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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Honda,

Do you have any plans to enhance the structure of the current generation CR-V to improve performance in IIHS's small overlap crash test? It looks really bad and it's kinda of a deal breaker. It also shows disregard for the safety of your customers.

Other manufacturers have gotten poor results on IIHS's crash tests, made structural improvements to their vehicles and retested with good results. This saves face and shows good will, as long as it's not half hearted like the Rav-4 small offset redesign (Toyota got a poor rating on the small overlap, made minor changes including foot well padding (!) and then unsurprisingly got another poor rating.)

Honda small overlap:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU8JqaTz4kA

Forester small overlap:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThtOh6_AvfQ


Right now I'm looking at the CR-V and the Forester, but I'm not in a hurry. Here are my thoughts on the two at the moment:

CR-V:

- Stellar reliability record with proven drivetrain
- Likely lower long term cost of ownership (very long term, like 10y)
- Somewhat more refined
- Better in dash electronics
- Stellar safety record of previous generation, though this is only moderately predictive (see: http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4605.pdf )
- More expensive than Forester
- design is more form over function, ergonomics and visibility suffer due to styling choices
- Stain resistant black interior available with few exterior colors
- Styling is a bit silly, eg the dash looks like it was ripped straight out of my friend's hyundai genesis sedan.
- Undersized wheels on base model

Forester:

- Stellar visibility, large greenhouse with a commanding view (much like CR-Vs of the past)
- Perfect IIHS crash tests all around, including the new small overlap test.
- Design is more function over form, yielding one of the most utilitarian vehicles on the market
- Less expensive than the CR-V
- Normal sized wheels on base model unlike cr-v
- Available manual transmission
- Better short term reliability so far according to consumer reports
- Likely worse long term reliability, though subaru has been catching up to honda/toyota fast.
- Unproven CVT transmission
- Substandard in dash electronics
- Stain resistant black interior only available with a few exterior colors
- More common platinum cloth looks like a stain magnet
- Merely average safety record two generations ago, even less predictive (see: http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4605.pdf )
 

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Hey Burrito...you've put a lot of thought into your comparison of the CR-V and the Forester. I think you did a good job. One suggestion I have is to take time to peruse the Forester forum (www.subaruforester.org). I had a Forester for 2 years and came back to Honda in part because of oil consumption with the non-turbo Forester. The problem still persists in the 2014 2.5i model (non-turbo). I test drove the turbo model (no oil consumption reported) and had been ready to trade in, but found the driver's seat extremely uncomfortable. Also, there is now a growing thread on the forum about starting issues with the turbo model.

In my case I don't really need AWD which is added cost (differential and potentially tires) and with the Forester didn't have an option. Also, I didn't like the "greenhouse" visibility of the new Forester - fishbowl feeling and in Florida it helps the car get hotter faster. I find the side rear windows and the backup camera in the CR-V fine for my needs. There are other points that are also personal preference. The crash test results weren't a deciding factor for me because there was no way I could ever tolerate the driver's seat (some guys have traded in their new Forester for something else over the seat).

Good luck with whatever vehicle you decide to get! They are both good cars, warts and all.


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Discussion Starter #3
Good point on the oil consumption. The other problem with the forester is the head gaskets on the boxer engine that like to blow out and cost $2k to fix. They have updated the engine multiple times to fix the problem but the 2010 engine redesign is not proven.

Really the most important things to me are safety, low total cost of ownership, utility (cargo) and ease of driving (visibility, maneuverability, not scraping on speed bumps/curbs, etc.). The Cr-v really encompasses all those qualities well, the only flies in the ointment are the offset crash test and visibility. However the visibility is still very good and the car may still produce a very good safety record in the future.

As for the 4wd - it makes the car a lot safer. look at the safety statistics here: http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4605.pdf
A reduction in the number of accidents in snow and ice does not explain the discrepancy and I think it's likely that AWD may make you safer in Florida too.

Hey Burrito...you've put a lot of thought into your comparison of the CR-V and the Forester. I think you did a good job. One suggestion I have is to take time to peruse the Forester forum (www.subaruforester.org). I had a Forester for 2 years and came back to Honda in part because of oil consumption with the non-turbo Forester. The problem still persists in the 2014 2.5i model (non-turbo). I test drove the turbo model (no oil consumption reported) and had been ready to trade in, but found the driver's seat extremely uncomfortable. Also, there is now a growing thread on the forum about starting issues with the turbo model.

In my case I don't really need AWD which is added cost (differential and potentially tires) and with the Forester didn't have an option. Also, I didn't like the "greenhouse" visibility of the new Forester - fishbowl feeling and in Florida it helps the car get hotter faster. I find the side rear windows and the backup camera in the CR-V fine for my needs. There are other points that are also personal preference. The crash test results weren't a deciding factor for me because there was no way I could ever tolerate the driver's seat (some guys have traded in their new Forester for something else over the seat).

Good luck with whatever vehicle you decide to get! They are both good cars, warts and all.


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As for the 4wd - it makes the car a lot safer. look at the safety statistics here: http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4605.pdf
A reduction in the number of accidents in snow and ice does not explain the discrepancy and I think it's likely that AWD may make you safer in Florida too.
True. That's a good report. It would be interesting to see an update with more recent model years. It makes sense that AWD would be safer overall. Interestingly, the Forester had more than twice the overall deaths than the 2WD CR-V.

For me it was a trade-off... I wanted less maintenance expense and better gas mileage (I know, not a big difference on paper) and I think the 2WD CR-V handles very well for what it is.

Also, I believe the head gasket issue with the Forester was fixed with the FB25 engine (introduced in 2011), but the oil consumption issue popped up.

If you haven't done a test drive of the Forester, when you do, pay attention to the seating position and the aggressive lumbar support, a total deal breaker for me.


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Been a while since anyone posted here, but I'll make one comment. I had an order in for a '14 Forester and found this forum thread http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f183/2011-excessive-oil-consumption-merged-thread-119562/ - a 200 PAGE forum discussion of high oil consumption. I spent a few hours reading and did not at all like what I read; Subaru's fix - they added a low oil quantity warning light and changed "normal" oil consumption from 1,250 miles per quart to 1,000. They will not fix anything unless a test shows >1 qt/1000 miles. I use Mobil1 and change the oil in my Tundra every 10,000 miles (oil analysis shows it still is good at that point). It's oil consumption is zero. Subaru's max NORMAL oil consumption would require $80 in makeup oil in that time. Torn down engines reveal severe scoring of cylinder walls. I canceled my order and bought the CR-V. I think I made the right decision and I like the CR-V. I LOVE it with ECO off! What a difference in performance; a different car. My dipstick still shows full!

I tried to find out whether Consumer Reports knew about the oil consumption problem and whether their reliability data included it so I could tell how common it was and they wouldn't talk to me. I got a canned response to my email from someone who did not answer my question and their system would not allow me to reply. I think they would be pretty critical of customer service like that in a company THEY dealt with.
 

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I tried to find out whether Consumer Reports knew about the oil consumption problem and whether their reliability data included it so I could tell how common it was and they wouldn't talk to me. I got a canned response to my email from someone who did not answer my question and their system would not allow me to reply. I think they would be pretty critical of customer service like that in a company THEY dealt with.
Do as we say...not as we do.
 

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I tried to find out whether Consumer Reports knew about the oil consumption problem and whether their reliability data included it so I could tell how common it was and they wouldn't talk to me. I got a canned response to my email from someone who did not answer my question and their system would not allow me to reply. I think they would be pretty critical of customer service like that in a company THEY dealt with.
Just yesterday I finally emailed CR through their website about their glowing review of the Forester and the oil consumption problem. We'll see if I get any response. One guy recently posted a 2014 Forester review on CR's website and since he got an oil burner trashed CR since they make no mention of it.

You'll find me among the 3,000+ posts on the oil consumption thread. I still read that thread since my partner has a 2013 Outback with the same engine (there is also an oil consumption thread on the OB forum.)

I've learned my lesson about CR.


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