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Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester?



  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I have had plenty of wheel-time with rental Corollas and RAV4, and have always been impressed with the amount of usable power that Toyota manages to wring out of its 4-cyl engines, especially with the Corolla.
  • We have the same list but we also have the Venza on ours - I am so interested in your comments - what did you think about the Santa fe? I am concerned it is too high - I prefer sitting lower and like a lower center of gravity. I too liked the Rav, but am concerned about the rear door opening and the fact that it does not have a rear bumper - if you get hit from behind...

    Please let us know your feelings!
  • rengawrengaw Posts: 22
    On the straight somewhat smooth highway, the Sante Fe rode quite nice, a cruiser of sorts. On the curvy undulating roads, I was uncomfortable with how the suspension controlled the ride. The RAV was the opposite. Handled real well in the curves and was a little stiff and noisy on the straights.

    A side note. Since we have decided on the RAV, our next process of decision making involves the engine we want....the 2.5 I4 or the 3.5 V6. We had driven the I4 twice, so today we wanted to try the V6. We will possibly do a little towing with our RAV and we drive alot in the Cascade and Olympic mountains.

    My wife, who is no sissy to power, drove the first leg of our run with the V6. Then I took over and on a straight stretch I punched it a bit and my wife started screaming. It was quite a surprise to both of us. My wife, the MPG freak, sat quietly for a few moments and then said, "I love this RAV with the V6." I liked both the V6 and the I4. So I am going again and drive both RAV's one more time and do some thinking.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    thr RAV4 V6 is a bullet... didn't consume much gas either.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2GR V6 is a great engine, I have the same one in my Sienna.

    Getting the V6 also gets you a 5 speed auto, but I'm not sure you'll like the transmission as much as you liked the 4 speed auto in the 4 banger, because it hesitates and lags a bit.

    I'm glad they updated the 4 banger because the V6 sort of made the prior 4 cylinder moot.
  • rengawrengaw Posts: 22
    I was sure I was going to buy the new 2009 Forester, but I got won over to the 2009 RAV4 primarily because of their power plants. The 2.5L, I4, with more power and better fuel economy than in previous years and the 3.5 V6 with the 5 speed tranny just wouldn't let go of me. I am now torn between the two motors, one day wanting one and the next day the other. I am presently leaning toward the V6, but the fact that the new 2.5L I4 has cut it's fuel consumption by another 2 mpg over the V6 is impressive. I believe in mixed driving you may be talking about a 3 to 4 mile per gallon difference. On the highway, which is how we drive 75% of the time, the margin would be closer.

    I was wondering, Juice, what kind of mpg you are getting with your van? And what would the weight difference be comparing the van to the RAV with the V6. I believe the RAV4 goes something like 3700lbs.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    The Rav has a lot going for it, but it's auto-trannie only, and that's a non-starter for me. Of course, that's a non-issue for most people. :P :sick:
  • rengaw,

    Seems like our experiences have been identical. We were 99% set on the Forester, and then the new RAV came out. Last year, the four-cylinder just did not do enough for me, either in terms of mileage or "peppiness." I didn't want the 6, so I moved on to the Forester. When the new, larger 4-cylinder came out in the RAV, I just had to try it--and I really liked it. So we got ourselves one last month.

    I'd say there is no "need" for the V6, unless you are towing regularly. If you are doing mostly highway, then the benefit of the I4 is pretty modest, except for the lower upfront cost...But you already know all this. Good luck in your choice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Sienna has tall gearing so highway mileage can be quite good - I've broken 30mpg but that's with speeds below 60mph or so.

    My average is usually anywhere from 22 to 28 mpg or so. Not bad considering it's always hauling people or cargo or both. Mileage drops considerably if you punch it, but then again it can be a lot higher if you're a hyper-miler. YMMV.

    I'll say this - the V6 has way more than enough power for this van, I can't imagine how it would feel in the lighter RAV4. You may actually complain about substantial torque steer, especially if you get a FWD RAV4. You may even prefer the I-4 if you get FWD.

    My van is about 4300 lbs, a FWD LE 8 passenger model. You sure the RAV4 is that light? AWD V6?

    Our Forester does a bit better, but it's AWD and a 4 cylinder PZEV model. I've seen anywhere from 23mpg up to 33mpg, again that would be keeping speeds down. Overall it gets a couple of mpg better than the van, plus it's AWD, but the van is much bigger, too.
  • rengawrengaw Posts: 22
    That is impressive mpg on that Sienna, Juice, considering the weight it is hauling with such good power. We have a 1999 Sienna with the 3.0 V6, which is smaller and lighter than yours, and we can't come up to your numbers even with conservative driving.

    I asked a salesman at the local Toyota dealer last week what the number one complaint on the V6 RAV was. He said torque steer on the FWD model.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, my Sienna definitely has torque steer, but it's van so you don't often floor the throttle. I wanted the power to haul heavy loads, not the other type of hauling. :shades:

    I drove from Florida to DC with 6 people and luggage, but all that weight and higher speeds (my dad hit 90mph at one point, whoa) than usual hurt my numbers. I still managed 24mpg.

    My sister drove my dad's Outback and they got slightly better mileage, but they were also carrying less weight (2 people and luggage). I think they got about 27mpg.

    Thing is, the gas tank in the Outback is much smaller (16.9 gal vs. 21), so that's what limited our range.

    How big is the RAV4's tank? I think it's smaller than the Forester and Outback (both 16.9 gal).

    That might limit range. I hate having to stop for gas. One time we were running on empty and had to stop, and ended up seeing gas 30 cents cheaper less than an hour later. If the small gas tank had not forced us to stop, we would have paid far less for gas.

    That may be a reason to go with the I-4.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    My wife 07 Rav4 4 cyc is kind of noisy engine in cold start warm-up, and wind noise on highway speed.
  • rengawrengaw Posts: 22
    Yes, one of the compaints of the RAV is the 15.9 gallan tank,especially with the V6. I like to see at least 400 miles per tank, it can help when one wants to be selective in searching for a brand or price of fuel.

    I have a Ford F150 which has two tanks and gives me something like 36 gallons. I previously had an F150 with a single 21 gallon tank. Now when you are getting 14 mpg with a 21 gallon tank, it literally seems as if you are stopping at every station. But filling up that 36 gallon tank when fuel was higher than it presently is, would extract $120 from my wallet at a time.
  • New to Board:

    I was leaning towards the CR-V, but I like to have a bit more power. The V6 RAV-4 and the Forrester Turbo appear to be competitors.

    In comparing the turbo Forrester and the V6 RAV-4, the main difference appears to be the requirement to use premium fuel in the turbo. Three questions:

    1. Can someone comment on the appropriate octane, and whether one could use 87 or 89 octane?

    2. Has anyone test drove the turbo and the V6? Are they close?

    3. Has anyone considered comparing a Outback V6 with a RAV4 V6?

    Thanks in advance.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Hate to say it (being a diehard Subie fan), but I think the RAV4 V6 has a number of advantages over the Forester turbo. They are:

    • Better gas mileage
    • Higher towing capability (3500 vs 2400)
    • Uses regular gas
    • Oil changes likely 7500 miles vs 3500 miles of the Subie turbo
    • Rav4 has a full-size spare tire. I know this year they're offering a RAV4 without the door-mounted spare, and I believe that model has run-flat tires and no spare, but I'm not sure.
    • The RAV4 has a 5-speed automatic, whereas the Forester still has a 4-speed automatic.

    I do prefer the full-time AWD of the Subie. The new RAV4s have a part-time, on-demand AWD. I also prefer the Forester's styling and interior.

    I've driven both the RAV4 V6 and the Forester turbo, and they're both quick.

  • rengawrengaw Posts: 22
    If the CRV isn't powerful enough for you, you may want to consider the new 2.5 I4 in the 2009 RAV. Better gas mileage than the CRV and more power. 179 hp as Toyota added an exhaust valve, used new friction cutting technology in the engine, and reworked the transmission. Result over the old 2.4L I4 is 13 more hp and 12.8% increase if fuel economy.

    I was seriously considering the V6 in the RAV but after just redriving both, my wife and I are springing for the I4. The V6 is a hot rod but we find the I4 worked fine for us even in the mountains. Drive them all, see what you think.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    My wife 07 RAV4 i4 is slow in picking up speed from ramp into the freeway traffic but cruising is pretty good. Maybe because I drive 08 Pilot 3.5L, thus the difference.
  • rfrfrfrf Posts: 31
    Considering Forrester XTL, RAV4 (6cyl), CRV and OB 3.0. Am in the midst of learning vehicles and was comforted by posts here which address many same issues wifey and i (and 2 kids, ages 5 and 9) have with choice.

    All are excellent vehicles and have their various dis/advantages, some thoughts/questions:

    I like the OB 3.0: good AWD system, alth mpg may suffer, but does it really suffer that much considering it is always there as opposed to wonder if it will come on when i would like to have it there and then go off when I exceed 25 mph, like the RAV4 which gets about 3 mpg more on avg.

    I beleive I understand fundamentals of FW 4WD (that the vehicle runs as FWD until it senses slippage at which time power is directed to rear) but that is all I have been able to discern from the brochure or sales staff (who are reluctant to show me a manual), some questions:

    I like the continued high quality and reliability of Toyota and Honda (alth Sub appears to come real close to them both), but re RAV4:
    1. once the front wheels slip, how immediate is the transfer of power to the rear?
    2. If I know in advance that I will want to run in 4WD, can I opt in advance to engage the 4WD?
    3. If I so opt, will the 4WD still auto disengage at 25 mph or does the 4WD lock allow me to run in 4WD above 25 mph anmd or when the front wheels do not sense slippage?
    4. Are the EPA estimates based upon FWD operation of the vehicle and are the estimates affected by use of the 4WD?

    Both Forrester and RAV4 appear to be roomy enough; appears that 2010 OB will address rear seat space and window frame issues (which both bother us), but does anyone know if the changes will amount to a new generation as i am hesitant to buy first year of a new generatn - or sh I be here?

    Thank you in advance for any info/thoughts.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    You may be able to access some owner's manuals for free by going to the link under "DoMore" on the right side of this page.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The oil change interval for Toyota is 5000 miles, at least for the Sienna it is.

    A light on the dash actually comes on calling for service, and you have to use the odometer to reset it.

    After the issues with sludge on the old 3.0l V6 Toyota got smart and put that reminder front and center.

    Our Forester is 3750 under Schedule A or 7500 under Schedule B, though most people fall under A.

    I like the 5000 interval only because it's easy to recall - 5, 10, 15. On the Forester our 3rd change would be at 11,250 miles, how am I going to remember that?
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