New to forum trying to decide on 2015 CX-5, Forester, or Outback

V
2012 Honda Fit


First post for me.

I have decided with this winter and the amount of traveling in recent years I need to move up to a larger vehicle and AWD. I did look at the CX-5 when it first came out but deals where limited and the 2.0l got criticize on its power. So I am back looking at 2015 models of the CX-5, Forester and Outback none of them are out at this moment so I am researching issues with the 2014 models hoping this will give me some insight into the 2015 models. I have some pros and cons on each vehicle just can not find a lot on the CX-5 beyond the thread on pet peeves and issues that seem to have been corrected by Mazda besides the heater and blind spots.

I found on both Subaru's there seems to be an issue with oil consumption with the 2.5l. The Outback is slow with the 2.5l and does not handle easily. The Forester the heater does not warm up fast. The Forester has the 2.0XT but needs premium gas. The Forester does offer a lot of options.

But Subaru seems to offer an AWD system that no one can match with test like these. I would like to get some current owners opinions on the CX-5 AWD system and if anyone before buying their CX-5 did look at the Subaru Forester or Outback. I know I have to test drive each vehicle before deciding, but current owners opinion on ownership weighs in a lot on deciding on a purchase. Test drives are usually short term and it seems like you have the tendency to not notice problems until ownership. Thank you for your responses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLkvqsQEV2Q
 
V
was 175ps Mazda CX-5 Auto AWD Sport Nav, now 190ps DSG Tiguan 4M
Subaru always seem to win in those tests, all I can say is the CX-5 4wd isn't as sensitive as the Xtrail 4wd.

The Mazda system looks for wheel spin before the rears cut in, the Xtrail detects spin in less than one rev of the wheel so you never feel the front wheels spin before the rears cut in.

And I'm pretty sure I've seen a video test where the subi beats the Xtrail.

And isn't the subi permanent 4wd? so probably a fuel penalty to pay.
 
V
2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring
I don't have an AWD, but in my opinion, these systems are for rainy snowy roads, not for all terrain applications.
 
V
2016 CX-5 GT
Exactly my comparison also before going with the Mazda! I drove the new Forrester (both engines) a lot before buying the CX-5.
The base engine Forrester was just a joke with that trans.
The turbo engine was sweet! Loved it! The fuel hit and use of premium was the partial killer for me.
The biggest killer for the Forrester was the interior quality though. It was just no comparison to the Mazda.

My three biggest likes for the Forrester was the X Mode system, S/I drive, and the turbo! I do a lot of back road driving and coming from a turbo AWD car (VW Golf R) I loved the power.
I just could not get past the price, mileage loss, and overall interior quality. Some may call the interior quality "designed for rugged use" I just call it cheap hard plastic.

I went with the CX-5 mainly due to all the magazine reviews about how great this car was with the bigger 2.5 engine and the more sporty suspension compared to the others.
My dislikes are minor,,,, still not enough HP for my tastes but like I said before, I'm used to a car that had over 100 more HP! Yes, it was modded!

The use of regular fuel, more room, and high quality interior sealed the deal for me. My off road ventures will be cured with a more on/off road tire/wheel set up. Although I do wish the CX-5 came with a locking/ limited slip rear differential! (the CX-7 and 9 did!) It also needs a Sport/Econ switch to keep the engine/trans in the sweet spot when needed!

I also looked at a VW Tiguan,,,, nice turbo engine and great German quality but the suspension felt like a pillow,,,, way to soft. And it was quite a bit more expensive equally optioned.

I drove my in-laws 2013 CRV for a week while on vacation and although nice, I just could not get comfortable in the seats. And I'm a average person! (6.1", 185 Lb.)

We each have our own likes and wants, and rarely do they equal another persons. I'd suggest you find someone local to you with each car your looking at and see if you could hang out with them for a bit. Dealer quick test drives don't mean much.
Or go rent each one for the weekend!

Either way, let us know which one you go with and why!
 
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V
2012 Honda Fit
I don't have an AWD, but in my opinion, these systems are for rainy snowy roads, not for all terrain applications.
Agreed I did have an Honda Element back in 2002 and it seem to perform well in the snow. Not really going off road beyond maybe a dirt road.

Thanks
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
Exactly my comparison also before going with the Mazda! I drove the new Forrester (both engines) a lot before buying the CX-5.
The base engine Forrester was just a joke with that trans.
The turbo engine was sweet! Loved it! The fuel hit and use of premium was the partial killer for me.
The biggest killer for the Forrester was the interior quality though. It was just no comparison to the Mazda.

My two biggest likes for the Forrester was the X Mode system and the turbo! I do a lot of back road driving and coming from a turbo AWD car (VW Golf R) I loved the power.
I just could not get past the price, mileage loss, and overall interior quality. Some may call the interior quality "designed for rugged use" I just call it cheap hard plastic.

I went with the CX-5 mainly due to all the magazine reviews about how great this car was with the bigger 2.5 engine and the more sporty suspension compared to the others.
My dislikes are minor,,,, still not enough HP for my tastes but like I said before, I'm used to a car that had over 100 more HP! Yes, it was modded!

The use of regular fuel, more room, and high quality interior sealed the deal for me. My off road ventures will be cured with a more on/off road tire/wheel set up. Although I do wish the CX-5 came with a locking/ limited slip rear differential! (the CX-7 and 9 did!)

I also looked at a VW Tiguan,,,, nice turbo engine and great German quality but the suspension felt like a pillow,,,, way to soft. And it was quite a bit more expensive equally optioned.
Thanks I did get a quote on the 2.0XT premium $27,500 but like you said premium gas is a killer I drive around 20k plus a year and the CVT and Turbo may or may not require any maintenance in the future but if so could be costly. Plus reading the Forester Forum some buyers were getting and extended warranty which I refuse to do I buy cars based on reliability.

On the added horsepower the picture of the white CX-5 has a mazdaspeed intake but I think that is for the 2.0l.

Thanks for your input.
 
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V
2012 Honda Fit
Subaru always seem to win in those tests, all I can say is the CX-5 4wd isn't as sensitive as the Xtrail 4wd.

The Mazda system looks for wheel spin before the rears cut in, the Xtrail detects spin in less than one rev of the wheel so you never feel the front wheels spin before the rears cut in.

And I'm pretty sure I've seen a video test where the subi beats the Xtrail.

And isn't the subi permanent 4wd? so probably a fuel penalty to pay.
The forester 2.5l is rated 32 highway.
 
Thanks I did get a quote on the 2.0XT premium $27,500 but like you said premium gas is a killer I drive around 20k plus a year and the CVT and Turbo may or may not require any maintenance in the future but if so could be costly. Plus reading the Forester Forum some buyers were getting and extended warranty which I refuse to do I buy cars based on reliability.

On the added horsepower the picture of the white CX-5 has a mazdaspeed intake but I think that is for the 2.0l.

Thanks for your input.
I was very close to buying a Forester XT Touring, but ultimately that CVT scared me away. I did research and found that it was an estimated $7500 to replace out of warranty. Seeing as how it was the first time they had mated it to a turbo engine, I deemed it too much of a risk.

Also, I would wholeheartedly agree that the interior of the Forester is crappy. Lots of little things like no vanity light in the sun shades, exposed foam in the back seats. Just kind of cheap looking IMO.
 
V
2014 AWD CX-5 GT w/ Tech Package
I searched for over a year and half and considered all of the vehicles you are looking at, plus I also looked at the 2014 Cherokee, 2014 Equinox, 2013 XV Crosstrek and a couple others. I always seemed to come back to the CX5. I have a 2014 AWD CX5 with tech package, and you're not going to find anything else for that price that includes all of those features. Coupled with Mazda reliability, you can't go wrong.

Granted, there a a couple of minor things that I don't like, but none of which were deal-breakers. I would prefer one-touch up and down and all 4 windows and one-touch open and close on the sunroof. I also would have like more of an equalizer control in the Bose audio system; it only has bass and treble adjustments so some genres of music don't sound as good as others. Again, not a deal-breaker.
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
Thanks I hoping that more information on the 2015 CX-5 would be released I see Wayne Mazda in Jersey already has several listed in their inventory with prices. Must be vehicles order prior to production. If the changes are not that significant might be able to get big discounts on a fully loaded 2014.
 
V
2014 AWD CX-5 GT w/ Tech Package
I was very close to buying a Forester XT Touring, but ultimately that CVT scared me away. I did research and found that it was an estimated $7500 to replace out of warranty. Seeing as how it was the first time they had mated it to a turbo engine, I deemed it too much of a risk.

Also, I would wholeheartedly agree that the interior of the Forester is crappy. Lots of little things like no vanity light in the sun shades, exposed foam in the back seats. Just kind of cheap looking IMO.

I'll agree with you on the cheap looking interior. I haven't been in the new Forester XT, but I did test drive a XV Crosstrek and then drove the CX-5 right after it. The two didn't even compare. Everything about the inside of the Crosstrek felt cheap and not very well thought out. I have liked Subaru's for a long time, so I was surprised by how turned off I was from driving the XV.

I never did the research on the cost of the new CVT, but I can tell you I didn't like the way it drove.
 
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V
2008 mazda 3 GT <- now toast ; 2014 CX-5 GS Liquid Ag FWD
Keep in mind that for the 2014s, there is an issue with the entertainment system's interface with the iPod via USB and Bluetooth (link). For me it is a *meh* but for those who are more technically inclined, this is a major annoyance.
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
I'll agree with you on the cheap looking interior. I haven't been in the new Forester XT, but I did test drive a XV Crosstrek and then drove the CX-5 right after it. The two didn't even compare. Everything about the inside of the Crosstrek felt cheap and not very well thought out. I have liked Subaru's for a long time, so I was surprised by how turned off I was from driving the XV.

I never did the research on the cost of the new CVT, but I can tell you I didn't like the way it drove.
I never even consider the XV myself due to lack of cargo room if I did consider it I would just buy an Impreza hatch.
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
Keep in mind that for the 2014s, there is an issue with the entertainment system's interface with the iPod via USB and Bluetooth (link). For me it is a *meh* but for those who are more technically inclined, this is a major annoyance.
I do not even text and use a ear piece to use my cell phone, my Wife's Camry XLE has all these features, all I need is to plug in my mp3 to listen to my tunes.
 
V
2014 AWD CX-5 GT w/ Tech Package
I never even consider the XV myself due to lack of cargo room if I did consider it I would just buy an Impreza hatch.
That was a big factor for me too. I had only seen in online when it first came out, but when I saw it in person the cargo area was quite small. I drove it and the CX5 the same night and there was no comparison. My test drive was actually on a 2013 CX5, but I had some issues I had to wait out so I couldn't make my purchase until last week. I'm glad though because I like the added HP in the 2014.
 
V
2013 CX-5 AWD Touring Zeal Red
That video is bogus unless they specifically changed all the tires. On wet/slippery surfaces, tires are far more important. I can tell you that somewhere on here there was a test video showing a 2wd escape going further up a ski hill than an AWD escape. TIRES TIRES TIRES!

That said, some traction control systems can be overly obtrusive and cut the power too dramatically. You can see that with a couple other vehicles in that test that don't spin all of their wheels (Honda). However, if you look, all 4 wheels of the CX5 and a couple others are spinning. The COULD put the power down, if the tires were able to grip and they used light throttle. Also, how many wet polyethylene roads will you drive on? I am a big Subaru fan, but this was an obvious sales pitch.

I came from a 2004 WRX with the manual AWD. It pumped out 270 hp (~50 over stock) for over 100K miles of its life (got rid of it at 175K). It was a great car. You should have no issues with the 2.0 liter turbo in the forester. It will just be terrible on gas. Expect no better than 24 MPG combined.

I cross shopped the 2013 Forester when I picked up the CX5. I was really disappointed, but then it has been improved with the new model supposedly. As others have said, the interior was very hard plasticy and looked and felt cheap. The handling was very heavy. It felt like a large vehicle. Also, the transmission was underwhelming.

In contrast, the CX5 seemed very high quality. The interior is not flashy, but seems a bit more Euro than the Tupperware Forester. The biggest difference is in the driving experience. The steering is light and crisp. It honestly handles at least as good as my stock WRX did, which is more important than power to me. The transmission feels precise, and less like a slushbox and more like a DCT. The throttle by wire takes some getting use to, and most people take that as being very under powered. Instead, it just give linear power increase all the way to the floor. Most traditional throttle give like 90% of the power by 50% travel. It made the car feel more powerful than it actually was, however it was difficult to modulate for best economy. The CX5 requires a significant throttle input to tap the power.

The CX5 is also tuned very much for economy. That is one of the reasons that it tried to keep a higher gear and lower RPM than most are use to. It is great for fuel mileage, as its easier than most vehicles to keep in the high engine load/low engine speed range. Some of the less educated owners have complained that it will run in 6th gear at 35mph, there must be something wrong right! That is what it was tuned to do, and if you give it some throttle, it WILL downshift. Anyway, my point is that you shouldn't buy the CX5 if you are looking to feel like you are driving a high performance car running around at higher revs and expecting instant power. If you want a great handling car that will do everything possible to get you the best fuel econ....and look great doing it...the CX5 is perfect!
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
On the video there is so many of these out there including a similar test on a incline with rollers it gives you the ideal that Subaru's can climb anything and you are settling for less with any other AWD. You are correct about tires even reading the Forester forum everybody recommends snow tires.

The XT with premium gas would be expensive. Most of my cars never have been high performance but good handling vehicle, like my 95 Miata and 12 Fit which I try to modified for better handling but keeping the engines N/A. The AWD would be great in the winter here in the Northeast but to be honest if the Mazda6 wagon was offer here I would get one.

Thanks for the insight.
 
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V
2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
I would *not* trust the new Forester (and 2012+ Impreza and 2013+ Outback) FB engine because of oil consumption issue. Perhaps in 2 years.
This engine is all new, *not* the same as what Subaru has been using for 20+ years.

I test drove the Outback and did not like it's heft. It is also too big for our needs. I also test drove the Impreza and, aside for he oil consumption issue, thought it had a really small cargo area in hatch form and was a tad slow. XV, a heavier, less fuel efficient, slower Impreza did not make any sense to me.

The Forester's AWD is different if you are getting a manual (better) vs. automatic (similar to CX-5). X-Mode is very impressive, but is 2 levels *below* the Cherokee Trailhawk, and is much more similar to what is found in the CX-5 than the real hardware in the Trailhawk.
The X-Mode is simply better electronics which prevents the wheels from losing traction. But, it can do only so much without real diff locking, low range.

Note the X-Mode is not available in all trims. Had I settled for a Forester, I would probably get the trim without it.
 
V
MAZDA CX-5 Touring
No subarus for me ever again!!!

cjecpa, I just got a 2014 CX5 and like it a lot, the small problem is the problem with the radio.

Had a 2012 Subaru Impreza (same as Crosstrek) barely 148 HP and the CVT is the worse. No power at all at take off.
Traded since it was a safety issue for me (wife's car).

Got a 2014 Forester XT and loved the power, THAT'S ABOUT IT. NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS!.
The 2.5 burns oil and the XT has major issues.
I had it towed twice in six months. All lights in the dash lit up (ABS, ENGINE, ETC).
Battery death and tranny overfilled (they claimed).

Traded that piece of junk for a Mazda. Never will EVER get another SUBARU EVER!!!!!

Check out subaruforester.org, there is a section filled with nothing but problems but the 2014.
The costumer service from the stealership and Subaru was the worse.
 
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V
2012 Honda Fit
Thanks, but the XT has a 2.0l not a 2.5l? The oil consumption is a major concern I have not had to check my oil or carry oil in my car for over 30 years and not going to start again. I am now trying to decide 2015 or 2014 and color usually with most models there is only one color I like with the CX-5 I like the black, white, red and dark blue. Did get a quote on a 2014

Vehicle You Have Requested Information On
YEAR 2014
MAKE Mazda
MODEL CX-5 gt awd/tech pkg
M.S.R.P $31545
E-PRICE* $28173
 
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