2012 Subaru Forester vs. Its Competition

2012 Subaru Forester
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The sales leaders in this class, in addition to the stalwart Ford Escape, include the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The CR-V has been completely redesigned for 2012, with a somewhat improved interior and better fuel economy, plus a quieter interior.

The Toyota RAV4 now remains one of the most dated designs in this class, yet it's one of the few that packs a small third row--and there's an available V-6.

Nissan's Rogue also has a well-executed interior, a smooth ride, and a spacious layout, but the driving experience isn't anything special.

The Dodge Journey is another alternative; last year, Chrysler gave it a thorough refresh inside, and it's comfortable, refined, and spacious inside; its four-cylinder powertrain is still behind the pack in terms of refinement.

Another possibility is the Jeep Patriot; though somewhat smaller than the Forester, the Patriot has a comparable utilitarian aesthetic--and it costs quite a bit less.

2012 Subaru Forester2012 Subaru ForesterBrowse Used Listings2012 Dodge Journey2012 Dodge JourneyBrowse Used Listings2012 Honda CR-V2012 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings2011 Jeep Patriot FWD 4-door Latitude Angular Front Exterior View2012 Jeep PatriotBrowse Used Listings2011 Nissan Rogue FWD 4-door SV Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan RogueBrowse Used Listings2011 Toyota RAV4 FWD 4-door 4-cyl 4-Spd AT (GS) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota RAV4Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.4
The 2012 Subaru Forester is tough, all-weather-capable, and one of the best-handling compact crossovers--plus, a blast to drive in XT turbo form--but an old-tech automatic transmission and econo-caliber interior remain letdowns.
8.0
Practical without being too prim, the 2012 Dodge Journey cuts an interesting figure and spans the gulf between compact crossovers and family-grade SUVs.
7.8
The 2012 Honda CR-V is a great family vehicle, with a thoughtfully designed and comfortable interior, and improved refinement, but it lacks the confident, sprightly feel present in past CR-Vs.
7.4
The 2012 Jeep Patriot is a compelling choice for its versatile interior, maneuverability, and strong list of features—with just a bit of weekend-warrior ruggedness—but it's woefully short on refinement or sophistication.
7.2
The 2012 Nissan Rogue's comfortable ride and versatile layout make it a good fit for a value-conscious small families--but it's far from exciting to drive.
6.8
The 2012 Toyota RAV4 remains a strong, refined choice for families, even though some of its design might be a blast from the past.
MSRP From     
$20,595$18,995$22,495$15,995$22,070$22,650
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas Flat 4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle - AWD2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility VehiclesFWD Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
4-Door Manual 2.5XFWD 4-Door SE2WD 5-Door LXFWD 4-Door SportFWD 4-Door SFWD 4-Door I4 (GS)
Drivetrain     
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport Utility VehicleSport UtilitySport Utility4 Door
Transmission     
ManualAutomaticAutomaticManualContinuously variable ratioAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Subaru Forester vs. 2012 Dodge Journey2012 Subaru Forester vs. 2012 Honda CR-V2012 Subaru Forester vs. 2012 Jeep Patriot2012 Subaru Forester vs. 2012 Nissan Rogue2012 Subaru Forester vs. 2012 Toyota RAV4