2013 Subaru Forester vs. Its Competition

2012 Subaru Forester 4-door Auto 2.5X Angular Front Exterior View
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

The best-selling compact crossovers are the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape.

The latter two are new for 2012 and 2013, respectively, and offer nicer interiors and much-improved fuel economy.

The RAV4 is by far the oldest design in the class, but it offers both a V-6 engine and a small third row.

Though the Jeep Patriot, now in its last year, is smaller than the Forester, its similarly utilitarian interior may appeal to the same buyers--who seek rugged capability in an inexpensive, all-wheel drive crossover--and it costs considerably less.

Finally, the new Mazda CX-5 is also a more modern vehicle with a nicer interior, and like the Escape, has significantly better dynamics than the Forester.

2012 Subaru Forester 4-door Auto 2.5X Angular Front Exterior View2013 Subaru ForesterBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Escape FWD 4-door S Angular Front Exterior View2013 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings2013 Honda CR-V 2WD 5dr EX-L w/Navi Angular Rear Exterior View2013 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings2013 Jeep Patriot FWD 4-door Latitude Angular Front Exterior View2013 Jeep PatriotBrowse Used Listings2013 Mazda CX-5 road test, Catskill Mountains, NY, April 20122013 Mazda CX-5Browse Used Listings2013 Toyota RAV4 EV FWD 4-door Angular Front Exterior View2013 Toyota RAV4Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.0
The rugged 2013 Subaru Forester handles well and copes confidently with any weather and road surface--and the XT turbo models are sporty--but its economy-car interior and sluggish automatic remain drawbacks.
8.0
After eleven years, a change-up: the 2013 Ford Escape drops the faux-SUV pitch and reels off authentically athletic looks and performance.
7.8
The 2013 Honda CR-V hits all the right marks for cost-conscious families—with its interior layout and safety ratings both best-in-class—although it doesn't feel as sprightly as former CR-V models.
7.2
The 2013 Jeep Patriot is handsome and utilitarian and makes sense for urban-dwelling weekend-warrior types on a tight budget—but its lack of refinement could make it tough to live with.
7.4
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is an attractive and modern crossover with great handling and surprising space, but sluggish acceleration.
7.2
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 excels at mass-market talents like gas mileage and interior room--but for turbocharged fun in a crossover, you'll have to look elsewhere.
MSRP From     
$21,295$22,470$22,795$15,995$20,995$23,300
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas Flat 4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle - 4WDSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility Vehicles4WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle
Style Name     
4-Door Manual 2.5X PZEVFWD 4-Door S2WD 5-Door LXFWD 4-Door SportFWD 4-Door Manual SportFWD 4-Door LE (SE)
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 Utility Vehicle4 Door
Transmission     
ManualAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomaticManualManualAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Subaru Forester vs. 2013 Ford Escape2013 Subaru Forester vs. 2013 Honda CR-V2013 Subaru Forester vs. 2013 Jeep Patriot2013 Subaru Forester vs. 2013 Mazda CX-52013 Subaru Forester vs. 2013 Toyota RAV4