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Subaru Forester/Mazda CX-5

Jenny

Angel Diva
#1
Do those of you who have/had Foresters like them? They last a long time, right? And has the CVT been any problem?

I drove one today (2016, with the turbo engine) and liked it kind of a lot. First Subaru I’ve ever driven.

Anyway, the insurance has given us a figure for the wrecked Camry and despite my trying to deny it, I’m going to need to get another vehicle fairly quickly. So, just gathering opinions.

Still going to go drive a Mazda CX-5 too - rode in one last year when we had to get DH another vehicle after the deer incident and remember liking it, but I never drove it since it was right after the ankle surgery. This has been a bad 18 months or so for both my body and our vehicles, lol!
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Do those of you who have/had Foresters like them? They last a long time, right? And has the CVT been any problem?

I drove one today (2016, with the turbo engine) and liked it kind of a lot. First Subaru I’ve ever driven.

Anyway, the insurance has given us a figure for the wrecked Camry and despite my trying to deny it, I’m going to need to get another vehicle fairly quickly. So, just gathering opinions.

Still going to go drive a Mazda CX-5 too - rode in one last year when we had to get DH another vehicle after the deer incident and remember liking it, but I never drove it since it was right after the ankle surgery. This has been a bad 18 months or so for both my body and our vehicles, lol!
Mr. tinymoose has a Forester. It's a 2010? and has 140,000+ miles and is still going strong. We haven't had any major issues with it. Just routine maintenance. It's not a CVT though. My Crosstrek has the CVT and so far so good, but it's only a 2016 with just under 50k miles.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#3
We're on our second Forester and I think our third Outback (Subaru is pretty much the official car of Vermont), and I can't see owning anything else. They have all wheel drive so they're great in the snow, they have a nice ride, and they're very dependable. Plus the features are good, too. I don't think you'd go wrong.
 

SallyCat

Moderator
Staff member
#4
To play Sofa Devil's Advocate, Subaru seems to have declined a bit lately from their formerly-very-strong reputation for reliability, according to reviews and anecdotal evidence (so take this for what it's worth and what it's not). A mechanic friend once said: "I love Subarus; they are good for business."

I have friends and relatives with recent-vintage Subies who complain about constant, nagging maintenance issues, and their head-gasket issues are legendary. BUT, some friends just bought a Forester that comes with a lifetime warranty that covers the head gasket and they've been very happy with it for about six months.

I moved to Vermont about a year and a half ago and I need a more Northeast-worthy vehicle in the long term. I am looking at the Toyota Rav4 and Honda CRV. I am definitely going to look at Subarus, but I will do so with a critical eye. That's mostly because living here (in VT) as a single person involves SO MUCH reliance on a dependable vehicle that I need to make the most informed choice possible. A repair that might be no big deal to someone who has a spouse to drive them to work or to the shop is a huge deal for me because it means a lost day of work. So it kind of depends on your situation.

But Honda, Toyota, and Subaru all use CVT now I think, for most model packages. I'm told they all have a feature that allows them to mimic shifting into low gear, which is crucial for winter driving.

I don't mean to be negative, just that I've been researching cars for a while recently and I keep bumping up against concerns about Subaru reliability, which makes me nervous. I'm not making a recommendation, just suggesting some caution and research.

Very best wishes; I hope you let us know what you decide and how it works for you!
 
#5
BF loves his Subarus and has had a few..... I'm in the process of buying a used VW Tiguan SEL AWD with 24k miles mostly b/c I like the look and feel of the car and they have turbo engines so super sporty for an AWD. I sold my VW new beetle convertible two weeks ago and have been riding my bike everywhere! Grocery shopping, chiro appts, banking, farmers market. I'm very fortunate to live in a beautiful seaside city and walking distance of many fine restaurants, shops, grocery stores. However, I am a good five hours from Tahoe.

Why am I even buying a car I keep asking myself....
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
I"m on my 14th or 15th Subaru, only one (impreza) was a lemon the catalytic converter kept failing was covered by warranty, all the rest of my Subies have been easy peasy, My 2016 outback gets 30mpg and only needed brakes and oil changes 75K on it now..

I like that Subarus are made in America at a zero waste factory, the mileage is good and I haven't had problems except for the one impreza years ago.

My sister leases and hated her CVT and the Rav4- she called them wantabe SUV's She leased the impreza and now bumped up to a new outback.
 

Powgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
I've had 3 Subarus over the years...and all 3 of them had persistent, various axle issues...never was able to resolve those issues, so they got traded in.

I've owned many Toyotas, too, and they have been amazing vehicles....my mom loves her Rav4...it never let her down all the years in Steamboat...it is too small for me (I'm 5'7), but she is about 5'2 and the car fits her perfectly.

I've never owned a Honda, but have friends that love their CRVs...

Depending on your needs and budget, we just purchased a Volvo xc90 SUV (2016)...and we love it!!
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
#8
Forgot to ask - those of you who have had Subarus (@tinymoose, @ski diva, @nopoleskier, @santacruz skier, @SallyCat, @Powgirl) did you have the turbocharged engine or the regular one? The Forester I drove had the turbo - no wonder I liked it. I loved my 1999 Camry with the V6 engine, too.

And thanks for all the comments both plus and minus. That’s what I’m looking for. I don’t know anyone in town that has one, so I need my firsthand accounts from somewhere!

We've had mainly Toyotas, and never a bad experience with them, so I have this irrational fear that if I change I’ll be disappointed. And I know what you mean about the RAV4 and being tall, @Powgirl. I'm almost 5’9” and even though there's really plenty of leg room, it still feels cramped, like the dashboard is encroaching on me. The Forester didn't feel like that at all.
 

Powgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I think pretty much everything made in the last couple of years is turbo charged...the trend seems to be a smaller engine (fuel efficiency) and the turbo technology provides power.

The Volvo has a 4 cylinder engine, with a couple of turbo thingys...BF was at first skeptical, but this car can rocket!
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
@Jenny Ours are both just the regular, not the turbo. I believe the turbo requires a higher octane of gas (we use just regular unleaded) and of course the gas mileage won't be as good. @Olesya Chornoguz has a turbo in the Outback, I believe.
 
#11
New VW Tiguan has turbo engine and right inside the gas tank it states premium gas only.
I didn't realize this.
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
mine have all been regular not turbo, I don't drive on freeways much these have enough get up and go for me. Yes @Olesya Chornoguz has the turbo.


Toyotas are GREAT- If you love them stick with them. I did use a front wheel drive toyota camry when one of my subies was hit and in repair shop. it worked great even on my Double black diamond driveway!
I guess I'm partial to Subaru having learned to drive stick way back in the 70's and only 1 lemon in 14 cars.. I really like the AWD. I have been putting studded tires on them last 2yrs due to more ice storms.
 
#15
Forgot to ask - those of you who have had Subarus (@tinymoose, @ski diva, @nopoleskier, @santacruz skier, @SallyCat, @Powgirl) did you have the turbocharged engine or the regular one? The Forester I drove had the turbo - no wonder I liked it. I loved my 1999 Camry with the V6 engine, too.

And thanks for all the comments both plus and minus. That’s what I’m looking for. I don’t know anyone in town that has one, so I need my firsthand accounts from somewhere!

We've had mainly Toyotas, and never a bad experience with them, so I have this irrational fear that if I change I’ll be disappointed. And I know what you mean about the RAV4 and being tall, @Powgirl. I'm almost 5’9” and even though there's really plenty of leg room, it still feels cramped, like the dashboard is encroaching on me. The Forester didn't feel like that at all.
I have a 2015 Outback with the regular engine and CVT transmission. It has been great. Like @nopoleskier , at 71,000 miles, only oil changes and new brakes. I put steel rims and snow tires on mine in the winter, and that provides a superior AWD performance. I have no need for the turbo...highway pickup is just fine in my high-traffic area where I often have to pull out into a high speed road with tons of traffic and hit the accelerator. Climbing long grades is fine too..no engine whine. BTW, I like to “drive.” This means I am not a big fan of cruise control, and I miss having a manual transmission. I sometimes find that more powerful engines can be a detriment if you are driving in snow, because you need a low gear and gradual acceleration to plow through crud. The “manual shift” mode is indeed very useful for driving in snow, or for using engine braking on long descents (saves your brakes and is safer)! Not as fun as a manual transmission, though, but that is another topic.

I have had the turbo Forester as a loaner car a few times this past year or two. It is really fun to drive. However, gas mileage is not as good as on my Outback, and I value that. Still, it was comfortable with lots of headroom and space, and an outstanding field of vision. I definitely can see why people love it.

I really like that Subarus are made in the US at a zero waste facility, and they give back to a lot of environmental organizations.

That said, my next vehicle needs to less dependent on oil. It is just a choice I am making. So it is going to be a hybrid like a Prius or an all electric vehicle. But that is a few years off, I think.

@santacruz skier , I am buying racks for my fat bike to run errands. Since I am no longer working FT, I have time to ride my bike to pick up produce, etc. :-)
 
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Jenny

Angel Diva
#18
I should drive a Prius again. Last time, the ride was a bit firm. Loved the hybrid Camry but couldn’t bring myself to pay that much more. They did have some used Priuses on the lot ...
 
#20
Toyota is planning to release an AWD Prius soon.

I have a 2011 Outback with 180K+ miles. I haven't had any issues but it does use a lot of oil. I add a quart between oil changes, which I do every 5,000 miles. It's a known 'thing'--not every one has that but enough that you can read up on it on the web. All in all, it's a great car, especially for road trips.

@contesstant had or has a Mazda SUV. I don't know the model.
 

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