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Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester?



  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hey pretty soon you two are going to start quibbling over fractions of a percent :P I think it's safe to say that Honda could sell more CRVs if they offered a V-6 option but Honda obviously weighed the numbers and didn't believe that the increase would be enough to offset the development costs.

    I also agree that Subaru could sell more Foresters if they were bigger. Unfortunately I'm in the minority who prefer it retain its current size. However, there is certainly still a market for smaller vehicles. Look at Honda and Toyota, the Civic and Corolla have both grown from sub-compacts to large compacts so now they're having to come out with the Fit and Yaris respectively to satisfy the demand for smaller, cheaper and more fuel efficient models.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I think it's more a fact that Honda has stated they are really targeting the female customer, who are usually more interested in economy than power, with the new CRV. This is based on past sales, I'm sure.

    I've also read somewhere that Honda may (?) offer another SUV that falls in between the CRV and Pilot. If that's true, it likely will get a V6.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Not sure where you got the 30% from..."

    Toyota. It's been cited in the auto rags and quoted from Toyota PR staff.

    "but assuming that's correct, that's 30% more sales than without having the V6 available to customers."

    Now ask yourself. How many of those RAV4 customers would have bought the I4 if the V6 were not available? Let's be conservative and say 10%? Which would mean the V6 is only contributing 20% to the total number of vehicles sold.

    With that in mind, go back and look at my projection for how many sales Honda would gain by adding a V6. You might find the number 20% mentioned.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "I think it's safe to say that Honda could sell more CRVs if they offered a V-6 option but Honda obviously weighed the numbers and didn't believe that the increase would be enough to offset the development costs."

    So, I'm not writing in a foreign tongue, after all? ;)

    I hear you on the Forester. They could gain sales by making it larger. But as more and more manufacturers move upward in size (like the RAV4), that leaves more buyers for Subaru to woo with compact dimensions.

    A larger Forester would also intrude a bit on Outback sales.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    You might find the number 20% mentioned.

    20% is nothing to sneeze at. So Honda has elected to give up a another 20% of sales because they don't offer a V6 CRV.

    BTW, what's the percentage of V6 Accords sold? Whatever that number is, I think you could expect the same number of V6 CRVs sold.

    Actually, I would expect more V6 CRVs to be sold than Accord V6s, simply because the CRV is more likely to be used for towing and other "utility-oriented" chores than the Accord, where the V6 power would truly be appreciated.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "BTW, what's the percentage of V6 Accords sold?"


    The Accord has averaged 387,500 sales each year for the past four years. That means approximately 155,000 units per year for the V6 Accord (more than the total sales of the CR-V).

    The CR-V has averaged 147,000 units over the same period. Which (at 30%) would give us a theoretical 44,100 units per year. They earn more customers simply bringing over the 5 year-old Fit.

    "Whatever that number is, I think you could expect the same number of V6 CRVs sold."

    The percentage of RAV4's sold with a V6 doesn't match the percentage for Camrys.
  • I know it's difficult to compare cars, but a lot of what I'm hearing here makes me feel the RAV4 is not really a good buy. We are considering a new car (well, SUV-ish auto) and the one I really loved (I have not driven yet) is the RAV4. Now I'm wondering about the CRV in comparison. A lot of people say the RAV has a lot of noise and a rough ride. But I have heard some negative things about the new CRV also. What do you guys think? I am wanting the car for a short commute, plus hauling a kid, and maybe some road trips (so we need some room, but not a lot). We'd like comfort, good ride, good price and good gas mileage.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Okay lemme see here...

    Short trips... any of these will do.

    One critter... any of these will do.

    Road trips... any, though I'm hesitant about the Forester. It's the smallest of the lot.

    Good ride... that's a tough one. Haven't driven the new CR-V yet. I don't expect it will be a problem based on the reviews I'm reading. I think the only reason why the RAV4 takes a hit for a firm ride is because some are buying the sport package (tighter suspension tuning). Forester is proven to be pretty good in this category.

    Good price... CR-V's are too new. Pricing is still at MSRP. The Forester (because it's the oldest design) probably represents the best overall value.

    Gas mileage... any will do. Just stay away from the RAV4 with the V6 or the Forester with the turbo.

    If the RAV4 makes you all weak in the knees, I say buy it. Were I shopping today, I'd probably work a deal on a 4 cyl RAV4 myself.
  • Life was tough when the new RAV came out, nevermind the V! The Forester will either survive as niche vehicle, a SMALL, very safe, rather bland looking car/wagon with great reliability OR it will grow and compete with the RAV and V. It is really no longer in their class as it is much smaller. The base F has had a $2k rebate for about a year now. I believe Subaru will lower the over all price rather than devalue its line with rebates. To put it simply, it is out of the competition at this point...OR looking at it from the Subaru side, it has no competition! I guess sales will determine whether it stays small or gets big. We drove both. Ironically, we had a tiny underpowered 96 RAV and the Forester was bigger. But we waited for the 06 RAV and it just felt it fit better all around for our needs. I doubt you could go wrong with any of these. Personally, I was tempted to wait even longer for the new V but from what I have seen its not my cup of tea...looks a little wagony without the tire on the back.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I suspect the '09 Forester will grow. The '08 WRX will have a wheelbase 3.7" longer than the current model, but about the same overall length, meaning maybe (?) a bit less front overhang and a lot (!) less rear overhang. It will also be about as wide as the current Legacy. I suspect the Forester will also grow since it and the Impreza share much of the same platform. If so, it will be right in the ballpark with all the others in this market.

    So what I'm saying is until the '09 model arrives, life will be tough for the Forester.

  • thecatthecat Posts: 535
    Gas mileage... any will do. Just stay away from the RAV4 with the V6

    Varmit - I don't know what you're basing that statement on but I've been averaging 24.6 and have gotten as high as 27.6 on the highway. The EPA estm. is 28 highway. ?????
  • I second ya, 'cat'. I have an I4, but most V6 owners seem to be getting exceptional MPG-extremely close to or better than I'm getting. Lots of examples on the other forum.
  • I have the V6 and am averaging 19 MPG - 85% city, 15% highway. But I am also a leadfoot! :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    AWD is not going to solve any directional issues unless you have your foot planted solidly on the accelerator

    I don't quite agree with that. Under engine braking, I'd much rather have 50/50 AWD so you divide the task between both axles. Coming down Pikes Peak I'd much rather have a full-time AWD system. Any hills, really.

    The one thing that impresses me the most about 50/50 AWD is how evenly the tires wear. I have to document when rotations were done because the front and rear tires look the same. In FWD cars the fronts wear out far sooner.

    Changing gears a bit....

    I'll pre-empt the rant below by saying that Subaru absolutely fell behind in the stability control area and must address this short-coming ASAP.

    However, watch the video again. Volvos sliding around all over the place. Proving that electronics can make the best of what handling you have, but it can't make it handle better. This less intrusive setup let the Volvo spin out.

    On the opposite side of the threshold spectrum, Toyota's VSC is a bit too quick to act and spoils the fun. In some cases it actually interrupts a hill climb, as in the link I shared earlier.

    So, not all stability control are created equal, and the electronics don't actually improve handling limits, they merely try to stop you before you exceed those limits.

    Toyota just needs to give us an Off button.

  • I agree with you. I do like the VSC on the RAV. It has finally rained here, the first time I get to drive the RAV with the streets wet. It did really really well! Even turning quick on the wet roads I did not slide one bit. Huge difference when I used to drive my Nissan Frontier, that thing would slide if I even thought about going faster than a crawl on slightly wet pavement. Though trucks are different obviously. But so far the RAV has done really well in the rain. Yay. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I bet you have much better tires, too. That's gotta be a big part of the difference you notice.

  • thecatthecat Posts: 535
    I guess I should know the answer to this ... does an alarm sound or idiot light flash when the VSC engages? If so, I have never had the VSC activate and I've zipped around some corners. I keep reading about the overly eager Toyota system and my experience seems to be different than that.

    - hutch
  • I was in exactly the same spot this past spring. I was leaning toward the CR-V, but then I saw the new Rav4. I then went and test drove both. The Rav4 won hands down. The CR-V was boring to drive and also the interior seemed like it had cheap materials. The RAV4 has much better interior quality and a great ride. I have had mine since April, and I love it! I went from a Subaru outback to the new RAV4. After hitting a deer last year with the Subaru, I felt it was too low to the ground and I needed to be up higher. My gas mileage with the RAV4 is about the same as with the outback. I average 24-27 in town. Took a long trip this summer and the RAV was averaging 28 on the highway (I have the 4wd, 4cyl). As I said, I just love my new RAV4 and so far have no complaints. :blush:
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    I saw some specs in USA Today on the CRV and was not impressed. It isn't even in the same league as the Rav 4 as that has i.e. move into a larger category. Towing alone along with V-6 option illustrate the point. But how about a Forester?

    Why? (looking at AWD basic)
    CRV - price Your are going to pay the 21,195 for the CRV and you can get a Forester for 19K if you work it.

    Forester - 173 HP 166 HP at 4,000 rpm CRV- 166 HP 161 HP at 4200 rpm, Forester - Real All Wheel Drive system, CRV - Front wheel unless stuff happens. CRV heavier... CRV underpowered but pretty. Forester just a practical quick box that goes and goes...but I digress.

    Forester - Extremely highly rated for safety, CRV - unknown but probably very good,

    Forester mileage - 24 in town, 29 highway, CRV 23 and 30.

    Forester towing - 2400 lbs, CRV - 1500 lbs.

    Forester - lumbar support, CRV none

    Rav 4, well, nice, but getting bigger and expensive and you will probably realistically pay 23K for the rough equivalent of the basic CRV and Forester.

    Oh Forester, if you want to move up you can get the upgrade version with heated seats a sunroof that is huge, heated seats and everything for about what you would pay for the base Rav 4. Oh and if you are really antzy, you can get the Turbo Forester and go from 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds.
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Posts: 423
    Would the Outback Basic not also fit into this comparison. When I look at the specs it seems to more closely fit the RAV and CRV in terms of wheelbase and space. Since I'm just starting to shop these was wondering if anyone else had done a comparison of the 07 models?
  • 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: 19,788
    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: 10,059
    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

This discussion has been closed.