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Subaru Forester Tops Honda CR-V in Consumer Reports SUV Review

May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru Forester compact sport utility vehicle beat Honda Motor Co.’s CR-V and other rivals in testing by Consumer Reports, which ranked the model as its top pick in that segment.

The revamped 2014 model light truck from Tokyo-based Fuji Heavy won praise from the non-profit magazine for “space-efficient design, large windows, and big square doors.” Those and other features helped it outscore CR-V, Toyota Motor Corp.’s RAV4 and Mazda Motor Corp.’s CX-5, Consumer Reports said.

“If you’re looking for a small SUV that’s very functional and fuel-efficient, the Forester is hard to beat,” Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said in an e-mailed statement. The magazine also said the Subaru model has quicker acceleration and leads competitors in fuel economy.

Praise from the influential publication comes after Fuji Heavy this month said it will invest $400 million to boost U.S. capacity by the end of 2016 as demand rises for its vehicles including the Forester SUV. U.S. Subaru sales for Toyota-affiliated Fuji Heavy rose 17 percent this year through April, the biggest increase among Asia-based carmakers. Compact SUV and sport wagon sales are up 15 percent to 1.05 million units in the first four months, according to Autodata Corp.

Consumer Reports said its review of the Forester will appear in the magazine’s July edition. Subaru’s U.S. sales unit is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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