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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)

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Comments

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    I wish the manufacturers, not just Subaru, would put 4 nice big pads under the car for the lifts used in the shops.

    Had the Forester in the dealers looking for the missing oil and the guy who put it on the lift set one of the lift arms too far back. I noticed the damage a couple of days later when I got a good look at the car in profile.

    It goes into the body shop tomorrow for them to straighten the bottom rail, possibly replace the lower trim piece and then repaint. At least the dealer was very reasonable about paying for the repair. This is the second time I've had to send the car to the body shop after they got done with it. The first was to get a scratch buffed out. I've learned to do a full walk around when it goes into any shop, then repeat when I pick it up. Now I guess I'll add checking the jack areas as well.

    I just hate letting anyone else touch my car.

    BTW - for anyone that's done it, just how tough is it to pull the front door panels on the 03 Foresters? New speakers are getting to be a better and better idea as time goes on

    Larry
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bummer Larry. If they're paying at least I hope they'll be more careful next time.

    I put a piece of wood to protect my cars.

    -juice
  • 03xngreen03xngreen Posts: 36
    I hear you, Larry. We took our Forester to the dealer for a creaking noise in the steering and they lowered the car on a roll-away toolbox, requiring a new front bumper.

    Anyway, the creaking noise was diagnosed as “rack & pinion bushings” that needed lubrication. After their work, all has been quiet for a month and a half, but now it’s back again. Anyone have a suggestion that I can relay to the dealer to check and fix for good? Thanks.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    same here. Had my Sienna in Costco for new tires 2 weeks ago. I can't find any damage, but, since then the gas door doesn't close as easily and the front driver's door takes just a little more effort. Nothing I can prove though. Last time I go there.

    Greg
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I do it all myself. I'm far from perfect, but at least I know exactly what I did wrong later, and just learn from it.

    Hmm, you can spray lithium grease on bushings, which takes seconds. I wouldn't want to do that every 45 days, though. I do it when I rotate the tires.

    -juice
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    so far I have done it all myself too. The Forester has a lot of plastic, but up front their are two good jack spots. In the rear, the diffy is the only thing solid that I could find that would allow me to jack and then be able to put a jack stand somewhere.

    Now here is the interesting thing about the Forester chassis. It is extremely tight and solid, so much so that when I took the rear end up (tires only 1 inch off the ground), one of the two front jack stands support points came up too. A full six feet away, and the chassis didn't have enough flex to keep weight on both front stands. Solid stuff here.

    I am leaning towards the wooden rail that you use, Juice.
      
    John
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can even cut a tiny groove in a piece of wood to prevent it from slipping out from under the door jamb.

    -juice
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    You guys are scaring me with all these lift/jack horror stories at the dealerships and tire shops. I already hate to give them my cars, now I am even more scared! I don't expect a whole lot out of the idiots that work in auto repair these days, but they at least should know how to lift/jack the car properly. Nevermind the damage they can cause to the vehicle, it's a serious safety issue. I bet OSHA would fine their butts if they knew about this kind of thing. A contractor at NASA got a $50K fine for this sort of carelessness.

    Craig
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    amazes me how the two most expensive investments in ones life (most at least) are the cars and house. And both have an over population of brain dead, couldn't care less, so called mechanics.

    <rant off>

    Greg

    P.S. wish I could mount and balance my own tires.
  • casecom2casecom2 Posts: 72
    The June issue is now available at ConsumerReports.org, including the road test of small SUVs (Forester, Element, Outlander, Sorento, Aztek, Baja).

    They tested the Forester X with an automatic, and it's their top-rated small SUV, just ahead of the RAV4. They liked the ride, handling, braking and the interior layout. They also praised the acceleration, 0-60 in 9.7 seconds, which was second-best in the group, just behind the Sorento.

    About the only bad things they had to say was that the gated shifter is a "nuisance" (have to agree there) and that the tires "aren't very grippy."

    They seemed to like the Baja, although they said it's definitely better to think of it as a car than as a truck.

    They liked the well-made Element even though the interior design was "fraught with compromises"; the Outlander was unimpressive; the Sorento had a nice interior and strong engine but ride and handling were poor; the Aztek's only good point was its cargo space.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Why on earth would Consumer Reports put the Sorento in with that group?????

    The Sorento is not at all supposed to be in that group at all. It has Body-on-Frame, it's larger than the others, it has low-range, and it's a TRUCK! Not to mention a 5000lb towing capacity!

    Arggg I hate Consumer Reports.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree with paisan 100%. No way, no how does Sorento belong in that group.

    First, it wide, *very* wide. I'm sure it's roomier than a Grand Cherokee, for instance. It definitely belongs with the mid-sizers.

    Price might make people cross-shop with compacts, but it is not compact. Check inside and see for yourself.

    Any how, nice to see the Forester on top again. Too bad their test came a month after the Car Issue, which had the RAV4 on top.

    -juice
  • sfdriversfdriver Posts: 35
    That's pretty good they got 9.7 secs 0-60 for the Forester. In the 8/02 issue, they tested the Outback Sport auto and got 10.5 secs. The OS is lighter, and looks more flat & slanted, so probably more aerodynamic also. Did Subaru improve the 03 Forester's automatic tranny? I recall the last Forester tested 2 or 3 years also also had a 0-60 time around the mid-10's. I test drove both the OS and Forester before buying, and they felt just as fast.

    BTW, the OS came out second to last in the 8/02 issue, just ahead of the PT Cruiser, and behind the Jetta Wagon, RAV4, '00 Forester, Focus Wagon, Matrix/Vibe, ZX5, CRV, Protege5.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sample error might explain it.

    Also, does the OBS get the 4.11 final drive ratio? Forester might have slightly quicker gearing.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,699
    They tested it because it's priced with the others, and customers may cross-shop it with the others even though it is a "truck."

    I know I would if I were in the market, I would probably cross-shop a whole range of vehicles, before narrowing down my selections. I'm sure a lot of people are on the fence as to whether to buy a car-based SUV or a truck-based SUV. A report like this could help them make up their minds.

    Bob
  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    I purchased the Subaru grate for my 03 XS and I'm happy with it, but there are a couple of caveats:

    1) You need to pull two trim pins out of the headliner and even though I was using the right tool, one of the pins broke apart so I have an very occassional rattle in the headliner. Once you install it you need a phillips screwdriver to get it in and out.

    2) You lose the use of the pull curtain since the grate mounts directly into the curtain mounts.

    3) It is a very solid well made barrier - and you should be able to beat the dealer's price. I paid around $110 for mine.

    HTH

    Larry
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    The Sorento? I agree that it doesn't belong with the other models. What did CR say in their introduction? They usually explain how they chose the models to compare. I'll have to check it out when my issue arrives.

    Good to know the Forester is back on top. I can't wait until reviews of the XT come out.

    I guess I'm one of the few that actually like the gated auto shifter on the current Subies. I think it makes 3<->D shifts easy, IMO.

    Ken
  • sfdriversfdriver Posts: 35
    Hi Juice, yes the OBS auto has a final drive ratio of 4.11 also.
  • deepdropdeepdrop Posts: 89
    I just got an "03 forster xs. The owner's manual refers to the security indicator light which flashes to indicate the system is armed. Where is this light located???
    Thanks.
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 113
    Nice to see they top rated the car I just bought! While I like that magazine alot, they do go over the top sometimes with their commentary, especially when they stray into social policy matters. They're also a bit inconsistent at times, as the juxtaposition of the results from the car issue and the June issue shows. But overall, they're a worthwhile publication and I'm happy to support them. They've saved me a lot of money over the years and kept me from making some serious purchasing mistakes.

    Russki, I wish I had a Subaru when I visited Oz back in '89. After a week in Sydney, I flew up to Brisbane for four days and then drove from there to Melbourne in some sort of foreign-Ford. Learning to drive on the wrong side of the road wasn't so bad, but those traffic circles and left turn "hook" lanes were killer! Seriously, it was a beautiful trip full of memorable moments, like coming across herds of cattle wandering across the highway, seeing a 3' tall barn owl strolling across the road snatching up the mice that were hording about, seeing the Southern Cross (is that the idea behind Subaru's logo?) for the first time, and chancing upon a beautiful 50m outdoor pool in some interior town (Goolamera?) on a 100+ degree day. A true lap swimmer's delight to provide some relief from a surprisingly long (3+ days) trip. Am looking forward to getting back down under soon!
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    you may not have a security package. I picked up my '03 xs in February, so I know a security package is not standard fare.

    John
  • 03xngreen03xngreen Posts: 36
    The security light's located at the bottom of the tach. It's really tough to see it, if it isn't on. John's right though, if you don't have the security upgrade, it won't light up.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    hee hee... you barely see it even if it is lited, especially when you're outside looking in. :)

    -Dave
  • deepdropdeepdrop Posts: 89
    I do have the security upgrade. The manual refers to the light but the diagram offers no context to locate it. Just a box with a little circle in the middle, representing the light. At least now I know where to look for it. Thanks!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well for one thing they down the Sorento for all the reasons it shouldn't be included in that comparison. "Trucky" "Bad handling" "poor fuel economy" As long as they are gonna go by price, why didn't they include the Dodge Caravan AWD? It would have handily kicked butt over all the other "SUVs" in that writeup in handling, space, and price. Arggggg

    -mike
  • mutcthmutcth Posts: 17
    I get the feeling that people shopping for the Sorento will be comparing it to more carlike unibody SUVS, rather than intentionally looking for a body-on-frame SUV. The comments about the Sorento are in comparsion to other SUVs, not to the world of vehicles. When you compare the Sorento to an Escape or Santa Fe, those comments are valid - and it isn't comparing apples and oranges.

    To answer Ken's question, as written in the story: "For this issue, we tested five models that span the market."

    Finally, the inconsistency between the June issue and the April auto issue is because the results for the newly tested Forester weren't available in time for publishing.

    All opinions my own, not CRs.

    Tom
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's put it this way - the Sorento's strengths are not the type of things CR measures.

    IMHO, it would make more sense to group it seperately with the XTerra and Rodeo. Maybe the Grand Vitara too.

    I read it FWIW, literally. I have to admit, it seems like the audience they write for is a soccer mom with 3 kids. They evaluate a vehicle mostly for family use.

    -juice
  • tkevinblanctkevinblanc Posts: 356
    Gotta disagree, mutcth.

    It's typical of reviewers, not just CR, to start a review with "this vehicle really doesn't belong here because..." and then proceed to slap the vehicle around for being what it is.

    If the Sorrento was to be in this test, then there should have been a trailer towing evaluation, a rock-crawling evaluation, etc.

    Then, at least they wouldn't be doing the vehicle a dis-service.

    BTW, Paisan and I are Trooper owners. Remember what CR did to the Trooper?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They do tow trailers with big trucks, BTW. I recall a pickup review where they mentioned that.

    And they do climb a rock hill, though it's pretty mild and doesn't nearly challenge the limits of a truck-based SUV.

    But I agree, had the Sorento been tested under these circumstances, it would have a chance to shine.

    -juice
  • mutcthmutcth Posts: 17
    Not being a glutton for punishment, I'm not going to go near the Trooper issue.

    As for the Sorento, the problem here is that without reading the story, an incomplete picture is being painted. From the article:

    Highs: Off-road ability, controls and displays, towing capacity, interior features.

    Lows: Ride, fuel economy.

    Seems to me (mind you, I don't test the cars) that CR told the whole story. We do test all SUVs for off-road capability (we have one heck of an off-road course to do it, not just the rock hill but a muddy course as well - it was designed by a former Land Rover development engineer who now heads Auto Test at CR) and we test acceleration while towing a trailer - indeed, that statistic is mentioned in the Sorento review ("the Sorento easily pulled a 3500 pound trailer from 0-60 in a respectable 20.5 seconds.")

    All opinions my own, not CRs.

    Tom
This discussion has been closed.