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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Wife and I recently had a kid and our mother in-law is living with us. Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata (22k miles) is getting its engine replaced under warranty due to worn bearings. Long story short, wife doesn't trust the car/brand anymore so we're looking to get something a little bigger and safer for our growing family.

We're looking at the 2017 Honda CR-V EX-L and the 2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited as our final contenders. Our other car is a Prius so both the CR-V and Outback feel plenty fast to us. Everything in the Subaru feels just a bit nicer and the price seems to reflect that. However, the Honda is at a lower price point and comes packed with goodies (and a reputation to boot)!

1. How have you liked the 1.5T engine? Does it feel too noisy? During the test drive, it felt great, but I fear the buzz of the engine might get to us.
2. How is Honda's AWD system? We're not planning on doing anything crazy, but is it a reliable system that performs admirably?
3. What are your thoughts on the infotainment system? It was packed with features, but it felt frustratingly slow.
4. I understand that all models of cars have their bad apples, but aside from astoundingly bad luck, are there aspects of the CR-V you grew to dislike?

We enjoyed with the 2017 CR-V in our test drive. The engine got a little noisy under hard acceleration and I felt like there was a bit of a buzz even at idle, but I can't remember too well. It's much quieter than our Prius and was similar to the Sonata in terms of wind noise and comfort (which to it's credit, has a very quiet and comfortable ride). My wife will be mainly be driving the car so I appreciate the safety suite and AWD. I used to climb/camp a lot before our boy and will eventually start doing that again so I like the AWD and high-clearance which can support our outdoor activities.

Any other information or tidbits to sway to the CR-V is much appreciated!

I also asked a similar question on the Outback forums if you want to see the responses there. It's posted in the Gen 5 forums. I can't link it in this post because I don't have enough posts =(.
 

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My wife and I both thought that both the comfort and ride of the Outback seemed crude compared to the CR-V. Neither engine is going to set any records for low NVH during acceleration, but at cruise we certainly found the CR-V to be quieter. We also preferred the styling of the CR-V, as we thought the Outback gave off too much of a "Station Wagon With Delusions of Grandeur" vibe. (And we like Station Wagons; our '17 CR-V replaced a beloved '04 Passat Wagon I owned since it was new.)

Frankly, I think it comes down to personal preference; both are fine vehicles with dedicated fans.

To answer your specific questions:
1) Honda has both the turbo and CVT "dialed in" and they are very well matched; the small-displacement turbo (and ensuing low-RPM torque) helps the car feel quick in a way that a NA-4 never will.
2) No idea. I haven't seen any complaints here.
3) Meh. I'm either listening to the radio (which isn't exactly taxing) or using Android Auto, which makes the on-board system moot.
4) If I was designing the car, there might be a few minor things I would change, but nothing hits me as "what were they thinking?"
 

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I have an EX-L and I ditto what Sirwired said. There is nothing about it that I dislike. I am getting slightly better gas mileage than the EPA rating around town and on the highway without using the ECON mode.
 

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1. Plenty of power for this vehicle. I don’t recall ever thinking the engine was too loud. You hear it when you hare hard on the gas, but that’s what I expect.
2. Can’t speak to this vehicle as I haven’t had it in the snow yet. However my wife has a 2014 CRV that I’ve driven fine through the aftermath of a storm dropping 40 inches of snow a few years back on Connecticut. The AWD system in the current model is supposedly much improved having the ability to send more power to the rear wheels. That being said the Subaru I’m sure is superior in this category.

3. I think the system looks clean an uncluttered. Certainly not the most advanced system, but with Carplay I get exactly what I wanted. I think it a big improvement over Honda’s of the past

4. I’d appreciate a little more reduction on the road noise. A quiet car feels so much more luxurious. This model is noticeably quieter than the last. I prefer the wheel design of the 19 inch upgrade, though there’s no way I pay for that. I wish there was the back up sensors stock with Honda Sensing. The visual/audible feedback combo in my last vehicle allowed me to more confidently and quickly pull reverse maneuvers.
 

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I also reviewed all the smaller suv's and it came to 3 Mazda, Subaru, Honda all good fit for my needs
I picked Honda...Why...it's a proven dependable car--year after year
Mazda had problems with rust and mechanicals
Subaru has problem with burning oil,blow head gaskets
All car mfg have problems but I'll go with History.... and Honda wins
 

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I also narrowed down my choices to the Mazda, Toyota, and Honda (Did not like the Subaru's as a fit for what I was looking for)

Went with Honda for the reliability and features that I really wanted.

1. I went from a Prius to the CRV, and it seems to have plenty of power when i need it. Having driven a Prius for a while has helped me to not get all over the gas pedal unless it is needed and that helps also.
2. Waiting also for the snow later this year to see how the AWD is, but have had it on some hilly areas and fields, and so far I've been pleased
3. Love the features of the entertainment center...use XM radio and the USB port a lot...sometimes carplay on longer drives. Could be faster changing screens, and it does seem sluggish at times. usually the first few minutes and then it gets better for me at least.
4. Nothing that jumps at me that I would really want to change other than the firmware / software in the entertainment center to be more robust. Nit picking, I wish you could "lock" the armrest instead of it sliding back and forth, but that is a minor thing.

Good luck in your decision.
 

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The engine buzz does not go away and it's worse off the line. Automatic Noise Reduction artificially reduces noise at speed to the point the car seems really quiet. I did change out the factory tires to Michelin which significantly eliminated road noise, which was excessive.

The Prius actually has more punch off the line in its Power mode because of the electric motors and of course it is dead quiet off the line. So you will notice both more.

The info system is slow to react, Toyota does a much better job in this regard and in straight out ergonomics of the system to say nothing of the CRV's rather poor Voice Command tree structure. There are only a couple of phone commands that can be voiced directly, otherwise you have to go through a series of commands. The voice recognition is good however.

You also have to be careful about engaging Park in a CRV with pushbutton stop/start as it will not automatically go into Park when you push Stop like a Prius will. There is a non-settings menu technique to auto engage the Parking brake on engine shutdown which can prevent rollaways.

A Prius v is a comparably sized car with better mpg, similar cargo that rides great and may be worth consideration. It is clearly smoother on less than ideal roads. Since I live in Texas and drive a lot miles, I have a Prius v and now the CRV, since Texas has always been flash flood alley from I35 Waco though San Antonio and everything down to the coast.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for all the feedback! My wife and I decided on the 2018 Outback Limited 2.5i with Eyesight, Nav, etc.

The determining factor ended up being price. In San Antonio, the dealer was not budging from MSRP, $31,154. I suppose demand is so high for the CR-V that they don't feel the need to. We negotiated the Outback down to $33,000 for the car (before taxes, fees, etc). Both Honda and Subaru dealers had similar offerings for our trade-in. It made sense for us to go with the Outback if the price delta was only $1.5k.
 

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Hope you're enjoying your Outback! At age 60 my wife and I own a 2016 Outback 2.5 Limited and will being adding a 2017, or 2018 CR-V EX-L soon. We are replacing a wrecked 08 RAV4. CR-V won over RAV4 in test drives and seems more upscale in interior than Outback, or RAV. Seating is equal and pricing appears equal as well. Step over, getting into front seats and entry to back seats wins the CR-V. Although I haven't found a vehicle to match the Subaru all wheel drive in North Dakota winters. (Previosly owned a 2011 Legacy). Maybe I'll buy some winter tires. This will be our 10 to 20 long term vehicle so it better be as good as they all say. Subie is a lease, so I get to choose something new all over again i a year!!
 

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Subarus also have ridiculous resale value.

But don't be surprised if a major component inexplicably goes bad and they won't fix it. I had an '08 Impreza hatch that had a hanging brake caliper on the right rear (same as e-brake). I'd even been using the auto-stick transmission to slow it down (as the manual recommended). But at only 19K the dealer wouldn't fix it, saying I owed a grand for replacement of caliper and rotor, saying it was a wear item. I was close to calling SOA, but instead saw a brand new GMC Terrain SLE1 right across the lot. On the Suby I owed $11K and it was still worth $14. Boom, new Terrain. Bye Subaru

Good thing about being able to buy new at the drop of a hat - It only takes one fuss-up for a maker to lose your business. If only they'd recognize this in time.
 
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