Last post on Nov 02, 2006 at 7:19 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon
#5989 of 18028 2003 Forester / 2002 CRV
May 06, 2002 (8:52 am)
Hi. I haven't posted here before, and I've just read a couple pages of posts so far. I would like your opinions on this:
In looking over my options for purchasing a new vehicle, it seems that the Forester and CRV are the two best choices.
After a bit of research on the official sites, car review sites, and newsgroups, it seems that: The Forester is safer and has a better AWD system, while the CRV has a little bit better interior design/comfort. Also, it is several hours to the nearest Subaru dealer, while there is a Honda dealer right in town. (Also a few other minor pros & cons for each, but these seem to be the most important points.)
I currently own a 1998 Chevy Cavalier LS sedan (with 150hp 4) which has so far met my needs. It so far has gotten through the bad weather and bad roads here in Minnesota, but something with AWD would be more reassuring. And the added cargo space is beneficial (why I'm considering the Forester over the Leagacy). Plus either vehicle would have much higher safety ratings.
I would just like your opinions of and experiences with the Forester and CRV, and anything that would help me make a better decision.
May 06, 2002 (9:12 am)
Just curious, what leads you to believe that the Forester is safer than the CR-V? Is it the head-protection airbag and the whiplash protection (which I'd agree with)? And yes, the AWD system is better.
The CR-V has done impressively so far in NHTSA crash tests -- better than the previous generatiion Forester. However, I'd expect the new Forester to equal these results, but we won't know for a while. Usually a clue is how a shared platform does -- e.g. the Civic does very well, and the new Impreza does great in the IIHS crash tests.
Several hours to the nearest Subaru dealer is a nasty factor. The vehicle should be reliable but it sounds like a pain to get to the dealer in the event you need anything.
#5991 of 18028 Keyless Entry Kit
May 06, 2002 (9:44 am)
I have a base 02 Forester L (no keyless entry). I just got a new Odyssey for my wife and really like the keyless feature. Has anyone installed a keyless kit in a Forester? Any rec's on an aftermarket kit?
May 06, 2002 (9:45 am)
bear: Congratulations on your purchase! It's cool to know that one of the first 2003s sold was right here in the Bay Area.
Dan-o: I've found the best no-haggle dealerships to be Carlsen, Santa Cruz, Diablo (Walnut Creek) and Marin.
wraith: Both the Forester and CR-V have received top reviews in their categories for the last few years. From a safety standpoint, both vehicles are excellent. The new CR-V did edge out the previous generation Forester, but the 2003 Forester is still yet to be tested. Since it's based off the more rigid chassis of the 2002 Impreza, it just as may well improve.
What type of driving do you like to do? The Forester is closer to a passenger car and will handle and perform on the road better than the CR-V. Also, as you mentioned, Subaru's AWD systems are simply better. The CR-V's Real Time 4WD system is a part-time system that won't offer the continuous seamless operation compared to even the basic viscous coupling unit in the 5-speed Subarus.
If handling isn't as a priority, but passenger room is, then the CR-V might be a better choice. Honda did a great job with increasing rear passenger room with the CR-V.
One other point is that the Legacy actually has more cargo room than the Forester.
May 06, 2002 (9:55 am)
You also might want to check this forum, as it deals directly with the CRV vs. the Forester. Although it speaks to the new '03 Forester (not '02), which is now arriving at dealers as I write this.
ateixeira "CR-V vs Forester: 2nd generation ..." Apr 25, 2002 6:07pm
Your assessments are pretty much spot on: The Forester (and all Subarus) have a better AWD system. It is truly AWD, not an on-demand 4WD like the CRV's system. The CRV is roomier, although not necessarily more comfortable. The Forester is sportier to drive, and handles better.
Actually the Legacy wagon has more cargo space, and rear leg room than the Forester.
May 06, 2002 (10:09 am)
I was able to look at/seat in new 2003 Forester at Santa Cruz dealership. It was black XS 2.5 model. Overall, it looks/feels very similar to previous generation Forester. Seats are positioned a bit higher: it gives a slightly better view over the hood but noticeably reduce the headroom. I'm only 5'3 and I noticed.
I liked the new gauge cluster, with speedo in the center. I thought though that gauges would be white-faced, but they're not. I prefer a clock position in old Forester, now it's mounted next to dash storage and is LCD (can be hard to see in bright light). I also liked S Premium alloys more in older model. Seat's fabric in 2003 was kind of strange and too textured for my taste.
Black paint was so-so, with noticeable orange peel -- but probably no better and no worse than in prev generation.
Overall it's a very much the same Forester, just extensively freshened up. So for those of you who're on the fence (2002 vs 2003), go try and see both, and if the deal for 2002 is MUCH better, go for it.
MSRP w/o option was 22,467, with options on that particular car it came to 25K+.
I'd be interested to see/try the X model, with non-painted cladding.
#5995 of 18028 In a few months...
May 06, 2002 (10:14 am)
after the "newness" has worn off, there should be good prices on the '03s too.
May 06, 2002 (10:26 am)
Dealership location would weigh heavy in any decision I would make regarding which vehicle to choose. I would find out if there is an authorized Subaru repair shop closer than the dealership that can perform warranty repairs.
If not, location, location, location. I'd probably stick with the CRV and local dealership support. Both are nice vehicles.
May 06, 2002 (11:13 am)
Santa Cruz usually has pretty good prices -- flat pricing, usually a little less than Carlsen. What was their add-on to invoice? What are 2002s going for there?
#5998 of 18028 '03 Forester or '02 CRV
May 06, 2002 (12:41 pm)
I will talk more in the upcoming '03 Forester report.
Right now I can only simply tell you that if you need
more space, go for CRV, other than that, no reason
to buy a CRV. Ok ok... probably the location
of the dealer is an issue.
As far as safety is concerned, I am a strong believer
of the active safety measure. You may survive
the collison in an unibody car, but in most cases,
you will have to say bye-bye to the car.
Avoiding the danger at the first place is more
important than anything else. Forester is surperior
to CRV at this aspect.
'03 Forester's interior parts are made of
higher quality material. Like the overall setup or not,
you will still have to admit that the car
indeed feels more luxury inside. Not the Lexus/Acura/BMW/Mercedes
level yet but definitely a little better than CRV's.
CRV's climate control knobs are so tacky.
Pricewise, our loaded XS Premium is cheaper
than the CRV EX. Believe it?
It is amusing to see so many people have a nearly
blind faith on Honda cars. In Japan, Fuji Heavy Industry
is deemed as equal to Honda. Before WW2, FHI was
the Nakajima Aircraft Manufacturer. The famous zero fighter's
engine was made by Nakajima. The argueable best Japanese fighter
in WW2, the Ki-84 Hayate Frank, was made by Nakajima.
Its 2000hp engine was the most compact air cooled engine
in the world around that time.
Oh, and I was very surprised to find out how stiff
the new Forester/Impreza chassis was!