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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • I bought it in alaska. Im not very satisfied with my buying experience, but i'm hoping my subaru can live up to the hype. Ive finally got about 1000 miles on it, but the average fuel consumption is terrible.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Yeah, you can't get a decent price in Alaska. I make a quick jump down to Seattle for mine. It was absolutely worth it and I would do it again in heartbeat.

    If you are in Fairbanks, I highly recommend switching out all fluids with full synthetic. Your differentials, especially, will create much less drag in the cold weather and give you probably 2-3 mpg better economy once it dips under zero.
  • I am in fbx. I was wondering if the cold would impact my mileage. My oil cap says 0w-20, but kendall swears only turbos require synthetic. Will have to see about the costs. Ive heard regardless of change, once i put synthetic in, theres no going back.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    edited January 2011
    No, you can go back, but I never would. Synthetic offers better protection and better cold flow. My 2010 asks for 5w-30; I give it 0w-30 synthetic, with the transmission and differentials receiving 75w-90 synthetic. So far, the worst winter tank has been right at 19 mpg, and that was last month (December), which was, on average, much colder than any previous winter month we have seen in quite a few years. Not stellar, for sure, but better than the 16-17 tanks I used to see in previous Outbacks before I started using synthetic fluids.

    So far my calculated average for 22,000 miles is 23.2 mpg, with the warmest six months (April through September) at 25.19 with 9634 miles driven and the colder months at 21.77 with 11636 miles driven. The summer average was drug down a little by our annual dipnet trip, which was 1100 miles pulling a trailer and averaging 17.8 mpg, so that month was 20.7 mpg while the rest were 25.0 or higher. Without that month, the summer average is 26.7. All in all, it is respectable for the way we use the car.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    edited January 2011
    Lic.plate lights stop working most likely because you were closing your rear hatch with those lights on. It is a common knowledge, for example, when investigating airplane crashes, those bulbs, that have their filaments broken, indicate that those bulbs where on at time of impact.

    You may have noticed that most cars (no all though) that have lights with bulbs on their rear lids or hatches are designed in such a way that those lights and bulb are not on, when lids or hatches are being closed (like back-up lights, for example - those would not be on, when you are closing the hatch). You can judge the well thought-design of any cars, if they are properly designed, that these lights or bulbs are not on, when those hatches or lids are being closed.

    I don't think it is an issue with the latch mechanism sticking. They are designed and assembled with exact tolerances and torques so that other components (such as air bags sensors and car body flex) are not compromised.
  • I found this thread very helpful when trying to figure out what to pay for our new Forester, so here is our contribution for our purchase in FL

    Forester 2.5x Limited w/protection group 3 and pop eqpt group 5B
    MSRP $27,859
    Invoice $25,955
    Paid $25,755
    Add non-negotiable dealer "prep fee" of $499 (common among dealers here) and in reality we ended up paying $26,255, $300 over invoice

    We could've gotten a better deal had we not traded in a vehicle, but that is where we ended up after some haggling. If you're not trading in, my recommendation would be to factor in dealer fee and shoot for invoice as the bottom line.
  • I bought the same car (without backup cam) about a month ago for $24,800 +Tax. Your price is really good! I got mine in Oklahoma.
  • 2011 Forester Premium X Manual 5 spd
    All weather package
    Rear Bumper Cover

    Negotiated price of $22,700 includes destination $725 and a PZEV fee of $300.

    Consumer Reports had the bottom line price at $22,200, but I saw nothing about whether that included PZEV. So that could really have been $22,500.

    Out the door $24,500ish. 6.25% sales tax, title, license and a $275 dealer doc fee (UGH).

    How did I do? I'm really wondering how close I got. The PZEV thing threw me, I couldn't find much good information on this. All the Foresters on the lot seemed to have it. I don't know if you can get a non-PZEV Forester in Mass.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You did fine, the dealer's gotta feed his kids. :shades:

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Bought a 2011 Forester for $19,552 plus registration. No sales tax in Oregon.

    MSRP was $22,247.

    2011 Forester X 5 speed
    * Alloy Wheel Value Package
    * Black Roof Rails
    * Rear Bumper Cover
    * Security System Individual Shock Sensor
    * Splash Guard Kit

    Very painless process at Carr Subaru in Beaverton, Oregon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Under $20k with alloys? Out the door?

    You stole it...
  • I found a dealer that was selling a 2010 Forester with 25K on it for more than a comparable equiped 2011 that was NEW!!!

    I contacted the dealer and was told that the Subarus have such GREAT resale that they frequently sell used Subarus for more than new ones!

    I decided to stay away from that dealer.

    Anyone else heard anything like that??
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    edited February 2011
    Hope you car lasts a LONG time!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Nope. That dealer sounds like they're preying on the ignorant amongst us. In some places, the cars hold their value very well and so do not depreciate quickly, but they still depreciate! I could probably buy a new Subaru for less in other places than a (slightly) used one here.
  • Yes, I heard the same thing and my research indicates it's true. I'm in the market for a Forester to replace my 2003 Outback that was in an accident last week. I was sure that I wanted a 2009 or 2010 Forester, but it turns out that both are more expensive than buying the 2011 model. A used car does not have the incentives that they give you with new cars, so if the car maintains its value, the new one tends to be a better deal.

    I looked all over the Internet and could only find 4 2010 Foresters anywhere in the country that cost less (by only $200-$300) than the 2011 price I was quoted and the interest rate is higher to purchase the used model. Not to mention none of the 4 cars were in a state near me. Looks like I'll be getting the 2011 Forester.
  • What does the car cost the dealer?

    Just purchased a 2011 Subaru Forester
    Auto trans
    allow wheels
    roof rails
    steering wheel

    all else standard. I wrote a check for 23001.47 cents. Talk about a pain. What is with this auto game. I can buy 1 million in gold contracts with just a few mouse clicks but buying a car is a game I will never understand. No wonder I keep my cars till they are dead. I hate buying a car.

    Invoice, hold back, "Fees" "dealer prep" "dealer documentation fees" what a load. We all read the same thing. Supposedly a reasonable profit for the dealer is 300.00 dollars. So if the dealer pays 21000 for the car on a credit line of 5 percent then it costs 87.50 a month for each car in the inventory. With a profit of 300 dollars I am to believe the sales people can earn a living and they can pay the electric and heat bill. What gives here?

    How much does the deal make on a sale of 23000.00. I am all for profit in the free world but, why the big secrete. I know one thing I couldn't make a profit selling 100 of something at 21000 if I only got to keep 300.00. It's easier to buy and sell something at a pawn shop. The pawn shop does try to add the Pawn mystery fee.

    "I will sell you the car for 21000.00". Then I get papers in front of me that say 23511.49 cents. I understand I pay sales tax and registration, no issue there. But,,,,,,,, non-itimized "fees", "dealer documentation fees". What BS. Save everyone the time and just say "profit" and add it at the time of the quote and save everyone the time. After 2 weeks of emails I finally said I don't want to know anything about invoices, doc fees or anything else. I will pay 23001.47 on one check end of story and the rest of this transaction will be by email and postal mail. The only time I will set foot on the dealer lot is to drive away the car. I don't want to even see them. I would rather hang out with rats.

    Now, how much did they earn. I surely hope it was more then 300 dollars.
  • I notice that the Edmunds TMV for the 2011 Forester Limited is below invoice. Are the dealerships really selling cars for just 2% over cost (basically, the dealer holdback)? Or, is this where fees such as documentation fees and dealer prep fees come in? Does TMV reflect the negotiated MSRP/Invoice price or the pre-tax sign on the dotted line price?

    Basically, I am trying to get a better idea of how to use the TMV in price negotiations. Are there basically two types of fees:

    1) Invoiced fees from the manufacturer, some of which are paid back to the dealer (holdback and floorplan interest) and some of which are not (destination fee and advertising fees).


    2) Post-settled-price fees added on by the dealer, such as the documentation fees. Do dealer prep fees also fall into this category?

    Does TMV only reflect the average price that consumers are paying including category 1 fees, but not category 2?

    In other words, if a dealership sells a Subaru Forester at Edmunds true market value (which is a bit below invoice in this case), is their only profit from the dealer holdback, or is the TMV not factoring in additional cost that is basically profit to the dealer, such as documentation fees and dealer prep fees?

    Any feedback you can offer would be much appreciated in my up-coming Forester negotiations!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,623
    Straight from the TMV horse's mouth....

    The invoice price does not include any fees that may be charged by the manufacturer to dealers in a particular area of the country, such as local advertising fees, dealer association fees, or docking and storage fees. does not track or provide such local fees.

    If a local fee appears on the invoice, it is an actual cost that the dealer paid to the manufacturer when buying the vehicle. In other cases dealers may choose to write in their own ad fees on the consumer sales contract. However, in either case these local fees are a part of the dealer's cost of doing business.

    Many consumers attempt to determine the dealer's "actual cost" for a vehicle and then "allow" for the dealer to make some profit. However, the invoice price is almost always higher than the amount the dealer actually ends up paying to the manufacturer. This results from a variety of discounts offered to the dealer that do not appear on the invoice. The two most common discounts are "dealer holdback" and "dealer cash incentives" - both of which are available on - but there are often others that are not generally known and that are based on other factors (for example, the dealer's sales volume for a particular month).

    Accordingly, determining the dealer's actual net cost is difficult even for seasoned automotive insiders. This is why we developed the True Market Value® (TMV®) pricing system, which is our determination of what other consumers are actually paying for the vehicle. The TMV® accounts for the effect of all of the manufacturer's extra charges as well as the dealer's hidden subsidies, and we believe it is the most important price to know when negotiating your purchase.

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Some way to do business.

    A dealer does this every day. I do it once in 10 - 15 years. My last Subaru was 17 years old with 270,000 miles. I would still be running it but I live in a mountain location where there is salt on the road for 8 months of the year. First snow in Sept. last in May. While the motor was running fine there wasn't much left on the rest of the car.

    I will only do all this dealing when I have no other choice.

    I just dropped 23000 on a new Forester. I have no idea if I lost my [non-permissible content removed] or did okay.

    How could I know with this way of doing business. At 57 years old I have purchased all kinds of things in my life. Only autos seem to be handled is such a strange manner.

    Let me talk to the manager
    I'm not making any money on this car
    We paid xxxx, here look at the invoice
    We don't know anything about holdback

    We have seen it all.

    My last 3 Subarus all went over 200,000 miles. My Toyota truck is a 1994 with 227,000 miles. If any dealers are out there is listening I can say I would buy a few more new cars and trucks if the game didn't suck. I hope to run this new Forester for 250000 and a minimum of 15 years. I hate dealing with car dealers that much.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,395
    I completely understand & sympathize with your frustrations. The car business is so extemely unique. It is difficult to estimate exactly how much a dealer pays for a certain vehicle & how much profit they make on that vehicle. To be perfectly honest, it shouldn't matter to you. Guides like edmunds, truecar, & kbb are guides so YOU the consumer can determine what YOU think is a fair price to pay for a certain vehicle & not how much profit they make.

    I'm not trying to sound insensitive, but if you are driving a car for 15 - 17 years & putting over 250,000 miles on a vehicle, does it really matter if you paid $500, $1000, even $2000 "too much?"

    Now one option is to not go back to a dealer who "plays games" like you say. Now I don't know where you live, maybe there is only 1 Subaru dealer within X miles & they know it & can get X amount for their cars because of the mountainous region you are in. Maybe it would be worth your time & money to travel to a region where Subaru dealers actually have to compete for business, like New England, New York, or New Jersey.

    If you had a dealer willing to work with you, how often would you trade up for a new one? Do you pay cash or finance your vehicles?

    BTW, you put some really impressive amounts of miles on your cars. What's your secret to getting them to run so long.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

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