Good SUVs

Does anyone hear have or know about the Subaru Forester? I’m interested in midsized SUVs that have a good ride and are good in the snow and in bad weather generally. I like Jeeps but might want a little less car.

Consumer reports loves them. The forester got an 89, second best vehicle in the SUV class.

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Wife has a RAV 4 Hybrid AWD. It handles snow well and averages about 35 mpg.

I’ve always been interested in them but my wife doesn’t like their look. :man_shrugging:t3:

Thanks, very helpful. I’m also looking for people who have owned one.

My Mom had a Forester for years, and my brother has had a Subaru forever. They are good cars, easy to drive, as good as just about anything in snow (just stay home is the best option in snow!). Subaru is the most popular car in Colorado for the reasons you are interested.

We had a '15 Mazda CX-9 AWD that was great until the (Ford engineered) motor blew. Just bought my wife a '21 Toyota 4Runner. Good car but (surprisingly) it handle’s like a massive ship. Super soft and bouncy but my wife likes it.
The Jeeps have the ride from hell. If you drive longer than an hour be prepared to visit the chiropractor. I think they’re overpriced (like the Toyota’s).
My niece just bought her 2nd Subaru and has enjoyed both. But there have been complaints on issues. Do your research!
Subaru Engine Problems (

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Can’t speak about the Forester, but I can on Subies in general. We love ours. We have a 2012 Impreza. I’ve been sold on Subies since my cousins all learned how to drive on the same one, and it had minimal maintenance. My only complaint about ours is that the seats don’t have much lumbar support. Otherwise it’s a great car for us.

so you want to become a tree hugging muffin head? Careful, you may create some unreasonable expectations. Better put a Trump sticker on the back bumper.
The last time I got in a Subaru there wasn’t enough leg room.

My daughter drove a forester through high school then passed it to my son who drove it through high school. Great cars, and some might call them peppy but I would call them kinda gutless, which is good for the kids but not for me. I’m a V8, ride up higher (but not lifted) truck guy. I liked the older 2.0 liter turbo foresters the best. You can find them occasionally with lower miles. As for the new ones they’re great if you don’t care about performance. And most people don’t. As for the Jeep, which one? My other daughter drives a V6 JGC. Sweet ride. Again doesn’t haul arse, but has pretty nice pickup. No mechanical issues at all with it (or the Subaru) but bear in mind we do maintenance religiously. As for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, we had one for about 9 years. I drove it the first year, then my oldest drove it through HS and passed
It down to the daughter that gave up the Subaru to the boy. Again, great car. Had the old 3.8 liter plus a small lift and larger tires so it was slooooow. The new Jeeps have the 3.6 liter pentastar. Completely different animal with the 3.6. And they’re is so much freakin fun to drive. Love em. In fact I’m gonna pick up an old 2 door CJ one day, just cuz. Everything you’re looking at had been good to us when we had them over the course of about 8 years. In order I like thr truck, then the wrangler, then the grand Cherokee, then the Subaru — but bear in mind all those are near the top of my list for any cars.

My wife had an Audi Q5, and it was a great vehicle.

Hmm… here’s my take on it because I’ve been thinking about getting a small-mid size SUV since the end of last year.

For an affordable good ride that handles itself well, I really like the Mazda CX-5 (so much damn plastic in that car though, but if you don’t need leather/wood paneling you’re fine). I haven’t driven any of the newer Jeep or Subaru’s but have heard mixed reviews on them.

Here’s the thing, where do you live? Because for me traffic is bad (West LA) and as much as I’m a weekend warrior, the majority of my time is spent on normal roads and highways. So I need my candy ass to be comfortable and have been leaning more toward luxury SUVs and BMW leads the way there. You have a hefty price tag, but I believe maintenance will still run around what you’ll pay for a Subaru but your butt will be a lot more comfortable, the cabin is quieter, the infotainment system is great, and it surprisingly is great on trails and in the rain/snow.

So just another thought on it all, but I really want to go with the Mazda and a lot of the experts love that car, but yeah… traffic.

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I need a car that is somewhat rugged. I will be taking it regularly to farmland, and to some out-of-the-way places, although not off-road much, if at all. That’s why I was thinking about the Forester, which seems like a car you can get muddy without feeling bad about it.

I had my BMW trip, and that was fun while it lasted, but I don’t need a car that nice anymore, and I really don’t love cars like some people. To me they’re a way of getting around. I now drive a Mini Cooper Countryman, which I really enjoy, but I need more room inside the car (although I must admit Mini idoes a great job making those little cars comfortable–and I do love the maneuverability.)

My last car prior to the Mini was a terrific Jeep Grand Cherokee, the high end model with a fantastic air suspension system that made every ride smooth. I wish I had kept it, but it was really really nice on the outside and inside, and not the kind of car I want to get dirty and muddy. I may just get a more practical Jeep this time. The problem is that with many jeeps (like the Wrangler) you feel every single bump in the road. I know, first world dilemmas.

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Sounds like a Subaru Outback might be good for you as well. Really, any 4wd or awd would seemingly fit your needs. They’re all basically the same.

As soon as I posted this, I realized I forgot about the Subaru Brat.

Get one of those for instant legend status. Otherwise, they’re all the same.


We owned a Subaru Forester for a long time and loved it. However, eventually a gasket seal oil leak led to the car’s demise: which apparently is a real thing for a lot of Subarus between certain years (which can be easily found on internet search engines). Apparently, the problem establishes itself somewhere between 50 and 150,000 miles. Newer models are reportedly not as problematic but it’s worth looking into…
We traded it in for a Honda CRV and are totally happy (although I would say the suspension is just a little bit stiffer than I care for) but it seems to really be optimal on the highway in regards to long drives, handling etc…
We’re now being told by friends who go “boondocking” with trailers that Toyota 4Runners have the best pulling capacity for their size and class - but I can’t speak to how they handle, interior design etc…
Once we decide between a custom travel van versus trailer we’ll have to revisit that decision.

I’ve had a couple of Jeep’s and they are mechanical nightmares. Both had mysterious oil leaks that could never get fixed, the mechanic joked that “Jeep’s tend to mark their spot…” They tend to be rust buckets as well. I never owned them long enough for it to be a problem and we also kept them in a garage making them better than most but I was always astounded.

I tend to do most of my own work on cars, but basically changing the oil and simple maintenance. I probably wouldn’t know about the rust otherwise, but yeah.

I’m not a car lover either and so I tend to go for max value and drive them for far longer than maybe I should. I tend to like Acuras and Hondas and in recent years have gotten my wife two different Ford SUVs. The first one I bought as kind of a kid carrier because it had third row seating with the intent that I was comfortable with it getting a little beat up. I didn’t expect to own it for super long maybe 3-4, but we are now approaching about 13 years on it. Knock on wood but it never breaks down. Now my kids are driving it. I’ve had to do some repairs on it along the maintenance route but it continues to run like a top… paint job looks like it is brand new.

If you are spending your time in central Utah I’d suggest thinking American cars. Rural Utah isn’t as bad as some rural parts of America but lots of people do believe in buying American cars and it is pretty important to them.


The Jeep I owned was great mechanically and otherwise. My Dads Jeep’s, too.

My Moms Honda Accord, on the other hand, lived in the shop.

Is your Ford an expedition? I’ve been looking at those. Our minivan isn’t big enough for the seven of us anymore. Been looking at Ford Transits, Chevy Express, and Expeditions. But the sticker shock is real. I’ve never paid over $7,000 for a vehicle before.

My Legacy and my wife’s Forester both have ample leg room both in the front as well as the back. I am 5’10" for reference.

I prefer my 2015 Legacy to my wife’s 2019 Forester, but honestly I have zero gripes about either car. I love the adaptive cruise (yes, I know other cars have it now as well) and honestly they are both comfortable cars. My Legacy has crossed this fair nation of ours quite a few times - I have put 165k miles on it in just over 6 years - and I have zero issues taking either of our cars to my sister’s house nestled in the mountains of eastern West Virginia (nice house, not so great roads. And her family likes Subarus as well, especially for winter driving.). So yes - when I go shopping for a new car in 2 or 3 years, I will return to a Subaru barring any unexpected unpleasantries.

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