subaru forester : Just thought I'd post a note about my experience with extensive test drivesof the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback and Forester. I decided to buythe Forester and here's why.General Impression: The Honda clearly has the best interior and exteriorfinish of *any* car manufacturer we looked at (Toyota RAV-4, Subaru's,Audi's, and VW's). While some cars had better materials inside (like theAccord), Honda can't be beat for interior and exterior finish. The Hondawas tight, but it didn't drive as tightly as other cars. Because we wereseeking a reliable all wheel drive, we eliminated the Audi and VW Passatbefore extensive test driving. Climbing Hills: We climbed our long test hill and the CR-V did fine. Itmaintained 65 mph on a hill that will slow most 4 cylinders to 50 or 55. It was, however, shifted into 3rd most of the time (it was an automatic). The Subaru Forester climbed the hill at near 70 with a lot less effort.Mountain Curves: Curvy roads are a standard here in Idaho, and the CR-Vlost out on this one. It handles like a finely made mini-van. The SubaruForester handles like a European coup. Unbelievable difference on thisone. The Forester handled a corner posted at 35 mph at 65 mph with barelya squeal. The CR-V on the same corner scared me at about 50-55. It swaysand shows it's higher center of gravity. Don't get me wrong, the CR-V isgood at this test, just not great.
subaru forester : Interior space: The CR-V wins, hands down. Never seen a better designedinterior.City drivability and performance: The Subaru takes it here. Again, like aEuropean machine, the Subaru turns, stops, and accelerates like a champ. And you don't need to buy the "fancy" version to get antilock brakes-- amust in my book. The CR-V wasn't bad, it was just more like a mini-van. Since I'm a 5 speed addict, I would have to find an EX model of the CR-Vwith a stick-- rough when all CR-V's are in short supply.4WD vs. AWD-- THE REAL DIFFERENCE. As a native of Idaho, and a fan of thebackcountry in the dead of winter, this was our real decision maker. I'vedriven dozens of 4wd vehicles from Blazers, to Landcruisers, to Dodgetrucks and am familiar with their handling in a variety of conditions. Wetook the CR-V to a gravel road because that was the slickest surfaceavailable right now. We stopped, put the vehicle in D4 and pressed theaccelerator 3/4 of the way to the floor. The front wheels immediatelyspun. In about 1 second (an eternity when your out of control on ice), therear wheels engaged. Because of the high torque, they began spinning. Thevehicle then fish tailed and became "interesting" to control. Not bad, but"interesting". We immediately stopped and retried the experiment. The 4wdhad already disengaged by the second attempt. Under the same conditions,with 45 more HP and a manual transmission, the Subaru Forester wouldn'teven spin-- not one tire slipped. From experience, the Honda's 4wd might
subaru forester : Dave, I agree with you in you assessments of 1998 CR-V vs Forester.However, most people who spent money to buy SUV want a car that looks like anSUV.Unfortunately, Forester still looks like a station wagon. Subaru cancall itan SUV, but bystanders will call it a tall wagon. If SUV apearanceis not important, people should have bought Camry station wagon All-trac(discontinued due to lack luster), or Subaru Ouback Wagon (not sellingwellto SUV buyers either).While CRV does not completely look like a real SUV like Toy. 4Runner ora Jeep Grand Cherokee, its apearance is good. Because of the height, allSUVs and Vans are not good in sharp S turns. Even Izuzu Trooper and SuzukiSamuraitipped over in the Consumer Reports emergency manneuver tests. CR-V hasover 8 inches of clearance and thus it may be easier for CRV to go thru unplowed snowroads in a snowstorm than Forester. May be we should test them on roads that are covered over 6, 7, or 8 inches of snow to find out. Another draw back of the Forester is the hard seats. Sitting on aForester hard seat made me feel like sitting in a Ford/Chevrolet truck.
subaru forester : In conclusion, Subaru needs to fix the apearance of its Forester and the hard seats to apeal SUV to buyers. Honda needs to improve its CRV engine(1999model will be 20 hp more) and make the oil filter easier to reach fordo-it-youself people. David Goodwin wrote:;> ;> Just thought I'd post a note about my experience with extensive testdrives;> of the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback and Forester. I decided toDavid,Thanks for your comments. I agree, the Forester faces an uphill battleagainst taller, more traditional looking SUV's. The Honda's designelegance is unquestioned, and its more of a "real" SUV. I just thought I'dmention the less obvious strengths of the Subaru.By my calculation, the honda has 4/10th of an Inch more clearance than theForester. I do think the CRV would be better in deep snow or mud, but I myneeds don't include that type of driving. I should have mentioned I have a'77 Landcruiser Wagon that I use for REAL off-road stuff.Have you been in a '99 Forester? I walked away from a 98 the first time Isat in one because of the hard seat. The '99's have more padding, thoughthey are still stiff. The back seats, however, are still considerably lesscomfortable in the Forester than the CR-V.
subaru forester : David's comments below suggest that the Subaru may be a superior performeron icy and snowy roads. Here in New England the capabilities of the Subaruall wheel drive system are legendary. The Honda and Real-Time 4 wheeldrive are new and knowledge of its abilities is not widespread. Could anyCRV ownersshare their snow and ice experiences with us? In particular, situations whereyou have had the power transferred to the rear wheels would be very interesting.Nice post... I opted for the CRV myself with 5 speed manual and love it...time will tell re: the 4WD aspect when snow hits (couple weeks I'm sure( )...My cousin in Buffalo NY bought a Forester and is visiting my this weekend sowe'll be able to compare our SUVs!! :) In my area (SW Ontario, city), the4WD won't be AS necessary to me as for others so the CRV should be great...in her area, she commutes back and forth to Buffalo from a little villageabout 20 minutes away (on dry pavement *grin*)... and is in a snowbelt sothe AWD would be a MAJOR requirement for her so I think we're both happy!(and we can swap for an afternoon to compare too!).
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