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Forester Turbo in 1 year

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  • jason_elsjason_els Posts: 57
    I drove past the dealer today. The dealer that told me there would be no XTs until the end of summer. As I glanced.... OH WOW! Cayenne red XT w/ Premium parked righ in front. Now this was a happy coincidence as they just received the shipment on Sunday (yes that's right). Thank you SDC!

    I couldn't resist.....

    Despite my previously published reservations about the interior, I decided I really liked it. The leather was very nice and the gray looked much nicer than in photos. The sunroof was spectacular as I imagined but since I want a manual (grumble, grumble), I can't get the moonroof so I closed it up.

    The hood bulge really really stood out when I first got in it but as I drove it soon faded into my normal vision, being unintrusive. Pulling out of the parking lot I was immediately impressed by the torque right off the line. The car picks-up to 30 or so then seems to pause just a bit before starting to MOVE. Now I drive a Saab 9000 with a 2.3 turbo mated to an automatic and the feeling was very similar. I had to use my foot to shift just like I did in the Saab. Twice it didn't downshift when I wanted but I figure the ECU just needs to learn more. Only a very slight increase in pedal pressure was required to coax it to downshift. On the sweeping highway on-ramp I held steady on the accelerator and setup a nice smooth curving arc, the Jeep ahead, going about the same speed, leaned excessively. The Forester did not lean AT ALL. Not that I was going that fast, about 40, but I was impressed nonetheless.

    The highway itself was pretty interesting. It was a little crowded but moving with a few slow industrial vehicles in the right lane. I just pushed the pedal and..... oh my god I'm going 80 already! I had no clue I was going that fast. Yes my Saab is fast but having had it for so long I can usually guess what speed I'm going without looking. The Forester definitely feels slower than you're actually going and that, in my book, puts a few tallies in the "Great Car" category.

    You don't hear the turbo unless the radio is off and the windows are rolled-up. As it was 85F I had to have the A/C on, and on blast-mode it is very loud but I did turn it off just to hear what everything sounded like. The engine is growly under acceleration and you can hear a slight turbo whine if you listen. It's quite nice, not a rude fartcan sound nor is it wimpy. The road noise on the highway is somewhat intrusive but the wind noise isn't as bad as I've heard. Just an FYI, the radio is ok but nothing to write-home about. Doesn't matter to me much, where I live we have terrible radio stations so I mostly listen to AM and books-on-CD (that changer will be nice on long trips!).

    Power delivery is always RIGHTTHERE, just like my Saab. You think of where you want to go and how fast and the XT obliges without complaint or stress. The keyword for the Forester is, "smooth". Smooth power delivery, smooth cruising, smooth (if a little mushy) braking. I could tell the tires were over-inflated and that led to a slight tendency to wander and overreact to steering input but the overall feeling was wonderful. I really liked the steering. It wasn't as good as some true German sports cars I've driven but it was damn close. The Forester feels like you're piloting a solid brick. It doesn't feel like a chunk of solid steel like the best Germans, but a simple brick and, given all other cross-over vehicles I tried, it's a revalation.

    Swinging through Miracle Mile strip mall traffic the XT was composed and handled beautifully. On sharp turns off of lights and merging I never felt like I was driving something other than a car. Cornering was flat and secure even when I thought I might exceed the Geolanders' adhesion. Visibility in the mirrors was good. The rear headrests do cut uncomfortably into rearward vision but since I rarely have rear passengers, I'm planning on removing them. Keep this in mind if you frequently ferry around tall kids or car pool. The side mirrors do a nice job, but they don't replace the rearview. The A/C was WONDERFUL! It took five or six minutes to get going really cold but when it did I thought, 'Now that's American-style A/C!' It cooled the car without problem.

    Now I do have a few peeves including a really concerning one.

    1. The lower seat cushion is too short! I WISH Japan would wake-up and realize we need bigger seats than they do. I was comfortable but not entirely relaxed. Agree that the seats do indeed tilt forward the higher you raise them.

    2. Impossible to read the radio LEDs in sunlight. The LEDs are just way too dark. Pressing the 'bright' button on the A/C does nothing. I thought I might have had the headlights or parking lights on but I didn't. It was just plain dim.

    3. The climate control system can only be activated by going into auto mode. Just like my Saab, it decides you want BLASTING AIR RIGHT NOW!!!! every time it comes on. You can't (from what I saw) turn on the system by pressing any button other than 'AUTO'. I do not like that. I like control.

    4. I thought I hear detonation. Now I know the STi has been having this debate going on but I could have sworn that's what it is; unless it's normal to Subaru engines to sound that way. The sound came while in a very narrow part of the band, right around 2k to 3k RPMs. Soon as I heard it I thought it sounded like a padded can full of brass keys. I noticed it while decelerating with everything off, and it was barely audible but then the car is virtually silent at idle. Since the car had a full tank when I got in it I assumed the dealership put in cheap gas and I hope that's what it is, but it concerned me nonetheless. I hope I'm wrong about the whole thing.

    Sorry to go on like this but I was so impressed by this car. I've been waiting for this to arrive since it was first rumoured over a year ago and I was thrilled that it exceeded all my expectations. The automatic really isn't a handicap at all and when you learn to shift with your foot it kicks in quite reliably. Still no substitute for rowing your own but daily traffic commuters won't be any kind of purgatory.
  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    The parts manager got them today and I went over and got two of them today, you never know what fits and where you may need one. Let me tell you these things are not only smaller diameter - they are short in length too. Also, these are Japanese imports not made by any filter maker (for Subaru) here in the USA. Make sure you let your parts manager know as this is a BRAND NEW not stocked before Subaru filter.

    You'll understand what I mean when you see one.

    Price is about $7.50 (each) plus tax.
  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    Now you know what I mean. And the Automatic gets better after you have 1000 miles on it and its learned your driving manners.

    In talking to the owner of this dealership (he owns one up North too). He is seeing the response to the XT both 5 speed and Auto and he is not only getting more, but trading or buying from other dealers............ I really think this car is a sleeper..........

    If you want one, bite the bullet and get it, I don't believe anyone will regret it. This is a vast improvement over the 2.5 SOHC.

    One finally comment the dealer made that brought a smile to my face, is he mentioned one person that test drove it said it was too much power and he was getting a new 2004 XS with the other 2.5 engine :-).

    Oh - Nationwide came up with the real figure of my insurance premium increase $15.00 every six months......... :-):-):-)
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    chassol says, "these things are not only smaller diameter - they are short in length too."

    I'd sure like to hear the engineering rationale for putting such a tiny filter on such a powerful (for Subaru) engine.

    - jb
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 400
    aint misbehavin...are you? by subewannabe Jun 27, 2003 (12:34 pm)
    I stopped by my nearest subaru dealer yeaterday, prestige subaru in Asheville( which happens to be the biggest volume dealer in the southeast with a really great service crew that loves aftermarket tuning). they have sold 4 of the 6 XT's they received last week, and agreed to sell me whatever i want on the VIP plan at invoice . the salesman suggested taking the savings on the price of the car and getting the leather, premium sound, more sound insulation and even a sunroof if i want it on a MT through their aftermarket detail shop, under the MSRP on the Premium Package , and get better leather in the process. they had a 2003 silver XS with the premium package that included a light gray leather, and it looked so much better , IMHO, than the dark gray you can get in the XT. Likewise the beige leather in the cayenne red XS. the salesman offered his personal opinion that the AT is more than adequate performance, though, unless i was a MT purist.
      one a side note, the seats on the XT are the same shape and structure as the NA forester, i.e. no meaningful thigh and side bolsters like the WRX. I really like the WRX seats and LOVE, not like, the pneumatic adjustable seat bolsters and lumbar supports on the 6-way electric adjustable leather seats, driver and passenger side,in my '94 explorer.maybe i can get an aftermarket seat set rather than just putting leather on the existing seats.( i actually considered pulling the explorer seats out and putting them in an XT and hook them up to the seat heater circuit, but i dont think that will work.)

       On a serious note....in an amazing display of restraint, i turned down repeated offers to take his remaining 2 XT's on test drives, one Black AT , the other a Red MT. I decided to "do the right thing", considering all the posts in here about getting a truly "virgin" new XT and making sure it was not abused in the break in period. I was also reacting to my shock, and anger, after reading a few posts of folks who test drove XTs from dealers' very limited supply, just out of curiosity and with absolutely no intent to buy it, then blatantly ignored the manuf. recomm. break in procedures by pushing the cars to redline! somebody else can later buy the car that they have abused, and wonder why their car is losing compression at high RPM, etc., and that dealer who trusted them to test drive a car responsibly can try to appease an unhappy owner of a "new " XT and figure out whats wrong with that car and try to fix it.
        the posts in here from new BUYERS like chassol and ballistic have been worth their weight in gold to people who are considering buying a new XT or just subaru enthusiasts. now we also have the reviews in the car mags coming out, driving cars provided by Subaru to be driven to the limits. if you are not buying, maybe you should give some thought to whether you would want to be the person who bought the car you test drove.
    Mark
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