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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2019 Crosstrek has been at the dealers for about a week now due to the rear end taking a lateral hop when going over bumps at highway speed. In the meantime my local Subie dealer gave me a loaner, a 2021 Forester. Since I’m now familiar with two different vehicles I’ve decided to give a bit of review on the Forester. I just want to mention my Crosstrek is a Limited, loaded to the max with all the Subaru accessories.

The Forester is an impressive ride, big with lots of interior room. When fitting it into the garage the width wasn’t a problem but I lost a foot of room in length once parked. The Forester is a big car and thankfully it fit height wise. The most impressive thing was the ride. It’s a lot more comfortable due to a different suspension and seats. The seats are an upgrade to the Crosstreks.

Interior room is impressive and it looks like I could fit my recumbent trike a bit easier but it’s no concern in the Crosstrek.

The engine power, 2.5 is impressive. I have to say my Crosstrek never had a problem though.

Now on to some issues. The Auto Start Stop is a curse from hell. It’s dangerous and lengthy in response. You can turn it off but if you forget. it’s a royal pain for the pittance in gas you’ll save. The non-existant emergency brake. Its not an emergency brake at all. It’s tantamount to putting a wheel block under your tire once you’ve parked. Whoever made the call to remove a manual, mechanical link to the braking system needs to be flogged, burned at the stake and his entire lineage removed from the planet. An Emergency Brake is there for when things fail. I’ve had to use an EB twice in my life and I’m alive because of it. Hitting a button, which works only if you have your foot on the brake is useless. It requires power and if something should zap the power....good luck. The EB is now just a parking brake....Shame on you Subaru.

Now a shear bit of security insanity especially if you gas up in a not so nice neighborhood. The gas fill door. I pray none of you have little kids in the back seat and you need to gas up in a bad neighborhood. Why? I was looking for the gas door release (no manual supplied) and I couldn’t find anything. I search online which had tons of stuff but it wasn’t until I checked out a YouTube video which showed the new and improved way.......Hit the all doors unlock button and press the gas door. Brilliant ! I just opened the car up to any ner-do-wells or kidnappers. Who thought of this?

When they gave me the car I knew it was dirty so I took it home and cleaned it. It had 3 thousand miles on it and somebody seriously treated it like crap. It did afford me the opportunity to see some real potential down the road issues. There’s so many mud and dirt traps after going through any kind of mud you’ll easily carry off about 30 lbs in nooks, crannies and behind rubber seals. Yeah, at the bottom of the doors is a rubber seal. It collects crap like you wouldn’t believe. All 4 doors had an extra few pounds added to them of mud. There was mud in places I couldn’t even see mud.

So the Forester is big, loaded with stupid tech but it has a nice ride. That’s what I came away with. It had a nice comfortable ride. I want my Crosstrek back because as a 2019 it lacks the auto S/S, it has a real emergency brake, cleans up a lot easier, I can find the gas cover release but there’s only one thing I wish my Trek had that the Forester had. It’s a safety feature that should’ve been implemented on all Subarus for some time, that is the auto door locks that lock the doors once you start driving. Frankly, it’s the only thing I’d need in comparison.
 

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That was a fun read... 😸

A neighbor loaning us a Forester is what turned us onto Subaru, plus that some friends had them (a Legacy and a couple of Outbacks). When we went shopping we discovered the Crosstrek!
 
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Thanks for the review, I appreciate the insights. Every time I pack the crosstrek to the gills I wonder if I should have bought a forester.

I can't think of the last car I've driven with an actual emergency brake. I guess my old '02 Celica. Everyone still calls it that, but usually they're taking about the parking brake. I've also never had an emergency to use one in tho.

I actually have also noticed mud and gravel getting stuck all over my crosstrek. Everytime I've had to reinstall the rocker panels, they've released about a cubic foot of debris. I have about that much above each skid plate too, but at least those are aftermarket. When I removed the factory (hollow) mud guards they left a pile of debris too.
 

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When I bought my 2018 Crosstrek in the fall of 2017, I would have preferred a Forester if it had been on the new SGP platform. Heck, I would have bought the Ascent if it had been available then. But I wanted to get rid of my truck ASAP, so I settled on the Crosstrek.

In hindsight, it worked out very well. The Crosstrek has far exceeded my expectations with what it can haul (eg my 3500 lb boat), its comfort, off-road capability, and even its get up and go. And it is a great trip vehicle. So am very happy with my purchase decision back then..
 

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I have an '18 Forester XT (wife's) and a '19 XV (mine). I love my XV. But if we had only one car it would be the Forester. Forester can't be beat on a trip. And the 250 HP is quite nice for sure.
 

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Starting 2020 Crosstreks also have auto start/stop. Starting in 2021 the Crosstrek Limited and Sport come with the 2.5l. Truthfully I really don't think that the Crosstrek's parking brake (that's how it's referred to in the owner's manual) would actually stop the car very well. The parking brake system is composed of two very small brake shoes (not disk pads) in the rear
 

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Funny thing is that the Crosstrek is pretty much the same size (but wider) than previous-generation Foresters.
2018 Crosstrek L x W x H: 175.8" x 71.0" x 63.6", wheelbase 104.9"
2010 Forester L x W x H: 179.5" x 70.1" x 65.9", wheelbase 103.0"
2007 Forester L x W x H: 176.6" x 68.3" x 62.6", wheelbase 99.4"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Funny thing is that the Crosstrek is pretty much the same size (but wider) than previous-generation Foresters.
2018 Crosstrek L x W x H: 175.8" x 71.0" x 63.6", wheelbase 104.9"
2010 Forester L x W x H: 179.5" x 70.1" x 65.9", wheelbase 103.0"
2007 Forester L x W x H: 176.6" x 68.3" x 62.6", wheelbase 99.4"
All I know is the 2021 Forester is a big boy compared to my 2019 Crosstrek. I have no idea where they’re measuring from but height wise, Forester is taller. Width, about the same. Length is where its at but thats what she said. Forester is longer.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
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I don't know what it is, but every time I get close to a Forester I have an urge to go to Whole Foods and then drive a bunch of middle schoolers to a soccer practice. :sneaky:

But yeah, the Crosstrek embodies some of the ancestral DNA of the first couple generations of Forester, when Foresters were adventurous and before Subaru started making them bigger and bigger. One of the reasons the Crosstrek is cool.
 

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All I know is the 2021 Forester is a big boy compared to my 2019 Crosstrek. I have no idea where they’re measuring from but height wise, Forester is taller. Width, about the same. Length is where its at but thats what she said. Forester is longer.
Yes, the current model Forester is 6” longer than the Crosstrek. But wheelbase is only ~half-inch more; basically the same. More overhang?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know what it is, but every time I get close to a Forester I have an urge to go to Whole Foods and then drive a bunch of middle schoolers to a soccer practice. :sneaky:

But yeah, the Crosstrek embodies some of the ancestral DNA of the first couple generations of Forester, when Foresters were adventurous and before Subaru started making them bigger and bigger. One of the reasons the Crosstrek is cool.
Ha, exactly. Sometimes bigger isn’t better and it’s the reason I settled on the Crosstrek. The size is perfect as I don’t want some big honkin beast. If I did I would’ve gone to Chevy or Ford. I can’t figure the deal of making these cars bigger every year.
 

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All I know is the 2021 Forester is a big boy compared to my 2019 Crosstrek. I have no idea where they’re measuring from but height wise, Forester is taller. Width, about the same. Length is where its at but thats what she said. Forester is longer.
LMAO! A good friend joined us on a rocket flying trip and he had two kids and loads of camping gear in a Honda Pilot and could still see out of the back window. So, we went shopping and OAK said it was too big. She hadn't complained before...

An elderly neighbor loaned us a Forester to play with and we didn't like it. Then we found the Crosstrek!
 

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Interesting enough, the one feature the OP liked, auto door locks, was added to the Crosstrek in 2020. But, so was Auto Start/Stop.
 
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My 2 cents, Have the 21 Crosstrek Limited and a 21 Forester Sport. Even thought the Forester is ~250lb heavier, in the base acceleration profile, the Forester felt quicker off the line. The Crosstrek needs to be Sports mode for the same "off the line" feel and "felt" quicker than the Forester. I prefer the Crosstrek while DW totally prefers the Forester due to the higher sitting position and the more comfortable seats. As to the gas cover for the Forester, i had program the doors to auto-unlock when in Park so that took care of that. DW loved the Crosstrek until she drove the Forester and preferred the higher sitting position over the smaller car.
 

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Interior room is impressive and it looks like I could fit my recumbent trike a bit easier but it’s no concern in the Crosstrek.
Hi Eddie which recumbent do you use?
My brother in law makes them in the UK ICE Recumbent Trikes, Bikes, Electric Assist, 3 wheel adult laid back folding tricycles

With respect to the stop/start on the late model Crosstreks I find I don't really notice it doing anything in traffic since the engine has fired up and is ready to go as soon as I have released the brake. The only time it does bug me is when you come to a stop for parking and it cuts out when you apply the brake... put it into park and release the brake and the engine starts up again! DOH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Eddie which recumbent do you use?
My brother in law makes them in the UK ICE Recumbent Trikes, Bikes, Electric Assist, 3 wheel adult laid back folding tricycles

With respect to the stop/start on the late model Crosstreks I find I don't really notice it doing anything in traffic since the engine has fired up and is ready to go as soon as I have released the brake. The only time it does bug me is when you come to a stop for parking and it cuts out when you apply the brake... put it into park and release the brake and the engine starts up again! DOH!
Going off topic but ICE trikes are beautiful. In my area there was no trike dealer so I ended up taking a two hour drive to The Bicycle Man. Largest selection of trikes in NY. I picked up an Avenue tadpole. I needed something heavy duty for my big frame. The trike fits nicely in the Crosstrek but there’s more room in the Forester.
 

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When I bought my 2018 Crosstrek in the fall of 2017, I would have preferred a Forester if it had been on the new SGP platform. Heck, I would have bought the Ascent if it had been available then. But I wanted to get rid of my truck ASAP, so I settled on the Crosstrek.

In hindsight, it worked out very well. The Crosstrek has far exceeded my expectations with what it can haul (eg my 3500 lb boat), its comfort, off-road capability, and even its get up and go. And it is a great trip vehicle. So am very happy with my purchase decision back then..
How does it tow that 3500 lbs when the limit is 1500 lbs?
 

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How does it tow that 3500 lbs when the limit is 1500 lbs?
Very well. Check out this thread, esp post #17.
 
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