I am buying a new car in Sydney Australia, not the Sydney in Canada, and looked at several cars including the Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Mazda CX-5. One of the cars is designed for driving on the road. The other cars appear to be designed purely for the showroom.
Toyota have the RAV and the RAV changed size a few times over model revisions. Suzuki have a current model half way in size between the old Forester and the current Forester.
The Subaru range is designed for roads of the type we have in Australian and Subaru test their cars here. I do not know where else they test their cars. I know a lot of people who own Subarus and drive them over the full range of roads I drive over. The Subarus survive and are easy to drive in those conditions. I have enjoyed the front seat and the back seat of Subaru Foresters over most roads, they type i rive on 95% of the time.zz
I tested a brand new Volkswagen Tiguan over good suburban roads. The car was acceptable at slow speed in the dealer car park and at slow speeds on smooth suburban roads. The slightest increase in speed produced an unacceptablelevel or road noise and metal panel boom. the Tiguan sounded more like a 1980s truck, or a 1960s Ford, than a car. If the Tiguan was half the price of the Forester, I would not buy the Tiguan.
The Mazda CX-5 did not make the trip out ofthe showroom. Sitting in the CX-5, after the Tiguan and the Forester, I decided to not test drive the CX-5. The CX-5 is, at best, a Mazda 3 decorated to look more like a full size car. The Mazda 3 is small and too cramped for me. The 3 fits four short people, or two medium size people, with very little luggage. You have to step up to the Mazda 6 for four adults and some luggage. A CX version of the Mazda 6 could be a good starting point.
The CX-5 is a 3 with a higher roof and some fancy sounding technology but it is not designed for country roads in Australia. The outside of the CX-5 appears to be larger than the Tiguan and comparable to the Forester but inside everything is cramped. Compared to the othercars, the CX-5 is big on the outside and small onthe inside.
The local media always rave about Volkswagen reliability because they receive so much money from advertising the brand. Reliability measurements of real cars in real use show Volkswagen down below average with Subaru and Mazda above average. When you go outside the city, Volkswagen and Mazda both drop down compared to Subaru.
Toyota beats all those brands for reliability and the Toyota RAV competes in this size bracket. I have not yet tested the RAV and the current RAV is an old design due for replacement.