Used test: Honda CR-V vs Mazda CX-5 vs Subaru Forester – What …

The Contenders

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC SE auto

List cost when new £30,520

Price today £17,500*

Available from 2012-present

The Honda CR-V is a some-more comfort oriented SUV, though could this nine-speed automobile chronicle be a fastest shifter in a west?


Mazda CX-5 2.2d 150 AWD SE-L Nav auto

List cost when new £27,895

Price today £14,500*

Available from 2012-2017

A leader for a dynamics, though could a some-more required six-speed automobile in a Mazda CX-5 be a undoing?


Subaru Forester 2.0d XC Premium Lineartronic

List cost when new £30,995

Price today £19,000*

Available from 2013-present

The Subaru Forester is rugged, no-nonsense and a small bit gruff, though does a CVT delivery move any newfound sophistication?


Price currently is formed on a 2015 indication with normal mileage and full use history, scold during time of writing


The Honda CR-V was a renouned family SUV when it arrived behind in 2012, though rivals have given shone a vicious light on a cost, potency and dynamics. However, when propitious with a nine-speed involuntary gearbox and interconnected with an fit 1.6-litre diesel, these issues could be solved. Its emissions are really low, while a dynamics should be roughly softened by a further of a some-more complicated gearbox.

The Subaru Forester is reduction endangered with picture and emissions than a CR-V, settling instead for a simple, all-weather interest of an old-school SUV, finish with permanent four-wheel expostulate rather than a on-demand systems of a others here. This facelifted indication gets a CVT involuntary gearbox and a softened touchscreen system.

Which leaves a Mazda CX-5. It sets a benchmark with a change of enchanting handling, rival costs, clever opening and atmospheric cabin. This facelifted instance has a softened cabin, that ups a peculiarity and increases a distance of a customary infotainment complement on this SE-L Nav version.


What are they like to drive?

The CR-V’s gearbox shifts are roughly inaudible in solid driving, so we can usually humour a engine’s decent coherence (although a gait is rather mediocre) and low-revving motorway manners. The usually irritations are that a gearbox spasmodic hesitates when we lift away, and it infrequently binds initial rigging in indolent stop-start traffic, creation a accelerator response jerky.

Jerkiness isn’t something you’ll humour in a Subaru. As with many CVT autos, accelerating tough formula in some-more sound than tangible benefit in pace, though differently a gearbox responds predictably as it goes adult and down a 2.0-litre motor’s mid-range. However, it’s a slowest automobile here.

The Mazda’s six-speed automobile doesn’t feel as quick as a CR-V’s ’box, though it’s still smooth. The CX-5’s 2.2-litre engine delivers a strongest response with no stiff surges in power, and it stays a benchmark for diesel opening in this test.

The CX-5 is also still a best for handling. It has roughly reduction physique gaunt by corners than a other dual (particularly a really messy CR-V) and a steering is predicted and good weighted, creation it relaxing in city and gratifying on twisty roads.

Despite all 3 cars carrying four-wheel drive, a CR-V and Forester’s eagerness to rinse far-reaching by quick corners creates farming roads or quick bends reduction enjoyable. Both are ideally grippy and confidence-inspiring in normal pottering, though a Forester’s delayed steering creates it feel some-more unwieldy than a CR-V, that turns in to corners keenly. It’s usually a contrition a Honda’s complicated steering can be tough work during low speeds.

Ride comfort is also a bugbear in a Honda since it thumps heavily over speed bumps and empty covers, and doesn’t settle scrupulously until it’s on faster, smoother roads. Mind you, all of these cars can be differing over mid-corner bumps, and a CX-5 is marginally a misfortune affected, though a Mazda is some-more forgiving on scabby city roads than a Honda.

The Subaru offers a many resilient float here. As with a CR-V, a physique bobs adult and down noticeably over large bumps, though it’s a many gentle overall.

All of these cars humour from copiousness of highway sound during speed, and a engines sound plain-spoken underneath acceleration. The Subaru fares worst, and also has some-more quivering by a circle and pedals.

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