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2007 Honda CR-V EXL vs. 2010 Subaru Forester (base)

Hi all,

I’ve been on and off the forum quite a bit lately, trying to decide what to do about my ailing, but much beloved 2000 Subaru Forester. I’ve narrowed my choice down to two new/used vehicles:

2007 Honda CR-V EXL, fully loaded with leather, heated seats, navigation


2010 Subaru Forester, base model

I set out intent on buying a used car, but have had trouble finding the right make and model. The CR-V is actually a tad more expensive than the new Forester, because it has so many features (all of which are nice, but none of which I consider necessary). The Honda dealer has also agreed to throw in a 12-month, 12,000-mile certified Honda warranty, as well as a 100,000-mile warranty on the power train.

I’m such a novice at buying cars (the 2000 Subaru was my first), and I hate this process of shopping and haggling. Any recommendations on what you would do in my shoes? I’ve driven both cars and liked them about equally. I’m still sad it’s time to say goodbye to my first Subie, and will miss her a lot. Should I stick with the Subarus, or jump ship to Honda?

Assuming the CR-V is AWD, I’d go with the new Forester, no questions about its background/maintenance, great safety ratings, and slightly better AWD system.

Thanks for the advice. That’s where I’m leaning, too. AWD is important to me (being a Vermonter, frequent skiier, and reporter who is on the road a lot in the winter during awful conditions). I never considered myself a new car buyer, but the dealerships are cutting some good deals to clear the 2010s off the lot…

I would consider a new base CRV myself. Otherwise, my vote is always for the newest car with the fewest miles if both are acceptable to you. But…you can really fall in love with those options…guess I’m no help.

You might just be one of the few people who ACTUALLY NEEDS a good AWD vehicle. In your case I’d go for the Forester, but normally I would recommend the CRV. It’s alot less expensive to operate over its life.

The Subaru AWD system is superior to Honda’s. If you value AWD stick with the Subaru.

Why would you spend more money for a used Honda than for a new Subaru?

How many miles on the Honda? What are the prices of both vehicles? Are you financing or paying cash?


The CR-V has 32,000 miles on it, and the dealer is offering it for $23,491. The research I’ve done tells me the price is a really fair one for the options being offered, but I’m thinking I might be able to negotiate down a little. He seems eager to make the sale (aren’t they always?).

The base Subarus go for $23,890 MSRP in my area (including the special edition package with roof rails). Still calling around to dealerships, but the best deals offered so far have been $20,909 and $21,100.

I’ll be putting between $15,000 and $17,500 down, plus the trade in ($3250), and financing the rest.

Does anyone know where I can find information about the cost of operating a vehicle over its life? I’m a CR subscriber, if that helps.

Thanks for the advice, by the way!

NADA clean trade-in on the fully-loaded CRV is $20,450 (assuming it’s in perfect shape). I would not pay more in today’s economy. Get a pre-purchase inspection done (not from the selling dealer) before making a final offer.


You could look at Edmund’s True Cost to Own ( Not sure if anyone here has an opinion on that service. By the way, I looked up the CR-V with navigation and AWD and the base Forester (I assumed automatic transmission). At least in my zip code (western NY) the cost per mile only differed one cent ($0.51 for the CR-V and $0.52 for the Forester). You love your current Subaru and like texases said, no question about background/maintenance on a new vehicle.