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  1. #1
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    Trying to Decide Between a Crosstrek or a Forester

    Am looking at the new Subaru Crosstrek and Forester. Would appreciate any input from any of you owners out there. I've looked and driven Toyota Rav4; Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, CRV, CX5, and Sportage. Have decided to go with the Subarus just trying to decide which one. Had my heart set on the new Crosstrek, but am used to keeping my bike in the car. Went to the dealer with my bike tried putting it in, it DOES go in but difficult.(Not as easy as my Matrix). Yeah i know I have dozens of options; i.e. take front wheel off, roof rack, hitch rack, etc. But I mostly travel by myself so like the bike inside for safekeeping. Just me, (hey each to their own, right?) The Forester is larger, yes indeed more room inside and room to carry more "stuff". REALLY like that Orange Crosstrek though. PLEASE no sarcasm just input based on your experiences on either of my choices.
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  2. #2
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    Both have same maintenance costs, basically same amenities available, same safety features, same AWD system, similar acceleration if you're looking at the normally aspirated engine in the '14 Forester.

    One isn't better than the other- it's a simple matter of:

    1. How much and what shape trunk space do you need
    2. How high or low do you like to sit in a car
    3. How much people space do you need (Forester has noticeably better backseat room)

    For some car companies, sometimes one model is noticeably better in it's segment than another model- like, look at how the Mazda3 stacked up against competitors (awesome car for the money), compared to the Mazda6 (an also-ran). But with these two cars, either due to shared componentry or just due to their designs, they are both superb.

    I would go with storage space versus color, but I am not you- follow your gut.
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  3. #3
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    Crosstrek is less expensive for a similarly equipped vehicle. In a month, I'll be moving to a town that has long, cold, and persistent winters, so the standard all weather package on the Crosstrek was nice.

    I'm 6'4" tall and I drive with the seat all the way back. I can sit behind the driver's seat comfortably, but I wouldn't go across the country like that though. I can fit my XL Santa Cruz Tallboy in the back with the seats down no problem, but the front wheel needs to come off. I almost never have a passenger, much less a third person, so back seat space isn't much of a concern for me.

    OP, I dunno, go with which one you can get the best deal on.

  4. #4
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    I have a 2013 Forrester I like quite a bit and my sister just bought the crosstrek. The crosstrek was out when I bought my car and I really liked it, but I needed the space of the Forrester. I was already downsizing from the outback and couldn't go to that small of a cargo area.

    I would imagine the crosstrek gets better mileage too

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    Crosstrek gets only 1mpg better than a '14 Forester. Pretty much a wash.
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  6. #6
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    Easy, if you need the trunk space, you need the Forester. If you like the Crosstrek that much more then there is always a way to make it work.
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  7. #7
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    Thank you all! Yes Silentfoe you are right, but I feel the need for more space so at this moment am shopping for a Forester.
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  8. #8
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    Outback. We traded the old one in for a new one. Awesome!

  9. #9
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    I have an '03 VW GTI which is smaller than both of the cars you are considering and its really no trouble at all taking off the front tire to get it in the back. I can see if you have not had to take off the tire in the past you may not want to in a future car but it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Its fast and easy. Just letting you know my experience.

  10. #10
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    I agree with Toff, it's just 'lazy" on my part but since '95 have had a car with the capacity to just "throw' my bike in the back. Thanks for you input.
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  11. #11
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    I'd go with the Crosstrek unless you find yourself hauling really big items. I can count on one hand over the last 10 years where I've wished my Impreza wagon could have a larger hatch opening and more storage space.

    Ultimately they're both going to drive about the same. Forester might put you in a more upright driving position, not sure exactly since I've been out of the Subaru forums and newsfeeds for years.

  12. #12
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    If you are leaning towards Forester, are you an IMBA member for at least 6 months now? It'll help you out big on the price. Most dealers around here are selling '14 Foresters anywhere from $500 over invoice or so, up to close to MSRP- the IMBA discount is invoice minus 2%.

    If you lean towards Crosstrek, it's not as beneficial, but still worthwhile.
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  13. #13
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    I REALLY like the Crosstrek, I like "smaller" cars. We have a nice minivan for long trips that is very comfy.
    BUT the Forester has more "bells and whistles" and room if I want to take a long trip with my wife, including dirt roads, etc. Been reading in many forums that either of the radios/navigation systems are not that good and difficult to use. Was wondering if anyone has installed an aftermarket sound/nav/speaker system? Thanks!
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  14. #14
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    I'd get the Crosscheck it's ORANGE and you can just mount a hitch the it for a bike rack.

  15. #15
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    For both vehicles, the navi is okay, not stellar, not crappy though (in terms of user interface). If it is an option (depending on trim level) I would pass, but if it is standard (like in a Forester Touring it comes standard, plus you get the Harmon/Kardon amps) I'd happily use it.

    Aftermarket is easily done- you can retain your steering wheel controls and all that. It just would obviously cost more on top of the cost of the car.

    As far as "bells and whistles", the only things that the Forester really offers over a similarly spec'd XV is power driver's seat, reclining rear seat, available dimming side mirrors, and available dual climate control. Everything else is the same between the two. There may be one or two tiny things I'm missing though.

    For me, again, the deciding factor would be how much space you need, and seating position/handling.
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  16. #16
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    Thanks for the input. The Crosstrek is just so cute!! Love it's looks but at my advanced age and body problems, the "electric chair" is very very nice to make the ride nicer. If you could install any radio/cd/HD/Nav etc system what have people installed, used, suggest to me please? Am getting very excited. Too bad I'm so far away from Xjaredx.
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  17. #17
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    Something to consider: If you are looking at a Forester or XV with nav: the nav comes with SiriusXM radio, backup camera, full iPod control, Bluetooth- the problem with aftermarket radios, is you'll buy the base head unit, but then have to pay extra for additional hardware for things like XM radio or backup camera support, depending on the radio.

    As an example:

    Clarion NX702 Navigation receiver at Crutchfield.com

    ...$800, plus $50 for a SiriusXM tuner, plus whatever the cost is to make your steering wheel controls work with it, etc etc... if you are looking at a base model Forester, or a Premium, this would be a viable option, but if you are looking at a Limited, the cost difference to the Touring (which gives you navi plus other stuff) might just make it worthwhile to get a Touring model with the OEM nav.

    Go to a dealer, find a patient salesperson, and ask them if you can just play with the nav and audio for a while.
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  18. #18
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    To anyone that has a smartphone. Quit stressing about factory navigation and download the Waze app. It's so much better than any other navigation system since it crowdsources traffic data from users in realtime.

    Also, satellite radio is going to be dead in a few years since everything is moving to online radio. Was a fine transitional medium though.

  19. #19
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    Personally, I dont like built in navi, specifically because I use my phone for that, when needed. As long as a car has Bluetooth audio for me to stream my music from my phone, and as long as I have SiriusXM, I'm good. I don't disagree that SiriusXM has an iffy future, but I personally love it- if only for one or two channels that I simply cannot replicate with internet radio stations. Satellite radio, if done right, can't be beat if you prefer live sets and good DJ's mixed in with your typical music. But this is for another thread
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  20. #20
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    Go used Audi A6 Avant (if you can find one).

  21. #21
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    Here in VT, there have been too many fatal crashes involving old rusted out Subarus. Let's face it, Subaus rust and rust when they are driven by clueless people in winter. That is why I am trying to promote used Audi and Volkswagen models.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    Here in VT, there have been too many fatal crashes involving old rusted out Subarus. Let's face it, Subaus rust and rust when they are driven by clueless people in winter. That is why I am trying to promote used Audi and Volkswagen models.
    LOL you are serious? I don't even know where to begin with this... the part where you are positing that a VAG product is safer/more reliable or the part where you mention that Subarus rust quicker than other cars. Where are your numbers to support these mass Subaru deaths?
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  23. #23
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    Even the most engineered car will be compromised if it spends 15 winters in a row bathed in calcium chloride. Just sayin...

    Volkswagen....Yeah....That's a mistake I'm never going to make again. They're kinda fun, and kinda sporty, and they have a lot of "perceived quality" like a nice sound system, but at the end of the day, you've still got a German designed car, most likely made by Mexicans, loaded with 30 parts, when 15 will do the job, and 7 of the extra parts are sensors for the other useless 8.

    Friends don't let friends buy VW, BMW, or Benz that don't have a factory warranty.

  24. #24
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    The VAG quality thing is peculiar- when they are new, they seem really nice. The interiors have fantastic initial build quality. But when they are like 6+ years old, around 100,000 miles, they are hunks of junk. That strangely always smell like crayons when they are traded in.

    The only thing I can think of, is there are a lot of rusty Subarus in New England, because they run freaking forever. Most Japanese cars from the 70's-80's did have rust issues; the only real pervasive rust issue on the 90's-2000's Subarus is that spot on the quarter panel where it touches the bumper cover. Which I really, really doubt affects crash statistics to the point where people are dying left and right in them lol.

    Add to that that Subaru, in lieu of lots of fancy interior doodads, engineers a ton of proprietary safety features into their cars that you just don't find elsewhere. Much of what one buys in a Subaru is hard to get people excited about. Like, I'll talk about how the engine shears off and goes under the car in a severe frontal impact (only very few manufacturers do that, believe it or not), or how they have a ton of structural reinforcement not found on other cars, or how they have that little bolt on the bottom of the rear door that locks into the frame to further protect the kiddies in the back seat, etc... I'm not sure how that all adds up to death and dismemberment.

    Further to my point, and granted this is for the newer models, but consider this:

    2013 Toyota RAV4 earns 'poor' rating in IIHS small overlap crash test [w/video] - Autoblog

    ...note that only two vehicles so far got the Top Safety Pick+ rating in the Forester's class. I'm not sure, but I think that having the steering wheel move so far to the side that your face misses the airbag is a Bad Thing.
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  25. #25
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    For all of those who doubt me, do you live in VT? If you do not then do not argue. On Route 4 there have been 4 deaths and many more injuries sustained while the people were driving Subarus. There were pictures shown of a 2004 Forester that had its entire front end destroyed with every one killed.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    For all of those who doubt me, do you live in VT? If you do not then do not argue. On Route 4 there have been 4 deaths and many more injuries sustained while the people were driving Subarus. There were pictures shown of a 2004 Forester that had its entire front end destroyed with every one killed.
    Okay, and what leads you to believe that it was a manufacturing defect or that the collision would be any more survivable with another type of automobile? Causation and correlation aren't the same thing.

    I'm from St. Louis. Sometimes, in the winter, we get some nice ice storms or bad snow. You see a lot of 4x4 SUVs and trucks spun out in the ditches. Does that mean that it's an inherently bad design unsuitable for ice, or did the operator think that just because they've got 4WD, it's acceptable to drive 55MPH on ice while applying makeup and watching a LOLcat video on Youtube?

    I'm not going to try to defend Subaru, but if there's a stretch of road where a lot of fatalities occur, there's probably other factors at play. Subaru is known for being an outstanding foul weather car. Maybe it's novice or inexperienced drivers not driving as conditions dictate, instead thinking that the car will do the work for them. Hubris and all that.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    For all of those who doubt me, do you live in VT? If you do not then do not argue. On Route 4 there have been 4 deaths and many more injuries sustained while the people were driving Subarus. There were pictures shown of a 2004 Forester that had its entire front end destroyed with every one killed.
    No I don't live in VT but I do know it is one of the areas with the highest rates of Subaru ownership in the country.... like, by a wide margin. It also snows a lot. Which can lead to frequent fatalities. Without knowing any other circumstances, your claim is completely wacky.

    Like, seriously, it's you against tons of measured data showing Subarus are consistently some of the best cars in terms of crashworthiness. And you choose to nominate VAG cars as a better alternative? Does not compute.

    That's like saying tons of people die in F150's in Texas, ergo F150's must be unsafe.
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  28. #28
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    I've got a '13 Outback, which is just slightly shorter and longer than the Forester, but same thing. If you have a family or will soon, it's a no-brainer to go with a Forester (or Outback). Even now, your wife may accompany you on some trips and trust me, the bigger car will ride better, which means less complaints from the wife. The higher roof made the car seem more spacious as well. One other cool thing on the Forester is the gigantic sunroof.

    Crosstrek is a very cool vehicle and one that I could see myself owning, IF I were single. With a family, it's just too tight. Even my Outback seems tight on some overnight camp outings with the kids. My sister has an Impreza (same interior dimensions) and even with one kid, they're thinking of upgrading to something bigger.

    You probably can't go wrong with either, since they're both excellent, performance wise, but I think you and the wife will like the Forester better.

    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    For all of those who doubt me, do you live in VT? If you do not then do not argue. On Route 4 there have been 4 deaths and many more injuries sustained while the people were driving Subarus. There were pictures shown of a 2004 Forester that had its entire front end destroyed with every one killed.
    You are a moron.

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    Well I live in New Hampshire and we are considering our 2nd Subaru (Crosstrek) with friends in the Killington VT area. (who drive a Subaru) The death rate opinion is now way a fault of the car, with probably millions of people traveling through VT to go Skiing in the winter each year, and Subaru being a very popular car in New England with all wheel drive, and being affordable.

    I would like to see some numbers on your your death/type of car ratio?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    For all of those who doubt me, do you live in VT? If you do not then do not argue. On Route 4 there have been 4 deaths and many more injuries sustained while the people were driving Subarus. There were pictures shown of a 2004 Forester that had its entire front end destroyed with every one killed.
    Are these crashes where they would have not died or been injured in another vehicle? Having seen some really gnarly wrecked subarus (and with friends owing their lives to Subaru engineering) I'm going to continue the train of calling you out on your bul|****. If people were injured and walked away then the car did it's job. If they died, they would have died anyways.

    I've got a Subaru in a city where it snows once a year but have family in the VT and NH area who wont own anything but Subarus. There are so many of them up there it makes sense that most car wrecks would involve a Subaru and that most people getting injured in a car wreck would get injured in a Subaru. Doesnt make the car as a whole any less safe than a German engineered tinbox built south of the border.

    In my office park most of the cars are high end Euro cars so I guess I should assume that they're not safe since every other day I see people running their Mercedes into a BMW into a Maserati into a Land Rover?

  31. #31
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    I just don't understand the mentality behind the "I have a family so I need a huge car" philosophy. My family owned a 3 seat pickup truck and a subcompact car for most of my childhood. They didn't buy anything larger until I was in college and had my own car. That doesn't compute for me.

    And the whole BS about Subarus and fatal crashes (from a sample size of 4) is just idiocy. What were the circumstances in each crash? What made the brand of car they drove a factor in all of those incidents?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I just don't understand the mentality behind the "I have a family so I need a huge car" philosophy. My family owned a 3 seat pickup truck and a subcompact car for most of my childhood. They didn't buy anything larger until I was in college and had my own car. That doesn't compute for me.
    This comment is obviously directed at me so I'll respond. You can definitely make do with any car or no car, for that matter. But let's be clear we're talking about WANTS here, not NEEDS. You will get lots of personal opinions when you're talking about anything in the "want/lux item" category. For me and my kids, I want a bigger car to stow the pack and play, mattresses, princess blankies or whatever else they want to bring on the trip. And let's not forget the "invaded personal space" fights on road trips. Bigger cars don't completely solve all issues and have a list of drawbacks, but for me, give me my big honkin' SUV and my Outback. Living by your philosophy, you make it sound like we all need to drive Fiats and live in 900 sq ft apartments.

    If the Impreza-sized car works for you, then great, because they're awesome cars and my wife actually prefers the look of the Imprezas. Like I said, they're both awesome cars.

  33. #33
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    Trying to Decide Between a Crosstrek or a Forester

    You aren't the first person to say that with reference to the crosstrek. My family UPGRADED to a car about that size (a sedan, though, with less cargo capacity) when I hit middle school, and I have a sister 4yrs younger. That was what my family had all while I was in HS. I learned to drive on it and it became my car in college.

    We did family vacations (the 4 of us and a dog) with it for several hundred mile drives and only ever used additional cargo capacity in the form of a small utility trailer for camping locally. The only traumatic experiences I recall were when my father smoked with the windows up. It's no wonder I got cancer.

    My point is that people haul too much crap. And I also do think that too many people live in homes that are too big. I happen to be comfortable with small living spaces so long as I have sufficient work/storage space like a garage and shed. Many homes where I live now are excessively large. I see them frequently in my price range at over 3,000sq ft. I would be happy with 1500. I sure don't want to pay to heat/cool more space than I need. I frequently get rid of clutter to minimize that problem.

    I could even go smaller, but that is my concession to "luxury".

  34. #34
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    Uh I started this thread cause I was trying to decide which car to purchase and was looking for input from owners of each vehicle, and I DID get a lot of good info, thank you all! The some people digressed to what cars kill more people in which staes and cstates that have or don't have snow, etc etc etc. Sorry to see that happen, oh well. ANYWAY no one has asked me what or IF I ever bought anything......?

    DRUM ROLL Please.........I got an little Orange Pumpkin!! LOVE IT! Thanks again for all the good input gang!!
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    yep the orange one is the one we are looking at, congrats. They sure disappear quick from the dealers around here

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    Ok all, I got my "Little Pumpkin", and want a Torquelift Invisi Hitch. Any recommendations as to a place to get it "cheaper" than paying the $250 from the website? Any and all info on which "platform" rack to get is also appreciated. Thanks again gang!
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRONMAN1518 View Post
    Ok all, I got my "Little Pumpkin", and want a Torquelift Invisi Hitch. Any recommendations as to a place to get it "cheaper" than paying the $250 from the website? Any and all info on which "platform" rack to get is also appreciated. Thanks again gang!
    congrats on the crosstrek!!!

    and, looks like you're going to open up another can of worms - lol.

    so, i'll bite... 1upUSA.

    let's see what this part of the thread turns into now - bwahahahahahahaha.

    oh, and i have a '12 outback premium 6mt and a single tray 1upUSA

    joel

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    So, after having this for a few months how do you like it? I'm considering between a Crosstrek and an Outback. I like the interior better in the OB but love the styling of the Crosstrek. And, I've read about the road noise in the Crosstrek. Also, I too want to be able to put gear, bikes and all in the back. Are you comfortable with your purchase or wished you had gone with a bigger (Forester) option?

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    Sorry to revive this old thread but I find myself in a similar situation. We've got a Skyline and a Delica but we are moving to a place with four seasons and I travel a lot. So I would like to get us (me and my wife w/ children) reliable fun AWD cars. I really like the Crosstreck but feel like the Forester is really the way to go. This is kind of a big purchase for us since we will have our cars for only three years. IRONMAN1518 can you list any problems/issues/shortcomings you have seen and noted? I plan on buying the diesel model if it turns out the XV fits our needs. Thanks for your time.
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    @midnight rider: my wide and I were in the same place. The base forester and crosstrek are basically the same price in the usa, though the Crosstrek base is a step up from the forester base. At any rate, yes, the forester probably makes more sense except if you want to throw bikes on top (both my wife and I can unload then, though she can't get them up) or of the paddle shifters at base model are important to you. Those two things were nice, plus I honestly cringed at the thought of driving an suv (even though there really isn't a fuel mileage difference between the two).
    We have a little one (edit: child), and besides sticking in skis (we previously had an outback), space hadn't really been an issue in the crosstrek.

    Sent from a one-finger keyboard...pardon my autocorrect

  41. #41
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    Anne and I test drove both, and liked them both. I thought the layout of the Forester's interior was nicer, and the power drivers seat is an important option for us. I appreciated the extra space, both elbow and cargo, too. The Forester would be my pick, though I've talked to a couple of fellow Subaru shoppers that found the Forester's ride a bit jittery and even motion-sickness inducing. (though at least one of them was comparing it to the standard Impreza rather than the Crosstrek)

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    Re: Trying to Decide Between a Crosstrek or a Forester

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    The Forester would be my pick, though I've talked to a couple of fellow Subaru shoppers that found the Forester's ride a bit jittery and even motion-sickness inducing. (though at least one of them was comparing it to the standard Impreza rather than the Crosstrek)
    I think the jittery ride is part and parcel with having a short wheelbase, relatively stiff suspension and higher body height. I notice it on our crosstrek, and thought it was about the same when we test drove the forester. It was less in the Impreza.


    Sent from a one-finger keyboard...pardon my autocorrect

  43. #43
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    I know the Crosstrek is popular on these boards but I'm surprised at the very low horsepower of the vehicle. Due to some business relationships, I can get VIP pricing on any Subaru so it makes sense for me to consider one. A vehicle this size with under 200 hp seems like a horrible idea but the Crosstrek doesn't even have 150!

    I know that Subaru typically makes low-hp cars (with good gas mileage, obviously) but many offer a higher hp version if wanted. Shouldn't the Crosstrek have the option for higher horsepower, like the Outback? 256 hp is nothing to brag about but at least you won't feel like you should get out and push on the steep hills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I know the Crosstrek is popular on these boards but I'm surprised at the very low horsepower of the vehicle. Due to some business relationships, I can get VIP pricing on any Subaru so it makes sense for me to consider one. A vehicle this size with under 200 hp seems like a horrible idea but the Crosstrek doesn't even have 150!

    I know that Subaru typically makes low-hp cars (with good gas mileage, obviously) but many offer a higher hp version if wanted. Shouldn't the Crosstrek have the option for higher horsepower, like the Outback? 256 hp is nothing to brag about but at least you won't feel like you should get out and push on the steep hills.
    It's probably due to just the simple fact that those that want a higher HP car can go with a WRX or Forester XT. Offering another engine option for the XV is probably just going to cannibolize sales from other models and result in negative margins. Would be cool to have, though.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I know the Crosstrek is popular on these boards but I'm surprised at the very low horsepower of the vehicle. Due to some business relationships, I can get VIP pricing on any Subaru so it makes sense for me to consider one. A vehicle this size with under 200 hp seems like a horrible idea but the Crosstrek doesn't even have 150!

    I know that Subaru typically makes low-hp cars (with good gas mileage, obviously) but many offer a higher hp version if wanted. Shouldn't the Crosstrek have the option for higher horsepower, like the Outback? 256 hp is nothing to brag about but at least you won't feel like you should get out and push on the steep hills.

    I drive a 2004 Outback that is pretty similar in size and weight to the 2014 Crosstrek. My outback has about 20 more hp but weighs around 200 pounds more. Granted I am not going to win any drag races anytime soon but I don't feel my outback is severely under powered. I may have to wind it to 5K if i have to get someplace in a hurry once in a while but overall I am happy with the power.


    I would LOVE if subaru jammed the 2.0 turbo from the WRX in the Crosstrek but I don't think that is going to happen with their current hybrid offering...

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    Hey all, I'm bringing this back up for one reason.....hauling mtn bikes INSIDE. Does anyone have pics of either and how they fit? I'm talking about 2 bikes, front wheels off are fine. Why? On longer trips, I would rather store them inside for gas mileage and less wind buffeting, etc. not to mention drive-thrus Pics please......Thx a bunch!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aohammer View Post
    Hey all, I'm bringing this back up for one reason.....hauling mtn bikes INSIDE. Does anyone have pics of either and how they fit? I'm talking about 2 bikes, front wheels off are fine. Why? On longer trips, I would rather store them inside for gas mileage and less wind buffeting, etc. not to mention drive-thrus Pics please......Thx a bunch!!
    You'd have a better chance of fitting two bikes in the Forester for sure. More space, and a bigger liftgate to fit them through. I'm not sure if two could easily fit in either vehicle tho. Might have to pad and stack 'em if you're ok with that...

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    Or you buy a two-bike hitch rack, which has no buffeting, little effect on mileage and no drive-thru issues.

  49. #49
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    Ive got an 05 XT and my wife has the 2014 Forester XT (Would have gotten a Crosstrek if it had turbo). You can stack two bikes in the new Forester at a lean with the fronts off. This kills almost all your cargo space, so you might want to look at the outback too if you're planning to do this with luggage on a regular basis.

    I also hate the idea of our bikes being exposed to theft on a rack during trips. I'm searching for my next vehicle to replace my little XT and not liking my choices so far.

    Is a redesigned turbo charged Honda Element too much to ask for?

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    If you like power and cargo space...avoid the XV. I loved mine otherwise but needed what was missing and traded for a 3.6 Outback. Hate the styling, but much nicer car.
    Cannondale F29 carbon
    Jamis Renegade Elite
    Kona Big Unit SS/full rigid
    Kona Private Jake SSCX (build in progress)

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