Small crossover utilities continue to surge in new-car popularity, and the Forester helped Subaru sell more vehicles than ever before last year.
But competitors are upping their games, and the 2014-vintage Forester is now one of the older contenders.
The Big Three are the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape.
While the CR-V isn’t too engaging to drive, its family-friendly versatility and sheer interior volume make it a winner.
The RAV4 has only so-so safety ratings, but Toyota delivers a lot of value in this aging model.
The Escape has always been fun behind the wheel, with an elegant interior, but its EcoBoost engines fall down on real-world fuel economy.
The new Jeep Compass is closer to the Forester in size than the larger Cherokee; its off-road credentials shout louder than the Forester, though we might match the Subaru against all but its trail-rated model.
Finally, the stylish Mazda CX-5 has been renovated this year, remaining fun to drive and delivering what will likely be excellent gas mileage.
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|2018 Subaru ForesterBrowse Used Listings||2018 Ford EscapeBrowse Used Listings||2018 Honda CR-VBrowse Used Listings||2018 Jeep CompassBrowse Used Listings||2018 Mazda CX-5Browse Used Listings||2018 Toyota RAV4Browse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded H-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4|
|Small SUV 4WD||Small SUV 2WD||Small SUV 2WD||Small SUV 2WD||Small SUV 2WD||Small SUV 2WD|
|2.5i Manual||S FWD||LX 2WD||Sport FWD||Sport FWD||LE FWD (GS)|
|All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Sport Utility||Sport Utility||Sport Utility||Sport Utility||Sport Utility||Sport Utility|
|Manual w/OD||Automatic w/OD||CVT w/OD||Manual w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2018 Subaru Forester vs. 2018 Ford Escape||2018 Subaru Forester vs. 2018 Honda CR-V||2018 Subaru Forester vs. 2018 Jeep Compass||2018 Subaru Forester vs. 2018 Mazda CX-5||2018 Subaru Forester vs. 2018 Toyota RAV4|