New posts

Practical BC vehicle recommendation

Aug. 20, 2016, 12:47 p.m.
Posts: 1092
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Looking to get a new vehicle in the near future for general family/mtb/skiing/camping/roadtrip type use. Ideally I would get something like a Tacoma, 4runner, F150, etc. but I realize that those are overkill for 99% of the driving I would be doing. Looking for a vehicle with the following:

- AWD/4WD
- Great in the snow
- Good fuel efficiency
- Good off-road performance (just for regular fireroad type driving, nothing extreme)
- Costs $20-35k (new or used)
- Can comfortably haul 4 mtbs on the back with 4 adults inside including gear
- Decent cargo space so you could comfortably take a family of 4 on a camping/road trip with all the gear you need

Considering the following vehicles:

- Subaru Outback
- Subaru Forester
- Mazda CX-5
- Toyota Highlander (used)
- Honda Pilot (used)
- Honda CRV
- Jeep Cherokee (used)

I'm thinking a Subaru Outback might be my best bet in terms of ticking all the boxes, or possibly a Forester, although the Forester seems surprisingly small inside so not sure you could fit 4 people + gear in there for a roadtrip.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Aug. 20, 2016, 1:41 p.m.
Posts: 15538
Joined: Dec. 30, 2002

The CX-5 should have Mazda's new lifetime warranty. If its not big enough, theres the CX-7/9. Test drive your top three. I sat in a new 3 a while ago and other than the massive blind spots, not so bad - no test drive through.

I'd go with a Mazda over the others and if I can be so blunt, just remove the Jeep from your short list.

As usual, google "brand x tsb". Tech service bulletins that are similar to recalls just not as severe or mandatory.

protect tom mcdonald at all costs

Aug. 20, 2016, 3:04 p.m.
Posts: 3643
Joined: May 23, 2006

Yah Mazda CX 5 tops my short list wait the '17's might have the turbo'd 2.5 that's in the 9 as an option…… woo-fucking-hoo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz4CSHYqd7E

If you were really groovey you'd buy this……


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKSEs_wOUAk

Buy a Subaru you're rowing your own gears unless you dig CVT. :stupid:

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Aug. 20, 2016, 3:20 p.m.
Posts: 60
Joined: June 9, 2008

We just got a '17 Forester two weeks ago. Looked closely at pretty much every vehicle you listed and more, but in the end the Subaru had the best combination of everything we were looking for.

Go out and drive everything in the class of vehicles you are looking at plus some above and below - you'll be surprised how quickly you can narrow down your choices with real-world driving as opposed to on-line comparisons. It'll cost you nothing except your time.

Good luck car shopping!

Aug. 20, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
Posts: 1092
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

We just got a '17 Forester two weeks ago. Looked closely at pretty much every vehicle you listed and more, but in the end the Subaru had the best combination of everything we were looking for.

Go out and drive everything in the class of vehicles you are looking at plus some above and below - you'll be surprised how quickly you can narrow down your choices with real-world driving as opposed to on-line comparisons. It'll cost you nothing except your time.

Good luck car shopping!

I actually test drove a forester (used… 2014?) and was kind of underwhelmed by the power (I think this is due to the CVT). Would be curious to give the XT a try because I've heard it's much quicker. Other than that I did really like the Forester though. Although I do find the radio/infotainment systems on Subaru to be sub-par.

Aug. 20, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
Posts: 1790
Joined: Feb. 15, 2003

I'm an automotive journalist.

If you really want AWD performance, don't get anything other than a Subaru or Audi Quattro and maybe Lexus.

Jeeps are generally really bad in fuel economy and are just heavy. Highlander and Pilot are also very big cars, so you need to ask yourself if you really need 7 passengers.

I'd take the Mazda CX-5 over the HR-V due for looks and quality, but both don't really deliver good off-road capabilities even on gravel roads. You can definitely feel the "flimsiness" when you drive one.

With that said, I think you should highly consider the Subaru Crosstrek. It's got Subaru's AWD, and feels rock solid at a decent price, with good fuel economy. So definitely take one of those out for a test ride. The interior is not quite as nice as the CX-5 though.

Read my full review here:
http://www.driverdose.com/2016-subaru-crosstrek-review-ratings-price-specs/

Also for CX-5
http://www.driverdose.com/2016-mazda-cx5/

and HR-V
http://www.driverdose.com/2016-honda-hr-v-entry-level-crossover-flashy-looks/

Let me know if you want more info or questions.

Aug. 20, 2016, 4:22 p.m.
Posts: 1092
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

I'm an automotive journalist.

If you really want AWD performance, don't get anything other than a Subaru or Audi Quattro and maybe Lexus.

Jeeps are generally really bad in fuel economy and are just heavy. Highlander and Pilot are also very big cars, so you need to ask yourself if you really need 7 passengers.

I'd take the Mazda CX-5 over the HR-V due for looks and quality, but both don't really deliver good off-road capabilities even on gravel roads. You can definitely feel the "flimsiness" when you drive one.

With that said, I think you should highly consider the Subaru Crosstrek. It's got Subaru's AWD, and feels rock solid at a decent price, with good fuel economy. So definitely take one of those out for a test ride. The interior is not quite as nice as the CX-5 though.

Read my full review here:
http://www.driverdose.com/2016-subaru-crosstrek-review-ratings-price-specs/

Also for CX-5
http://www.driverdose.com/2016-mazda-cx5/

and HR-V
http://www.driverdose.com/2016-honda-hr-v-entry-level-crossover-flashy-looks/

Let me know if you want more info or questions.

Awesome - thanks a lot for the info! In terms of, "If you really want AWD performance, don't get anything other than a Subaru or Audi Quattro and maybe Lexus."… Top performance in the snow is probably my #1 priority, which is why the Forester and Outback are currently at the top of my list.

In terms of the Crosstrek, it looks like a really cool car but appears to be on the smaller side of the Forester/Outback and cargo capacity is also quite important to me. What benefits does the Crosstrek offer over the Forester/Outback? I'm sure its a little bit cheaper and a little bit better on gas, but overall the Forester/Outback just seems to make a lot more sense for a family vs. a crosstrek seems more appropriate for 1 or 2 people.

Aug. 20, 2016, 6:53 p.m.
Posts: 33721
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Highlander and Pilot are also very big cars, so you need to ask yourself if you really need 7 passengers.

Pilot is 8 passengers.

You don't have to use the third row seating. That leaves a lot more cargo room, which is great for road trips. These vehicles also do well in the snow. Downside is mileage, but it's not much worse than a small SUV.

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

Aug. 20, 2016, 8:06 p.m.
Posts: 3757
Joined: Aug. 22, 2005

Xterra Pro-4x 6spd with a North Shore rack is my dream ride. My Frontier (same trim) isn't terrible on fuel but tight on space (king cab). Otherwise love it, feels a lot more solid than the Tacoma it replaced.

A 6spd Forester with some KO2s would be my first choice for light offroader. Not a huge fan of the boxer engine so I've never seriously considered owning one.

Aug. 20, 2016, 8:36 p.m.
Posts: 303
Joined: Feb. 18, 2005

F350 deisel dually why be under gunned…..

Aug. 20, 2016, 9:32 p.m.
Posts: 1790
Joined: Feb. 15, 2003

Awesome - thanks a lot for the info! In terms of, "If you really want AWD performance, don't get anything other than a Subaru or Audi Quattro and maybe Lexus."… Top performance in the snow is probably my #1 priority, which is why the Forester and Outback are currently at the top of my list.

In terms of the Crosstrek, it looks like a really cool car but appears to be on the smaller side of the Forester/Outback and cargo capacity is also quite important to me. What benefits does the Crosstrek offer over the Forester/Outback? I'm sure its a little bit cheaper and a little bit better on gas, but overall the Forester/Outback just seems to make a lot more sense for a family vs. a crosstrek seems more appropriate for 1 or 2 people.

I've only driven the Forester a few years ago, but from what I can differentiate, the Crosstrek is smaller, and probably more fuel efficient with its small and low horsepower engine. A shorter wheelbase also means better handling. So you might've hit a good point in the fact that if you need more cargo space, the Forester/Outback will probably be better choice.

I forgot to mention that the Crosstrek only has ~150 horsepower. While it was sufficient for my needs as a single driver, adding an additional 3 passengers + 4 bikes will probably make the car feel a whole lot slower. There's also an ongoing discussion where there's a degradation of 25% in aerodynamics when you're hauling bikes outside the car.

For a fun topic, I've heard crazy stories about the Quattro. One of my friends live in Detroit and he says he has no trouble driving around in heavy snow conditions with regular tires there.

Aug. 21, 2016, 8:24 a.m.
Posts: 1679
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

My neighbour has a Crosstrek, and there is no way it could hold much more than half of what I pack into my Santa Fe to take a family of four camping.

Aug. 21, 2016, 12:51 p.m.
Posts: 368
Joined: March 2, 2010

Full disclosure: I have two Subarus.

The Crosstrek is too small for 4 adults, 4 bikes and all associated gear. It's based on the Impreza platform, and is a compact car. The Outback is a much better size for road trips, and still handles quite well. Consider getting one with the 6-cyl engine for more oomph in the mountains. The Subaru and Audi AWD systems really do make driving in snow easier. They are the two brands I pretty much never see in the ditch. Throw on proper snow tires and there's very little you won't be able to handle.

Ride: Ibis Mojo HD
Club: CMBA
Talent: None
:beer::canada:

Aug. 21, 2016, 3:29 p.m.
Posts: 272
Joined: May 11, 2005

Thanks for this thread. Currently considering the CX 5.

Aug. 21, 2016, 3:58 p.m.
Posts: 3643
Joined: May 23, 2006

With that said, I think you should highly consider the Subaru Crosstrek. It's got Subaru's AWD, and feels rock solid at a decent price, with good fuel economy.

Heavier than but same engine as Imprezza and peeps pan that for being under-powered.

I'd consider the Outback w/3.6 litre engine but then I'd have to shift that clunky manual 'cause no way am I ever owning a CVT.

Freedom of contract. We sell them guns that kill them; they sell us drugs that kill us.

Forum jump: