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Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester?



  • I did take a look at the Sante Fe at the auto show, but crossed it off my list, as if felt too small sitting inside.

    Don't remember seeing the Outlander. According the specs on Edmonds, the base model starts higher than the CRV, and has lower gas mileage, probably because of the V6. Also, looks the hip room is lower than the CRV and the RAV4, and the smallness of the RAV4 seats has me leaning toward the CRV.

    But it was a good suggestion!! Thanks.
  • You'd hate to be saying to yourself a few months down the road, "I sure like the colour of my RAV4, but it's too bad I can't ride in it!"

    Very very good point!!
  • Oops. Meant to say I compared the Tuscson at the Auto Show. The Santa Fe starts out too high for us, and is also a V6.

    But I do want to say how much I appreciate all of the input everyone is providing for me!
  • drwoodrdrwoodr Posts: 88
    I assume "starts out too high" refers to price, don't be so fast to eliminate the Santa Fe. CRVs usually go for close to MSRP, and everything is a dealer add on - like a roof rack or other accessories. For less money, you get a lot more with a Santa Fe. I drove a CRV, and liked it for an "around town" car, but it was noisy and had a harsh ride on the highway. I went next door to the Hyundai dealer and drove the Santa Fe - roomier, much smoother and quieter ride on the highway, more pep, much better radio, and loaded up with lots of extras. I've had it for 2 months and can't wait to drive it every day.
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    You bring up some good points. Farmingrocks may want to check out the CRV vs Sante Fe subject for additional info. If resale value is not an issue, a test drive should be a must before a decision is made. With Hyundai, the sticker, and even invoice price, is only a ballpark. The only problem is if you want to sell or trade within a few years, the depreciation is high.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can get a general idea, but insurance varies by demographics and by geographic location, so the best thing would be to call your current insurance agent for a quote.

    I mean, if you get a KBB value for a car, that's fine, but they're not buying it, or making any promises. So if they tell you insurance will be cheap and they are wrong, again, it's a "tough luck" scenario.

    Your insurance agent will have to honor that price quote, so call them first.
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,798
    Take a look at the newly re-engineered Mitsubishi Outlander. It is a serious competitor to the CRV and RAV4. It's getting high marks on user evaluations, is loaded with standard content and has a double the warranty of Honda or Toyota at a lower price.

    All these choices are good.

    As the cost of fuel keeps rising, I am sure more and more people will start thinking long term rather than short term. A lower cost of entry may come at a higher cost of driving, through lower fuel economy.

    So, when basing your decisions on what to buy, think long term. Purchase price may seem like a good spot to focus attention, but 5 and 10 year cost of operation is where the prize is at.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,878
    I have to say that the new Outlander is one of those cars that looks uncompetitive on paper but is pretty appealing in person. They look great, have some nice options available and are consistently reviewed well. The depreciation is the big question mark. When it comes time to replace my Forester, I'd be willing to check one out.

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 17 Toyota 86

  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I would suggest at least *looking* at a Santa Fe before crossing it off your list...they seem to be readily available for thousands off of MSRP. I emailed several dealers (via Edmunds) to get a quote for my parents and was surprised to see the quotes come in for around $22K for a FWD mid-level model with a sunroof and a few other options. And this was without any degree of haggling...I just asked for the price of a specific trim level.

    I'm a huge Subaru fan, but the Hyundai represents a stellar value by offering quite a bit more "stuff" for less money. Even adding $1500 to that quote for AWD (to make it comparable to a Subaru) only brings the tab to around $23,000.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The SF is a good value, especially when you consider the Tucson is closer to Forester-sized.

    I think Hyundais are appealing for people who plan to keep their cars forever, that way resale isn't a major concern.
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    With my 1998 Forester S at 134,000 miles, I have been looking for a replacement. I want to see the new Forester before making a decision though, so I am trying to hold out until then. I looked at both the Tucson and the Sante Fe. The big turnoff for me is the fuel economy. The Tucson, with a smaller engine than Forester, gets poorer mileage, even with front wheel drive. Add in 4WD and there is no comparison. The 6 cylinder is worse, and the Santa Fe, even worse. Also, try getting anything other than a base model of any Subaru competitor with a manual transmission. I do like the warranties though: 5yrs/60k overall, 10yrs/100K on the drivetrain.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Sedona/Entourage van is on my list of minivans I'm considering (yeah, I know, I'm all over the place) and the only serious kink in their armor is the fuel mileage. They are thoroughly competent everywhere else.

    I guess resale, too, but it's hard to predict what residuals will be a decade from now, since I plan to keep it a long time.

    The SF tested well in CR (as did all 3 entries in the thread title).
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    Resale isn't really an issue if you're looking 10 years out.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not a big one, no, but even my 9 year old Forester is getting $5550. I've had 3 callers already and 2 test drivers. Might be sold by the weekend. :shades:

    I kinda doubt I could get that kind of money for, say, a 1998 Kia Sportage. Maybe a grand or two.

    So it matters much less, but it still matters some.
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    Good point. I got 8,000 for my 7year old forrester on a trade-in.
    If that's the case, all Hyundai/Kia products are only worth it if you drive them until the wheels fall off or if you get (as is usually the case)a terrific buy on a new one.
    I guess that's the reason they are worth so much less after a few years. Or at least one of the reasons.
    Then again, I'd hate to see the condition of a 10 year old Sportage.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Always consider resale. You never know when your situation may change. And if you crash the car, most insurance policies will reimburse based on the current value of the car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah. :D

    To be fair the Santa Fe has made leaps and bounds from that Sportage (it was pre Hyundai ownership, too).
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    The point about the insurance company paying on current value of the car is not publicized enough. This can also cause cars to be "totalled" by the insurance company a lot faster. It still boils down to the fact that certain cars gain a reputation for low or high depreciation and maintain that reputation for years. I test drove the Sante Fe and it was terrific. I wanted better gas mileage so we bought the CRV. However, as Hyundai continues to sell its cars well below sticker, their resale will continue to lag.
    The general public does not take all of these factors into account and happily enjoy driving Hyundais and unless there is a depreciation(total accident, stolen car, having to trade in etc) issue they are perfectly fine.
  • marig0107marig0107 Posts: 92
    Always consider resale. You never know when your situation may change. And if you crash the car, most insurance policies will reimburse based on the current value of the car.

    that is a good point. We had not thought about that too hard when we got our CRV. At the time, I was driving a very unreliable caravan so my main concern was having a reliable brand and Honda was it.

    Now I am finding so many more reasons to love my CRV. Thanx one and all :)
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    "However, as Hyundai continues to sell its cars well below sticker, their resale will continue to lag."

    If the original price is low enough, it may make up for the poor resale value at the other end, esprcially if it is kept a long time. The extended warranty (5/60 total, 10/100 drivetrain) makes that more likely. But for me, the gas mileage is the sticking point. It can greatly impact the cost of ownership, particularly if prices keep rising above the inflation rate.
  • drwoodrdrwoodr Posts: 88
    My insurance pays for a new car for the first 2 years of ownership, so everyone should check their policy on this.

    While resale value is something to consider, it is just one of many factors. Getting an extra grand at trade in doesn't mean much if you don't enjoy driving your vehicle for the next several years.
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    True. But I also look at it the opposite. If I pay a little more for a vehicle and keep it a long time the extra cost works out to less than a dollar a day (way less based on how long I keep a vehicle). For a reliable vehicle from a proven automaker that doesn't seem so bad.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think we can all agree that the best strategy is simply "buy what you love".

    If you prefer the Hyundai when its new, and pay more for depreciation, so what? You got a vehicle you liked better, and it's worth it. Why would you buy a car you didn't like (unless affordability was an issue)?

    Residuals are often quoted at a % of MSRP. That's fine, but it's misleading.

    For example, let's say you paid $25k for a Mini Cooper when they first came out, to be the first on the block. Retail was $20k. Resale in 2 years might be $18k. Sounds great.

    The books will say it retained 90% of its value. Incredible. But it only retained 72% of the actual price you paid, and that is the *only* thing that matters.

    The converse is also true. If you get a $20k vehicle (list price) for $16k, and residual after 2 years is just 60%, or $12k. Thing is, it only cost you $4k in depreciation. About half what the Mini Cooper cost that first-on-the-block sucker who simply overpaid.

    Doing this sort of math required lots of assumptions, so that's why I say look at residuals, sure, but it's pretty secondary to liking the vehicle more.
  • Just had to post that Consumer Reports looks at several 'smaller' SUVs including the Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Rogue. The Forester, in both XT and X versions, came out on top and is a recommended pick. In fact, CR says it is now recommending the Forester over its previous top pick, which was the Toyota Rav 4.

    I am glad that perhaps CR finally realized the rear end on the Rav 4 is not practical for many people.

    The Forester may not be the coolest looking SUV out there, but it is pretty solid and has the kinds of things that CR says it's looking for.

    As for resale value, I would think that the CR article could only help the Forester and probably the Outlander.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW, I don't think they downgraded the RAV4, it's just that the Forester scored higher (turbo > V6, non-turbo > 4 banger).

    To me the rear visibility and wrong-way opening rear door were turn offs, but if you read the CR review they barely glance over that stuff.
  • richk6richk6 Posts: 87
    Here are CR online test videos of the small suvs from the aug 08 issue, including the new Forester. uvs/small-suvs-videos.htm
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Holy cow, man, that's a rave review if I've ever seen one!

    Interesting to hear that the 5 speed manual model was both quicker and more fuel efficient (24mpg is their best in class for a non-hybrid).

    The better 4 bangers get 22mpg, and the automatic matched those, but the manual blew them away.
  • Hey Gang,

    I've been reading that the double wishbone suspension in the new 09 Forester handles more 'sloppy' then the outgoing strut design. I took a 09 for a test drive and really couldn't tell a differance in the handling from my old 05.

    Does anybody notice sloppier handling? Does the newer Forester handle more poorly then a CR-V? I always associated Subaru's with handling - this would be a first for me if the Honda does it better.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Background - I owned a 1998 L model for 9 years, and we now own a 2009 X Limited.

    I completely disagree with that theory.

    The old one had struts all around, and the biggest difference is that it was softer. It took a while to settle down in a turn. Not bouncy in an SUV sort of way, just more softly sprung.

    The new rear suspension was derived from the Tribeca, and that plus all the other changes resulted in a Forester that rolls a lot less and feels firmer (the opposite of sloppy IMHO). You'll notice the reduced body roll on a test drive, and that's despite the fact that ground clearance is up more than an inch. The whole vehicle sits a bit higher.

    The trade-off is a little bit more impact harshness. If you hit a bump you feel it a bit more than in the '98. An enthusiast might see this as more feedback and even consider that a positive, but we use it as a family car so I wanted to note that you do feel the initial impact of the bumps more. Overall it has more suspension travel, though.

    I think it handles as well as any other compact crossover out there. MT just named it SUV of the year.
This discussion has been closed.