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Forester Turbo in 1 year

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I have a '98 myself, they allow you to adjust the front and rear angles, not so much the height itself.

    Passat is built on an Audi platform and is in a totally different price territory (4Motions are over $30 grand). The Jetta is closer in price, really. Still, look at crash tests, every Subie tested is a best pick. They're pretty solid.

    A half-open window will rattle if you slam the door, but that's not necessarily an indication of how solid the structure is. For instance, the Forester got 5 stars in side impact tests, front and rear.

    -juice
  • brady222brady222 Posts: 10
    I'm guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of a mild 5-7psi.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,465
    Baja Turbo specs say max. boost pressure = 11.6 PSI. The XT has the same engine. BTW, the compression ratio is 8.2:1 and Premium fuel, 91 octane minimum is required.

    DaveM
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Nevermind. Evil thoughts about a modified Forester XT wreaking havoc at stoplights from sea to shining sea.

    Going to be the best sleeper to hit the market in years, tehe.

    -B
  • steves_gtsteves_gt Posts: 2
    Yeah Townhall, plenty of room to go fast on the Stuart Highway by day, but its rare that I travel anywhere at night faster than 80 kph (50 mph). Kangaroos are too unpredictable.

    They test a lot of new cars (pre-production prototypes) here. The current model Corvettes (C5's) were here for months screaming up and down the highway - going through a variety of tests. I think that Car & Driver Magazine published "spy photos" taken by one of my work mates years ago.

    Cheers, Steve
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    now I know Ill be expected to shell out over $28K for an xt premium package, as none of the local dealers seem inclined to discuss moving off sticker at this stage in the game. This makes me have second thoughts about a 2002 WRX wagon that is inextricably still sitting on the lot in a small town nearby, equipped exactly as i would want, and I am confident I can get it for 22K or less.
       for me, one of the biggest unknowns is comfort for long drives. several times a month, sometimes several times a week, i drive 6 to 12 hours in a single day, almost all of it on the interstate. the seat on the WRX seems to be plenty supportive on test drives...but what about six hours later? i drive my 1994 ford explorer with 140K miles on these long trips just because it has the premium electric seats with the pneumatic adjustable lumbar and lateral/thigh support...the seat on my wife's A6 is so hard after two hours my seat is hurting.
       So, any testimonials from WRX drivers on long haul seat comfort? any late model Forester long haul comparisons? i really wont mind saving $6000, especially if im still smiling six hours later!
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    Judging by my experience last month when I was pricing wrx wagons (2003), you should absolutely be able to get an 02 wagon for less than 22K. With no struggling, I had 3 offers from dealers in the area for under $22K on new 03 wagons...you'd think the 02 would go for much less, given that it's already depreciated on the used market (even though it's new). Bargain away on that thing!!

    B
  • mutcthmutcth Posts: 17
    We bolted a set of WRX front seats into our 2002 Outback Sport. (Its seats were like mush.) The seats are firm and offer good support, but I personally find the leg bolsters too confining for long trips, and lumbar support isn't the best.

    I'm surprised you find the A6 seats (is it a pre -98?) so hard - they are a lot more comfy than the seats in my 2000 Passat. I've liked the seats in the various 2003-2004 Foresters I've tried; nice height adjustment and lumbar adjustment.

    Tom
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I emailed SOA asking what changes to the transmission and suspension there were (if any) for the XT.

    I received a reply that the final specs are not yet available and to check back in two weeks. It doesn't seem to make sense given that XTs are arriving at dealer locations already.

    Ken
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    mutcth wrote: "I've liked the seats in the various 2003-2004 Foresters I've tried; nice height adjustment and lumbar adjustment."

    The problem I have with the XT height adjustment is that as the seat is raised, it seems to tilt forward a bit. This isn't a problem for the backrest, which can then be readjusted - but the seat base winds up too "flat" when raised. It would have been much better to provide separate height adjustments for the front and rear of the seat base. Either that, or a single height adjustment plus a tilt adjustment. The Forester's seat bases are so short front-to-back that there is no thigh support at all when the seat base is too flat.

    Anybody know how difficult it will be to unbolt a Forester's front seats and insert shims or spacers in the forward mounts to increase the tilt of the seat base?
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Ken wrote: "I emailed SOA asking what changes to the transmission and suspension there were (if any) for the XT."

    I agree with you that hard info about the XT remains nearly nonexistent. I've already ordered mine, but I would have preferred to see at least a "first-drive" report in C&D or M/T or one of the other mags, if not a full road test. Subaru must really be playing this close to the vest.

    Did you see my msg on the price I'll be paying for a first-allocation XT next month? $23,323 invoice plus $177 for Group 1C, $145 for Group 3B, and $200 for the column-mounted boost gauge - plus $100 markup. Total delivered price before license and title: $23,945 equipped exactly the way I want (with NO rear spoiler!).

    I would have included leather and the sunroof if they were available with 5-speed, but I can't complain about my total price. Other dealers in my area wanted anywhere from $500 over invoice all the way up to several hundred over MSRP as "additional dealer margin".

    The WRX made C&D's Ten Best two years in a row. The XT ought to provide nearly comparable performance, handling, and braking with an added dimension of practicality and everyday driveability. Think the Forester will take the WRX's place on next year's Ten Best?

    - jack
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Jack,

    That's a fantastic price -- more so for a brand new and highly anticipated model!

    My local dealer had a very basic brochure on the XT, but only had the high level specs offered in the press release. However, I have to imagine that dealers already have more detailed information at this point. I saw someone post pictures over at NASIOC of XTs at a dealership. There's got to be service manuals available that go into the level of detail I'm looking for.

    In any event, when are you supposed to get your XT? Please post your driving impressions when you get it! It would also be interesting if you could compare it to the WRX wagon as well.

    Ken
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    hmmmm..i tend to sit in a very upright position with as much lumbar support as possible...sounds like the forester seats may leave my thighs hanging way out over the edge of the seat.
      Ive enlisted my co workers in the WRX wagon vs Forester XT debate...their spin: you bought your wife a new Audi A6 with every available option? you can buy yourself whatever you want! .....dont you wish it worked that way in real life "married with children"?
  • jason_elsjason_els Posts: 57
    So tell us Ballistic, where you get your great deal?
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Ken sez: "That's a fantastic price -- more so for a brand new and highly anticipated model!>

    To be honest, I was amazed at the bid. This was the last bid I requested, and the dealer's internet sales rep came back with $200 over invoice. After one or two e-mails, he settled on $100 over. It was the most painless auto price negotiation I've ever experienced. I realize there's the behind-the-curtain 3% holdback, but even so I am very satisfied with the deal.

    "My local dealer had a very basic brochure on the XT, but only had the high level specs offered in the press release. However, I have to imagine that dealers already have more detailed information at this point."

    Not only dealers, who aren't talking (much), but also: Why didn't Subaru let journalists drive the car in time for published tests to be on the newstands by now? Not only have I not driven a car I'm soon buying, but none of the "experts" in whose opinions I place some reliance have written about how it drives, either. It does seem odd.

    "In any event, when are you supposed to get your XT? Please post your driving impressions when you get it! It would also be interesting if you could compare it to the WRX wagon as well."

    Should be here by mid-June, maybe a few days sooner. Unfortunately, it'll be about two months before I can comment on performance; I am a fanatic about gently and gradually breaking in a new car. I always keep cars for at least 100K miles, and I keep cars I really like even longer. My beloved early '79 RX7 (driven very hard once past break-in) went past 200K with virtually zero trouble. I might be driving it still except that it provided no place for our baby daughter.

    With all the Forester's attributes, I can easily imagine putting 150K well-maintained miles on it over 15 years or so.

    I won't be able to compare it to a WRX because the last Subaru I've driven (before recently testing an '03 X) was my wife's odd little sedan (GL?) in the '70s. However, I hope (and expect) the car mags to compare the WRX and XT for us!
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Subewannabe sez "hmmmm..i tend to sit in a very upright position with as much lumbar support as possible...sounds like the forester seats may leave my thighs hanging way out over the edge of the seat."

    That's my problem, too, although I don't sit quite as upright. The front seat cushions on the Forester are at least 3" less front-to-back than in my wife's Concorde. The other Forester seat issue is that I like to sit well back from the steering wheel, with my arms nearly out straight. In the Forester, the clutch travel is so long that I can't fully depress the clutch without moving the seat closer to the wheel than I'd like - and then the accelerator is several inches too close for right-leg comfort. I'll probably find a workable compromise, but unfortunately the driving position isn't ideal for me. However, I'll put up with quite a bit in exchange for the XT's other qualities.
     
      "Ive enlisted my co workers in the WRX wagon vs Forester XT debate...their spin: you bought your wife a new Audi A6 with every available option? you can buy yourself whatever you want! .....dont you wish it worked that way in real life "married with children"?

    I'm no [non-permissible content removed]-whipped wimp, but I also don't go out of my way to intentionally displease my wife. She's not thrilled that the XT will have a 5-speed because she has a bad back and constantly operating the clutch won't help. However, her Chrysler has an automatic, and my position is that it isn't necessary for BOTH of our cars to meet all of her preferences; the car I mainly drive should rightly tilt to my specs. There really will be no need for her to drive the XT anyhow unless we take it on long trips, when she might spell me, and then it'll be freeway driving - snick into 5th and cruise for hours, no shifting needed. Case closed.

    I, on the other hand, have been grudgingly driving automatics for six years, and I'm dying to get back to a manual.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Jason asks "So tell us Ballistic, where you get your great deal?"

    I wrote to each of the 6 Portland (OR) area dealers inviting bids. All but 1 replied, ranging from $500 over invoice to $300 over MSRP. I then went to the website of the non-responding dealer, found the link for his Internet sales rep, and asked for a quote. He came back with $200 over invoice, and we settled on $100 over. If you're near Portland and want a quote, I'll be glad to put you in touch. He's remarkably low-pressure, too. There are still many things that could go awry, but so far it's been the best of my many car-buying experiences.

    The other shoe will probably drop when I ask for a trade-in value on our 1-owner '91 AWD Grand Caravan...I'm hearing that dealers aren't coming even close to Kelley Blue Book wholesale.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Almost forgot: One minor disappointment discovered while roadtesting a 2003 X: The hefty double ornamental horizontal crossbars that fill the radiator air inlet don't appear to be removable; they're an integral part of the perimeter chrome surround. I was hoping to take the crossbars out and install a pair of good driving lights in the opening. Anybody have any suggestions on how to mount auxiliary lights someplace on the front of a current Forester?
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Perhaps one reason why we haven't seen much media attention on the XT is because to the general public, it's just a Forester with an upgraded engine. The new MY03 Forester was thoroughly covered already so this is really just an update. But what an update it is -- for us Subaru fanatics!

    Jack -- I'd love to hear even your intial impressions during the break-in period. I'm sure the turbo will make a noticeable difference over the NA model (if you have driven one).

    Ken
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    From Ken: "Jack -- I'd love to hear even your intial impressions during the break-in period. I'm sure the turbo will make a noticeable difference over the NA model (if you have driven one)."

    I'll post all observations, positive or otherwise. Having driven no recent Subarus prior to the XT announcement, I wangled a 4-hour test drive in a new '03 X 5-speed. It already delivers reasonably snappy performance. There are several grades on my drive to work that require my current vehicle to downshift from 4th to 3rd just to maintain speed. The X had no trouble holding speed even in 5th - so the XT ought to be a heckuva ride.

    I recall your messages wondering what Subaru might have changed in the XT's suspension or transmission. Frankly, the '03 X I drove handled and braked so amazingly well that I don't know what they could do to improve it by much, other than maybe stickier tires. I saw reviews indicating that Foresters understeer (which I dislike), and so I thought I might have to swap in a stiffer rear stabilizer bar - but on dry pavement I was unable to provoke any understeer at all in the borrowed X. Maybe it's worse in the wet, where lower peak lateral loads don't bring the stabilizer bar(s) into play as much.

    As for the 5-speed box, I have no idea whether the standard Forester unit can cope with the XT's 40% greater torque, so I hope the gearbox gets beefed up - and I also hope the 4th gear ratio becomes a bit taller to reduce the large span between 4th and 5th. It's really too bad the STi's 6-speed isn't an available option. Think about it: They could provide a stump-pulling 1st gear (effectively taking the place of a dual-range transfer case).

    The shift linkage on the X I drove felt a bit vague. I've read about quick-shift replacement levers for Imprezas. Some of them come with a harder pivot bushing that is claimed to reduce the rubbery imprecision in the linkage. I don't need the quick-shift's shorter throws, but I'd like to see whether putting the harder bushing into the stock linkage might bring crisper shifts.

    - Jack, who can barely wait...
  • jason_elsjason_els Posts: 57
    There is an odd lack of any information on this model. If you're not specifically interested in the Forester you probably don't know the model exists. When I called Van Bortel two weeks ago the sales person I talked to kept thinking I was talking about the old XT. It appears Subaru hasn't done any sales training let alone make any announcements on the SOA website. It's a bizarre situation for a new model like this to get so little attention from the manufacturer.

    Take a look at the H6 wagon, that still doesn't have its photos or 360 views finished and it's been up on SOA's website for two months! SOA does have comparative specs for the XT on the website but nothing else.

    I have to say, if I were sitting in Subaru's corporate offices I'd be more than a little angry that SOA has done aboslutely nothing other than produce a 3 page fold-out (that the dealer couldn't part with because they only had one) on the XT.

    Guess that means better prices for buyers but it's a hamfisted way to promote a product.
  • orangelebaronorangelebaron Posts: 435
    http://www.subaru.co.jp/forester/fascination/index.html

    Nice water repellant red seats...very cool!
    Will we get them here? I see California plates in the pic!!!!
    Come on Suburu bring those over here! Why do we American always get stuck with all the boring crap?
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Jack: Great -- you did what I was hoping for: test drive a non-turbo Forester. Now you have a baseline for comparison!

    Yes, the non-turbo models deliver pretty fun driving especially when mated to a 5-speed. I've upgraded the rear sway bar in my 98 Forester S from 13mm to 18mm and it makes a noticeable difference on dry pavement. You actually need to be a little careful driving in snow since it becomes a bit tail-happy.

    The shift linkage in the Foresters do feel a little less direct as a result of the dampening material. The shift lever in the Forester is taller than the Impreza (everything else is the same, IIRC). That can easily be remedied by installing the STi short throw kit, a short shift lever or even by changing out the shift knob.

    Jason: All I saw at my local dealer last month was the same 3-page fold out flyer. And it was the only copy too.

    orangelebaron: Write to SOA and tell them that's what you want! If enough people ask, who knows?

    Ken
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Ken wrote: "you did what I was hoping for: test drive a non-turbo Forester. Now you have a baseline for comparison!"

    This will no doubt mark me as a clod, but even though I prefer 5-speeds, I don't like to be FORCED to row a car along with the gearbox lever. I like a car to have sufficient power and flexibility down low (even down to idle) so that if I'm stopping at a light on level pavement and it goes green while I'm still barely rolling, I can pull away in second. I don't mind downshifting to get strong acceleration, but prefer not being forced to downshift just to pull smoothly away. The '03 X I tested was pleasantly capable of doing this. The XT will have a lower compression ratio (which works against low-RPM power) but will add variable intake valve timing (which ought to enhance bottom-end flexibility). I will be very interested to see whether the XT improves on the NA X in this regard.

    "I've upgraded the rear sway bar in my 98 Forester S from 13mm to 18mm and it makes a noticeable difference on dry pavement. You actually need to be a little careful driving in snow since it becomes a bit tail-happy."

    I prefer handling to be neutral to slight oversteer. Fortunately, stiffer rear bars are readily available and easy to install, so that shouldn't be difficult to accomplish.

    "The shift linkage in the Foresters do feel a little less direct as a result of the dampening material."

    Kartboy makes a harder bushing for the shift linkage that supposedly eliminates much of the flex. That will probably be one of my first modifications, along with clear Osram SilverStar +50 headlamp bulbs, headlight relays, and (if I can find anyplace to mount them!) a pair of long-range driving lights. Maybe a pair of small-diameter high-quality projector-beam units will fit someplace, but I haven't yet figured out how.

    - jack
  • manavimanavi Posts: 150
    I noticed that if you click on "Recent Articles" in the middle of the Edmund's home page, at the bottom there is a Coming Soon heading and underneath that it says:

    First Drive: 2004 Subaru Forester XT (June 2003)

    Also, a follow-up test on a turbo Baja.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    "I noticed that if you click on "Recent Articles" in the middle of the Edmund's home page, at the bottom there is a Coming Soon heading and underneath that it says: First Drive: 2004 Subaru Forester XT (June 2003)"

    I saw that too, a few days ago. I hope the host of this conference will alert those of us who are dying for authoritative comments about how the new XT drives will let us all know as soon as the article appears. Please? I'm begging!

    - jack
  • spgrspgr Posts: 23
    I have three kids and currently own a minivan but the arrival of the XT is very tempting. Do any forester owners out there transport three youngsters in the back seat and how comfortable is it? Does the middle seat have a lap belt or a regular shoulder belt?
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Well it's about time SOMEONE reviewed the XT!!

    Can't wait.

    Ken
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have put 3 toddlers in the back seat. The 1998 Forester had a center lap belt, but I think they started using a middle shoulder belt as of the 2001 model year. The 2003 definitely has 5 shoulder belts.

    So it'll depend on the seat, and how wide they are. I got 3 of them to fit, but it was a squeeze. I would pick a bigger vehicle if I had 3 kids to haul all the time.

    -juice
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    juice,

    Are you thinking about #3? ;-)

    Ken
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