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We bought a Subaru Forester this week for my wife's daily driver. We own a 2003 CRV and a 2007 Ridgeline. IMHO the new CRV/HRV are a departure from the original CRV. The CRV looks bigger with limited visibility behind and just looks "bloated" and has just gotten bigger. The HRV seems to be the answer to what the CRV originally was but with limited power and height which is what my wife wanted.

The Forester offered a better package, with IMHO a superior AWD system. I am still a HONDA fan, as we are keeping both our CRV and Ridgeline, and I get to drive the CRV as a daily driver now!
 

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I had a first Gen CRV (97) and loved it. When the 2nd Gen came out I was drooling - but just couldn't afford it. Then the swoopy Gen 3 came out (way too girly) and I lost interest in it.

Since the mid 60's those snow eating Subi's drew my interest (lessoned after I left snow country). I believe she'll love it and its capabilities; don't forget the rule: pictures.
 

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I had a first Gen CRV (97) and loved it. When the 2nd Gen came out I was drooling - but just couldn't afford it. Then the swoopy Gen 3 came out (way too girly) and I lost interest in it.

Since the mid 60's those snow eating Subi's drew my interest (lessoned after I left snow country). I believe she'll love it and its capabilities; don't forget the rule: pictures.
I always kind of thought of this as the first gen CR-V. :) Ugly little turds ... sorry toads ... that they were. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYvRq8BEl7k
 

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Can you tell us more about your driving impressions of the Forester?

When I bought my Ridgeline I had been seriously considering an Outback, I was pretty impressed with the Subarus I test drove. For my next purchase I am considering Subaru again, this time thinking about Forester or WRX....
 

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Which of the Subaru vehicles offer a manual option (vs the CVT)?
 

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We bought a Subaru Forester this week for my wife's daily driver. We own a 2003 CRV and a 2007 Ridgeline. IMHO the new CRV/HRV are a departure from the original CRV. The CRV looks bigger with limited visibility behind and just looks "bloated" and has just gotten bigger. The HRV seems to be the answer to what the CRV originally was but with limited power and height which is what my wife wanted.

The Forester offered a better package, with IMHO a superior AWD system. I am still a HONDA fan, as we are keeping both our CRV and Ridgeline, and I get to drive the CRV as a daily driver now!
My wife and I bought a Forester back in 2013, fairly decent car as far as ride goes but unless the new ones are an improvement over the older model you will notice it being a lot louder more tinny, and not that great on gas. When we bought ours new, it came with Bridgestone tires on it, I felt that it was awful in the snow, seemed to slide around a lot and not get very good traction, I was extremely disappointed. Last winter I purchased a set of Hakapaletta snow tires for the car and I will say the tires made 100% difference in the car, I now believe the 4 wheel drive system is a lot better than Hondas, with those snows on the car is a tank and will go through almost anything.
 

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Mom has a previous generation Forester, and she likes it a lot. She sits up higher than in a sedan, and it's easier for her to get in & out of. The boxer engine means it has a lower center of gravity, so it handles better. I could recommend the new ones, if it only weren't for the silly CVT in them.

Chip H.
 

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Which of the Subaru vehicles offer a manual option (vs the CVT)?
I know Subaru stopped offering the 6-speed manual on the Legacy and Outback. Forester, Impreza, WRX, Crosstek, and of course BRZ still offer either a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission. That's quite a good selection of models offering a manual tranny compared to other manufacturers these days.
 

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I think that CVT transmission would kill any interest I would have in a Subaru product. So I guess that kills the Legacy and Outback for me.
 

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I think that CVT transmission would kill any interest I would have in a Subaru product. So I guess that kills the Legacy and Outback for me.
My appraisal of CVT has consistently been negative since they were introduced. I test drove the Legacy against Mazda6 and after driving Legacy several times I changed my view of CVT enough that I liked the Legacy better overall for my needs. Transmission in Mazda is still better, CVT in Subaru is good enough that I expect it would not be a negative factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Can you tell us more about your driving impressions of the Forester?

When I bought my Ridgeline I had been seriously considering an Outback, I was pretty impressed with the Subarus I test drove. For my next purchase I am considering Subaru again, this time thinking about Forester or WRX....
Honestly? I didn't drive it. But was along for the test drive. It had to be what the wife wanted sans my issues which were few in comparison to other test drives. We pick it up tomorrow and i'll drive it after it gets home. It was comfortable from the passenger's side, but it's her car. Saying that, I decided on the RL for my truck, she didn't drive it for her seal of approval, so I afforded her the same courtesy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just an FYI about what we were looking at. We looked at the HRV/CRV, the wife thought the HRV was a little low and cramped, the CRV was kind of like looking thru a telescope from the opposite end when looking in rear view mirror.

We also test drove the new 2016 Hyundai Tuscon turbo, but the regular model hadn't hit the dealership yet. Finally we drove the Nissan Rogue (2015) Nice but unless you upgrade it's not worth doing... Plus it was this year's model.
 

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Just an FYI about what we were looking at. We looked at the HRV/CRV, the wife thought the HRV was a little low and cramped, the CRV was kind of like looking thru a telescope from the opposite end when looking in rear view mirror.

We also test drove the new 2016 Hyundai Tuscon turbo, but the regular model hadn't hit the dealership yet. Finally we drove the Nissan Rogue (2015) Nice but unless you upgrade it's not worth doing... Plus it was this year's model.

Any reason you're not looking at the Rav4??
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Any reason you're not looking at the Rav4??
We looked at them a year or so ago, but basically, the Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, and Nissan dealerships are literally within walking distance from our home. The Toyota dealership is clear across town.
 

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We looked at them a year or so ago, but basically, the Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, and Nissan dealerships are literally within walking distance from our home. The Toyota dealership is clear across town.
Well, if you end up liking it, it might be worth considering, since you'll rarely need to visit the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think that CVT transmission would kill any interest I would have in a Subaru product. So I guess that kills the Legacy and Outback for me.
I believe our 2003 CRV has a CVT transmission. After 93k it hasn't had any problems. What is your issue with them? It'll be my daily driver as of today when the wife starts to drive the Forester. Drove the Forester first time today, and I was impressed. My RL will be in the garage for most of the time now...
 

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We just started shopping for a new ride for my wife. Narrowed it down to Forrester, CRV and RAV. My wife likes the RAV, because it's "cute". I personally don't rate cute as a priority on my evaluation list, and the new RAV is not a recommended vehicle by Consumer Reports (don't know why), but it is a Toyota and I can't argue with that. They definitely have a solid feel that inspires confidence. I can't imagine it won't go for for 200k miles with only minimal issues.
 

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I believe our 2003 CRV has a CVT transmission. After 93k it hasn't had any problems. What is your issue with them? It'll be my daily driver as of today when the wife starts to drive the Forester. Drove the Forester first time today, and I was impressed. My RL will be in the garage for most of the time now...
I don't like the way they drive. Purely personal taste.
 

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I don't like the way they drive. Purely personal taste.
I have the same hesitance based on how they drive, but I also hold misgivings about the fundamental design aspects. I don't doubt they're maybe just as good reliability wise on the 'front end', but I'm questioning whether that kind of design & materials used will be as robust at 200K miles or more. Blind speculation... but supported by some of the early problems they had with this approach. I just don't trust it, and won't until they've demonstrated the same kind of LONG term reliability as more conventional designs. I look for long term in my vehicles.

This design approach feels too much (conceptually) like a belt drive. The kind of thing that typically requires some kind of service interval to replace components (unlike steel gear drives or fluid drives... clutches not withstanding). Just simply not mechanically sound enough for me. I have to many visions of those things "coming apart" inside there.

... and then there's the "how they feel" issues (which I suppose I could get used to...... maybe.
 
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