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

CorkSport.com is MAZDA PERFORMANCE!
i have a 2014 Forester XT and i think its great! i have had no major problems with it. i will admit there is a well documented hard-start issue with the XT engine that subaru is working on a software fix for.

i have been so pleased with the forester that i was thinking about getting the 2.5L non-turbo for the wife.

then i heard that mazda improved the crash test results for the 2014 CX-5, which puts it back on my shopping list. good job mazda!

i only wish there was a way to get the leather interior without having to purchase the top of the line GT model.
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
I read about the hard start issue. I got a quote on the 2014 XT Premium for about $27,500 it is just using premium gas and mpg that concerns me I can drive between 20k to 30k a year. I was originally considering the 2.5l but kept reading on the oil consumption issue.

Thanks.
 
V
2014 CX-5 Sport Manual
i have a 2014 Forester XT and i think its great! i have had no major problems with it. i will admit there is a well documented hard-start issue with the XT engine that subaru is working on a software fix for.

i have been so pleased with the forester that i was thinking about getting the 2.5L non-turbo for the wife.

then i heard that mazda improved the crash test results for the 2014 CX-5, which puts it back on my shopping list. good job mazda!

i only wish there was a way to get the leather interior without having to purchase the top of the line GT model.

I would avoid that 2.5l boxer engine. Unless you don't mind replacing the head gasket ($2000+) at around 80k, after warranty is expired. Thats the norm, some sooner, some later.

There is a way to get that leather interior, at least in the FL mazda dealerships I've been in. I got a 2014 base model sport 6MT for a great price, and had them install katskin leather for $1199 + tax. All seating as well as door panels. Huge improvement and I'm so glad i had it done.
 
I read about the hard start issue. I got a quote on the 2014 XT Premium for about $27,500 it is just using premium gas and mpg that concerns me I can drive between 20k to 30k a year. I was originally considering the 2.5l but kept reading on the oil consumption issue.

Thanks.
yup, everything you said about the XT is true. premium gas is more, mpg is less (although better than my old bmw). turbo engines in general cost more to maintain as well. ... but the power is so great! :D

i personally think the oil consumption issue is overblown. not everyone has it, and the majority of the people that do, it is a minor issue. my bmw drank oil too. which meant every few months i would have to top it off. no big deal since oil is realtively cheap.

but the cx-5 is great too. great mpg, great handling, great transmission. it's got its own share of minor issues too, but nothing major.
 
I would avoid that 2.5l boxer engine. Unless you don't mind replacing the head gasket ($2000+) at around 80k, after warranty is expired. Thats the norm, some sooner, some later.

There is a way to get that leather interior, at least in the FL mazda dealerships I've been in. I got a 2014 base model sport 6MT for a great price, and had them install katskin leather for $1199 + tax. All seating as well as door panels. Huge improvement and I'm so glad i had it done.
i thought the head gasket issue was for earlier models and not for the 2014s. i guess we will have to wait and see.

yeah, if i could get katskin leather on a cx-5 touring for $1200, i would probably do it.
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
I am leaning more toward the CX-5 just waiting on the 2015 update to see if it is better to wait or if I can get a fully loaded 2014 at a big discount when the model year is changing over. Another factor you will see more Foresters around here then the CX-5 only problem if you want to get it service there is only one Mazda dealer where there is four Subaru dealers within a 60 mile radius. But routine maintenance I can take care of myself.

Thanks.
 
V
2009 Mazda5 Sport (5 speed), 2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i (CVT)
I would avoid that 2.5l boxer engine. Unless you don't mind replacing the head gasket ($2000+) at around 80k, after warranty is expired. Thats the norm, some sooner, some later.
Subaru had problems with the OLD 2.5L engine (FJ). Both, Forester and Outback ('13 and later) have a new (FB) engine that has a different design and is not (yet) known for having HG problems.

Back to the original post: I was in your shoes recently. I did compare the exact three vehicles that you are looking at (CX-5, Forester, and Outback) and (after many test drives) ended up with a 2.5L Outback with a CVT. I've had the car for two months and so far am happy. Outback has the most comfortable ride out of these three and the most useful cargo space (they all look similar on the paper but there is something to be said for having your cargo bay wide and long). I drove the whole family (all 5 of us) from Montreal to Boston and no one (including the rear seat occupants) complained about the lack of space (I am not sure whether this would have been the case if we bought the CX-5, or Forester). Power is just fine - it is not a speed demon but certainly can hold its own, is not any worse than a 2.0L CX-5, and is on par with our other car (a '09 Mazda5 with a manual transmission). Steering response and handling are not too bad either - not as sharp as Mazda5 but nothing offensive either (and MUCH more comfortable ride). As for the oil consumption - no oil lost over 2,000 miles, but I am used to checking the oil level every time I fill the gas tank (have been doing it ever since I started driving over 30 years ago). Just my 2c...
 
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V
2012 Honda Fit
I have been waiting for the 2015 Outback since it is suppose to be redesigned I was hoping it was to be debuted at the Detroit Auto Show but now hear it will not be shown until the NYC Show. The main reason was to see if it now had more standard features like the Forester and if there is any improvement in performance and mileage. I do like the Outback looks.

Thanks

As far as long trips drove a 2012 Honda Fit 24 hours straight through to Dallas with my wife last June and four of us back again over 24 hours comfort was not an issue.
 
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V
MAZDA CX-5 Touring
Thanks, but the XT has a 2.0l not a 2.5l?
Correct, the XT comes with the 2.0 but I just provided the extra info on the 2.5 with the oil issues as well.
I also had the hard cold start issues on both vehicles (impreza).

The Outback 2.5 is so slow and so underpowered but that engine, you can floor the gas pedal and the car won't move. Different story with the V6.

I'm also waiting to see the Diesel CX5 that hopefully we'll get here in the US.

Hey, you mentioned about the dealership in NJ showing 2015 in route, have you call them and asked them about the ETA on their arrival?
 
V
2014 CX-5 GT
Like others here, I was looking at the same cars. I actually ruled out the forester early as I just did not like the look, feel or ride of the car. Just was not for me. Very similar feeling to my 2003 Honda CR-V and not in a good way. The outback was a strong option and is a larger, more substantial vehicle. I did not like the CVT but liked the fact that they offer the lower two models with a 6-speed manual. However, at these trim levels, the interior was very spartan and felt a little cheap. The car also did not feel as sporty as the CX-5, which was a negative. The other big negative was the poor experience I had in the past with Subaru's. They tend to require a lot of maintenance to keep running and the AWD in the manual cars can burn out their viscous fluid, leading to expensive repairs.
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
I ruled out a manual this time around. I initially looked at the CX-5 when it came out but only front wheel drive I felt it would depreciate greatly because people here when buying an SUV are buying it for the AWD. My wife doesnot drive manual and the AWD will be for her to use in bad weather if needed.

On the Subaru never owned one so cannot comment on reliability but it seems there is a lot of people have had some bad experience with the brand. And I know people who had over 200k on their Outback with no problems.I did see Wheeler Dealers where they did a clutch on a WRX did not look fun nor cheap. They said it was common every 70k.
 
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V
2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
On the Subaru never owned one so cannot comment on reliability but it seems there is a lot of people have had some bad experience with the brand. And I know people who had over 200k on their Outback with no problems.
Yes, with the EJ engine of model years 2012 and below. Now, it is sold with the same FB engine as the Forester.
The oil consumption issue does not necessarily hit everyone, but then again, so many people don't look at their oil level and change it frequently, so they may not know. Subaru is not sharing their data. Just take a look at This Impreza thread with more than 4600 posts on it. Similar thread on subaruforester.org.

Yeah, oil is cheap but long term it might damage your catalytic converter and introduce deposits where there shouldn't be. I think it would be safe to wait few years before getting an FB engine.
The 2L Turbo engine in the XT is also all new. Introduced with the Forester. It is the FA direct injected turbo (DIT).
The Outback 3.6L is not fuel efficient and has a different AWD than any of the other vehicles mentioned: it is a rear biased 5AT system. The transmission had issues in the past, perhaps resolved by now. I would not be surprised if this 3.6L engine will be ditched altogether or replaced with a different all-new engine as well as all-new transmission with much improved fuel efficiency.

The Outback has a huge cargo area. Much bigger than the CX-5, Forester. The vehicle (2.5L) feels heavy and unresponsive.
I do not like the front of the Forester and felt that avoiding the oil-consumption issue, potential slew of other first year issues and avoiding a potentially annoying CVT was a smart choice. The CX-5 is now in its 3rd year of production and was an easy choice for me.
 
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MikeM.

MoMo
V
2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD 2.0L
The Outback has a huge cargo area. Much bigger than the CX-5, Forester.
I don't think so. Both have 34 cu. ft. of cargo area with the seats in use. With the rear seats folded down the Outback does have 71 cu/ft to the CX-5's 65 cu/ft but I'm not short on space with the rear seats folded down. The space issue is mostly when there are 4 people with luggage in the car and then both cars have the same amount of cargo space.
 
V
2014 CX-5
The wife and I test drove the CX-5 and Forester yesterday since they were my two top picks for replacing our 01 Accord (tranny just died, surprise). I'm a big Subaru fan so I figured we'd look at the CX-5 to amuse my wife and then i'd talk her into the Forester.... . I expected the Forester to blow away the CX-5 in terms of build quality, interior space, ride quality, etc just based on my past experiences with Mazda and Subaru; and the fact that im biased towards Subaru.

We're signing papers for a CX-5 this morning. The Subaru didn't do it for me this go around.

With that said, i can't speak to the AWD performance of the CX-5... I don't think there are many cars that can touch the performance of Subaru's AWD. That was a non-factor for me for this vehicle though since we're getting the FWD version for better fuel economy (and because it lowers the price so we can get the moonroof for the wife).
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
I don't think so. Both have 34 cu. ft. of cargo area with the seats in use. With the rear seats folded down the Outback does have 71 cu/ft to the CX-5's 65 cu/ft but I'm not short on space with the rear seats folded down. The space issue is mostly when there are 4 people with luggage in the car and then both cars have the same amount of cargo space.
It is funny most reviewers comment on the Forester cargo room yet if you get the moon roof it is reduce to approximately 68 cubic feet which most models come with as a standard feature but they state the cargo room size without the moon roof. In addition most car magazines use the XT in comparison test.
 
V
2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
I don't think so. Both have 34 cu. ft. of cargo area with the seats in use. With the rear seats folded down the Outback does have 71 cu/ft to the CX-5's 65 cu/ft but I'm not short on space with the rear seats folded down. The space issue is mostly when there are 4 people with luggage in the car and then both cars have the same amount of cargo space.
That is very surprising.
The outback has 3 inches more cargo depth than the CX-5, 7 more inches before the wheel wells and 2 more inches between the wheel wells. The Outback does have 1.5 inch lower ceiling.
So, I guess could be characterized as more usable space.

I am not complaining, the CX-5 has ample cargo space for our needs. It would be hard for me to bear the unresponsiveness of the Outback day to day.
 
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V
Madza cx5, GT AWD 2014
I don't think there are many cars that can touch the performance of Subaru's AWD - Have not tried it in dirt but in SNOW without snow tires .. lot of fish tailing even at 20 mph.
All I can say is that CX-5 would need time to catch with SUBARU or Audi's terrain performance. CX-5 computer is just SLOW to react in adverse conditions ..unlike my x3. The fact that CX-5 is light does not help either.
 
V
2012 Honda Fit
Thanks for the replies.

So far I have (1) heard people who had experience problems from their ownership with Subaru that may explain why dealers are willing to give free extended warranties, (2) read on other forums on the Forester and Outback not achieving the EPA mileage and (3) that nothing beats the Subaru AWD system, (4) the Outback has a more upscale ride and comfort, (5) Dealers willing to discount and match and (6) possible oil consumption on 2.5l.

On the CX-5 (1) the all wheel system does not match the Subaru, (2) radio is not that great, (3) road noise and (4) dealers do not discount that great at least in this area.

All three have complaints about the heater.

Overall I will not really going off road, looking for reliable transportation, cargo room, AWD for winter driving and travel, and comfort. Fun to drive would be an added bonus. Also waiting for release of 2015 models to compare and see if getting a 2014 vs a 2015 is worth it versus savings on outgoing models to get more features.

Thanks again for the replies.
 
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