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Old 02-14-2013, 10:36 AM
609 posts, read 1,828,808 times
Reputation: 420


the real reason to get the Forester (you could consider the Outback too) is the boxer engine along with symmetrical AWD. The Outback was the best car I have ever owned driveability wise.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:37 PM
Location: Whittier, CA
494 posts, read 1,537,154 times
Reputation: 450
towing on the 2014 Forester has been reduced to 1500 lbs, this is a joke!
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:26 PM
Location: Wappingers Falls, NY
1,527 posts, read 1,837,900 times
Reputation: 995
People who want to tow generally buy real trucks, not crossovers.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:07 PM
Location: NJ
22,780 posts, read 28,649,346 times
Reputation: 14674
the forester looks to be about 3k cheaper.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:15 PM
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,178 posts, read 27,498,181 times
Reputation: 11842
Originally Posted by npaladin2000 View Post
People who want to tow generally buy real trucks, not crossovers.
Heavy towing perhaps, but nothing wrong with having a towing capacity of at least 2,300 pounds on a Forester. I believe the factory recommended towing capacity for the 2009 Forester was around 2,400 pounds.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:03 PM
1 posts, read 10,071 times
Reputation: 14
I've decided to cross shop the 2014 CX-5 Grand Touring AWD + Tech Package with the 2014 Forester 2.5X Touring + Tech Package. The MSRP for the Forester is higher than before, with a price bump for 2014, but there is a bigger gap between MSRP and invoice when compared to the CX-5. Seems you could get the Forester for $31.5k and the CX-5 for $30k with some haggling. According to prices paid I've seen online, you can likely get a larger chunk off the MSRP on the Forester than the CX-5.

I love the fact that the CX-5 is communicative to the driver, and has a 6-speed automatic that behaves and feels a lot like a manual. The transmission will rev-match shifts, with no squishy torque converter in use once your past 1st gear. The design of the front suspension is more sporty than the Subaru, and it comes through in the mainly in the feel but also in the road holding performance when the roads get twisty. Certainly more rewarding to drive than the 2013 Forester, though it is likely that the less spirited feeling 2014 Forester will still beat the CR-V in a similar comparison. The CR-V just feels numb and disconnected, having a light steering wheel with missing feedback, though it works precisely enough.

The CX-5 dash is a step up from the Forester, and the seats are more supportive. I haven't sat in the 2014 Forester yet, but the 2013 did not feel supportive compared to the CR-V, and the Mazda compares favorably to that. The the 39.3 inches legroom in the CX-5 is good but the Forester now has 41.7, which is probably best in class. What the CX-5 gives up is nearly around 9 cubic feet of cargo room when the seats are folded down, though the numbers are almost the same behind the rear seats at 34.4(Forester) and 34.1(CX-5) cubic feet. Outward visibility is better in the Forester, especially at the rear. Having a big greenhouse and thinner pillars front to back makes it feel open.

As far as the AWD systems go, for most people in areas getting less than 30" of snow, like the suburbs of NYC and a little further north, the specific type of all wheel drive system or AWD itself may not too important. My problem is I have a driveway that I approach coming up hill, and it is an acute left turn of more than 90 degrees that goes further up. At the beginning of the driveway in particular, the left wheel ends up on a much steeper grade than the right wheel, and ends up with a lot more grip, causing the right to spin out. This make the performance of the AWD more important for me despite living in a just a moderate snow area.

The new X-Mode on the 2014 Subaru makes it it perform closer to a real LSD in splitting left-right traction, and it's ability to shuttle little more power to the rear also helps when going uphill. The system takes into account additional data like yaw from the gyroscopes and sideways/upward acceleration to predicatively apply the brakes before too much wheel spin breaks out. But... throw winter tires in the mix, and my driveway becomes approachable with most current AWD systems, and I'd want those in either vehicle anyway - for added stopping distance.

Lastly, about the collision prevention safety systems. Mazda has it's blind spot monitoring system, which the Subaru lacks. Both have front a facing scanner or cameras for collision prevention and active cruise control. The Subaru system uses stereo cameras and can see a wider view compared to the laser/infrared system in the Mazda. It can see and detect things a 2 lanes out. The Subaru system will stop for pedestrians, and both will stop for cars, but only up to a point.

The Mazda system won't try to stop at all above 19 mph, while the Subaru will try at higher speeds, but will only stop in time on its own if the speed difference between the vehicles remains < 19 mph. Where the Subaru trumps though is when the driver hears the closing speed alarm but fails to press the brake hard enough. The Subaru system takes takes this as permission to amp up its response and press as hard as needed to prevent a collision, while not under or overshooting the target too much. This and pedestrian detection pull the Subaru system above Mazda's. Now if only the pedestrian detection and braking worked with the reverse camera, it would be stupendous.

The Subaru system also detects lane departure or excessive swaying and gives warnings, but I suspect most younger drivers would rather have Mazda's blind spot monitoring. Older drivers with poor night vision may prefer having lane departure warnings, but would probably appreciate both. The pricey Ford Escape's lane departure system will actually steer for a brief amount of time to keep you in the lane, which will probably save a few drowsy drivers that would have reacted just a bit too late with just an alarm. Pretty soon we'll be driving with lane change gestures instead steering. Just before going fully autonomous.

Last edited by emice; 02-16-2013 at 07:18 PM..
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:20 AM
1 posts, read 9,436 times
Reputation: 11
I more or less settled on the 2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD. It will mostly be driven by my wife, but our taste in cars are not that different. But then I decided to give the 2014 Forester a try. Now I am undecided, but here are my thoughts. This thread has been helpful to me. Pardon if I repeat other comments.

1. The base engine in the Forester is plenty for good acceleration and has great gas mileage. Freeway merging is a breeze. I love those Subaru engines. And no one I know has ever continue to use the paddle shifters in an automatic. Modern automatics are quite smart, and this car is a CVT -- so the shift it yourself simulation available with the XT is far from real gear shifting. Definitely try the smaller engine before buying the XT. My understanding is that the XT is very quick -- but do you need that?
2. The previous generation was plain and pleasant. This generation is ugly and outdated looking at the same time. And the colors are boring.
3. The interior is outdated looking (light gray plastic everywhere if you get the light gray leather) but the outdated exterior styling means excellent visibility all around, much better than the CX-5. I think great visibility contributes directly to driving performance.
4. It is smoother and less jouncy on the highway, while having acceptable handling.

1. The bigger engine is the best bet here. Good MPG. It is a bit more powerful than the base Subie engine, but nowhere near the XT.
2. Great looking, and a great dark blue and near candy apple red (new for 2014).
3. Pleasant interior, but the smart phone music control is lousy and the nav Is just OK. Neither car has a great Nav or radio system, but the sound is OK in both. The stylish window shapes mean the backup camera is a must.
4. Handles insanely well for an SUV. I was amazed. Many cars lean more around a tight corner. But the highway ride is less smooth than the Forester.

My strong suggestion is to try the smaller engine in the Subie and also decide what the key options are that you want, then you will have apple to apples pricing. Email 3 dealers and get their best price for both cars before making a final decision. And note that the Subaru is only just arriving at dealers - and the new CX-5 started showing up in January. Negotiating will likely go better in 2 or 3 months.

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Old 05-02-2013, 05:08 PM
1 posts, read 8,331 times
Reputation: 10

I've owned the 2013 CX-5 for a month or so now, and I really wish I had considered the 2014 Forester. When I was test driving, it didn't exist yet, and I wasn't thrilled with the 2013 Foresters transmission.

But all that is changed. The 2014 Forester now has an updated transmission, and it's fuel economy is about the same as the CX-5.

What I don't like about my CX-5 is that the motor is very noisy. It sounds like chirping birds or some kind of weird frequency. Visibility is also pretty bad, and it's a good idea to get the blind spot monitors to help you out. I didn't.

However, CX-5 is fun to drive, and on long highway drives, I think it's going to be hard to beat.

But... seeing as I have serious commitment issues, I guess I'm doomed to contemplate the greener grass... The 2014 Forester would be my pick in hindsight. If only for the supposed resale and unmatched AWD.

I'll learn to love the CX-5.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:54 PM
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,939,542 times
Reputation: 29356
They need to make a Mazdaspeed CX-5.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:58 PM
Location: Lakes by the Bay, FL (for now)
986 posts, read 3,287,093 times
Reputation: 536
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
They need to make a Mazdaspeed CX-5.
Whoa...that would be awesome...imagine that
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