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Old 01-14-2016, 12:12 PM   #21
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+1 Honda CRV. The blind spot may be an issue, but I actually like the captains chairs as I find it easier to turn and look.. had back surgery and this vehicle was one of the few that I didn't have issues with turning and twisting in and sitting for long periods. It road higher so I could see better which also helped.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:17 PM   #22
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Not sure where I read it, but the poor visibility of modern cars can be attributed to the need to meet safety standards for collision absorption. Mentioned how the days of driving with window down and arm out the window are over; need more car between you and the t-bone inclined drivers.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:24 PM   #23
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+1 on the Foz, my daily is a 2009 FXT and my wife has a 2013 FXT

Before that my daily was a 2004 FXT and my wife drove a 2002 Forester L

Before that my daily was a 1999 Forester L and before that my daily was a 2002 WRX, then I started racing it.

One thing about Foresters, they don't have blind spots - you can see all the way around

Put some snow tires on them they are bulletproof. Plus, they hold a crap ton of cargo, I've moved pinball machines in mine.


You guys think I may be biased on Foresters?


Every car has a blind spot.... the question is how big and what can you do to minimize it...
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:36 PM   #24
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We have a 2016 Outlook 2.5i Limited with about 3k miles. Love it so far. Blind spot detection is standard with the Limited trim. I would think that the Forrester has It as well. The Outback rides nicer than the Forrester due to its longer wheelbase so I think it would be more comfortable for traveling.
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:44 PM   #25
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We have a 2016 Outlook 2.5i Limited with about 3k miles. Love it so far. Blind spot detection is standard with the Limited trim. I would think that the Forrester has It as well. The Outback rides nicer than the Forrester due to its longer wheelbase so I think it would be more comfortable for traveling.
I've never driven the newer outbacks (2009+) but have ridden as a passenger. They are comfortable. I've driven my wife's FXT on a 2000 mile round trip and it was awesome.

OP: one thing to consider regarding ride height, with spacers on top of the struts or aftermarket springs you can lift the car about 2" I believe without rubbing issues. I lifted my forester 2" (because ski rig) but I'm not sure about the legacy chassis.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:15 PM   #26
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The Subaru's have a good reputation, however I think of them as snow cars--used predominantly in the north. In the South, we seldom see a Subarau, and dealers are only in the larger cities.

If you're wanting good, dependable transportation, it's hard to beat a Honda CR-V, Ford Escape or the Toyota Rav-4. They're the market leaders and they're just great vehicles.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #27
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I want to say thanks for the discussion also. These are just the cars I'm considering when I retire and move back to the states in a few months. Any comments on the CX-5?

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Old 01-14-2016, 05:41 PM   #28
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Blind spot detection is available on the 2016 Subaru Outback, Legacy, and WRX. Subaru Safety | Subaru of America | Official Subaru Site

I drove both the Outback and Forester and liked the Forester a bit better, in part because of the "green house" interior where the visibility all around is better than any car I've ever driven. The Outback wasn't far off though. I've heard people complain about the comfort of the old Subarus, but my Forester is very comfortable. I've driven 18 hours with only a short nap stop and felt fine.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:45 PM   #29
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A friend has the Honda CRV, ~10 years old and 200k miles and he's had no issues with it. Well, except for when the deer jumped out in front of him.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:52 PM   #30
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Blind spot detection is available on the 2016 Subaru Outback, Legacy, and WRX. Subaru Safety | Subaru of America | Official Subaru Site

I drove both the Outback and Forester and liked the Forester a bit better, in part because of the "green house" interior where the visibility all around is better than any car I've ever driven. The Outback wasn't far off though. I've heard people complain about the comfort of the old Subarus, but my Forester is very comfortable. I've driven 18 hours with only a short nap stop and felt fine.
We were on the bubble between the Forester and the Outback. Both are fine cars and have great ratings. I just liked the Outback a little better.

The CR-V was also at the top of our list. It was probably Outback, CR-V and Forester, in order.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:56 PM   #31
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The Subaru's have a good reputation, however I think of them as snow cars--used predominantly in the north. In the South, we seldom see a Subarau, and dealers are only in the larger cities.

If you're wanting good, dependable transportation, it's hard to beat a Honda CR-V, Ford Escape or the Toyota Rav-4. They're the market leaders and they're just great vehicles.
Living in the north, I thought that all SUVs were AWD until I started shopping for an SUV and we knew we wanted AWD. If you want/need AWD, Subaru is probably one of the best available and is highly regarded. For most other makes it is a $1,000 add-on. The CR-V was also high on our list. BIL and sister each have Escapes and love them... it was a little smaller than what I wanted as was the Rav-4 which my other BIL has and is happy with. Lot's of really good cars out there today but they are expensive.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:59 PM   #32
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We were on the bubble between the Forester and the Outback. Both are fine cars and have great ratings. I just liked the Outback a little better.

The CR-V was also at the top of our list. It was probably Outback, CR-V and Forester, in order.
Mine was about a dead heat. I expected to find something wrong in one, and hopefully not both, but they were both great. For the same price I could get leather in the Forester, plus X-Drive (now available on the Outback too). X-Drive is like a low speed cruise control for bad weather, ideal for going down my 20+% grade hill at the top of my street in snow or ice. It uses brakes, gas, or coasting as needed to go without slipping or locking up the brakes. Way way better than I can do. I may only use it 5 times a year, but if it keeps me out of a ditch or worse, it's totally worth it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:00 PM   #33
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I want to say thanks for the discussion also. These are just the cars I'm considering when I retire and move back to the states in a few months. Any comments on the CX-5?
The Mazda CX5 is a fine SUV. The problem is that their dealers don't have the mass sales to pay their overhead. Same with Subaru. They just cannot sell their vehicles as cheap as say, a Ford dealer, because they don't have a big bread and butter vehicle in their lineup.

And there are relatively few Mazda dealers--few and far between. I live in a city of 140,000 people, and it's 90 minutes to 120 minutes to Mazda dealers.

And it's hard to overlook the resale value of a Honda or Toyota--and their dealers are in town to support me.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:16 PM   #34
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I know its not even on OP's radar, but having recently retired I have found the Toyota Sienna a fantastic retirement vehicle for road trips.
I took out the middle seats, and the back ones fold flat. I have slept in the back with a sleeping bag 6 times.
Its great to be able to go on a long drive and sleep when I feel like it.
Naturally it hauls a lot of stuff as well, gets 26 mpg on highway doing 75 mph with lots of stuff in it.
The backup camera which is standard works fantastic.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:36 PM   #35
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The Mazda CX5 is a fine SUV. The problem is that their dealers don't have the mass sales to pay their overhead. Same with Subaru. They just cannot sell their vehicles as cheap as say, a Ford dealer, because they don't have a big bread and butter vehicle in their lineup. ....
True that there are less dealers for Subaru and Mazda than Ford or Honda or Toyota. However, I priced both Honda CR-V EX-L AWD and Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited and prices were similar for similarly equipped vehicles - small differences - Subaru was a bit more as I recall.

That said, I don't view Mazda as in the same league as Honda, Toyota and Subaru.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:04 PM   #36
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I know its not even on OP's radar, but having recently retired I have found the Toyota Sienna a fantastic retirement vehicle for road trips.
I took out the middle seats, and the back ones fold flat. I have slept in the back with a sleeping bag 6 times.
Its great to be able to go on a long drive and sleep when I feel like it.
Naturally it hauls a lot of stuff as well, gets 26 mpg on highway doing 75 mph with lots of stuff in it.
The backup camera which is standard works fantastic.
Minivans are under appreciated. They will carry as much weight as pickup, tow 3500 pounds, haul 8 people in comfort, move your kid to college and get great mileage doing it. But they just don't appeal to the Walter Middy in us.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:26 PM   #37
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Selecting a car is dependent on one's personal needs/tastes. I have a bugaboo about underpowered cars. I helped my daughter and son-in-law decide on their first SUV. They had narrowed it down to the CX 5, Rav 4, and Nissan Rogue.
I don't remember why, but they didn't like the Honda CR V. I test drove, with my daughter, the Rav and Mazda. From a handling and power perspective, I thought the Mazda was the better car. They independently felt the same way and that's what they bought.
My son in law has always had a license, but for all intents and purposes he had not driven a car in several years. So, lack of a blind spot monitor was a deal-breaker and ruled out the Subaru.
They've had the Mazda a year now, and love it.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:00 PM   #38
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Minivans are under appreciated. They will carry as much weight as pickup, tow 3500 pounds, haul 8 people in comfort, move your kid to college and get great mileage doing it. But they just don't appeal to the Walter Middy in us.
Honestly, we'd love to have a minivan again (traded the Quest for a Rav4 with cash for clunkers). However, a minivan's just not as practical for everyday commuting as a small SUV/crossover (particularly for tight parking spaces). Considerably higher price tag, too. Maybe when one of us retires and don't need a second daily commuter vehicle anymore, we'd trade in one of the SUVs for a minivan.
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Old 01-14-2016, 09:04 PM   #39
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Have owned CRV since 2003 and has 175K miles --no problems at all.
Bought it mainly because I wanted an SUV but not a gas guzzler. It drives thru snow and icy roads without any problems. Would buy again in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:49 AM   #40
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When DW was new car shopping recently, we were both very taken with the Mazda CX-5. I was quite surprised at how much I liked it. Towards the end of the process, she was just waffling between that and the CR-V.

Then she sat in Honda's new smaller HR-V and totally fell in love with it. It really has an exceptional ride, and that's what she bought.

But when it's time to replace my CR-V, I will definitely consider the CX-5 as a possibility.
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