2014 Subaru Forester XT Six-Month Road Test: The Competition

February 27, 2014
We're a few weeks into our six-month road test with the 2014 Subaru Forester, and now that the snow above has cleared, we're going over the bona fides line by line, re-evaluating some of the vehicles you might also be shopping while contemplating one.

We named the Forester our The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy 2014--but we realize you have choices, you know. Since our initial exposure to the new Forester in Japan, and then on the streets of South Africa, we've expanded our take with a new group of utes we'd encourage you to drive before you settle on the Subie.

First, though, the initial set of five. In our 2014 Subaru Forester review, we chose five competitors that share some common appeal--whether it's price, size, efficiency, or mission. With our short take on each, they are:

2014 Ford Escape

2014 Ford Escape

2014 Ford Escape

With authentically athletic looks and performance balancing out good passenger space, cargo versatility, and loads of high-tech features, the 2014 Ford Escape is attractive to a wide range of buyers.

2014 Honda CR-V

2014 Honda CR-V

2014 Honda CR-V

The 2014 Honda CR-V isn't exactly sprightly, but it nails efficiency on a few levels and finally brings more features to the family-wagon fight.

2014 Hyundai Tucson

2014 Hyundai Tucson

2014 Hyundai Tucson

A better ride and improved handling should add to the appeal of the 2014 Hyundai Tucson, which carries forward with curvaceous sheetmetal and against-the-grain crossover styling.

2014 Toyota RAV4

2014 Toyota RAV4



2014 Toyota RAV4

The 2014 Toyota RAV4 is sensible and spacious; but if driving fun is a priority, you can do better.

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

2014 VW Tiguan

The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan offers just about everything a compact crossover should, though its a little conservative in style and feel.

These are the crossovers we've driven since--and deserve a look:

2014 Chevrolet Equinox

2014 Chevrolet Equinox

2014 Chevy Equinox

The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox is every bit as solid, spacious, and well-equipped as cost-conscious families could expect -- and far more quiet and refined than many other models without a luxury badge.

2014 GMC Terrain

2014 GMC Terrain

2014 GMC Terrain

The uniform may be military-grade, but the GMC Terrain's softer side shows up in its excellent four-cylinder gas mileage and Denali luxury.

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee

2014 Jeep Cherokee

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee plants a foot in both the crossover and SUV world--and only flubs the styling.

2014 Nissan Rogue

2014 Nissan Rogue

2014 Nissan Rogue

The 2014 Nissan Rogue gets mainstreamed in all the right ways, though engine noise and the teensy third-row seat are minor letdowns.

 

Of all these vehicles, the Forester remains the highest-rated vehicle here at The Car Connection. But how will we feel after a half-year behind the wheel?

Our Six-Month Road Test will take us from east coast to west coast, across deserts and mountains, and on regular Costco and Craigslist duty. We'll dive more into its CVT and its Sport Sharp mode, and lets its all-wheel drive help us pick a path around the country. We'll even run some head-to-head drives to a couple of the vehicles listed here.

While we're at it, we'll wedge in some gas-mileage runs, car-seat tests and other tasks to figure out if we've missed something in naming the Forester our Best Car To Buy.

Follow along for the ride--and connect with us below if you have a task or a question in mind for our six-month test.

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