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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • still under 3k miles but i finally got to go on a nice trip, san fernando valley to grover beach, san luis obispo. about 200 miles one way. (when i finish shooting the roll i'll link a pic or two of my baby on the beach)

    the way there was mainly 101, nice drive; 5th at 4000rpm was smooth and sweet. the way back we cut through the road that goes by cachuma lake, tight handling despite the lack of LSD, i was drooling the whole time.

    at grover beach there were mainly ford 250 4x4's and such, but i did see an impreza wagon rubbing shoulders with the big boys.

    ok, i didn't take the forester into the dunes, (used the rented atv's there) but i wonder...could i have? anyone know the place i'm talking about? i was tempted to but besides the dirt bikes, atv's and a few dune buggys i only saw two street vehicles on the dunes, both were huge trucks and one was having a hard time

    anyway it was a blast to drive the forester!

    got 26.8 mpg for that tank, filled on way back in santa paula

    BTW, my oldest kid brought some modern music along and the sound system really impressed me, guess the classical music cd's that i listen to are extremely weak, but the base SS + tweeters did a super job with the modern stuff, must be getting old...


  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    >>Am waiting 1 year for a turbo Forester. If it does not show up.. WRX wagon (blue).<<

    Renato, that's cool, but in public you should say: "…If it doesn't show up, I'll go with the A4 or Jetta Wagon." That's what I do ;)

    Seriously, if a large fraction of potential Forester Turbo buyers can easily be redirected towards the WRX wagon, we'll never see the Turbo Forester in the US. I do believe that there are sufficient differences between these two cars for me to consider other makes, as well.

    - D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks Laumann. But while you're correcting it, the intervals recommended by Subaru only call for an inspection at 90k miles, then a change at 105k. So you could inspect it at 30 and 60k, but even those aren't necessary.

    That does explain a lot though. Good to know Edmunds is interested in accuracy.

    Renato: yes, I bought my rims and tires from them. Thumbs up. In fact, Tire Rack said 225mm tires would not fit, and Discount Tire said they would. 20k miles later, Tire Rack was dead wrong - it has not rubbed once.

    j: air down and you're fine on sand, but keep pushing to find its limits and you'll get stuck. In fact, that's the only way to find the limit on any vehicle - getting stuck.

    D: I jokingly called for a total boycott of Subaru until we get the Forester turbo. ;-)

    But what I'd really like to see are MANY vehicles that are performance leaders in their class, so that my next Subaru becomes a difficult choice. Hmm, WRX STi, Forester 2.0XT, Blitzen, or Baja H6? Now you're talking...

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Dietmar- My thinking exactly. We shouldn't let SOA think they can get away with not bringing over the turbo Forester and still keep us in the Subaru fold. While I might "settle" for a WRX wagon, a turbo Forester would better suit my needs/desires. And yes SOA, if you don't bring over the turbo, I will cross-shop!

    -Frank P.
  • nypaulnypaul Posts: 35
    Hi Folks,
    I haven't posted in a while so I thought this would be a good time. On our vacation to Pennsylvania last week our '02 L model got 27.8 MPG hiway driving with the a/c on the whole time. On the trip home to Long Island I did find the seating to be a bit uncomfortable. But that is probably because the wife and I had just spent the last week backpacking in the Cumberland Valley, on the Appalachian Trail. I guess my muscles just weren't used to being in one position so long. It sure was nice to ride with the cruise control set, the a/c on high, and our favorite music in the c/d player. The car handled the hiway just fine as well as the smaller PA roads.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I will cross-shop anyway. That keeps pressure on Subaru to make continuous improvements.

    For instance, I'd like to see the mud flaps brought back, Foresters look naked without them. And I mean standard. The cargo liner, too. Mine has been used so much I'm almost ready for another one!

    Then give me 200+hp and it'll be a front runner.

    I'd also look at the Baja (IF a more powerful engine appears), Pilot, Outlander EVO (again IF it gets 200+hp), and maybe a Matrix or Element if the budget is tight.

  • 4wdisfun4wdisfun Posts: 55
    I am planning to buy a car for my wife. I am deciding between a 03 Forester and a Impreza wrx. I know on weekends the Impreza will be all mine, but the Turbo Forester is also nice. I am concerned about security. We have only one child (7) and my car is a SUV. She hates SUV´s and i am looking for AWD, ABS, and 5 rating frontal crash tests (both have excellent ratings). Any advice will be appreciate it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 7 year old and your wife may have more fun in the rex. If you think your stuff will fit in it, go for the WRX.

    Sedans go for about $22,800 and up, and remember you should use premium fuel for that high-psi turbo.

    The Forester can hold a lot more cargo, but you already have a vehicle that meets that need, just plan ahead and carefully.

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    That is interesting that you found the odometer reads more "generously" than it should. I've been thinking that this same thing might be happening with my 02 odometer. it seems as though the miles pile up faster than on my other cars. Hummm I'll have to check it out.
    Thanks for the heads up. I just thought it was me .
  • Is that big cardboard pan needed? Any tips or tricks to changing oil/filter in a 2001 L? Pouring 4 quarts in always shows up too high on the measuring stick. What's up ? I remember that there was a posting awhile ago on this. Edmunds has made navigating to all the Town Hall Forums tricky now.
    The local dealer says to get rid of's in the way of oil and filter changes.
    And no, we do not name our vehicles here Downeast.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's actually plastic, with a layer of fiberglass insulation above it.

    I used snips and cut an access hole for the oil filter, so that I could do it without removing it. It does tend to keep the engine bay cleaner, but I doubt it's necessary (other Subies with the same engine don't have it).

    4 quarts and it reads high? Mine takes 4.6 or so. Make sure the engine is warm before you start to drain it, and remove the oil filter, too, to make sure all the oil drains out. Also try to keep it on relatively level ground. Finally, if you only put 4 quarts, make sure to check the level again after a short drive.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    A friend of mine who owns a GPS has found out that his Forester's speedo overstates vehicle speed by at least 3mph. That could explain the odometer reading high. Interestingly, the speedo error is consistent on either a Forester S or L.

    4 quarts shouldn't show high on the dipstick assuming you've completely emptied the oil pan before refilling. The dipstick is a little tricky to read, however -- does it show high on both sides? I go with the lower reading.

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    Speedometer and odometer readings are not necessarily linked. On my Forester, extensive testing (I'm a member of the OCD Club) revealed that the speedo read ~ 3% high, the odometer just under 1.5% high. BTW, I found trying to get an accurate dipstick reading a real pain.

  • Interesting. As compared against a Garmin Street Pilot Color Map and an eMap, the speedos on both of our 2002 Foresters read within a fraction of a mph of the speed shown by the GPS. The GPS always lags a little so it's hard to tell exactly what that fraction is but my guess is that it's less than 1/2 mph with cruise set at 70 mph. If true, that makes the speedo accurate within less than 1 percent. Don't know about the odo nor believe that GPS "trip" mileage should be used to gage it.

    St. Patrick, our "older" Forester is back at Martin Subaru for a third attempt to get the Duelers balanced. Is this bad service or are these tires just difficult to balance (as in, out-of-round)?

  • rsunicorsunico Posts: 82
    I've put 26k miles in 1 year w/ my Forester. The Duelers are suprisingly holding up (thought they'd be worn by now). Even wear front and rear but I did rotate every 5-6k. Frankly I've been hoping they'd wear out so I can get rid of em (hate em and have 16 inch WRX rims waiting to be installed on the Forester). BTW, the Forester's name is Tadashi. -R
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You'll love the 16s, I made the switch and I sure do.

    I got 28k miles out of my Duelers, and also couldn't wait to do the swap.

  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    My 2002 Subaru Forester S turned 10K miles this weekend. Of course, I sang Happy Birthday, which made my wife cringe, shake her head, and roll her eyes. The car runs great, and the gas mileage miraculously improved after the 10K mark. Maybe it was sheer dumb luck. Who knows? I'm switching to synthetic next oil change. Dealership said they'd knock $10 off oil change price if I brought my own. I might do that, seeing as I'm not allowed to change oil/service car in apartment complex parking lot.

    Of course, while my Forester's getting better with age, my poor wife's 1998 Volvo S70 cost us $500 this week. Well, actually, it was my wife and her treatment of the Volvo that cost us $500. She hadn't maintained her Toyo tires at all (now it's my job to), and it came back to bite her in the [non-permissible content removed], stranding her in north Atlanta with a blown tire. You could see metal coming out of all four tires.

    She got about 35K miles out of 65K mile treadlife tires. Pathetic. She will be keeping her new Pirellis balanced, rotated, and properly aligned from here on out. Ahhh...the trials and tribulations of marriage translated into automotive terms.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Be happy it was just $500 and not an accident or something worse. Glad to hear she'll do better next time around.

  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    Does the 2003 Forester have a flipper glass on the rear hatch? I thought the lack of this was a real deficiency on the original since you can't open the glass in order to carry an 8 foot 2x4, etc.
This discussion has been closed.