I live in Colorado and make frequent drives to the mountains…often to places with rocky trailheads. I also commute about an hour round-trip to work everyday. I can’t decide between the Rav4, CR-V, or Forester… Any advice???
I recommend the new RAV…have the 05 and the 07. the 07 is bigger (but doesn’t have manual trans as in the 05)…first 5 tanks of gas…28mpg…country and highway…never had any problems with the RAV’s I’ve had…97,05…No opinion on the others…drive them and pick the one that fits and feels good for you.
I’ve never tried it, but the RAV4 and CRV dont’ really strike me as cars you would really want to take on really rocky roads. They pretty much feel like taller cars with AWD due to the fact that that’s what they are! Oddly enough, the most car-looking vehicle on your list is probably the best for handling tough roads-- the Forrester is a pretty beefy station wagon.
If you really expect to drive on a lot of bad roads, you may consider a truck-based SUV instead, such as a Toyota 4runner. They’d be much better suited for seriously bad roads, and the 4-cylinder version (if they still offer it?) probably gets only a little less than the car-based SUV’s in terms of gas mileage. Also the 4wd system is better suited for deep snow, which may be an issue in CO.
Of the the three you list, they all have definite individual strengths and good choices. The best one is the one that appeals to you most.