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  1. #1
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    Replace our old Forester with ...?

    We're looking at new cars to replace our second generation Forester.

    We need something slightly larger (like the redesigned Foresters?) so that DH and the kids aren't fighting over leg room. We can't go higher than the 20s and really need to stay in the lower 20s if possible.

    Safety and reliability are important to me. I've only looked at Subaru and Hyundai so far and don't know what else to look at. The new Forester is in the running, although they have almost nothing in stock right now and I'd prefer to spend a little less. I found the small rear windows causing reduced visibility on the Hyundais disappointing, the Tucson seemed really small, and they quoted me more for the low end Santa Fe than the Forester.

    So ... what else would you consider? Thank you!!!

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Mazda5


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  4. #3
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillipop View Post
    Mazda5
    Thanks for the suggestion! I've been looking at it online, but it'll be a bit of a drive to see one in person. Do you know what the legroom is like in the first and second rows, what we'd mainly be using? If the front seat is pushed all the way back for tall DH, will the kids still have room? That seems to be our main challenge. Also, I've never driven a minivan and I was wondering, if the third row is folded down to create a cargo space, is there any sort of barrier to keep the cargo from rolling all over the car? Sorry if this is a silly question, but like I said, I have no experience with minivans. Thanks!!!

  5. #4
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Do you need 4 wheel/all wheel drive?

    Maybe a slightly used forester would be a better price and also have more legroom. We bought a 2011 when the 2014 was coming out and saved a lot of money. It has plenty of legroom but is not great for 3 across.

    Or the new mazda cx-5, the new honda cr-v. Pretty much anything is going to be a lot bigger than your forester in terms of legroom.

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  7. #5
    CPS Technician msg221's Avatar
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    We just got a new CR-V EX on Friday. I am in love with it already! You can get an EX model for under $25k. (LX is slightly less). It will just depend on whatever dealer add ons are installed. I highly recommend using the kbb.com site to price out vehicles you are interested in because you can also add in options and get a more accurate price.

    Marsha, Godmother to Nour & Zain (8) and grandparent (aka "Nanny Marsha") to Ethan (8), Katelyn & Owen (7), and Chase, (6)

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  9. #6
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion! I've been looking at it online, but it'll be a bit of a drive to see one in person. Do you know what the legroom is like in the first and second rows, what we'd mainly be using? If the front seat is pushed all the way back for tall DH, will the kids still have room? That seems to be our main challenge. Also, I've never driven a minivan and I was wondering, if the third row is folded down to create a cargo space, is there any sort of barrier to keep the cargo from rolling all over the car? Sorry if this is a silly question, but like I said, I have no experience with minivans. Thanks!!!
    If you are only using the first 2 rooms there is lots of room for everyone's legs. It's the third row that is severely lacking but kids don't seem to mind.

    For cargo, I use bungies when the third row is down for bigger stuff. I also keep a couple if plastic bins in the far back that fit perfectly behind the third row when it's up. Keeps small things from rolling.


    CCO 4/15

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  11. #7
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Thank you so much for the suggestions. You gave us some good ideas of things to look at and I can see why they'd be popular and are probably the best options. Unfortunately, I found none were right for us, but I really do appreciate your suggestions and it did help me to figure things out, even if what I figured out is that we might not be buying a new car.

  12. #8
    Senior Community Member jwilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    Thank you so much for the suggestions. You gave us some good ideas of things to look at and I can see why they'd be popular and are probably the best options. Unfortunately, I found none were right for us, but I really do appreciate your suggestions and it did help me to figure things out, even if what I figured out is that we might not be buying a new car.
    I'm looking at cars right now because my current lease ends in September. I know that the current Subaru cars (Impreza/Outback/Legacy) are supposed to have lots of leg room, second only to the VW Jetta (starts at $16k) and Passat $20k and up) . There's also the Jetta Sportwagen, which starts at $20K. Just throwing out more ideas! I research cars like crazy before I get a new one, and then ignore them for a few years.

    *posted using the car-seat.org app*
    5yo harnessed in a Britax Pioneer, one 3yo RF in a Fllo and another 3yo RF in a plum RXT, all in a 2014 Honda Accord.

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  14. #9
    CPS Fanatic MommyShannon's Avatar
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    Do you need an SUV? I love our Odyssey. You can't beat the room/comfort for occupants and storage space. It's surprising how much fits in the trunk well. With the 3rd row folded down, things can move, but I rarely need to fold it down to fit lots of stuff.
    ETA: We bought one that was a 2006 with 90,000 miles in 2010 for under $20,000 and still love it.
    ~Shannon
    DD (11.5) Seatbelt; DS (9) Incognito; DD2 (7) Britax Parkway; DD3 (4.5) Graco Nautilus

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  16. #10
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    We tried a Mazda 5 and liked it for the most part, but we are tall and for that reason alone it didn't work for us. I'm 6'1 and dh is 6'3. With the seat all the way back we did not have enough leg room. Dh managed to bump the key while driving and turn the car off! Nice little car for average height people with 2 kids. The third row is sort of an after thought, and leaves you with no cargo space. I second the odyssey, though it's not my favorite for snowy driving conditions. It works well for everything else!

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  18. #11
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwilliams View Post
    I'm looking at cars right now because my current lease ends in September. I know that the current Subaru cars (Impreza/Outback/Legacy) are supposed to have lots of leg room, second only to the VW Jetta (starts at $16k) and Passat $20k and up) . There's also the Jetta Sportwagen, which starts at $20K. Just throwing out more ideas! I research cars like crazy before I get a new one, and then ignore them for a few years.

    *posted using the car-seat.org app*
    I hadn't even heard of the sportwagon, so I'll have to check that one out. Also, I might look at some other Subaru models. So far, I've only looked at the Forester.

    Quote Originally Posted by MommyShannon View Post
    Do you need an SUV? I love our Odyssey. You can't beat the room/comfort for occupants and storage space. It's surprising how much fits in the trunk well. With the 3rd row folded down, things can move, but I rarely need to fold it down to fit lots of stuff.
    ETA: We bought one that was a 2006 with 90,000 miles in 2010 for under $20,000 and still love it.
    I sometimes fantasize over having something really roomy, in which a friend could actually ride with us. How nice that must be! But I'm only interested in new and it's so far out of what we can afford. Our current car is only 90k and we're already looking at expensive repairs in the near future (timing belt, developing a leak ... can wait a bit on these, but it's out there), so I'd rather make car payments on something new. Or we might just keep it and hope we have a break from repairs after that, if we don't find something we really want. We have a little time to decide ... I think. I'm having it looked at tomorrow to see exactly what we're looking at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie010307 View Post
    We tried a Mazda 5 and liked it for the most part, but we are tall and for that reason alone it didn't work for us. I'm 6'1 and dh is 6'3. With the seat all the way back we did not have enough leg room. Dh managed to bump the key while driving and turn the car off! Nice little car for average height people with 2 kids. The third row is sort of an after thought, and leaves you with no cargo space. I second the odyssey, though it's not my favorite for snowy driving conditions. It works well for everything else!
    Yes, this exactly. I found the Mazda 5 to be very clever for shorter families who only occasionally needed to fit more than four in it. The third seat folded down makes a nice cargo area, while allowing enough space in the first two rows for short to average height families of four and it gives you options for the occasional friend to ride along. However, my only slightly above average female height allowed me to easily touch the pedals with the front seat all the way back, enough I could probably drive it that way. The 6' tall salesman tried to show me how well he fit (uh, seriously, he barely fit and my DH is even taller than you two). Of all the cars I looked at, that front leg room was by far the shortest. Most of the small SUVs seemed borderline. There is tall and there is TALL. My kids are taking after him, so car seats and vehicles are such a challenge.

    Also, thanks for mentioning how the Ody performs in snow. I would strongly prefer AWD because we live in winter country. This winter, I've lost track of the number of days we've had snow, ice, or wintry mix.

  19. #12
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    I got a repair quote and it's going to be a lot, so before I spend that much on our old car, I'm looking at new options again.

    We looked at the CRV. I the colors and it's cute! Unfortunately, my initial assessment that it's not good for the tall was correct. DH's head was sticking up into the moon roof. Okay, you didn't have to actually open the glass, but no way would you be able to close the cover when the sun was bright and he'd have to lean over the entire drive. It was kind of hysterical, but sad too because I can't actually make him ride like that, so that one's out.

    I didn't love the tiny windows in back either and most have that now. When you add our tall seats, I feel like I won't be able to see anything from most of these cars. I don't want to move DD to a LBB sooner, although I find myself wondering how HBB alone compares to LBB with side airbags. However, in the end, she loves her HBB and isn't willing to move anytime soon. I'm always reading of kids who beg to move to LBBs, but are some never affected that way by peer pressure? So far, DD couldn't care less. While some classmates are impressed by those bad boys, she finds them irritating. I hope that continues into her teens!

    The other thing I'm noticing is that these cars don't look good for buckling boosters. A lot of buckles are embedded into the seat, so it lacks flexibility. The latch was practically overlapping the buckle, so once the booster is latched in and centered between the latch bars, it looked like it might be on top of the buckle or, at the least, be very hard to get in there to buckle it. I'm noticing this problem on other cars too. That's one good thing about our car, DD can buckle herself easily. Have others encountered this problem? I'm not sure there's an option out there for us, that works with our seats and tall family and budget and isn't something huge I would hate driving. Should we just deal with the big repair and hope there aren't more to come?

  20. #13
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    I'm all about car safety, but in your case, I'd just fix the Forester and use the extra time to build up savings and research a vehicle you'll be happy with.

  21. #14
    Carseat Crazy mimieliza's Avatar
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    What year is your Forester? We have a 2002, and yes, it is very tight for a family of four. I really prefer the space in the newer Foresters, but the Outback seems ideal for space.

    Our Forester is our "secondary" vehicle, so we bit the bullet and did the expensive repairs at 100,000 miles (timing belt, head gasket, brakes, and a/c) - $2500. Our repair guy assured us that it was "worth" it, as once we get the timing belt and head gasket repairs our of the way, we can expect to get at least another 50-75K miles of worry-free driving. I hope he is right!
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  23. #15
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarSafetyGuy View Post
    I'm all about car safety, but in your case, I'd just fix the Forester and use the extra time to build up savings and research a vehicle you'll be happy with.
    I appreciate your confidence in our ability to save, but after the repairs and loss of trade in value on my current car, I'm not sure we'd really be in better shape in a year or two. We have lots of other expenses coming up in the next year or two, so we won't have a huge nest egg at the end and We can afford a brand new Forester now, it's just whether I want it or not. So it's not really about the money. On the other hand, I wonder how many years I'd have to wait for the car trends to totally change into what I'd really want .. probably too long, but certainly something to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by mimieliza View Post
    What year is your Forester? We have a 2002, and yes, it is very tight for a family of four. I really prefer the space in the newer Foresters, but the Outback seems ideal for space.

    Our Forester is our "secondary" vehicle, so we bit the bullet and did the expensive repairs at 100,000 miles (timing belt, head gasket, brakes, and a/c) - $2500. Our repair guy assured us that it was "worth" it, as once we get the timing belt and head gasket repairs our of the way, we can expect to get at least another 50-75K miles of worry-free driving. I hope he is right!
    Wow, you have only 100k miles on a 2002. Well done! Ours is 2007. I guess I'm more suspicious because of my past experiences with cars not lasting well after 100k, so I want to really think about whether to put this money into this car because I would not be happy if it didn't last for years after that.

    By the way, if you're looking at the Outback in the near future for something bigger, you might be disappointed. I thought it was still bigger and, for only a slightly higher cost, that it might be the car for us. I was surprised when it did not feel big at all, if anything smaller, until I compared the measurements on edmunds.com. The leg and head room are not larger, but instead a tiny bit smaller. The rear hip room is actually larger, but only by .9". Also, it doesn't have the backup camera, a great safety feature, IMO. Bummer.

  24. #16
    CPS Technician msg221's Avatar
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    I got a repair quote and it's going to be a lot, so before I spend that much on our old car, I'm looking at new options again.

    We looked at the CRV. I the colors and it's cute! Unfortunately, my initial assessment that it's not good for the tall was correct. DH's head was sticking up into the moon roof. Okay, you didn't have to actually open the glass, but no way would you be able to close the cover when the sun was bright and he'd have to lean over the entire drive. It was kind of hysterical, but sad too because I can't actually make him ride like that, so that one's out.
    That's too bad that your DH is too tall for it! Guess I should be glad that my DH is only 5'10"! I loved the Mountain Air Metallic color and the Basque Red, but I ended up with the MAM just because it is different. I just wish it would have come with a gray interior in the EX trim but it only came in beige. I really love everything about the CR-V since it is perfect for my needs! I hope you find something you love too!

    Marsha, Godmother to Nour & Zain (8) and grandparent (aka "Nanny Marsha") to Ethan (8), Katelyn & Owen (7), and Chase, (6)

  25. #17
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by msg221 View Post
    That's too bad that your DH is too tall for it! Guess I should be glad that my DH is only 5'10"! I loved the Mountain Air Metallic color and the Basque Red, but I ended up with the MAM just because it is different. I just wish it would have come with a gray interior in the EX trim but it only came in beige. I really love everything about the CR-V since it is perfect for my needs! I hope you find something you love too!
    Thanks! I loved the MAM color. So jealous!

  26. #18
    Senior Community Member SuzaBanana's Avatar
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Have you talked with the Subaru dealership about the Tribeca? I know it's being discontinued, but are they replacing it?

    We love our Tribeca. It solved all the issues we had with our 2003 Forester.
    integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching

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  28. #19
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    Re: Replace our old Forester with ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzaBanana View Post
    Have you talked with the Subaru dealership about the Tribeca? I know it's being discontinued, but are they replacing it?

    We love our Tribeca. It solved all the issues we had with our 2003 Forester.
    They haven't mentioned it at all, but that might just be because it's way out of our price range. Although, I didn't see any on the lot, so it may be that they're all gone and it hasn't been replaced. I should ask. The thing is I really don't want to drive anything huge or lower than 25MPG, but then you get less room inside. It seems to be a no win situation.

  29. #20
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    I love our Tribeca also but the gas message is horrendous, especially the in town mileage. I bought mine 2 years old for about half what it was new and it has been well worth it. Now it is 7 years old, has 85000 miles and I look forward to 3ish more years together. It definitely doesn't feel huge to drive.

    If you want good gas mileage, you'll have to stick with smaller and more crowded. I'm hoping Subaru pulled the Tribeca to clear the way for a diesel or hybrid option.

    Other options I'd check out are the CRV, the Highlander, and the Outback. We had waaaay more passenger room in the Outback than we do in the Tribeca.
    Last edited by gigi; 03-30-2014 at 09:59 AM.

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