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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    I know most people here think that the '04 Forester turbo will be a "federalized" version of the current Japanese-spec 2.0L XT, yet rumors of a 2.5L version persist...

    If they do offer a 2.5L, I hope that it's not just going to be a "WRXed Forester;" by that I mean just a high-performance version of the existing Forester. I certainly want high performance, don't get me wrong; but I would hope the added displacement would be put to use by making the Forester more functional, in the *utility* sense. Yes, I mean increased towing , better off-road capability, etc.

    If they just make it another speed demon, without addressing those other issues, I think a great opportunity will have been lost.

  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318

    OK, fellas/ladies. I got a few things to ask/talk about here.
    Gas mileage: I just did some calculations of my gas mileage over the Memorial Day weekend on my 2002 Subaru Forester S (now with 6500 miles on the odometer). Y'all tell me if these numbers sound normal for the vehicle, considering I had a fuel system issue that put it in the shop 9 days after I bought it. It has an automatic transmission, by the way. The mileage is in chronological order from oldest to most recent:

    85% city/15% highway: 290.9 miles / 14.940 gallons / 19.47mpg

    Ran the A/C about half the time here, since the week before Memorial Day was nice in Atlanta.
    95% highway/5% city: 372.4 miles / 14.071 gallons / 26.47mpg

    Ran the A/C most of the drive during this stretch.
    95% highway/5% city: 377.0 miles / 15.008 gallons / 25.12mpg

    During this stretch, I sat in stalled traffic for nearly an hour on the insterstate with the A/C on and off as needed.

    Disconnecting the battery: I volunteered to try resetting the ECU in my vehicle to see if that solved some of the startup hesitation mentioned earlier. I was told that the radio presets would have to be reprogrammed. Is that all? What about the remote keyless entry (no security system). If I don't have to reprogam that, I'd like to know. I read the instructions on how to do it and didn't find the procedure to be the easiest in the world. Let me know, and I'll try the ECU reset this weekend.
  • dcabdcab Posts: 101
    I test drove a 2003 yesterday. I had never driven an automatic Forester before and was surprised by the relatively high RPM's when accelerating. The tachometer reached 4000-4500 several times when accelating to highway speed. Is the Forester geared differently than the Outback? The Outback weighs several hundred pounds more than the Forester and yet the mileage is the same.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    burnsmr4 -- IMO, your city milage looks a little on the low side, but nothing to be alarmed about, and your highway milage looks fine. What speed were you averaging on the highway. I've found that going over the 80mph barrier greatly reduces milage.

    dcab -- Gearing might be different between the two models, but what I think you might be seeing is a relatively new TCU. You'll find that two vehicles with the same specs, one driven differently compared to the other will exhibit different shift points due to what the TCU has "learned".

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    I wish Edmund's would get around to incorporating a search function here - it's been all talk here - maybe you can use your newfound influence to get it done! ;-) Anyway my point is that I proposed the "tarmac package" and "gravel package" for the Forester some time ago, and I think it'd be appropriate again. There's a place in the stable for a high-performace, sleeper, Audi-killer Forester as well as a dual-range, rockhopping, towing Forester.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    burnsmr4 May 31, 2002 7:49am

    Here's MRT's version:

    You got to scroll down to "How to reset your ECU (without disconnecting your car battery!)"


  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    but I think you've greatly over-estimated my new-found power. ;)

    I just think a 2.5L (vs. a 2.0L) engine, could open the doors to a potentially (much) larger market for the Forester. Not only will it attract speed freaks (like most of us), but also (more) utility freaks too.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Isn't the mileage the same? I think you are comparing a 5 speed with an automatic.

    I won't miss the upscale wheels on the old Premium package, didn't they have the gold highlights? I prefer the ones without the gold.

    Also, side air bags are standard, so it's not like the Premium loses anything. Yes, the package still costs the same, but IMO it's still a bargain. For the cost of a tiny aftermarket moonroof you get a huge one.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd prefer a 2.5l light-pressure turbo for the low-end torque, the off-boost throttle reponse basically.

    Look at how easy to tune the 1.8T VW engine is. A $360 chip would take a 150hp engine close to 200hp. So I hope Subaru comes out with a 200hp LPT, good for towing and off road.

    The speed freaks (like me) can just chip it to produce maybe 240hp or so. Droooool!

  • goldencouple1goldencouple1 Posts: 209
    I'd say your MPG are "ballpark". Especially the highway oriented driving. I'm curious about your usual highway speed. I recently did a trip to the Black Range here in NM (200 miles round trip). Essentially the same trip I had done about a month ago. A monthy ago I averaged about 27 MPG w/ cruise set at 65 MPH. Same trip this time, cruise set on 75 MPH, and the MPG was 25+. My city driving MPG has been as low as 19+ and as high as 24+. I have a manual.
  • kajkokajko Posts: 70
    I second Bob's and Ed's opinions. Subaru is carving out a nice niche in the market, but in North America they keep thinking performance instead of utility. It would be great to see a bit more rugged version of the Forester... I am sure more people driving Foresters now would appreciate that more than lower CoG.

    In general, I am rather frustrated with the "short end of the stick" that we get in the USA. Look for example at Nissan X-Trail. What an awesome SUV!! Yet if you want one, you have to go to Mexico... And for the Forester that i want with dual-range, i have to take a trip to Australia or Europe...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah but they don't get the 2.5l engine. And the 2.0l makes much less power.

    Still, the top models are not offered here.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    by offering a LPT 2.5L in the Forester, it won't compete so much with the WRX. Both will have their own distinct audiences.

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Bob, I'd rather see the Forester compete with the WRX than the OBS. There was less overlap with the latter when it had the 137/142hp (which? Dennis will correct me) 2.2L engine. Now that it also has the 165hp 2.5L engine, what's the difference except in appearance, upholstery and a bunch of cubbyholes?

    Ed (pardon the sarcasm)
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    I think that will also happen if there is a LPT 2.5L, at least as far as the top-of-the-line models are concerned.

    Actually, what I'd really like to see, would be a LPT 2.5L engine offered as a stand-alone option package for BOTH the X and XS models. That way you would get excellent power, without all the bells and whistles, if that's what you want.

  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    I forgot to mention that the 2003 brochure says that the Manual Trans model can now tow 2400 pounds, if properly equipped (not clear what they mean). The auto is still limited to 2000.

    The EPA rating is the same for the MT 2003 as for my '98.

    The rear seat room is specified as only .3 inches more, BUT the front is spec'd at .6 more, so if the front seat is pushed back only as before and not all of the way, you can have an extra .9 inches of legroom in back. It seems like a bit more though because of either the angle or height of the rear seat, at least to me.

    The new model has more overall height and a wider track, but slighly less overall width. Interior dimensions are nearly the same, but slightly less headroom, suggesting seats may be higher. Turning radius is reduced by about 3 feet.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    I don't know if this is typical or not (maybe I've got something aftermarket in our Forester I don't know about), but anytime I've disconnected the battery, upon reconnection, the interior lights continue to flash on and off. Obviously, this is some security thing. There is a small button at the bottom side of the dash under the steering column that I push to make the flashing stop. Seems strange to me, but its true.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Ed & Bob- I agree that it would be nice to have both a speed and utility version of the Forester. However, I suspect that SOA's thinking is that by adding a turbo option to the Forester they will have essentially accomplished that goal. That's becuase the current Forester offers enough utility to satisfy the needs of 90% of the potential audience and a turbo option would offer enough speed to make it easily the fastest & sportiest mini-SUV in its class.

    I just don't see the Forester gaining much in the way of towing capacity (especially if it gets a turbo vs. the H-6) or off-road ability. This is because both these areas are relatively small niche markets and there's not enough return on the dollar to develop/offer those capabilities here in the States. It's just my opnion but I don't think that SOA's target market contains that many boat owners or Rubicon trail aficionados. Besides, were I serious about either or both of those pursuits, I'd just get a Jeep Liberty and be set.

    Just my two cents.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ed: the Forester still has a lot more cargo room, plus extra ground clearance. People cross-shop Foresters with CR-Vs and RAV4s, so the market positioning doesn't seem to be a problem. Combined sales were up yet again last year, even with the new OBS.

    Still, I'd like to see it be a leader in this class, and 200hp is common now (XTerra, Escape, Liberty, Tribute).

    Glad to see a better turning radius, it seemed big for such a short wheelbase.

    As to Bob's request, I see two distinct directions for the Forester. The turbo would satisfy me, Ken, Frank, and Ed. We want a sporty yet practical Sport Ute, emphasis on Sport.

    But how about a "Utility Package", added to a base model? Give it the H6, the tow package standard including the hitch, with an engine and tranny cooler and only the rear disc brakes from the high-end models. Keep the steel wheels, even, maybe with a slightly raised suspension. Class II towing, and throw in a low range while you're at it.

    I imagine it could sell for the same price as the XS model, only it would offer the rough-and-tumble types an alternative that doesn't exist now.

  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Several folks asked about the city gas mileage and my speeds around town. I live in Atlanta -- maybe that helps. We have some of the worst traffic in the country, hence, perhaps, the crappy city mileage. I have sometimes gotten above 300 miles per tank in the city, but not often.

    As for highway speeds -- usually 5mph above the speed limit. No more than that unless I'm passing an old f*rt or something.

    Could the A/C being on influence the gas mileage all that much?


    P.S. - No way in hell I'm resetting my ECU the way that Australian website mentioned. Yikes! I thought I could just disconnect the battery for 30 minutes. Jeepers, I'm confused. :-\
This discussion has been closed.