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Crossover SUV Comparison

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Comments

  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    1. You know, Mitsu has had that said about them for 15+ years. They're still here. The horse is dead; quit beating it. Is Oldsmobile still here? No. How long will Pontiac, Saturn, and FTM Chrysler be around? There are several doomed brands to avoid, but I'm not particularly worried about Mitsu.

    And your link quotes the president of Mitsu:""We will never give up the U.S. market."

    2. In my personal real-world history, resale plays in favor of the cheaper vehicle. I've already mentioned it in other threads comparing my '99 Galant to a similarly equipped Camry. The Camry would have been $3K more up front yet the resale is only $2K better after 10 years. The higher resale vehicle costs $1K more than the lower resale.

    I don't have anything against Subaru, and being originally from Indiana I like that they build there, but their vehicles don't compare favorably against the competition in the criteria that matter to me.

    Mitsu's biggest offense right now is the current gen Galant. It doesn't compare well to the competition at all. I wouldn't consider buying it to replace my current Galant even though my car has had great reliability and I'm a satisfied Mitsu customer.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    "GM should have just said it's better than the gas Escape because that is 100% true. Their ad has way too many footnotes next to that comparison to the FEH to be taken seriously IMO".

    -----------

    I think they want to get the attention of Ford Hybrid lookers. People think hybrids get better mileage than regular SUVs but that really only applies in the city. Hybrid highway mileage is usually very similar to non-hybrid models so if that's where you drive a lot, chances are you can save a bundle and get a Equinox instead.

    That's my read. You are right though... the 32 MPG and over all mileage alone is very attractive and better than regular Escape or any other regular small SUV.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    "One final note about the rear gate on the RAV (the left-hand-side-opening door.) I noticed that the three or four RAVs we looked at last week were all built in Japan, not in the U.S. I found that odd (since nearly all the Hondas I have seen are built in Ohio.) Perhaps Toyota hasn't tooled a US factory to build the RAV, so it has one set of tooling for the Japanese market (driving on the left-hand side of the road) and uses those cars for export to the US. Does anyone know whether the RAV is built in the US?"
    -----------

    North American RAV production was to have shifted to Cambridge Ontario but when the recession slammed, the plant was put on hold. It's producing a little bit now but very small numbers from what I have heard. Toyota has way too much capacity and is loosing billions so who knows what will happen there.
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    Thanks for your reply. The only comments I have on your comments are with respect to the Murano, Equinox and Outback:

    Murano - Although premium fuel is recommended, it is not required. Many Murano owners report good performance with regular fuel.
    Equinox - I would agree that the '09 and prior models may not stack up, but the 2010 looks like a game-changer.
    Outback - Not sure your concerns about cheap Subaru interiors apply to the 2010 model.

    I don't expect any of these are things that will change your mind. Congrats on making your decision - I've got probably got a few more months of agonizing before I make one!
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Actually, Toyota built a brand-new plant in Woodstock, Ontario for the RAV4. The Cambridge plant is in a different city and assembles the Corolla, Matrix and RX350.

    They've been building RAV4s in Woodstock since November of last year and are having trouble keeping up with Canadian demand for the vehicle, since it's been a hot seller in 2009. I don't know how much production makes it to the US, however - could depend on where in the US you're looking.

    Short answer to the original question: yes, the RAV4 is built in North America but as you've already found, that doesn't mean you'll necessarily be able to find one on a lot near you.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    I think they want to get the attention of Ford Hybrid lookers. People think hybrids get better mileage than regular SUVs but that really only applies in the city. Hybrid highway mileage is usually very similar to non-hybrid models so if that's where you drive a lot, chances are you can save a bundle and get a Equinox instead.

    I totally agree with you there. However the print and TV ads don't really state it that way and if you aren't paying attention to the fine print at the bottom you just might be mislead. They do a little play on words that is clever and I give them credit for it, but it can be very misleading.

    After I typed that post I found out about the stupid "Eco" button you have to push to get from 31 MPG hwy to 32 MPG hwy. Don't think they mentioned that in the ads either. I still don't totally understand the purpose of that stupid button and I've given up trying to find out about it. I just hope Ford doesn't follow along with Honda, Toyota, and now GM by putting these stupid "Eco" modes in their FE fighters any time soon. They seem like a waste of engineering time and money to me. If you are going to make an FE fighter, whether it be gas or battery powered, then just leave it at that. Don't try to make it normal AND fuel efficient at the push of a button for cripes sake!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The Prius has an Eco button too. I couldn't tell much difference on the short test drive I took in one a month ago. It's not as bad as the EV button though - that lets you run on battery power alone. For a full half mile. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess the one thing that is surprising me about some of the comments here is that these interiors are nicer than some of their competitors. I didn't see it, and I was looking for it.

    At the car shows I tend to focus on small crossovers, and you could argue they all have "cheap" interiors now. CR-V, RAV4, Forester, Outlander - all have cardboard headliners with dryer lint coverings. The days of padded headliners with perforated cloth liners, in this price class, seem to have passed.

    Same for padded plastics on the dash - all have hard surfaces pretty much everywhere. You might see small variations in texture or color, but nearly all the surfaces are hard plastic.

    Am I missing something? Does the RAV4 Limited get better materials than the more basic models? I sit in a RAV4 at every car show I go to, at least one or two per year, and it just doesn't match the interior quality of my Sienna, which itself isn't exactly premium, merely "average". Actually I sort of feel like its interior is among the cheaper designs. Adventurous, sure, but not upscale.

    I was in NY for the auto show in April and the CR-V also gets the same cheap peach-fuzz-over-cardboard headliner. Looks like they spent 8 cents on the whole thing. Same exact thing for the Outlander.

    Are we focusing on different things? I look at things like the headliner, the A-pillar, the dash, and it's pretty much universal for this class - all cheap and hard surfaces.

    Ironically I think the Forester actually does better than average, especially the elbow rests - it definitely has more padding for the elbows on the doors (all 4 also), at least, for its class. Also, the texture of the plastic on the A-pillars is nicely done and matches the rest of the interior, a detail you don't get with most competitors.

    My wife got the moonroof, so at least you don't see much of that cheap peach-fuzz headliner, and the perforated leather is actually quite nice, with 4 or 5 settings for the also nice heated seats. A couple of subtle blue LED lights glow over the center console, something you probably won't notice the first time you drive it.

    We've owned it for a little over a year and my wife simple adores her Forester, so no regrets here. Try the 175hp PZEV model. It's light so that's adequate among the fuel sippers in this class, only the heavier RAV4 has more base power in a 4 banger and it's heavier.

    The OB is nicer but we've not been wanting for more plush, to be honest. Honda left room above the CR-V for the Acura RD-X, and Toyota has approximately 17 SUVs positioned above the RAV4, too.

    To be fair, I do have complaints about the Forester, may as well air them out. The cup holders are square. Hello? And the passenger seat is mounted too low, so add a height adjustment or just mount it 2" higher.

    I even sat in a VW Tiguan and didn't really see the premium interior VWs are supposed to have. Peach fuzz headliner? You bet. Again they left room for the Audi Q5.
  • We are debating between the:

    2009 RAV4 I4 2WD with:
    security system
    Base Value Package
    3rd-row seats

    and the

    2009 CR-V LX 2WD

    I probably like the CR-V slightly more overall, but unless we upgrade to a EX we can't get a factory security system installed, and there are no third-row seats, which is a big plus for our young but growing family.

    Taking the security system and 3rd-row seats out of the equation, which should we choose?
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    Consumer Reports reliability ratings: no surprises though: Toyota, Honda, Acura, Lexus on top. European and American SUVs - on the bottom.

    image
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The answer is simple - choose the one that you prefer.

    You'll get plenty of opinions here, but the one that really matters is yours. You should be happy with your purchase, not get something that impresses others.

    Buy the one that brings the bigger smile to your face.

    Truth is they're pretty similar overall.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 2,562
    Nice chart. God help the person choosing between a SRX and a Tourareg... :sick:

    Tesla X Performance / Tesla 3 Performance

  • The thing I find puzzling is why GM puts 6-speed automatics in their Equinox/Terrain/Acadia/Enclave/Outlooks, with direct injection, and the Japanese makes haven't bothered with either advancement. For Pete's sake, Subaru was putting a 4-speed automatic in their 2009 Forester (I think the '10 model has finally caught up), and Toyota/Honda appear to be stuck in the 4-speed or 5-speed-if-you're-lucky world. At least Nissan has wised up and usually offers a CVT. Subaru/Honda/Toyota are pathetic. In addition to GM, Ford has managed to put in 6-speed automatics across the line now. When will those Japanese makes catch up? The only reason I can think of why Sub/Hon/Toy has lagged behind the competition in this area is that they think the consumer is stupid and won't understand the performance benefits of 6-speeds and direct injection.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Not to mention the potential fuel savings.
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    At least Subaru now offers a CVT in the 2010 Outback. I would think CVT would make its way to the Forester at some point too.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Honda appear to be stuck in the 4-speed or 5-speed-if-you're-lucky world.

    I think every auto that Honda sells right now is a five-r. Business-wise, there's not a lot of push to spend development money on a 6-speed; at least for the CR-V. Last year I think (someone correct me if need be) the CR-V was the top selling crossover; having a 5-speed auto didn't seem to be hurting sales, or at least it wasn't enough to make people buy other products that offered anything better, perhaps because the rest of the vehicle didn't match the advancement of an extra cog. I do understand that people want a 6-speed in this more-is-better world, but beyond 4, we start reaching a point of diminishing returns.

    Does it make business sense? Probably. Do the consumers have to stand for it? Nope. Sales will tell if they actually do or not.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The 2010 Acura MDX has a new 6-speed automatic.

    http://blogs.edmunds.com/straightline/2009/07/acura-gives-mdx-a-facelift-for-201- - - - 0.html#more

    I expect that tranny to make its way into Honda-badged vehicles soon, like the new upcoming Odyssey.

    http://blogs.edmunds.com/straightline/2009/08/spy-photos-2011-honda-odyssey-caug- - ht-night-testing-in-death-valley.html

    I'm sure it will also make its way into the Pilot, Ridgeline and Accord as well, plus other Acuras.

    Bob
  • psychogunpsychogun Posts: 129
    Japanese makes haven't bothered with either advancement.

    The above statement is incorrect:

    The Mazda CX7 is direct-injected and turbo-charged with a 6-speed auto

    The Outlander V6 has a six-speed auto. While Mitsu doesn't offer direct-injection, the company was the first auto-maker in the world to mass-produce (well over 1 million units) gasoline direct injection engines some 13 years ago. The program was killed by the short-sighted Daimler execs send in after the merger.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    I found that odd (since nearly all the Hondas I have seen are built in Ohio.

    Hmmm, 90% of the CRVs I've seen on the lot are made/assembled in Mexico! Only the ones with nav systems are made in Ohio. Like they don't trust the Mexican car workers with the high tech options....(like me!).... ;)
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    Land Rovers are consistently as bad
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    ...and Lexus RX had 5 speed tranny forever until finally they upgraded the 2010 model with 6-speed
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    I believe Mazda also makes a non-turbo version of CX7 with 5-speed tranny
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The only reason I can think of why Sub/Hon/Toy has lagged behind the competition in this area is that they think the consumer is stupid and won't understand the performance benefits of 6-speeds and direct injection.

    To be honest consumers don't care as long as it performs well.

    We are gear heads and don't represent the buying population well. We are very skewed towards performance enthusiasts.

    Even as a gear head, how an automatic performs is far more important to me than the number of gears.

    The 4 speed auto in my wife's Forester is far better than the 5 speed auto in my Sienna. Furthermore, Toyota's 6 speed auto has been problematic, so in this case:

    4 > 5 > 6.

    Go figure, but it's true.

    Having said that, Honda uses 5 and is starting to use 6 speeds. Too bad they dropped the manual.

    Subaru offers a manual transmission, arguably better than any automatic, in the Forester. Consumer Reports got +3mpg in the real world with their manual, and just 1 mpg shy of the Ford Escape Hybrid. I'd give up 1mpg for more than $10 grand in savings, wouldn't you?

    Plus Subaru is going the CVT route. Look at the Legacy AWD CVT - 31 mpg highway! Can't wait to see a Forester with one of those. 80 miles per hour and those chug along at just 2000rpm.

    Toyota uses 4 in the 4 cylinder and 5 in the V6. Again, though, no manual, which is the real tragedy. Imagine a 5 speed manual paired up with that 2GR V6. That might be enough to make me overlook the wrong-way hatch.

    So you can get 5 ratios in the Honda, Toyota, and Subaru, even today.

    Nissan and Mitsubishi both use CVTs already. So you're bragging about domestics offering 6 ratios, when each of those offers infinite ratios.
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    Just went and tested the Forester. Looking at a 2.5X Premium, 5spd, with the cold weather package. This gets you the NA engine, big moonroof, power driver's seat, heated cloth front seats, alloys, etc.

    I am comparing to a Honda CRV EX AWD. Cloth interior, moonroof, auto only.

    Prices are probably within a grand of each other.

    RAV is an outside contender. I drove one when they first came out and still remember how uncomfortable it was for me. I may have to give it another look though.

    We've tested the CRV extensively when we bought our Accord instead. Good car overall, no big faults. Smooth, decent power and space. Known entity as we have owned a number of Hondas.

    I have driven Subarus a number of times and never really liked them... the didn't fit my big body well and they were totally ubiquitous up here. But I was told by a number of people I trust to give the new Forester a chance.

    The cabin is now much more airy and open, hip, shoulder and elbow room for my size was great. It has the biggest moonroof I've ever seen. The drive was just "ok" no better or worse then the CRV. Soaks up bumps nicely, not too much wallowing around, decent power and noise levels.

    I'm not a dash-stroker by any means but the interior materials are clearly a cut below the CRV. The carpets were chintzy, and the dash stuff looked like it would scratch easily but I liked the seat material. Black with a bit of a shimmery blue pattern in it, very nice.

    The engine is noticeably course compared to the Honda. The 5 speed is a real advantage over CRV but it's not a great one. Better then paying for an auto I don't want though.

    The rear cargo area was a bit of a let down. The floor is quite high and sloped upwards towards the rear seatbacks. The CRV's is noticeably larger, lower, and flatter but not as square up top.

    Back seat room was good. I could sit behind myself and I think the boy will have about the same amount of leg room he has now. It's narrower then the Accord we have now but on par with CRV overall. The way the Forester's flip out cupholder piece works leaves a nice well for his toys.

    Front seat was quite comfortable. Layout of everything was logical and a little boring, but no real faults. Again, on par with the CRV.

    We'll load up the family next week and go drive both together and play the numbers game and see where we land. I don't think either has a big edge with me, my wife may disagree... I know she really wants seat heaters. I think I like each one about the same, each has advantages and disadvantages over the other but not enough either way to make the choice easy. My local honda dealer is great and I have a relationship with them. The Subaru place doesn't have a great rep overall but with any luck I won't see them much anyway.

    Buying next week, so this should be, I hope, a short story.
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    Stopped on the way home and drove a RAV4. It was fine, but didn't stand out, my wife said it was "adequate." I was telling her that I thought that was a real problem with this class of cars.... none of them offer much to get excited about. She said this worries her as she knows how quickly an "adequate" car will bore me.

    I don't know what to do about that.

    Local dealer not dealing, no unsold RAV's on the lot and plenty of demand. I'm sure I could find a discount farther away but the car just didn't interest me enough to bother.

    I liked the Forester better.

    I liked the looks of the Venza btw. Very low and sleek, HUGE wheels, but prices near $30k so way out of budget.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The way the Forester's flip out cupholder piece works leaves a nice well for his toys.

    Good catch and the best part is with 2 kids you have a division to keep them from fighting all the time.

    I'd recommend the Limited since the perforated leather really gives the interior a boost but then you can't get a 5 speed so never mind.
  • Did you get a RAV4 with the V6? Its a rocket, as it can go 0-60 in 6.1 seconds; fast. Handling and steering are typical Toyota-numb and vague, but at least it gets to speed fast.

    Also, to those above who think the Mazda CX-7, with a 6-speed and direct injection, is a good implementation of one, remember its a gas guzzler and its a small crossover, too. The main point of having extra gears and direct injection is to preserve acceleration times while getting great MPG, which the CX-7 fails miserably at. Not a good example of what can/should be done with extra tech. Same goes for Mitsubishi's Outlander, as it has a 6-speed at least (no direct injection found) and gets the same MPG as a huge Ford Flex. Failure. It could be that they are not as skilled at engine control software algorithms as Ford and GM engineers, or maybe its just that they failed to engineer low internal friction into their engines, not sure which it is. Nissan is one Japanese make that has done well with their transmissions, although they don't seem to want to give the consumer the added performance and MPG of direct injection. So far, GM is about the only one to really do it right. Ford did have CVTs in Freestyles 5 years ago, a point to which most [non-permissible content removed] makes are just now catching up to for 2010.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mazda now offers a non-turbo CX7, and while it doesn't have DI it's no gas guzzler.

    Same for the Outlander 4 cylinder with the CVT.

    And didn't the Murano get a CVT before the Freestyle? Either way, Ford discontinued it, while Nissan succeeded in keeping it in production.

    Do you have something against Asian manufacturers? :confuse:
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    A totally fruitless day of car shopping.

    After nixing RAV4 because of low availability and no movement off sticker, I thought I'd have better luck with my favorite Honda dealership. Same deal... a good amount for my trade in but otherwise sticker making the payment more then $100 more then our current car and way out of our comfort range.

    All that being said, we REALLY liked the CRV EX. It's everything we need in a daily. They've done some minor, but nice updates since the 08's we last looked at, the center stack and stereo are much more integrated now. The entire car feels very buttoned down and solid. Drives great, everyone has plenty of room.

    The LX was only mildly cheaper but took away a lot of the niceties that made the CRV so appealing to us. (moonroof, alloys, etc)

    We drove straight over to Subaru and drove the same Forester 2.5X Premium 5-speed that I drove last week. Coming directly out of the CRV, the Forester felt cheap and sounded rough. Interior space was noticeably tighter as well. Coupled with a terrible sales person there was no way were buying it. My wife was totally unimpressed.... we didn't even bother talking numbers.

    So the net net is that we really did like the CRV but not quite enough to spend the money on it yet. Champagne tastes, beer budget.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Have you considered buying one that's a year old and saving a few $?
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    Possibly, but more likely I will wait until the '10's come out and see if I can stag a deal on a leftover 09...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wait to find the right deal, I'm sure prices will drop after the C4C madness ends.

    It's actually a seller's market right now. Supply is low and demand is high. Better to wait.

    This past weekend I went to a Subaru dealer event, and the same dealer sells Toyotas as well. I looked again at the RAV4, a Limited, and I still don't see what people are talking about when they say it's nicer than a Forester.

    Specifically, the headliner is the same old cardboard sprayed with peach fuzz, or call it dryer lint, whatever you prefer. The Forester's similar but at least it has a cross-hatch pattern, so I thought it was a little nicer actually.

    The RAV4 had hard plastics everywhere, with the exception of the elbow rests, and again here the Forester simply has more padding.

    Same cheap carpeting for both. Subaru is using berber carpeted mats now and it seems like most people don't like the look. That may be the source of much of the criticism.

    Hard plastics on the dash and doors. I just don't see a difference, to be honest. I looked hard and long and compared them back to back.

    The RAV4 is bigger, that's for sure.

    Also, the RAV4's metallic trim is not clearcoated, which matches the Forester, but the Sienna's does have a nice clearcoat that should make the surface more durable. The Sienna's carpets are notably thicker than either Forester or RAV4. The Sienna also has a padded, fabric covered headliner, which looks way upscale from the two compact crossovers.

    I'm being as specific as I can be - but show me the light - why do people claim the RAV4 has nicer materials? Where?

    I see them on the Sienna, but not on the RAV4.

    Too bad there wasn't a Honda dealer nearby, but last time I looked the CR-V also had a lint-over-cardboard headliner, hard plastics on the dash and doors, thin carpets, and I don't think the metallic trim was clearcoated.

    Perhaps people simply like the dash design better? Materials quality is on par for all 3 IMHO. I would not be surprised if all 3 use the same supplier and get the exact same materials for carpets and headliners and even most plastic surfaces.

    This is what I see as fairly standard:

    * the compacts tend to have thin carpets, unpadded plastics, and peach fuzz headliners (Forester, CR-V, RAV4, Outlander, even the VW Tiguan)

    * step up to mid-sizers, and you usually get thicker carpets, padded fabric headliners, and some of them add padded dash and plastics, but not all (Venza, Sienna, Outback are all in this class, VW Touareg half a step above)

    * finally, you really have to step up to a luxury car to get truly nice materials - there you'll find suede-feel headliners, thick wool carpets, real wood and leather on the dash, A-pillars wrapped in fabric, padded dash and door plastics

    The dealership has a Hyundai franchise as well, so we checked out a Genesis sedan. That car's materials simply put any of the above to shame. You gotta sit in one to believe it. My wife simple said "Wow" when I told her it was a Hyundai.

    I think perhaps people like a design and may have a preference for certain textures used, but I really don't see any significant difference in materials used.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    You're a real connoisseur of headliners! Good example of an aspect of a vehicle's interior that one person may place a lot of importance on and use as a yardstick of "quality", but another may not even notice. In fact, I couldn't even tell you what the headliner looks like in my daily driver, which I've owned for a year and a half, because I spend next to no time looking at it or touching it. In fact, I'm all for cheapo "peach fuzz" headliners if it means the manufacturer can put the savings into something else that I actually care about.

    I agree with you that design and texture probably have a lot to do with one vehicle seeming to have higher quality interior materials than its competitors even if it really doesn't.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    I would say thickness of the material as well. If you push against a hard plastic door panel how much give is there? If there's give, it feels cheap and insubstantial and people may wonder about the entire vehicle .. "if they used cheap stuff here where I can see it, what did they use where I can't see?"

    I admit I don't sweat the headliner. I do look for a padded dash, upper door panels, and arm rest. I want the spots I touch on a regular basis to have a good texture and some padding for comfort.

    My current car has a "peach fuzz" headliner and I never think about it except when I glance up - usually looking at the moon roof - and see how dirty it's gotten over my decade of ownership. How do I clean that?
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure the manufacturers have to meet not only cost but also weight targets. Imagine how much a thickly padded headliner covered in luxurious seude would cost and weigh?

    Mind you, I've noticed these things, but it doesn't bother me, per se. I'm just trying to be specific about what I noticed. When people say "This car has much higher quality than that car", then I start looking - and usually don't see any improvements here.

    I want the spots I touch on a regular basis to have a good texture and some padding for comfort.

    That's just it - the Forester does well in those areas. The leather seats are perforated and have 5 setttings for the heated seats, most have 2 and don't breathe as well. The padding for the elbow rests is very thick and cushy, not just for the driver but for all 4 outboard passengers. The leather on the steering wheel is also nice. These are the things you touch and ought to care most about.

    Padded dash? You might tough it the day you're car shopping, but then never again.

    I'd rather see a manufacturer save money in an area like that, for any non-luxury car.

    Our Forester has grown on us. If you're not driving it at night, you won't notice the 2 blue LED lights for the center console. If it's not cold you probably won't get the sample the multi-setting seat heaters, wiper de-icers, or the heated mirrors that not only melt ice, but clear away rain as well (Toyota's doesn't do nearly as well).

    Also, my Mazda and Subaru have mute buttons on the steering wheel (missing on my Toyota), but the Forester goes an extra step and fades slowly when you hit it. It also fades back in. The lights also, they fade in, fade out. Subtle, sure, but a nice surprise when you notice it later as you use it more often.

    I like that the AWD is engaged full-time, no clunky engagement after the front wheels spin. And the traction control is tuned just right. My Sienna is too aggressive here so I have to turn it off to climb a snowy driveway. My Mazda lacks the feature, though a Miata is a fair weather vehicle anyway.

    Subaru is also one of the last few to still offer a proper manual trans. Consumer Reports also noted that mileage was much improved, nearly matching hybrids they've tested. My wife got an auto, but if it were primarily my car, it would definitely have come with a clutch. Sadly Toyota and Honda offered those but stopped.

    Forester also has 5 star residuals per ALG, which matches the CR-V and beats the RAV4. Even if you keep them for a long time, it matters. After 9 years I got about 40% of what I paid back at resale. This is an area where the domestics are way behind, though recent models should improve in that regard.

    On top of all that, get a Chase Subaru credit card, and earn $500/year in Subaru Bucks, which you can use for service, parts, or accessories. I think BMW and VW have similar cards, didn't Ford and GM have one? Are they still active?

    The one thing about Subaru Bucks, though, is you don't have to buy a new Subaru - you can pay for that 60k mile service, buy an extended warranty, or buy a bike rack.

    I wish Toyota and Mazda would copy them!

    Complaints? Hurry up with that CVT from the Legacy/Outback. I'd love to see a full size spare come back, but I won't hold my breath. Finally, bring back the turbo with the manual trans.

    Pardon my long rant. I guess my point is, the Forester will grow on you.
  • For what it is worth, I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited and I have had nothing but problems with it. The same problems that thousands of others have had and Toyota refuses to address the issues or pay to have them fixed. I will never again buy a Toyota and I would advise anyone looking at Toyotas to look at the forum on Toyota Sienna door problems to see how awful service and support have been from Toyota. I am on this forum because at 85,000 miles and about $6,000 in repairs, I have had enough and am looking to get rid of this car and buy a Subaru or a Honda
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    Test drove these four vehicles on Friday. I'm not in love with any of them, but I still like the Murano the best of the pack.

    Murano - Smooth ride. Difficult visibility to sides and rear. Handles adequately.

    RDX - Not surprisingly the best handling of the bunch. Very jittery ride though. Off my list.

    MDX - Nice ride and handling, but just too big for what I'm looking for right now. Width of the vehicle made me feel like I was driving a van.

    2010 Outback - Again, nice ride and adequate handling. However, vehicle felt "long" to me from the cockpit. Still too much of a wagon for my taste I guess.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Time came to trade the 03 CR-V 4WD.

    We really did plan to get a new 09 CR-V. But my wife insisted on driving some other brands. Just for comparison. So we did just that. We test drove several and didn't talk much about money until we decided on the car we liked the best.

    The 09 CR-V was a little quieter inside than her 03, but drove about the same, still stiff riding. We both had trouble seeing out the back .

    The Rogue was a strong runner and I liked the CVT tranny. Ride was a bit stiff and the rear vision was terrible. The rear vision is what killed it for us.

    The Forester drove nice, great vision out the back, but was somewhat sluggish. To get stuff she wanted, like rear seat cup holders and privacy glass, the Premium model was the only way to get them. Seems that was nearly $3K more. It was nice but had stuff we didn't care to pay for. The dealer had a "Here it is, take it or leave it" attitude. And we weren't all that impressed with his car.

    We both liked the RAV4. The tranny shifts smoother than the other two, and the 2.5 I4 engine feels stronger and quieter. It has less road noise than the CR-V and about the same as the Forester. It was the best in that class of car, for us, so we traded for it.

    I don't care for the spare on the back door, but we were used to that with the 03 CR-V. FWIW, I prefer a rear door to a hatch. Most of the time when I need to get something from the back I just crack the door. Also If there is a dog back there, they are less likely to escape. When a hatch is open, it is open all the way across and all the way up.
    There are also good arguments for a hatch, but we just prefer the door. I wish my Pilot had a door instead of the hatch.

    It handles well in local driving and on the X-Way. Gas mileage is about 2 mpg better than the CR-V we traded in. My wife gets 24-25 mpg local driving and the one road trip we took with 700 miles on the clock yielded 33.5 mpg. 228 miles and 6.8 gallons of gas. Speed was 58 mph going and 63 mpg on the return.

    It is just as comfortable and rides as well and is a bit quieter inside as our 03 Pilot. I'm thinking seriously of trading the Pilot for a Rav-4 with the V6. Only reason I would want the 6 cylinder is for the extra towing capacity.

    Of course the extra 100 or so horses would be nice sometimes. :shades:

    Kip
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2010 Outback is actually a tiny bit shorter than the 2005-2009 models.
    It compares more to the Venza and the upcoming CrossTour, though.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can actually option up a RAV4 without the spare tire on the back now. You get a donut though, under the cargo floor.

    The V6 is a sweet engine, we have that 2GR-FE in our minivan.

    If you get a 2nd one, look for one without the spare on the back and definitely opt for the V6. :shades:
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    Oh yeah - I forgot that I actually drove a Venza that same day too! I suppose the fact that I forgot tells something about what I thought about it. Decent car - wouldn't say that I necessarily ruled it out, but it certainly didn't wow me in any way. I actually thought the rear and side visibility was a little better in the Venza than the Murano, which surprised me. The ride wasn't as bad as Consumer Reports' review made it out to be, but the steering assistance was way too much for my taste - felt like slop.

    As for the Outback, I think I prefer the styling of the Tribeca. Probably should have driven one of those while I was there. Dealer only had 3 in inventory though and the were all pretty stripped-down base models. Tribecas don't seem to sell much at all here and the dealers don't seem to stock them. Not sure if they don't sell because the dealers don't stock them or the dealers don't stock them because they don't sell. A chicken vs. egg question.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if you drove a Venza with a small wheel package. IIRC they offer 18" to 20". The latter is pretty massive - that's a lot of unsprung weight, though I think Nissan (or is it Infiniti) also offers huge wheel options.

    I had a Tribeca loaner for a week, it was nice. Navi, DVD, the whole 9 yards, so of course it was nice. I'd definitely opt for the 2008+ 3.6l H6 engine, though, which added power and no longer required premium fuel. Rear visibility also improved slightly.

    Go check one out. Recent used ones can be real bargains.
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    The Venza I drove was pretty loaded up so I'm pretty sure it had the 20" wheels, although I'll admit I wasn't paying close attention to that. The top of the line Murano LE also has 20's.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,437
    maybe there are more differences than the number of speeds in the transmission, 6 vs 4, but my wife's 09 escape is averaging 3.5+ mpg better than the '04, even with the addition of 40 more hp.
    2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1, 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,437
    thanks for the review and let us know what you buy.
    2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1, 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,437
    you don't keep your dog tethered?
    2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1, 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • Just for the record, if you choose a RAV4 that has no rear-mounted spare, it uses runflats and does not have a temporary doughnut under the cargo floor. This may be a factor for some buyers.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I stand corrected, thanks.

    Run-flats are a major red flag for me. In the Sienna threads they are the #1 complaint by far. Probably #1 (fast wear), #2 (replacement cost), and #3 (tire noise) most common complaints, actually.

    If that's the case, I'd pass and deal with the poor visibility. Does the Navi option come with a backup cam on the RAV4?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Not exactly just the tall gearing. There is an "Eco" button that must be pushed to achieve that EPA rating of 32 MPG. With it off the EPA rating drops to 31 MPG. I haven't figured out if it stays on when you shut the vehicle down and start it back up though. That could make a big difference in what people actually get. "

    I own a 2008 FEH AWD. I think the government MPG is basically what one would get at 55 MPH. At that speed I get about about 36 or so MPG. At 65 it goes down to around 32. At 70 it dips to around 30. I haven't had it above 70 for any long periods of driving, so I can't say what it would do at 75.

    Anyway, in real world conditions, my AWD would easily beat the Eq on the road, and of course in town there is no comparison at all.

    Anyone out there with the Eq 4 banger to provide some numbers?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    GM's marketing only mentions the EPA highway number, of course, because that's where it does well.

    GM also cites the FWD model only, to show its best side.

    Hybrids do well in the city, so the FEH's city number (and EPA combined) are far better than the Eq's.

    Biased pro-diesel advocates will do the same thing - they compare road trips, which bias in favor of diesels and virtually eliminate the hybrid's city driving advantage.

    Your FEH is the most fuel efficient crossover in the city and overall, period. No catches, qualifiers, asterixes, etc.
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