NFR Outback vs CRV vs RAV4

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by davew, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. +1 on the Outback. I'm a huge fan of the wagon. I can fit just as much stuff in it as my wife's Q7 (not as many people), and it's really nice to have a lower roof when throwing things on top. Also nice to have a low center of gravity & less weight in the snow. My Outback far out handles any of the other cars I've owned (Tacoma's, 4Runner, Allroad, Q7) in the snow.

    My '07 Outback XT (the turbo) only gets 22-24 on the freeway, but that's probably in-line with the other cars mentioned. Utility has it's costs :)
  2. Though I'm a fan of my new Outback, all this talk about the CX5 made me curious about one thing that many of these car-based crossovers lack: ground clearance. Most have ground clearance that's not much better than a car. The Outback, back when I evaluated options a year ago, stood out with plenty. But now I look at the CX5 and it has 8.5 inches, which is just a fraction lower than the Outback's 8.7 inches. That's excellent, assuming the rest of the vehicle is up to snuff for occasional rugged use.
  3. We've owned two Subaru Outbacks over the past 15 years, but my last vehicle was a Kia Sorento. Has three rows of seats so seats seven. Or fold them all down and I can fit two inflated Outcast Fishcat Float tubes in the back plus a lot of gear. $10K less than the last Outback we bought, and I think it's better built than the Subaru. I was worried about the handling in the snow, but it seems to be on par with the Subaru. Intelligent all wheel drive, high clearance. Plus has every convenience and comfort - GPS, satellite radio, heated seats, fog lamps, etc. I can also sleep in it in a pinch. Just seemed like a lot more car for a lot less money.

    On the down side, the gas mileage is not that great, but I have the 6-cylinder. The ride is sort of truck like. And my model lacks a roof rack. Over three years, haven't had any maintenance costs other than alignments, new tires, and oil changes.
  4. Lugan, I took a serious test drive in a CX-5-about 45 minutes of mountain roads with sharp short radius up and downhill turns, lots of cranking the wheel, heavy braking and accelerating. In a few minutes you forget you are in a station wagon and get a silly grin on your face about the handling. It has a superb 6 speed automatic that just seems to always be in the right gear. Unlike the appliance grade CVT's throttle response is immediate and there is no drawn out groan while the transmission catches up to the engine. I drove 2 Subaru's on the same day and concluded that CVT's would have to make massive improvements before I could ever be interested. But I was raised on Healey's, Jags and Porsche's and ill-handling cars are about as appealing to me as cheap beer and sit com's. Many people have never driven a good handling vehicle and could care less. That's fine, that just ain't me.

    So handling and driver comfort mean a lot more to me than a couple of extra mpg. The CX-5 is a little noisy at freeway speed but the seats are darned good. The Impreza Sport or whatever it's called was one of the noisiest vehicles I have been in in years. At 70 you need hearing protection, the seats are skimpy and the transmission is simply inadequate. I like the concept of this vehicle but it is poorly executed. A thousand dollars worth of content in the right places and it would be a blast to drive.

  5. Just payed off my 2006 Colorado and received title, I'll keep it awhile

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  6. I like the Outback's CVT and handling - on pavement and gravel. Paddle shifters are a nice fall-back when you need to punch it to pass, or finesse your way down a steep grade.

    BTW, I'm coming off an Audi A4 wagon with stiffer/lower sport suspension that was a special order stick shift, which was a great handling vehicle on pavement. But I don't miss that. Maybe I'm just not a car connoisseur though.
  7. I had a 2010 Outback, between the three that you looked at, and i considered the same exact three back then, its no contest, get the Outback (post 2010 anyways). i was very happy with mine, has great ground clearance and was very fun to drive, and crazy good on the snow, (i put schwab toyo's on it). I was able to put two deer and an elk in it, although not at the same time. almost 7 foot bed when the seats are layed in it, was very easy to sleep in as well. i miss it, and the lezbo jokes that came with it:) ....i needed a truck to tow a boat, so now im knocking down all those carbon credits i saved up.
  8. I'm patiently waiting for the diesel CX-5 to hit the US. I might be waiting a while, though. I really like the looks of the CX-5 and I expect it to handle nicely on the road. We have a 5 wagon and it handles pretty nice for a minivan and for the price, although it is also a bit under-powered and noisy.

    Something to consider with these cars is that, as SUVs, one should expect to get some utility out of them and be able to tow something. The tow capacities were a little surprising when I dug into it. The standard Outback has a 2700 pound capacity versus 1500 for the Forester, CRV, and RAV4. The Escape with the optional larger 2.0 ecoboost loses only 1mpg, but you get a pretty decent 3500 pound towing capacity, although surely not at the same time. I've read bad reviews of the Escape, regarding low reliability, but I just drove one a couple weeks ago and it seemed pretty nice. There just doesn't seem to be a perfect combination.

    One more thing, I'm curious about the new X-mode doohickey on the Forester. Kind of like a pseudo-granny gear for off-road. I've seen videos, by Subaru, that make it seem effective but I would like to check it out. I would definitely be able to use that on tight, steep forest roads, especially with snow.
  9. Ryan Singh-Cundy likes this.
  10. I would kill for a small/ midsize diesel pickup
    David Dalan likes this.
  11. I'm a subaru man myself. Outback all the way!
  12. Go Subaru! I've got 140K on mine, runs like a top...and I've been mean to it. It is ridiculous how tough those little cars are.
  13. If your willing to bump up in size check out a 4Runner. Ive had mine for a little over a year, a 2007 with 80k miles and have enjoyed every type of driving i have done in the thing. From highway trips to offroading, the rig has not let me down. I went with the smaller 4.0L V6 and get a pleasant 22-23 on the highway and 18mpg in town.

    Did i mention the rig looks rad and tears apart anything i throw at it. Rack on top is ideal for shipping my Pontoon around and with a towing capacity of 5000lbs whenever i purchase that raft i want so badly ill be in perfect shape to pull that thing!

    IMHO the Subarus are great cars but gutless, i always feel like i cant get up and go whenever i drive one. But i know one thing, any lady loves them. My mom and 3 aunts all swear by all their Subaru's... so maybe i view them as a ladies car just a little ;)
  14. I owned a 2006 RAV4 and it was a total disappointment.
    Don't believe Toyota's claims of 4wd....It's a lie.
    The think has automatic lockup and disengages over 25mph....You cannot lock it in 4wd.
    The thing was loud, interior materials were cheap, engineering was seriously lacking.
    I'd buy a Subie way before a Toyota.
    My 2006 Tacoma has been another Toyota disappointment, but that's another thread...

  15. I wish Ford would bring the diesel Ranger the rest of the world gets over here

  16. Oddly, the only AWD model in that test was the Forester. I don't understand why they would test FWD next to AWD models, and make comparisons of cost and MPG. I suppose I can see the attraction of a non-AWD crossover as a wagon or minivan alternative, but I would think that readers of a magazine named "Truck Trend" would favor AWD versions. Regardless, the Forester still came out on top with MPGs.

    This is the review I wish was possible here in the US, although I imagine both would be pretty expensive trucks:
  17. Land Rover LR3 for me...

    I know I know not super environment friendly or economical to drive...but I still love it and have had no problems with it out of ordinary maintenance. It's a V8 beast.
  18. The subaru's arent bad. If you are getting a used one and if you can, get one with the 2.2 motor. Those dont have the head gasket problems the 2.5 outbacks have. You dont miss that much power, and if you really want the extra 1.25" or how ever much higher it is, you can swap in the Outback shocks.

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