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Honda Fit vs Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester

mysteriousmonkey29 mysteriousmonkey29
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 06/18
Posted: 06/13/18
09:12 PM

Hello, I am currently looking to buy a new car. I am trying to decide between a Honda Fit LX (no sensing), Honda CR-V (2 wheel drive) LX, and a Subaru Forester 2.5i AWD (all 2018, CVT). I am starting my first job in a month or so, and need a car to commute. I will also need to move my stuff when I change apartments every so often. My parents are going to pay for most of the car for me, so there's no complications with leasing (if I get the CR-V or Forester I'll owe them some money, but I should be able to pay it back within about 6 months). I mainly care about reliability, gas mileage, storage space (with the back seats down), and visibility.

I've done some research, and this is what I've gathered thus far:
Honda Fit: ~17k, 53 sq feet storage, 42 mpg (highway), consumer reports "reliability" score: 3/5
Honda CR-V: ~24k, 76 sq ft, 36 mpg, 5/5 reliability
Subaru Forester: ~22.6k, 72 sq ft, 35 mpg, 5/5 reliability

I have also test driven them. The Forester has the best visibility, then the Fit, but not by much. The Forester handles the best, but this doesn't matter that much to me. I'm unclear as to whether the safety differs significantly (obviously the fit is smaller, but they all have very similar crash ratings on CR).I also talked to the insurance, and the CR-V would be ~120$/year less than the other two, which have nearly identical premiums. So this isn't a big differentiating factor either.
I'll have to commute 28 miles to work 4.5 times per week, which is about 6000 miles/year, so I'll drive maybe 10,000 miles/year (mostly highway). So I estimate gas will be about $150/year less for the fit. Again, not a huge difference.
Mainly what I'm stumped on estimating is maintenance. If I somehow knew that the maintenance/lifetime of each of these cars would be the same on average, I would choose the Fit, because it's not worth ~7000$ more to me for ~1.5x storage space. However, I sincerely doubt that they will be the same in this respect. So I'm trying to get a ballpark estimate (something beyond the 3 vs 5 reliability ratings in CR) of what I might expect in relative maintenance costs/car lifetime.

If anyone has estimates and/or general advice, I would greatly appreciate it!


Just Try It1 Just Try It1
Moderator | Posts: 2796 | Joined: 08/14
Posted: 06/13/18
11:09 PM

there are so many options here.

you can go to the higher fuel economy cars and just rent a truck when you move.

if you were toting your spouse and kids around. go with the bigger cars..

if you are unsure.. select the 2 or 3 models.  and rent one of each for a few days. yes that will set you back just a little cash. but you will be much happier with what you choose..

i only get to see cars when they are broken.. i never touch brand new cars and trucks.  i usually don't get them in my bay till they are about 10 years old..

if you are going to buy a car/SUV with a CVT..

please get the extended warranty and change the CVT fluid twice as often as they tell you too..

you might want to do a CVT oil change every 25 to 35 thousand miles..  when the car salesman tells you oh.. you don't have to service the CVT.. it has live time transmission fluid.. it last the life of the car.  that is actually the honest truth..  when the fluid gets really bad it will take out the transmission..  at that point your will be directed to a new car because of the cost of replacing the CVT transmission.

car dealers are staffed and owned by car salesmen . look at pictures of eskimo's homes.. they all have a fridge.  

mysteriousmonkey29 mysteriousmonkey29
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 06/18
Posted: 06/14/18
11:10 AM

Yeah, the truck rental/borrowing option is a good point. I think I probably will do this if I ever need to move far enough that it's not practical to take multiple loads (non-local move). But probably most of my moves will be local, so I would like to have a car that can at least carry some stuff once in a while (this is why I have eliminated the sedan option).

I am not currently married. I am 23 and have a girlfriend. Depending on how long the car lasts, I may be married/have children for part of my it's lifetime.

I think I got a pretty good idea of the cars from the shorter test drives, but am mainly wondering about the reliability. In your experience, have you noticed Fits, CR-Vs, or Foresters breaking significantly sooner/more frequently/more expensively than any of the others?

PS: Thanks for the advice about CVT!  

Just Try It1 Just Try It1
Moderator | Posts: 2796 | Joined: 08/14
Posted: 06/14/18
11:27 AM

again.. i only see them after 10 years or so .. i never get new stuff in my shop. i wish i had a better answer

there are some forums over at  

mysteriousmonkey29 mysteriousmonkey29
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 06/18
Posted: 06/14/18
11:43 AM

Ok, thanks!  

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