2017~2021 Considering a change from Subaru

Hi folks, first time post here. I'm leasing a 2019 Subaru Forester Premium with a top option package that gives it the bells and whistles this trim can take. For those not familiar with Subaru, the trim levels go Base-Premium-Sport-Limited-Touring.

I live in northern NJ in part of the NYC "metro" area. My commute is generally about 50% highway and 50% "very urban, dense" city with tons of traffic and lights. I have alternate routes that are about 90% highway but are roughly double the mileage and toll roads. So, my options are drive 10 miles and deal with the city traffic or drive 20 miles and deal with tolls and extra fuel costs... and sometimes traffic as well, there's no guarantee.

My lease is up in about 12 months so I'm starting the process to look for the next one. To be honest, I have a couple things on my radar, which include the CX-5, Toyota RAV4 Prime, Tesla Model Y, and also buying out my lease on my Forester.

I've driven Subarus exclusively for the last 10 years, and I'm pretty satisfied with their performance in the snow. Their fuel economy is abysmal in city environments, and they've moved to things like CVT, Direct Injection, and Auto Start Stop technology to try to improve it.

Unfortunately, the CVT is quoted at a $9000 repair job if it fails - and there's no fluid change interval in our maintenance books. All vehicles with Direct Injection have some types of issues with carbon buildup on the intake valves - except for I think Ford and Toyota which have the dual system with port and direct injection, I'm wondering if this is an issue with Mazdas as well? The Auto Start Stop on the Subaru Boxer engine is really jarring - think of a Semi truck starting up how it rocks from side to side - that's kind of the "push" you get from the Subaru.

If I'm reading everything correctly, it sounds like you can put 93 into the CX-5 and it will gain a very little bit of performance. I'm good with that.

My biggest concerns are learning a new system since I've had Subaru for so long, and how they perform in snow. While I do live in a suburban environment, I do have to drive through snow throughout the winter months here and I'm considered essential personnel, so I have to go to work even when there's a state of emergency or roads close. I've been pulled over by local law enforcement to reprimand me about driving when there's a state of emergency and after showing my credentials they allow me along but strongly suggest I turn back.

In each situation like this, I've been able to get to my destination safely. I've never felt "out of control" in my Subaru, even in bad weather.

Also, I'd like to know any long-term maintenance gotchas for Mazda. These are new for me. I've heard bad things about cylinder deactivations on Honda and other brands and I believe the CX-5 will do this. Subaru is notorious for being bad about neglected maintenance. I'm good with my intervals, but I'm curious if the 7500 miles they suggest is a true 7500 miles, or if I should change it more often.

Thanks!
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
I'll address only a few of your questions, as I've owned Scoobi's since 2004...

Nothing in a reasonable price range and size will match your Subi in the snow. The CX5 is no better or worse than most - you'll see people tell you here how wonderful it is, well, most of these in this class are, but the Subi is it better.

Only Turbo benefits from premium gas.

Reliability about the same as most Japanese. Again, you'll get the " I've never had a problem with my Mazda" or " I hated my Subaru because" These are all individual instances that you'll find everywhere, good and bad why people will you "tell they'll never get a..." or such.

There's only 2 areas that the Mazda sets itself apart. The interior quality and that it's geared towards being more of a 'drivers car'

Bottom line, without regard to reliability, drivability or other factors, between the Subi, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, and such, I would let sole decision be based on personal preferences after looking at each. After seeing/driving each of them one of them will 'speak to you' as to tell tell you 'this is the one'. These are all too close to each other and each have benefits and drawback, but none big enough that it should be a reason to not get one
 
I just went from 18 years of different Subies (including 2 Foresters) to a CX-5. I can tell you that you will love the power and torque of the Mazda.

I live in Syracuse, king of snow. Interesting video comparison:
 
I used to think that symmetrical AWD means that all four tires are pulling/driving all of the time. That was until my wife got her LL Bean 6cyl. Outback stuck in our driveway. Only one tire spun, imagine that.

Anyway, I LOVE my Mazda over the Subarus I had, hands down a better car.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
You've selected three very different vehicles and have not identified which trim lines you are considering. Most folks put a clear dividing line between something you have to plug in vs. something you don't. You seem to have placed an emphasis on costs (MPG, tolls, frequency of oil changes) while the Model Y is a $50,000 vehicle, $10,000 to $20,000 more than others under consideration depending on trim line before the cost of any charging station while also contemplating premium fuel.

You're going from what may be the most utilitarian vehicle on the planet, and considering a lease buyout on that to boot, to performance vehicles at significantly higher cost including the CX-5 if you're thinking of the turbo. Do you really need a RAV4 that goes 0-60 in 5.7 seconds?

Have you considered the convenience factor of charging the plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle? You can get a Prime for around the same cost a fully loaded CRV turbo but it takes 12 hours to get the 50 mile charge in a standard wall outlet, so you'll be looking at adding a charging station for that as well to maximize fuel economy. I trust you have a garage to even consider those non-CX-5 options. Have you considered hybrids that don't require charging?

Have you compared the cost of plug in electricity per mile to gasoline to see how much you'll save?

I seems to me your enterprise requires more preliminary focus.
 
Thanks for everyone's replies. One thing I'd like to note is that I run all-season tires all the time and I do not change to dedicated winters. I will consider all climates in the future when the OEM ones are shot.

@HardRightEdg - Yes, they're definitely in different sections. As someone that drives about 20 miles per day with lots of city/traffic, the Model Y is attractive in the lower maintenance and operating costs. With state rebates and incentives, I can purchase it for $49,900 without state sales tax, and get discounted toll rates.

Do I need a RAV4 that goes 0-60 in under 6? No, it's not about the performance exclusively, it's more about the efficiency. It's more about the hybridization here with me being a city driver. I haven't owned a hybrid or electric before but have test driven the Model 3 and RAV4 Prime.

I wouldn't need to add a home charging station in any scenario as I drive so little that the 120V outlet is fine in my garage. Without getting too technical, the 120V15A standard outlet provides charge at 12A due to code (80% continuous circuit) which would be 1.44 kW per hour before overhead. That overhead is somewhere around 250 watts per hour (this is used to convert AC to DC for the battery, etc.), This results in a net of 1.140 kW per hour. Assuming a 250 Watt-per-mile efficiency, that's in between 4 and 5 miles gained per hour. So, in 4 hours, I am full. At 17 cents per kWh at my location, that means I pay about 68 cents to drive 20 miles - but may be less because of regenerative braking.

Cars like the Model Y support 120V20A outlets (5-20) which would charge at 120V@16A, for 1.92 kW per hour minus the 300 Watts overhead. I'm also open to consider upgrading my electric panel to get a 240V20A (6-20) or 240V50A (14-50) outlet installed, and was planning to upgrade the panel *anyway* since it's on the older side (house is 90+ years old.)

Conversely right now in my Subaru, I pay $2.00 per gallon of 87 to drive 25 mpg. That would be $1.60 to go those same 20 miles.

Over time and aggregate maintenance, I figure I spend around $25 per month on oil change/brake pads/etc. which I factor into the parity cost of the Model Y. This does add up to reduce the cost of initial expense over time.

The perk of the plug-in hybrid is that, for now, the Toyota has a $7500 federal US tax credit, and a $1,050 state rebate. The net result is that this is cheaper to purchase than the RAV4 Hybrid trims. The Model Y has a $5000 state rebate and zero sales tax charge.

tldr;

Looking at the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring or Signature as I want the ventilated seats. I would like the car to last 15 years if I need it to. I don't know and am not familiar with Mazda reliability or maintenance costs/expectations.

Hybrid and EV seems to be a great option for me since I drive city so much as it would reduce the wear and tear on the powertrain of the combustion engine and brake pads/rotors over time.

Have never been stuck in my Subaru which has kept me brand loyal. But, as time goes on, Subarus are expensive to repair and maintain. Every reviewer raves about the Mazda driving experience so I thought I'd research a bit.
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech
The driving experience of the CX-5 is second to none in our category and price range. That said, based on your rather (no offense intended) boring daily drive, I'm not quite certain that you'd get to really experience that driving satisfaction. So in my opinion, you'd be better of deciding based upon other factors rather than the CX-5 being a "drivers vehicle". My 2¢.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
Based on posts on this board, one part that seems to go on the CX-5 is the belt tensioner, it starts leaking after so many miles. They may have recently redesigned it to correct the problem. I don't go over 5000 for my oil changes, but that is more of an emotional choice on my part than a proven fact choice. Most people here go 7,500 miles between changes.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
That said, based on your rather (no offense intended) boring daily drive, I'm not quite certain that you'd get to really experience that driving satisfaction. So in my opinion, you'd be better of deciding based upon other factors rather than the CX-5 being a "drivers vehicle". My 2¢.
Yeah, given the nature of the drive, the fact the car isn't going far or leaving the garage often, given no charging station, and the high priority on fuel economy, reliability and longevity, I think he should be looking at a Lexus UX or NX hybrid if he's thinking of spending Lexus Y money a large chunk of which goes toward the 300 mile battery he won't use.
 
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Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
Teslas are interesting, but they're not there yet in terms of price, build quality, or ride quality (with the exception of the expensive, air sprung Model S) for me to consider one. The build quality, including paint, panel gaps, and lack of squeaks/rattles, on a $25K CX-5 exceeds that of a $60K Model Y.

The energy savings are vastly overstated for most drivers, laughably so on Tesla's build configurator. (Imagine if Mazda knocked $4,300 off the listed price for "savings"). $22 to "Supercharge" isn't much different than filling most of the CX-5's tank with regular gasoline, and unless you have a solar array, home electricity isn't free either. In areas with expensive, $5/gallon gas or diesel, it's a different equation.
 
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Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
If I was waiting until the end of the lease (you said you have about 12 months left in it) and wanted an electric SUV, I'd look at an ID.4 over a Y. That will have a large dealer network and better price than the Y. Should be around 35-36K with AWD next year with the rebate included. 3 years of free charging included. VW's build quality and paint is better than Tesla's. Objectively a better deal than a Y.

I did a 3 year lease myself a year ago. In 2-3 years there should be more and better EVs to choose from. At present, I like the CX-5 enough that the current plan is buying it out of the lease and getting an EV once it is time to replace it.
 
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2019 Mazda CX-5 GT Reserve
Hi folks, first time post here. I'm leasing a 2019 Subaru Forester Premium with a top option package that gives it the bells and whistles this trim can take. For those not familiar with Subaru, the trim levels go Base-Premium-Sport-Limited-Touring.
My wife has a 2018 Outback Limited which I occasionally drive. It's a nice enough vehicle. Pretty much same bells & whistles as my 2019 GTR except for the HUD. She is happy with it, but I much prefer driving my GTR.
 
Based on posts on this board, one part that seems to go on the CX-5 is the belt tensioner, it starts leaking after so many miles. They may have recently redesigned it to correct the problem. I don't go over 5000 for my oil changes, but that is more of an emotional choice on my part than a proven fact choice. Most people here go 7,500 miles between changes.

Thanks that’s good to know. Subarus don’t seem to take late maintenance well. My old 2011 EJ engine had a 3000 mile interval but used convent My new Forester is 6000 but uses synthetic.

Yeah, given the nature of the drive, the fact the car isn't going far or leaving the garage often, given no charging station, and the high priority on fuel economy, reliability and longevity, I think he should be looking at a Lexus UX or NX hybrid if he's thinking of spending Lexus Y money a large chunk of which goes toward the 300 mile battery he won't use.

Yes and no. In summer months I drive 60 miles each way for work when we spend time at shore areas with family. I commute from here one or two days a week...

Teslas are interesting, but they're not there yet in terms of price, build quality, or ride quality (with the exception of the expensive, air sprung Model S) for me to consider one. The build quality, including paint, panel gaps, and lack of squeaks/rattles, on a $25K CX-5 exceeds that of a $60K Model Y.

The energy savings are vastly overstated for most drivers, laughably so on Tesla's build configurator. (Imagine if Mazda knocked $4,300 off the listed price for "savings"). $22 to "Supercharge" isn't much different than filling most of the CX-5's tank with regular gasoline, and unless you have a solar array, home electricity isn't free either. In areas with expensive, $5/gallon gas or diesel, it's a different equation.

Yeah, in NJ, gas is cheap and electricity is on the higher than average side. I pay $2 per gallon for 87 right now - been that way for a few months now - and pay 17 cents per kWh including supply and delivery fees. No solar. Don’t think I want that complexity here. Supercharger would be for occasional road trips and not a regular or routine thing.

I don’t think I would be buying the $25k base trim. I would be getting a Grand Touring or the Signature trim, so that’s closer to like $37k.

I also made an error in my first post. With state rebate, I would save $5000 off the Model Y. That would be $44,900 with zero sales tax. Paying NJ state tax on the CX5 at 37k would add about another $2500

If I was waiting until the end of the lease (you said you have about 12 months left in it) and wanted an electric SUV, I'd look at an ID.4 over a Y. That will have a large dealer network and better price than the Y. Should be around 35-36K with AWD next year with the rebate included. 3 years of free charging included. VW's build quality and paint is better than Tesla's. Objectively a better deal than a Y.

I did a 3 year lease myself a year ago. In 2-3 years there should be more and better EVs to choose from. At present, I like the CX-5 enough that the current plan is buying it out of the lease and getting an EV once it is time to replace it.

Thanks. I don’t know if I want to trust the first VW EV that rolls out. It’s also not AWD (yet). The free charging is only at an EA charger so that may not be useful since there are zero of them in the shore areas I would actually need to use L3 DCFC type of charging.

It’s a good price for sure but I don’t want to spend money for the sake of spending money. I’d rather spend more and get a quality product that has some glimmer of historical reliability

My wife has a 2018 Outback Limited which I occasionally drive. It's a nice enough vehicle. Pretty much same bells & whistles as my 2019 GTR except for the HUD. She is happy with it, but I much prefer driving my GTR.

I former drove an Outback. They are more cruisers. My Forester now is hands down more agile and nimble but that’s not saying much. There are some OEM mods I can do that would help with handling but you can’t escape the CVT and 2.5 NA engine for performance.

I genuinely love driving aside from my short commute. I am looking to go for a drive any time, it just so happens I have an urban drive.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
According to Consumer Reports, the Mazda CX5 and Forester have the same overall rating of 84.
The Subaru has more comfortable rear seats, a bit more room inside, and gets better fuel mileage..
The Mazda is faster, handles better, quieter, and more reliable.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Yes and no. In summer months I drive 60 miles each way for work when we spend time at shore areas with family. I commute from here one or two days a week...

I also made an error in my first post. With state rebate, I would save $5000 off the Model Y. That would be $44,900 with zero sales tax. Paying NJ state tax on the CX5 at 37k would add about another $2500.

I genuinely love driving aside from my short commute. I am looking to go for a drive any time, it just so happens I have an urban drive.
Well, that Model Y $5,000 difference buys a lot of gas and maintenance over the years. It could be quite a bit more if you are comparing MSRPs. Tesla does not haggle on price--$50k is $50k. And it's not like an EV is maintenance free. Tires are tires. If you are fortunate enough to land on a very reliable vehicle there's a good chance that's the single highest expense over 100,000 miles regardless of power train--two sets of good tires with alignment x $700 = $1,400. That represents about 40% of my total maintenance cost on a 90k miles Sienna to take one example. Electricity is a lot cheaper than gas but as you are well aware not free. Brakes and rotors still need to be replaced even if you get marginally more life from regenerative braking.

I think you need to test drive these vehicles. Since you are concerned with driving dynamics, there's that subject of regenerative braking. Though I have not driven one of those vehicles I've read the brake pedal can have a brick-like or an all-or-nothing feel in some of these systems. That might be annoying enough to discount one model or another.

Maybe you should put the Hyundai Kona/Kia Niro EVs in the mix for a test drive at a much lower price point than the Tesla and may still be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit I believe if you're still willing to deal with the convenience issues associated with fueling EVs especially without a charging station. With the NJ incentives the immediate and long term cost differential vs. the CX-5 could be quite significant. These vehicles are currently sold only in selected markets so you'd have to check that out. These alternatives would be smaller with a lower ride height being in the subcompact class than the other models considered. How may kids and how much stuff you haul to the shore might be an issue.

I rented a budget Kona gas version with the 145 HP gas engine, drove it for 1,500 miles, and found it surprisingly comfortable and a capable handler, actually a little fun to drive. The EV would not have the raspy engine when pushed while the EV is a lot more frisky. The Kona goes 0-60 in 6.2 - 6.6 depending who you read, a 250 mile range, and a lifetime-of-ownership battery warranty for the original owner. How it handles with the batteries sans engine would be up to you.

A Hyundai badge does not have the Tesla cache but I wouldn't be so sure it isn't the better vehicle. Consumer Reports seems to think so.
 
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I would like the car to last 15 years if I need it to. I don't know and am not familiar with Mazda reliability or maintenance costs/expectations.
You have a short-term lease on your current vehicle.
Yet you intend to have your next vehicle for 15 years.
Why the dramatic change car ownership philosophy?
 
You have a short-term lease on your current vehicle.
Yet you intend to have your next vehicle for 15 years.
Why the dramatic change car ownership philosophy?

My former vehicle was an Outback which is more of a wagon and less of an SUV. I wasn’t sure I would like the SUV type that the Forester is. I do, it’s just different in both good ways and bad ways.

My wife and I thought it would be a good idea to lease it, that way if I truly hated it, I could walk away at some point when the dealer would either buy me out at break even cost or at the end of the lease.

When I was in the market for a car, the Forester was redesigned for the 2019 model year. The Outback wasn’t due until the next year and I was in a time crunch. I decided the new tech of the Forester outweighed the form of the Outback with the dated technology. Subaru redesigns their models every 5 years, so the Outback was largely a 2015 at that point.

Generally speaking there were a couple scenarios this summer where we would have taken my Outback to the shore but couldn’t fit everything in the Forester cargo area and ended up taking my wife’s Honda Pilot. From a technology perspective, the Forester is significantly ahead of the 2016 Pilot, both with infotainment features and driver assist features.
 
Well, that Model Y $5,000 difference buys a lot of gas and maintenance over the years. It could be quite a bit more if you are comparing MSRPs. Tesla does not haggle on price--$50k is $50k. And it's not like an EV is maintenance free. Tires are tires. If you are fortunate enough to land on a very reliable vehicle there's a good chance that's the single highest expense over 100,000 miles regardless of power train--two sets of good tires with alignment x $700 = $1,400. That represents about 40% of my total maintenance cost on a 90k miles Sienna to take one example. Electricity is a lot cheaper than gas but as you are well aware not free. Brakes and rotors still need to be replaced even if you get marginally more life from regenerative braking.

I think you need to test drive these vehicles. Since you are concerned with driving dynamics, there's that subject of regenerative braking. Though I have not driven one of those vehicles I've read the brake pedal can have a brick-like or an all-or-nothing feel in some of these systems. That might be annoying enough to discount one model or another.

Maybe you should put the Hyundai Kona/Kia Niro EVs in the mix for a test drive at a much lower price point than the Tesla and may still be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit I believe if you're still willing to deal with the convenience issues associated with fueling EVs expecially without a charging station. With the NJ incentives the immeidate and long term cost differential vs. the CX-5 could be quite significant. These vehicles are currently sold only in selected markets so you'd have to check that out. These alternatives would be smaller with a lower ride height being in the subcompact class than the other models considered. How may kids and how much stuff you haul to the shore might be an issue for hauling kids or stuff to the shore.

I rented a budget Kona gas version with the 145 HP engine, drove it for 1,500 miles, and found it surprisingly comfortable and a capable handler, actually a little fun to drive. The EV would not have the raspy engine when pushed that the gas model has while the EV is a lot more frisky. The Kona goes 0-60 in 6.2 - 6.6 depending who you read, a 250 mile range, and a lifetime-of-ownership battery warranty for the original owner. How it handles with the batteries sans engine would be up to you.

A Hyundai badge does not have the Tesla cache but I wouldn't be so sure it isn't the better vehicle. Consumer Reports seems to think so.

Yes you touch upon some excellent points with the Hyundai, especially the lifetime battery warranty. My criticism of many electrics is that they are FWD or RWD only and not AWD. I do live in a location that gets a handful of days with snow accumulation that requires plowing. While this isn’t like New England mountain type snow amounts, I do feel more comfortable with a vehicle that can handle somewhere between 3-4 inches of snow before things get dicey. I do not want the maintenance of changing to dedicated winters, mostly because I have zero room for storage of the all season set.

The Hyundai does get some high marks especially from Out of Spec Motoring. Kyle is pretty impartial which I appreciate compared to other you tubers.

I agree a test drive is in order but I think we can agree it’s early in the process for me and I was just doing some basic research here. Reliability is important, but not the only thing I’m looking for.

With the pandemic I am leery of having to go to a dealer in person. I have previously driven Teslas and I’m familiar enough with them. I have never driven a Mazda.

Edit - it appears Hyundai no longer offers lifetime warranty. It is now 10/100.
 
Tesla Model Y . End of story. Much cheaper total cost of ownership, plus it helps push EVs into the market further.
Not as pleasing to drive as the Model 3 sedan, questionable build quality, high starting price.
The all-wheel drive Long Range offers 316 miles of range...
The Model Y that we tested was a Long Range model with all-wheel drive, and over our 200-mile highway fuel economy test route we recorded just 94 MPGe and an estimated highway driving range of 220 miles.

- Car & Driver

The Tesla's ride is too stiff and very choppy. Bumps and ruts hit hard, making passengers feel every road imperfection, and the ride motions are short and quick, which makes the car feel nervous.
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Consumer Reports

Just cruising around, we found the Model Y to have a pretty firm ride, like something from BMW's M division. That might be a bit too busy and jolty for some folks. Interior noise is at best so-so (even given the lack of a gasoline engine to drown out the outside world).
- Motor Trend
 
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