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help with new car buying decisoin
Old 01-14-2016, 10:17 AM   #1
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help with new car buying decisoin

I'm about ready for my once-every-15-year new car buy. I currently am driving my 1999 Mazda protege (just past 252K miles on it), and it needs a new catalytic converter ... which I don't think I want to pay for at this point. Besides, it's not a comfortable car for road trips (fine for the daily work commute), but since I'll be ER'ing in about 3 months, and plan to do some traveling, I want something a bit more comfortable.

My first thought is a "mini SUV", because it looks like they are easier to get in to/out of for me than "lower-to-the-ground" cars. I've been researching the Subaru Forester, the Mazda CX-5, and the Honda CRV. I really like the Forester, but am disappointed that it doesn't have "blind spot warning" technology, which I really think I'd like in my next car. I would consider the Subaru Outback - it's really a wagon, but looks similar to the Forester, but may not sit as high.

Anyone have any experience with owning any of the models mentioned, and if so, any thoughts about any of them (or other similar choices) you'd care to share?

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:40 AM   #2
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Had a Honda CRV for 10 years, held up well, it's always highly rated for a reason.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:41 AM   #3
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I have a 2016 Forester. I like it a lot and have no regrets. The Forester seems to do really well with professional reviewers online and in print. My understanding is that the 4 wheel drive is great but it hasn't snowed by me yet so I don't know. Yes you are right though, if blind spot technology is important to cross the Subaru off your list; it's not offered.
I've also read great things about the Mazda in terms of handling and comfort and driving experience. If I lived in a place with no snow, I would have been more interested in the Mazda.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:45 AM   #4
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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?
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:55 AM   #5
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You guys think I may be biased on Foresters?
Maybe just a wee bit.

Curious, do you lease?
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:58 AM   #6
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Maybe just a wee bit.

Curious, do you lease?
no, I mod (i.e. modify suspension, intake, exhaust, turbo, fuel system, ECU) except for my wife's car
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:11 AM   #7
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I recall that a few years ago, the author Daniel Pinkerton, who was a big guy, was looking for a car that was easy to get in and out of. He lurked in parking lots and came to the conclusion that the VW Beetle best fit the bill. I think it even comes with blind spot detection. YMMV

DW loves her CRV, but vision to the rear is somewhat compromised by the D pillars.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:17 AM   #8
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I recall that a few years ago, the author Daniel Pinkerton, who was a big guy, was looking for a car that was easy to get in and out of. He lurked in parking lots and came to the conclusion that the VW Beetle best fit the bill. I think it even comes with blind spot detection. YMMV

DW loves her CRV, but vision to the rear is somewhat compromised by the D pillars.
I'm 6'2" 260 and have no issues whatsoever comfortably driving in subarus.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:18 AM   #9
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OP - don't the new foresters have "eyesight"


http://www.subaru.com/engineering/ey...aw.ds#Forester
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:23 AM   #10
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also, if you want to save some $$$ buy your forester, buy from these guys or at least get an internet quote from them so you can show your dealer - the internet quotes are usually much lower than the sales price you see here


New 2015 or 2016 Forester, BRZ, XV Crosstrek, Outback, Legacy, Impreza at Heuberger Subaru in Colorado Springs | New Car Dealer serving Fort Carson, Fountain and Monument
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:24 AM   #11
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I'm 6'2" 260 and have no issues whatsoever comfortably driving in subarus.
Don't tell me, tell Daniel Pinkerton.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:25 AM   #12
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Don't tell me, tell Daniel Pinkerton.
this thread isn't helping my austerity plan, now I want a new 2.0XT touring
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:33 AM   #13
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OP - don't the new foresters have "eyesight"
My understanding is that while EyeSight gives you forward collision avoidance and lane departure warning, it doesn't have blind spot warning ... and that's what I think I need, since as I've gotten older, I find that I sometimes have a hard time physically turning my head/neck to look back out of the rear/side windows when changing lanes.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:37 AM   #14
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I'm 6'2" 260 and have no issues whatsoever comfortably driving in subarus.
how old are you? I ask because I'm quite a bit smaller than you, 5'10", 175 lbs and I find my wife's 96 Outback unbearably uncomfortable after about 30 minutes.

Specifically, I think the problem I have is that the gas pedal lines up with my navel, not my right hip, so my rt leg is an awkward angle.

I'm 62. Each of my kids has newer model Outbacks, and they are an improvement, but still not great for me.

I am really happy with the Highlander I just bought, but set me back 40K, which I did not love.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:38 AM   #15
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how old are you? I ask because I'm quite a bit smaller than you, 5'10", 175 lbs and I find my wife's 96 Outback unbearably uncomfortable after about 30 minutes.

Specifically, I think the problem I have is that the gas pedal lines up with my navel, not my right hip, so my rt leg is an awkward angle.

I'm 62. Each of my kids has newer model Outbacks, and they are an improvement, but still not great for me.

I am really happy with the Highlander I just bought, but set me back 40K, which I did not love.
52 - just to qualify this I've never driven a 96 outback


Outbacks are built on the legacy chassis, which I don't find as comfortable as the impreza chassis which is what the Forester is based on


My mom has a 2005 leggy and it isn't nearly as comfortable as my Dad's 2013 Forester 2.5i touring, or any of the other foresters I've owned


geez we all have subarus
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:39 AM   #16
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My understanding is that while EyeSight gives you forward collision avoidance and lane departure warning, it doesn't have blind spot warning ... and that's what I think I need, since as I've gotten older, I find that I sometimes have a hard time physically turning my head/neck to look back out of the rear/side windows when changing lanes.
yes, it appears eyesight is a forward-facing system
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:43 AM   #17
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Be sure to do a long test drive of any vehicle you buy. The sight lines of many new vehicles can cause problems. I too have limited neck mobility.We bought a new Nissan Altima 3 years ago. It's been a wonderful car for us with one exception..the sight lines. Even if I crank my neck, (which hurts) I don't feel I see as much as I would like to. We upgraded our tech package to include blindspot warning and back-up camera, which is an optional package. At least once a month I think to myself without this camera I'd feel completely adrift trying to back-up this car. Even my husband who has driven farm machinery since he was a young boy and can backup anything, anywhere has taken to looking for parking spots that are "back-up" friendly. A lot of new vehicles have this issue so explore all driving conditions to be sure you are satisfied with the one you purchase.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #18
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Currently driving my third CR-V because I love them. I think a huge factor in choosing a car is how comfortable you are in the seat, and the CR-V has the most comfortable seats (for me) I have ever used. I can easily go 5-6 hours on a trip with no need to stretch my legs and unwind (well, assuming my bladder cooperates).

As for blind spots, I believe most cars can have the side mirrors adjusted to practically eliminate blind spots.

http://www.cartalk.com/sites/default...alkMirrors.pdf
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:56 AM   #19
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Be sure to do a long test drive of any vehicle you buy. The sight lines of many new vehicles can cause problems. ...
Thanks to everyone for all the great advice! Things have changed a lot over the past 15 years. I drive rentals a few times a year when I'm on business trips, and a few years ago, I couldn't figure out how to start the car ... it was one of those "keyless" push button models. Felt like an idiot having to go back to the rental counter to ask for assistance .... But I've noticed more and more that the "lines" of the newer cars are not very friendly as far as trying to look out to the rear and side ... they almost HAD to invent "blind spot warning" to compensate for that. I've heard that the Forester has good sight lines all around ... as long as you can turn your head! ;-) THe Outback wagon does offer blind spot warning ... but it doesn't sit as high off the ground, so I'll have to see if it's much more difficult for me to get in/out of.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:08 PM   #20
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Yes the Forester has a forward collision system called "eye site". The lane departure works well but some may find it annoying with its beeps and dash warnings. The obstacle avoidance and braking has given me false indications with dips in the road and cars coming into my lane. But that one time you need it you'll be glad it's there. You can shut it off but why? Heck I paid for it, I'm using it!
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