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Car experts!

Our 11 year old Forester is on its last legs.

We've narrowed down to a new CX-9 or a new Pathfinder.

Yes, we need the room (dogs, kids, long road trips).

If you had a gun to your head and HAD to pick one of those 2 crossovers (I know you'd rather get something better and smaller), which would you choose?

by Please?reply 11204/24/2013

Another Forester.

by Please?reply 103/29/2013

Pathfinder. Even though it now has a CVT, that engine is tried and true.

by Please?reply 203/29/2013


by Please?reply 303/29/2013

I WOULD consider another Forester!

But, we're older, and crankier, and we want a fully-loaded version of whichever car we get, and I don't think Subaru offers AS MUCH at the top end of their lines.

(I'm talking remote start, heated seats, tri-zone air controls, etc.)

by Please?reply 403/29/2013

The CX-9 is consistently a favorite of magazines like Motor Trend. I have a CX-7, which Mazda doesn't make anymore, but it's the best vehicle. If you want something that has a bit of sportiness to it, get the Mazda.

by Please?reply 503/29/2013

OP = r4 in case that's not clear. thanks for the responses.

by Please?reply 603/29/2013

Kia hates gays troll in 3..2..1

by Please?reply 703/29/2013


by Please?reply 803/29/2013

The Mazda recently had a facelift but is essentially the same car with 2007 technology. The Pathfinder is all-new. I'd go with that.

Skip the new Forrester. It's brand new and god-awful looking. I don't know what Subaru was thinking.

by Please?reply 903/29/2013

I believe the most recent edition of Consumer Report is their car report. Lots of great, impartial info there.

by Please?reply 1003/29/2013

thanks r10, i always check CR. i just wanted some more 'human' interaction and opinion on this.

DL has a small core of car experts, iirc.

by Please?reply 1103/29/2013

OP - you know the updated version of the Forrester is due to hit the US soon and is quite nice.

by Please?reply 1203/29/2013

by "soon" what do you mean?

We can maybe hold out another couple of months....?

by Please?reply 1303/29/2013

and r12, if we go with Subaru, why shouldn't we switch to the Outback, since that's a tad more 'high end'?

by Please?reply 1403/29/2013

I would definitely do the outback. It has a really nice 3.5litre V6 with a real transmission. The Forrester only has 4 cylinders and CVTs.

by Please?reply 1503/29/2013

I'm with R5-- I drive a CX-7 (upgraded from a Mazada3 in 2010), which is a great car. It's comfortable and fun to drive. It's gone on a few long road trips and is wonderfully comfortable.

I'm Mazda fan boy through and through. The CX-9 is a beauty... I say, go with that.

by Please?reply 1603/29/2013

ok, based on this thread (thanks again!) i am now adding the 2014 outback to our list.

by Please?reply 1703/29/2013

With the kids, I would suggest the Mazda. It's very dependable and the larger of the two. The Pathfinder is pretty long in the tooth as a design. It's smaller too. The Mazda is the more luxurious of the two and Mazda has made some amazing advances with direct injection and high compression engines, so even the gas mileage may be better for the Mazda. Both Mazda and Nissan are partially owned by Renault so there isn't even a big technology gap, particularly with the two models you're considering.

Personally, I'd get a Subaru Outback with all the bells and whistles before considering a Pathfinder. The Pathfinder is simply an old truck with shiny paint.

by Please?reply 1803/29/2013

If u want luxury, check out the Lexus RX350

by Please?reply 1903/29/2013

the pathfinder's been completely redesigned, though, r18. but thanks for the input; i guess we need to test drive all three.

by Please?reply 2003/29/2013

Nissan Quest

For unknown reasons Americans avoid the one car company most popular in Japan.

by Please?reply 2103/29/2013

Pathfinder is Nissan. What are you talking about?

by Please?reply 2203/29/2013


by Please?reply 2303/29/2013

I just can't, r21.

I just can't do a "minivan."

by Please?reply 2403/29/2013

I don't like mini-vans, but I must admit, many of them drive better than any crossover SUV. The gas guzzling Chrysler is amazing, so amazing, Volkswagen sells it as their own van with a different grill.

by Please?reply 2503/29/2013

The Outback with the 3.5 flat 6 engine is OK, but the 2.0 can't get out of its own way and has that lack luster CVT. Top of the line Outbacks are quite luxurious. They've got a better technology package than Mazda and Subaru's allwheel drive is standard, proven and gas consuming.

by Please?reply 2603/29/2013

I just took a look at the redesigned Forester specs, r26, and the gas consumption is as good or better than the cx-9 or the pathfinder.

I was thinking about a Highlander Hybrid, but there's something about it that kind of soured me on it (can't remember what)...

by Please?reply 2703/29/2013

Toyota just introduced (like 2 days ago) a new, totally redesigned Highlander for 2014, which look pretty awesome. If you can hold out until Fall, you might want to wait for it to hit the dealerships.

by Please?reply 2803/29/2013

R27 - it's a woman wagon

by Please?reply 2903/29/2013

18 here. I apologize for the negative comments about the Pathfinder. I was commenting on the previous model. I know nothing about the new model and it may well be the better of the two considering this makes the Mazda the one that is long in the tooth. Gas mileage rating make the Pathfinder interesting too. I was also wrong in stating Renault owns part of Mazda, simply not true, Ford is still listed as a 33% owner, but I swear that has changed, but possibly only in my mind.

by Please?reply 3003/29/2013

Renault owns part of Nissan

by Please?reply 3103/29/2013

i know. it's a good time to be considering because of all the redesigns. now i am off to look at the 2014 highlander!

thanks, ya'all!

by Please?reply 3203/29/2013

bummer. the 2014 highlander won't be sold till early next year. we can't wait that long.

by Please?reply 3303/29/2013

This will be my next ride, OP. They're finally bringing it here.

by Please?reply 3403/29/2013

That volvo would probably trump all my other considerations, r34, except we have NO volvo dealer in town and the nearest ones are 2 hours away.

by Please?reply 3503/29/2013

You want an Chinese Volvo, r34.

You are braver than I am.

by Please?reply 3603/29/2013

The Volvo and Audi crossovers rule the "best" lists, but we don't have an Audi dealer either.

by Please?reply 3703/29/2013

You should go to the forums and look at the hybrid Highlander messageboards under 'Real World Mileage' before buying.

by Please?reply 3803/29/2013

Nissan Pathfinder hybrid due out this summer

by Please?reply 3903/29/2013

thanks, r38, I have already and I know what they mean, BUT. We are the kind of people who drive a car into the ground. Whatever we buy we will have for the next decade or more, so the hybrid would pay off in the long run i think.

But again, the highlander not our top pick right now.

by Please?reply 4003/29/2013

The more i read about the 2014 forester, the more excited i become.

And yes, i'm a lesbian.

by Please?reply 4103/29/2013

I like the new bigger Subarus. I have a 2011 Legacy that I drive 90 miles every day. It's a great car. Quiet, cushy ride, no wind noise like in the older Subarus. I got the winter package (heated seats, mirrors) and a moonroof and I paid $24K. The car is tight, reliable, and after I got used to the CVT, fun to drive. I can't think of a better car for winter driving.

by Please?reply 4203/29/2013


by Please?reply 4303/29/2013

Subarus are hot right now.

Their all wheel drive and boxer engines have caught the public's fancy.

The advertising is helping too. ("Subaru = Love")

That, plus people are still leery of getting a radioactive Toyota that will accelerate and run them down.

Nissan and Honda are both loser cars. Sorry but it's true.

Mazda is experiencing a resurgence in popularity but you've said you do not want one of these cars. They're good right now though.

Isuzu stopped selling there cars in the USA.

So Subaru is the Japanese import darling of the moment.

by Please?reply 4403/29/2013

[quote]Mazda is experiencing a resurgence in popularity but you've said you do not want one of these cars. They're good right now though.

R44, OP specifically indicated that he is currently vacillating between a Nissan and a Mazda...

by Please?reply 4503/29/2013


by Please?reply 4603/29/2013

Yea, Honda are really loser cars, that's why so many people own one.

by Please?reply 4703/29/2013

Reason enough not to buy a loser car like a Honda, r47.

by Please?reply 4803/29/2013

Sweet Lezbie, OP, you KNOW that you must get another Subaru because that is what all card-carrying smart gay wymin do.

After the first year, you know it will be plastered with bumper stickers, so looks shouldn't matter. Love that you're getting old, cranky, and going for all the luxury goodies -- you'll be stuck with it for at least a decade, so why not?

Subaru, Toyota, and Honda should be the only manufacturers on your list. Please do not get a VW/Audi.

by Please?reply 4903/29/2013

Yes, Carlos is entirely correct.

Do not buy a VW/Audi – those cars are not built for you.

Owners of those cars don't want you even looking at them!

by Please?reply 5003/29/2013

Buick Enclave

by Please?reply 5103/29/2013

Why not Mazda, r49?

by Please?reply 5203/30/2013

r44, you are an idiot. troll-dar is not your friend.

by Please?reply 5303/30/2013

OP @ r53 -- I COMMAND you to buy the Nissan Pathfinder.

This is a vehicle designed with you in mind.

by Please?reply 5403/30/2013

i appreciate your serious recs, but don't get why you missed that a mazda is one of my top considerations, whacky anonymous car expert.

the redo on the forester is totally calling my name. i will test the pathfinder, the forester and maybe the cx-9.

i would certainly test the audi if we had a dealer close enough.

by Please?reply 5503/30/2013

Forester XT Touring, that is. Still $4-5,000 less than the other two loaded the way we want.

Plus i must have AWD as we get a lot of snow, ice and rain.

by Please?reply 5603/30/2013

Then get the Subaru, you bloody git, and stop bothering us on DL!

by Please?reply 5703/30/2013

will do. thanks again! :>

by Please?reply 5803/30/2013

Can't add much in terms of specs, but I worked for an ice blonde Nissan exec. I hate her to this day. And she hates treehuggers and anything good in the world.

by Please?reply 5903/30/2013

OP is going to go with which ever salesman is the cutest and most flirtatious, so all this is moot.

by Please?reply 6003/30/2013

OP & partner are lesbians.

by Please?reply 6103/30/2013

The hybrid Pathfinder is expected to cost $8,000 less than the hybrid Highlander

by Please?reply 6203/30/2013

Another vote for the CX9.

My nephews, one already close to 6 ft tall at age 13, fits comfortably

Nice extras, too. .

by Please?reply 6303/30/2013

Sorry, OP. I just don't like Mazdas. Repair records are not great and they're weird to work on. Mazda makes it hard on us mechanics to get the specs unless you pay a big fee to be a part of their network.

Most Toyotas and Hondas are made in the US, which means that parts and knowledge are everywhere -- not that you'll be needing them soon. For Subarus, I get to go to Japan again this summer! I'm in SF. It doesn't snow here. No one needs AWD, but the lezzies like 'em for their kids and dogs named "Sappho", so that's why I work on them. Shitty gas mileage. Great cars.

So sorry that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid seemed so matronly for you. Nice vehicle. Very spendy. Awesome mileage. I am totally seeing you and your fam in a high-end Outback with all the extras.

Meanwhile, I am amazed that the DL has banned the use of a term which I proudly use to describe myself.

by Please?reply 6403/30/2013

Lesbian drama.

by Please?reply 6503/30/2013

...another q: our local subaru dealer lists only 2 XT touring in their inventory (both "in transit.")

They also don't offer up email addresses for their sales department.

Do I have to go through them to order a new Forester appointed exactly the way I want it, or can I go to Subaru America and just order one?

I know I know, this is a ridiculously naive question, and the answer is likely that I have to work with a live salesperson face to face. I just hate the high pressure sales aspects of car buying. (My last 2 car purchases were by email.)

by Please?reply 6604/01/2013

R66, the dealership should be able to find you a model fitting your specs at another dealership and have it shipped in. It's done all the time, and it doesn't cost you a thing.

OP, my brother and his wife were in a similar position after they had twins, and after looking at the same models you're considering (and everything else out there), they decided on a CPO (certified pre-owned) Acura MDX. Among the Japanese makes, Nissan and Mazda both unfortunately rank in the middle in terms of reliability, well below Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus. Also, I'd be cautious buying a new Pathfinder in the first place because it's such a comprehensive redesign vs. the old model (which was truck-based, whereas the new one is a pure crossover); it's not unusual for the first model year of a car to have poor reliability since they're still working the kinks out. A one- or two-year-old MDX will basically be as good as new, and should cost about the same as a Pathfinder.

Also, you should take into account the CVT transmissions sold in almost all Nissans and most Subarus. Some people don't mind them, but they bug the shit out of others (myself included). A friend of mine also has an older Forester with one and has had nothing but problems with it. Anyway, definitely test-drive -- a moderately long trip, that is, not around the block -- one before deciding to commit to it.

Finally, do NOT buy an Audi or VW unless you don't mind astronomical repair bills (after the warranty expires) and notoriously shitty customer service.

by Please?reply 6704/01/2013

If you are considering the CX-9, but like Subarus, then why not look at the Subie Tribeca?

by Please?reply 6804/01/2013

Good question. I prefer boxy, wagoney cars... (If I could have all the modern perks and gas mileage better than 29 mpg combined in something that looked like a toyota landcruiser from the 80s, that would be my dream car).

I like windows. And higher profiles than the more rounded crossovers they are making now....

So the Tribeca is almost too minivan like I think. But I need to take another look, because your point is a good one, r68.

by Please?reply 6904/01/2013

Nah. After double-checking the Tribeca I'd rather get a fully-loaded Outback. (Or, again, the redesigned Forester).

We don't need the 3rd row/seven seats. I mean, the space would be nice (I actually like a Flex, but gas mileage not as good), but we don't HAVE to have a 7-seater.

by Please?reply 7004/01/2013

Today I saw a car whose model name was "blue." What idiot car company would create a model you can't search on because you will get all the cars of blue color.

by Please?reply 7104/01/2013

R71 Are you sure it wasn't Bluetec by MB? I've never heard of a car named "Blue," just a dog. :)

by Please?reply 7204/01/2013

CAN you order "direct from the fatory"?

by Please?reply 7304/02/2013


by Please?reply 7404/02/2013

A dog named Sappho is cute. I'm I alone in thinking this?

by Please?reply 7504/02/2013

OP, if you have kids and a dog the Forester is probably going to be too small. The Forester is just an Impreza with a different body dropped on top. That's why the rear legroom is so bad. The Outback is a much better choice. The Tribeca is a bad choice for many reasons. Frankly I didn't know that Subs was still even making the vehicle. It was a flop from day 1. The CX-9 is a good vehicle but it's a little piggy on gas. Car reviewers love this vehicle. I probably wouldn't buy the first year of production for the new Pathfinder. Nissan is good but it's not great so there could be reliability issues. The Highlander is probably the most bullet proof vehicle. Plus, you should be able to get a good deal on one given the model changeover.

by Please?reply 7604/02/2013

Big Subaru recall announced today.

Rusty brake lines and fittings on some older models.

Not a prob if your Subaru did not travel salted roads.

by Please?reply 7704/02/2013

Thank you r76. The redesigned Forester looks to have improved legroom and headroom in the rear.... I will still take a look at it. And the Outback.

Guess I should put the Highlander back on my short list.

by Please?reply 7804/03/2013

Dang. I really have to add the highlander back in, now that I found out they redesigned it for 2014, working on some of its downsides like road noise and bad cornering....

by Please?reply 7904/07/2013

I'd get the Subaru without any hesitation.

(Although I would get a smaller one like a Legacy sedan.)

by Please?reply 8004/07/2013

Today the most important thing is where the car and its parts are made.

You ideally want German or Japanese built cars, with NO CHINESE made parts.

Yes, you can ask the dealer about these things, if they say they don't know, then assume the worst. (They are lying to you, of course they know - they have meetings about covering up bad things like this).

by Please?reply 8104/07/2013

Forester??? Must be a dyke.

by Please?reply 8204/07/2013


A new car's window sticker tells the country of origin of all the parts used in the manufacture of the car.

When was the last time you have seen one of these?

by Please?reply 8304/07/2013

This is the last year for the tribeca.

by Please?reply 8404/07/2013

With good reason.

by Please?reply 8504/07/2013

ANother question: the new Pathfinder is in many ways a close sibling of the Infiniti JX, so why would someone buy the Infiniti for an extra $5-8000 (depending on model and accessories)?

I mean, a LOADED Platinum Pathfinder is less than the most bare-bones Infiniti...

by Please?reply 8604/07/2013

Manufactured for ACME corp in Boston, MA... ever seen that before? I call it Made in China Mask.

Assembled in Amherst, NY... another Made in China Mask.

15 years ago I bought a Dodge, technically assembled here. The sales person told me the windshield wipers were send separately and the dealership installed them so they could make that claim. The rest of the car was built in Japan - which I felt was a good thing. Not so with Made in China.

Also, loving the majority loop hole. 51% of the parts of a finished product, like an Engine, qualify it as made in the USA.

by Please?reply 8704/07/2013

ok. I am losing my mind a little but have decided to throw the Acura MDX into the mix. Just to see what a little more "luxury" would be like to drive.

We may well end up with the Pathfinder or the Outback, but what the hell. I will at least take a look at the Acura.

by Please?reply 8804/07/2013

Acura's are a joke.

They are Honda's attempt at a luxury car line, and they do not do it well.

More money, mediocre luxury touches, and shitty styling = Acura.

by Please?reply 8904/07/2013

r89, that's not what car journalists say.

by Please?reply 9004/07/2013


by Please?reply 9104/08/2013

The CVT transmission in my Subaru Legacy is growing on me. It increases the gas mileage but it can get loud. I've taken this two year old car on long trips and found it to be a comfortable riding vehicle. The newer Subarus have a cushy ride, and nothing is better at getting up the hill to my house in winter. I watch everyone else get stuck (even w/AWD). I looked at the Outback but it isn't me ... I rarely haul anything larger than a briefcase or a load of laundry. But I would go with Subaru. Just don't put any lame bumper stickers on it.

by Please?reply 9204/08/2013

OP, #76 here again. Three points I'd like to make. First, you seem to be comparing cars in different classes to each other. I'd decide what size car I want first and then compare only in that class. A Highlander, MDX and CX9 are not at all the same size/driving experience as a smaller Forester or Outback. Decide what you need first.

Like with the Highlander, the MDX is going through a model change over so you should be able to get a good deal on one.

Again, I would be very cautious about the Pathfinder. Nissan's SUV/truck quality has been terrible on some models (e.g., Armada and the old Pathfinder). Maybe they will get this one right but they may not especially because it is completely different from the old model.

by Please?reply 9304/08/2013

thanks, r93. you're right. i am torn between the economy and the practicality of the new generation of Foresters versus the fact that we can afford to bump up a class and go with more luxury.

have you read a review or 2 of the new pathfinder? they are getting high marks, and it's more akin to the infiniti jx than its previous truck-like platform..

by Please?reply 9404/08/2013

OP, #93 here. Try this review. Jalopnik is a good place for reviews.

by Please?reply 9504/08/2013

I had read that review already, and it makes me WANT to try the Pathfinder. Were you linking to it to make me not? I am confused. The text of the review belies the relatively low number scores he gives throughout.

by Please?reply 9604/08/2013

I love my Forester. I added a remote starter (around $350 after market). It came with bluetooth and heated seats.

I've got 100K on it, and reckon it will last another 100K. I drove my Hyundai Santa Fe until it reached 240K.

by Please?reply 9704/08/2013

Sorry OP, I read your post too quickly. I thought you were looking for reviews.

My only concern about the Pathfinder is its longterm reliability. You'll need 2-3 years before anyone will know how it will really hold up. Lots of cars get great reviews but then start falling apart after a few years.

by Please?reply 9804/08/2013

thank you, r98. you seem to know a lot, so one last question if i may: the new pathfinder seems to be very similar to the infiniti jx. on one forum i saw someone reference one of the most striking differences being that the jx's glovebox is felt-lined. what do you think?

by Please?reply 9904/08/2013

p.s. the Acura MDX sounds pretty good, EXCEPT that the second row seating is cramped. Even the much less expensive Forester has a lot more room for our growing child. If I had my druthers I might get a tricked-out (and too expensive no doubt) Ford Flex.

by Please?reply 10004/08/2013

OP, #98 again. The JX and Pathfinder are really the same mechanically. However, the JX is much more lux then the Pathfinder. I sat in both at the Auto Show this last weekend and the difference is huge. However, I don't think I would pay the premium.

I would also buy the Flex with the turbo engine but my boyfriend hates it. Also, it has been such a flop I'd worry about resale value.

by Please?reply 10104/08/2013

i LOVE the flex! and resale is not an issue as we drive cars 'into the ground' so to speak. hmmmmm. i may have to add the flex back to my short list.

by Please?reply 10204/08/2013

Get it with the big engine and glass roof.

by Please?reply 10304/08/2013

If you want to drive any car into the ground, get a Toyota or Honda. That is what they are engineered for. Dog ugly, but reliable.

Like in relationships, the pretty cars are high maintenance (Audi and Mercedes), or like useless and cheap drug addicts, best kept away from (GM and Hyundai).

by Please?reply 10404/08/2013

Just felt like updating for all the people who gave me good advice. We decided to factory order a 2014 Flex Limited Ecoboost.

Very excited!

by Please?reply 10504/24/2013

How long will it take Ford to manufacture it and send it to you, OP?

by Please?reply 10604/24/2013

they say 6-8 weeks, so, maybe 8-9?

I've never done it this way before.

by Please?reply 10704/24/2013

Two things to be be wise about, OP:

They may try to still find a car exactly as you want already made yet assigned to another dealer somewhere in the Ford dealer network.

If so, check the mileage. Do not accept if over 25 miles.

They may dangle one that is "almost" exactly what you ordered, but "we can get it and have it ready for you by the end of the week."

Don't let them divert you off what you ordered.

Up to two months for domestic and three to four months for foreign is a good rule of thumb.

by Please?reply 10804/24/2013

thanks, i would be more worried about that if i were getting a 2013, but the order sheet specifically says 2014 (they just switched over).

also, the internet sales guy assured me there would be no more than 10 miles on it (allowing for a quick test right off the line).

it seems pretty clear it will be built FOR us.

by Please?reply 10904/24/2013

R104 is beyond clueless.

by Please?reply 11004/24/2013

Will they identify the car being made especially for you?

In the old days -- '50s and '60s -- at least one of the high end makes would affix a little metal plate on the firewall under the hood.

This automobile


Made especially for

(Your name)

Lincoln would also mail you a chromed, stand-up metal Lincoln logo affixed to a marble base.

This too would have an identical plate affixed.

Not sure about other makes.

by Please?reply 11104/24/2013

I don't think they go that far, but I signed the order paperwork today and put down a small deposit. They are going to let me know the VIN number when it has one.

by Please?reply 11204/24/2013
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