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Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester?



  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    Where to start.

    It isn't even in the same league as the Rav 4 as that has i.e. move into a larger category.

    So the CR-V has remained a small SUV (or CUV or whatever) with close to midsize interior specifications while the RAV4 has moved up in size. Not sure why that's a problem for those acutally shopping for a small SUV (or CUV or whatever).

    CRV (sic) - price Your are going to pay the 21,195 for the CRV and you can get a Forester for 19K if you work it.

    Are you saying you have to pay MSRP for a CR-V? Maybe you do, but I don't. And neither does any smart vehicle purchaser.

    Forester towing - 2400 lbs, CRV - 1500 lbs.

    Any one who has even done a bit of research would know the CR-V has a higher towing capacity in other markets. Why is it low in the US? I could guess, but the lawyers might get mad. And if you are actually buying a vehicle to tow anything of significance I don't think either of these are the right choice.
  • I don't know. I had brand new tires on my truck, I actually did a 360 on the freeway onramp once in the rain. I took the corner too fast (slightly faster than a crawl) and couldn't regain control. So maybe tires, maybe weight, I have no idea. All I know is my RAV does MUCH better in the rain than my truck, and that I am happy about. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    the CR-V has a higher towing capacity in other markets

    So does the Forester. Mine is rated for 1800kg in the UK, or 3960 lbs!

    That's crazy, though, a trailer that weighs significantly more than the tow vehicle could end up being the tail that wags the dog. I'd never try that.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    That's crazy, though, a trailer that weighs significantly more than the tow vehicle could end up being the tail that wags the dog. I'd never try that.

    Look at trucks, from heavy duty pickups right up to tractor-trailers big-rigs. The trailers always weigh more than the tow vehicle.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    The trailers always weigh more than the tow vehicle.

    Of course, but their couplings are massive compared with anything you'll find on SUVs which, I believe, Juice was referring to. Even then, the big rigs still occasionally succumb to the "tail wagging the dog" effect.

    tidester, host
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Ditto ateixeira on Subaru Towing. The Forester was rated best towing vehicle in the UK, Australia and New Zealand for multiple years since 2003.

    I'm glad to hear that Honda deals on price. Not where I live.

    The 2007 CRV does have a more comfortable rear seat I hear, but for MY needs it seems with the exception of looks (and I prefer 06 CRV looks) and a more comfortable rear seat and you do NOT want to move UP in size (ala RAV4), the Forester should definitely be in play.

    Oh, I have a 1,900 lb pop up camper (when loaded) I have towed all over the Rockies (10K) that has air conditioning, stove, sink, potti, etc. I consider it pretty substantial and my Forester kicks butt while I pass much more "substantial" large SUV's and HUGE trailers going UP.

    I have averaged 21 mpg for 10K miles with it and in this day and age that beats the single digit stuff most "more substantial" tows get. Camping is still affordable for me. And if you go to pop up camping websites, you never see CRV's mentioned as viable tow vehicles while you do see some Forester, Outbacks doing quite nicely with pop ups and small travel trailers. And they are never over-worked.

    So, it all comes down to what you need and want. I'm just saying consider a Forester. Oh and Click and Clack call them a great dog vehicle. My dog agrees. He can see out lying down. They are very tough little vehicles and not just pretty boys. If Subaru was as good at marketing and a little better at styling like Honda, who knows... They make one heck of a vehicle. My last one went 147K and sold quick on the dealer's lot.
  • I just bought my 06 Forester X yesterday. Love it! I come from a Honda family (10 Honda's just on my mom's side) and I couldn't be happier with my Subaru. You can research all you like, which is always smart, but it comes down to how you feel in the car. Which one makes you feel more comfortable? Think about your day to day errands, are there any spots that would be a pickle? It came down between Honda and Subaru for me. The build quality on the Toyota was really lacking. The Subaru had a lower center of gravity/and even weight distribution which made the handling better than the Honda to me. And my best friend from college just traded her old 1988 Subaru Loyale in with over 250,000 miles on it and still got $2500 on her trade in--not bad, eh? I have border collies so it has plenty of room for me and I love all the little cubbies! :) Good Luck!
  • When you have small kids I would get a used big rig like a Suburban or Excursion, you cant substitute anything with 3 tons of steel around you. But if you are considering between Forester,Crv and Rav4, I would get a Forester. Its got the best crash ratings, 5 stars on front and side from government, and best pick from IIHS in its category.But if it collides with bigger thing like Suburban with lower ratings, Suburban wins. Also forester is the quickest,smoothest and most agile. Subaru has the cleanest engines after Honda, but Honda is cleaner because of less power produced. My oldest Subaru with 250,000 miles still doesnt smoke under pressure. All of my Subies are as smooth as a Lexus gs300 my brother owns. GO SUBARU.

    So with small kids on board, get a Suburban, until they are older. How much more on gas can you spend. They do around 18-20mpg average if you drive properly. I CHOOSE FAMILY SAFETY FIRST!
  • That is BS. You never considered or drove a Subaru. If you did test a Subaru, you would get rid of boring and rough transmission Honda. My oldest Subaru has 250k miles on it and is so smooth you can balance a quarter on top of the engine. I actually have it reved on youtube user ls1983lsls. Subarus are noisy at idle, but not rough. Honda is quiet, thats true, but not so smooth if you come from Lexus/Subaru, especially under pressure. Subaru has that engine SOUND, because its boxer, but it is the smoothest thing available in 4/6 cylinders. Hondas are underpowered, and more girly. Subaru people, If you got vibrations in the cabin, you got something loose. I own several Subies and none have any vibrations at all at all, but I dont drive mine through potholes, I only torture my engine. Also Subaru can run without oil, and 3 cylinders. I tried without damage. Well there was 25% of oil left because it leaked out before I noticed front crank seals leaking at 240,000 miles, who knows how long it was without oil. I drove in 93 Accord and a 98 Accord and both had rough transmissions. You could feel everytime it changes a gear (automatics), So dont talk about Honda superiority lol. Benefit with Hondas is lower depreciation over first few years, but when I buy a vehicle, its gonna stay with me until it completely disintegrates. I just hate selling good cars. GO SUBARU.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A lot of the feel of each of these vehicles is subjective, so let's leave it up to each owner to decide what they feel most comfortable in.

    My Forester is 9+ years old now and my biggest complaint is that it refuses to break so I have no excuse to trade it in. :D

  • I agree with you Juice. People get really fired up on these boards. If one car was right for everyone, then there wouldn't be so many kinds out there! :)
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    In terms of safety you might be right. Firemen are having a hard time using their jaws of life because they can't get through the side pillars on the Subarus. The laminate steel build makes them relatively impervious.

    But hey, if fate is going to nail you, you can have a hummer H-1 and if you get hit by a Semi you lose. I had a semi (car carrier/low to ground) in a horrible rainstorm in Kansas a few weeks ago blow over into my lane. In all the spray all I could see was about three feet in front of me until I sensed (peripheral vision) a mass very close to me. I looked left and he was literaly 2 inches from my mirror and still coming.

    I went right and across the rumble strip and right on the edge of the grass while he kept coming. I slammed on the brakes so I would be going slower and he would get by and he just barely missed me being about three quarters into my lane by the end of it.

    If I had been in a massive SUV (roll over, size, slow response), I believe it could have been a very different outcome. Maneuverability, quickness and agility saved me... that day and that would be the third time I can firmly say Subaru all wheel drive and other factors kept me safe in the last 9 years with the other two being snow related.

    I literally said, thank you subaru, speaking to my car. I then started cursing the truck driver and shaking.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You might need the momentum of a Semi to break through all this boron steel in the B-pillar of the Forester. (see pic)

  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181

    During an extrication seminar I was conducting, several members of an area fire department approached me with a question and a challenge. They had encountered a Subaru Forester involved in a crash and were unable to cut through the B-pillar with any of their extrication tools. Their cutter and their reciprocating saw were both unable to sever the pillar. They actually went back to the junkyard the next day and used a gasoline-powered rotary saw with an abrasive blade to totally remove the B-pillar. They brought it to the seminar to show me.

    When I saw the pillar, it was clear that something was different about the Forester B-pillar construction. It was eight layers thick! One of the layers was a round steel rod that resembled a concrete reinforcement bar (rebar). That B-pillar had more layers of steel than I had ever seen in a vehicle.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I had the perfect opportunity this morning to experience first-hand the difference between my manual transmission Forester's 50/50 AWD setup and that of the front-wheel biased CR-V’s. I was stopped at a light in one of two left-hand turn lanes with the CR-V beside me. When the light turned green, the CR-V squealed its front wheels in the act of accelerating and turning. Meanwhile, even though I made it thru the turn faster, there was nary a moment of slippage as the Forester's full-time AWD powered it effortlessly through the turn. To borrow an old Toyota marketing slogan... Oh what a feeling! :D

  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    It could be in tires and the angle of the turn dont but think it would have anyway since the AWD is for all seasons and that you have way more power with that turbo. But there are many of other differences that can go both ways again it all depends what fits your needs as both are not the same and are far apart from each other as some may think this coming from a owner of both.

    .... mnf
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are you sure the CR-V was an AWD model? They have FWD, too.

    I'd ask if you saw the rear differential (easiest way to tell) but I'm sure your XT wasn't behind him pulling away from a stop. ;)

    I test drove an '02 CR-V, AWD model, and it even had torque steer. It could chirp the tires in 2nd gear. So you can feel that it's FWD by default.

    To be fair we're in the 5% or so of people that would even notice a difference in feel.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Are you sure the CR-V was an AWD model? They have FWD, too.

    You mean not all manufacturers make AWD standard across the entire model line-up? :surprise:

  • sssfegysssfegy Posts: 132
    I have done it a few times with Foresters and CRV's. By far the Subaru system is more responsive..explaination could take hours..but the mechanical system in the Subaru out performes the electrical system in the CRV, it seems there is too many systems interfering to do the same thing. Also CRV is almost 100% FWD, so you have to spin the front wheels to shift into AWD!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "Also CRV is almost 100% FWD, so you have to spin the front wheels to shift into AWD!"

    Actually, it is entirely FWD, until the wheel slip, which is when AWD becomes extra handy. Some people would say that Subaru wastes energy driving four wheels all the time, when two wheels would do just as well except when those two wheels lose traction. Of course, those "some people" would not own a Subaru anyway.

    The limited time AWD is what gives better MPG. Subaru has made it's name on a niche market of people who desire full time 4WD. But their cars would get better MPG if they were part time 4WD instead. However, they would lose their market niche...
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