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Outback, CR-V, Rav 4, Prius - Help me choose
Old 08-26-2019, 01:05 PM   #1
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Outback, CR-V, Rav 4, Prius - Help me choose

Thanks to a parking lot accident my 2012 Camry Hybrid has been totaled. So, I am in the market for a new car to replace it. Alas, I have not given it much thought since I figured the Camry would last me at least another four years.

I would like to get one with some of the latest safety features such as forward collision warning FCW, Automatic Emergency Breaking AEB, and Pedestrian Detection. I think those are worth the expense of a new car.

The cars I am considering are the Subaru Outback, Honda CR-V, and Toyota Rav 4, and a hatchback Prius. If I got another sedan, it would be Camry Hybrid. But, I am thinking I would like something with a bit more upright seating and more cargo capacity.

The car would be used for in town driving as well as long road trips of several thousand miles.

I would appreciate your thoughts on these cars, especially the late model ones that have these safety features.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:11 PM   #2
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DS just bought a used 2017 RAV4. He was coming from another Toyota (as you are) so was more familiar and comfortable with the controls. And he thought it looked better than the CR-V - more of a "masculine" bodyline I would say.

Having test drove both (and the Nissan Rogue) with him, the CR-V seemed lighter and peppier but definitely louder. He picked the 2017 over a 2016 because those safety features became standard.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:19 PM   #3
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Chuck, I noticed where Hertz has a "rent to buy" option where you can rent the vehicle for 3 days to get a good feel for it, then if you buy they will waive the rental fees. If you aren't opposed to purchasing a rental that's a great way to find a late-model vehicle. The Hertz website in our neck of the woods shows several 2018 Rav4's available (didn't check the others you mentioned) for a three day test drive. Plus they say if you decide to buy after the test you may be able to complete all the paperwork without having to return to the rental/sales office.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:22 PM   #4
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My daughter drives a RAV-4 and I rented one for a few weeks. It's a nice car with all those safety features, but ...

... my weekly driver (I don't drive daily) is a Subaru Outback Limited with the 3.6R engine. It has all the safety features, too. I can say that my Outback is just a plain noticeably better in the mountains and snow and on curves than the RAV-4. Also more comfortable on 3,000+ mile road trips.

Of course, the Outback is more expensive than the others in your list. Also the Limited compares favorably with my Lexus RX in terms of interior comfort.

So if you have the money and the fit of your body to the car is good, then Outback all the way. My daughter also prefers to drive my Outback instead of her RAV-4. Test drive them.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:37 PM   #5
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DW just bought a 2019 Forester and we like it very much. Our only complaint so far is that it beeps when the speed decreases below the lane keep assist system's minimum (somewhere around 35 mph) and LKAS automatically disables itself. So far, we can't find the secret code to get rid of that annoyance. Otherwise it's great so far but it's only on its second tank of gas.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:38 PM   #6
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We got an Outback as a rental car two years ago in Montana and we both loved it. It was fun to drive, got great gas mileage, lots of cargo room for road trips, and plenty of head room for my DH who is taller than average. I'm fond of my Mazda 6 but I'll probably get an Outback next time. I believe we rented it through enterprise.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:41 PM   #7
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The 2019 Rav-4 hybrid recently got a great review Car and Driver. As I recall they were impressed that the hybrid version had zero disadvantages and performed better than the regular version. You should give it a test drive
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:50 PM   #8
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You will probably get little consensus on the "best choice" since we all have different tastes. I would recommend looking for specific forums that are geared towards the types you are considering and see what other owners are complaining about. Yes, most of the stuff will be people being mad, but it's a good way to find issues that might be significant for your needs.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:56 PM   #9
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I have the 2018 Camry Hybrid LE with the lithium batteries. I'm getting 49.6 mpg in town and 52 mpg at 75 mph. This is a whole new car, new engine and new hybrid system. I paid $27K for it--much less than the average car. And thru 40K miles, it's only had oil changes--never in the shop.

For a change, I'd consider the RAV 4 Hybrid. It is simply a fantastic vehicle.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:01 PM   #10
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I think from the Subaru lineup, the Forester would be more akin to the RAV-4 and the CRV in terms of size, performance, features and price. The Outback is a step up.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:07 PM   #11
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I haven't driven any of them, so what do I know? (nothing!) Still, I have to say that the Rav4 sure sounds like a good choice to me. I have always liked Toyotas.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:14 PM   #12
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Iíd choose a Forester over an Outback, having owned both.

Subaru would be my first choice. Toyota second. Iíd never get a Honda.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Iíd choose a Forester over an Outback, having owned both.

Subaru would be my first choice. Toyota second. Iíd never get a Honda.


May I ask - Why? - to both of your decisions.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:35 PM   #14
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I had a CRV . It was just okay. The paint started peeling off at 4 years and the air conditioning system went at 32,000 miles . Plus I was not happy with the service department they were overly into the upsell . I now have a Rav4 . and I love it .I live in florida so no snow driving for me but plenty of rain.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:07 PM   #15
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I’ve owned 5 Honda’s, 3 Toyota’s incl a Prius & Camry, and have a 2018 Subaru Outback. DW is driving a 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid (traded in a Camry), so I am driving and maintaining a late model Subaru Outback and Honda Accord daily.
  • As others have said, an Outback is not comparable to a CR-V or a RAV4. The Forester is a closer Subaru, and recently updated.
  • The Outback is getting a major refresh in 2020 (though the looks don’t change much), knowing that I wouldn’t buy a 2019 but maybe that’s just me.
  • And the Prius is another category entirely, though they have good cargo capacity for their size.
  • From current daily experience around town and long distance, Honda driver assist safety features and especially nav systems are superior to Subaru - period. I’ve detailed that in earlier threads. Not that Subaru’s systems are bad, but they don’t have the R&D muscle of Honda or Toyota and their systems just aren’t as evolved. Subaru always plays catch up with some tech developments.
  • Subaru is still stuck on boxer engines, I’d rather have an in-line or V - and there are good reasons no other automakers offer boxer engines (except Porsche at a MUCH higher price point). Do a search and you can find tons of articles why a boxer is not a great choice despite Subaru’s ad copy. They just got over a major excessive oil consumption issue a few years ago. https://www.torquenews.com/1084/suba...mption-lawsuit, they had to replace engines for some owners it was so bad.
Unless you need the superior all-wheel drive of a Subaru or the high mpg/low emissions of a Prius, it would be between the CR-V and the RAV4 for my money. Having owned 8 personally and many friends and family members have too, I’d say you can’t go wrong with either.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:54 PM   #16
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I’d choose a Forester over an Outback, having owned both.

Subaru would be my first choice. Toyota second. I’d never get a Honda.
I would second this. While I have considered Honda many times, I feel they have somehow built-in a premium price over other strong brands, that was just never worth it to me. I also agree with Forester over Outback - I have owned 3 straight outbacks and they have grown significantly in size with each model, so that my current one (2017) is arguably too big for me. I'd choose the forester for a little less cash.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:56 PM   #17
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We bought an Outback in 2017 and love it.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:40 PM   #18
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I would be extremely cautious about a CRV with the 1.5 L turbo engine because of the oil/gas mixing issue. It has been discussed in one or more threads here already. I drove the new model the first year out and did not like the tachometer and speedometer in the same gauge or the cheap cover over part of the luggage area that made it virtually useless for loading heavy or bulky items in back. Haven't seen the new versions of the other two.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:36 PM   #19
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May I ask - Why? - to both of your decisions.

The Honda CR-V is noisy. Lots of road noise. I have a 2008 CR-V that my kids use (bought used) and I wish I got something else. My neighbors had the same complaint and returned their CR-V and bought a different car.

Before I bought a 2011 Outback, I test drove a CR-V and didnít feel like it was well built (cheap plastic interior). The build quality of the Outback was much nicer. I really should have looked at more cars before getting the 2008 CR-V.

The Forester I like because I sit up higher and it has more cargo space (itís boxier). DS also mentioned that he enjoys driving the Forester over the Outback and I agree, but keep in mind weíre comparing a 2011 Outback vs a 2017 Forester. Both handle well in the snow, which is a requirement for me and one reason I didnít look at other cars.

Oh, and the Forester was cheaper too. Thatís a nice bonus.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:42 PM   #20
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I love my 2016 RAV4 Limited. I had a 2011 RAV that was totaled. Test drove the CRV and a Mazda CX-5 and bought the Toyota. I would never have another car without the safety features my RAV has. Love the adaptive cruise control on the highway!
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