a simpler solution)
    2-or maybe the car has more expensive stuff on it? is delocalized? has turbocharger? has more expensive tires? has more expensive fancier hand crafted leather? has much much more electronics? has better more expensive suspension? has ahigher end of everything?
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    I have never heard anyone (until now) say the CR-V looks anything like a "mini van". Someone needs to gets the eyes checked out ... BTW, I had mine checked recently.... :)

    Now the Subaru Forester looking like a station wagon, I will wholeheartedly agree with.
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