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2009 Subaru Forester

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  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Yes, it's regrettable, in my opinion, that Japanese auto manufacturers are drifting to the package deals for options. Not that long a time ago, even Subaru offered pretty much a-la-cart options in Japan. But indeed, there is money to be made in packages, and once the auto makers have tasted the sweetness, they do not want to go back.

    And some of us are being forced to pay for what we do not want. Either that, we have to forego what we really want.
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    I am new to Subie. please tell me, does the Forester presently have or will it have an Auto trans that will have a manual mode similar to the shiftronic in the Santa Fe, Nissan Rogue, and Vw Tiguan ? I am looking foward to this new Forester, however i really enjoy the manual mode in my VW Passat as well. Thanks for any information.
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 113
    "4EAT for the auto tranny. This is the only significant "miss" in my opinion."

    I agree, and a BIG one it is, too. Given that Subaru's never been know for superlative trannies, you'd think they'd jump at the chance to go with a 5 or 6 AT to make up for past lapses. Disappointing, especially from this mfr. No worry - my '03 will keep me going until the '10s come out with a better tranny and the other inevitable kinks worked out.

    But overall, I like the clean lines of the redesign. Interior is nice and simple; let's hope some of that extra 3" translates into more driver's legroom, with a similar carryover for the new height. And what's that pod near the front of the hood in the photos? Surely not a reincarnation of the outboard tach, a la "The Judge!"
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I don't know which car(s) will have it, but Subaru is developing a new CVT which they have recently said will be put into use in 2009. Subaru already uses CVT in all of its kei cars, but Mr. Mori, CEO of FHI, said that the new CVT would gradually be introduced starting in 2009.

    The question, of course, is "For which models?" Could the 4AT for Forester/Impreza be a transitional transmission until the new CVT is phased in?

    Mr. Mori also mentioned that a new generation of horizontally-opposed engines would be introduced in 2010.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    With the advent of the Outlander ES SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT) - February 2008- with heated mirrors, leather trim knob and leather trim steering wheel, 16” alloys, roof rails, privacy glass, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, Bluetooth pre-wire, skid plates, fog lights, and side light repeaters at a MSRP $23,100; I think the new Forester SUV may only compete with this model if the price is no more than $1000 over the Outlander’s price. The Forester with its 4-speed automatic is not up-to-date with modern engine design or the competition (see the Honda CR-V, or the Nissan Rogue). I would have to be very loyal and passionate to stick with Subaru especially with its usual higher price than similar vehicles.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Don't forget you can get a MT trans on the Forester which is not available at any price IIRC on the Honda, Mitsu or Nissan.

    They did bling up the Mitsu though. So if you like flashy it may be for you.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW that new 4 banger Outlander just ranked 4th out of 9 sport/cutes in the new C&D magazine.

    RAV4, CR-V, and Rogue took the top 3 spots. Forester was not included, probably because the new one wasn't out yet.

    They said the RAV4 had a 4EAT, is that right? I thought it was 5. Maybe they made a typo.

    Any how, the funny thing was the 4 bangers beat the V6s, pretty much across the board.

    Those are the competitors for the Forester. If you want to know what to expect, and what the targets should be for the Forester, read that article.

    Test averages:

    0-60mph: 9.1 seconds
    1/4 mile: 17.0s @ 82mph
    Top Speed: 111
    dBA @ 70mph cruise: 70
    MPG during test: 19
    70-0 braking: 184 feet
    Skidpad: 0.74 g
    Lane Change: 56.7mph

    There are your targets, basically. I think the Forester can beat most of those, and blow away that fuel economy.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    They said the RAV4 had a 4EAT, is that right? I thought it was 5. Maybe they made a typo.

    The 4-cylinder RAV4 comes with 4AT, whereas the V-6 version uses 5AT.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    In road test review made by Edmunds in four vehicles, i.e. Mitsubishi Outlander (V6), RAV4 (V6), Honda CR-V (4-cyl), and Nissan Rogue (4-cyl) reported that the RAV4 (V6) was the winner of this road test. The test, however, has shown an involuntary bias in the criteria for this evaluation. Owners of the RAV4 have reported the poor payload capacity of the RAV4 that may demonstrate the lack of meat in the construction of the vehicle.

    The max payload capacity of any RAV4 is the equivalent of 7-persons weight (approximately 150 lbs each). So if you load your RAV4 with 7-persons the roof rail and the roof box are just decorations. Camping or picnic with 7-person is unpractical in a RAV4, i.e. no cargo for the usual stuff. Let’s us now see the Outlander (V6) where its payload capacity is enough to carry a total weight of 9-people (150 lbs each). This is to say 7-people as passengers and the weight equivalent of 2-people as cargo. The roof rail and roof box make sense here. This situation is much better with the Outlander ES 2.4L which its payload capacity is equivalent to 10-people weight. Making some allowances for the engine weight of both vehicles (RAV4 (V6) and Outlander (V6)) the Outlander has more than 80 lbs of meat (similar results for the 4-cyl). This weight difference in material of construction makes the Outlander stronger for carry more cargo than the RAV4, the CR-V and the Rogue. I think that the 2009 Forester will have the same limitation. Road test in the future should test the drivability of the vehicle with maximum payload capacity to find out if the vehicles still responds as expected.

    In my research for a 7-seat SUV I was almost ready to order a RAV4 (V6 or a 4-cyl) but after going into the details of both vehicles plus some comments of RAV4’s owners about the poor payload capacity of the Toyota I am now more inclined to order an Outlander ES 2.4L. I am not in the business of towing anything (boat, motor home, etc) so at a price of MSRP $23,100 I think the Outlander ES 2.4L may suit my requirements. However I will wait for the new Forester to make my final decision.

    The RAV4 and the CR-V are pavement SUV. The Rogue, Subaru and Outlander can be taken out of pavement, however the Outlander will allow you to carry not only people but plenty of cargo and that is what a proper SUV is for.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would shop elsewhere if you really need to seat 7 people. The Forester won't offer that option, and the RAV4 and Outlander's 3rd row is positively tiny. The seats Mitubishi uses remind me of the ones in the bed of the Subaru BRAT, i.e. more of an excuse for a seat than a real seat.

    How safe could kids be with their heads mere inches from the rear glass?

    Seriously, get a minivan if you need 7+ payload. It's the rational thing to do.

    The Forester always had more payload than the CR-V or RAV4. When I shopped in 1998 the Subaru offered the most, followed by the CR-V, with the 760 lb rating of the Toyota bringing up the rear.

    So the 4 banger RAV4 does have a 4 speed, interesting. Even more interesting is that it still won in C&D. The V6 is quite an engine (I have the same engine in my Sienna) so I'm not surprised it won the Edmunds comparo, even though apart from the powertrain I do not think it's the best in class.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    A 5-seats (4-cyl) will be OK for me. If you could recommend me a minivan with 8" of ground clearance, reasonable off road capacity (similar to the Forester), + 4WD (AWD) and 23 miles/gallon average petrol consume, please do it. I agree with you in respect to the RAV4. These road tests simply do not take in consideration the max payload of the vehicle and here it is where a great difference of accessing suitability of a SUV could results. Sometimes the stuff I take with me could easily weight more than 2-people weight. Please do not recommend to shop somewhere to buy a truck/pickup.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Unfortunately what you are looking for is not out there. The laws of physics come into play here. I could suggest something like my Armada that will seat 7 comfortably, plenty of ground clearance, and every amenity out there, but you won't get 23mpg with it!

    Good luck in finding something that will suit your needs, I doubt there is something out there for you.

    -mike
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    does the Forester presently have or will it have an Auto trans that will have a manual mode

    I don't think so but then again you can get an actual manual transmission in the Forester ;)

    -Frank
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    Thanks Frank, however a manual trans. in New York City is so out of the question. I can only wait and see as theVW Tiguan is also a choice for me. It will have an AT with a manual mode. Both should arrive late May. did like the Rogue , however the CVT was just too loud for me.
    Happy New Year all!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I drive a 5MT in manhattan!

    -mike
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Forester's the oldest model in the Subaru lineup, and it's the only current Subaru that doesn't have SportShift (manual-mode automatic trans). Every 4-spd and 5-spd automatic transmission in Legacy, Outback, Impreza and Tribeca has SportShift standard. Expect it in the 2009 Forester. (Only 2-3 months away now!)
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Perhaps you may not need to wait 2-3 months to find out about the 4-speed Shiftable automatic I think the 2009 Forester will be shown in the 2008 Detroit exhibition. Equally you may see the 7-seats BOF KIA Borrego (Full off road capability).
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Borrego is not going to give you the milage you want though. It's going to be heavy and have a V6 or V8 engine in it. Borrego will be fine for offroading but milagewise it'll be lagging, similar to the Sorrento. Unfortunately here 99% of the people have no need for offroad capabilities that it will give. Also there is no "silver bullet" that will give you offroad capabilities, towing, seating for 7 and milage all rolled into one vehicle.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If 5 seats are OK, then you're good to go with a Forester.

    The new model appears to have an even wider cargo area. The cargo floor was already fairly long, and tall as well, due to the squared off tailgate.

    Sienna comes in an AWD model that's even an inch higher than the FWD models, outruns a Highlander with the same engine for the same fuel economy.

    That's a different size class, though, so it won't match the Forester's fuel economy.

    Can't wait til the 09 Foresters get here.
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 113
    It just dawned on me that the pics of the normally-aspirated 2.5 show it with dual exhausts. Interesting.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    That's the same as Legacy, Outback & the Impreza sedan... dual exhaust on every one of them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It looks nice, too.

    Strange that the Impreza 2.5i sedan gets a dual exhaust but the WRX hatch gets by with a single.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    I have a feeling that it is because the dual exhaust is merely a show feature - the the pipes are T'ed off near the rear axle. On the WRX, a performance-oriented machine popular with the tuner crowd, what is the point in a showy feature like this when so many owners modify the exhaust system nearly the moment they buy one?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I looked at this at the NY Autoshow last year. The hatch has no room behind the rear to have dual mufflers in the rear. There is only room for 1 long can behind the rear suspension on it. This is similar to the SVX where they had a single can ala F-body cars back there.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed, more show than go, since the dual exhaust models have no extra HP.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    They are 2 smaller ones v. 1 larger one. So it makes sense that they aren't anymore powerful. I like the look of 2 better personally.

    -mike
  • The new Forester looks interesting. The extra room is welcome. I will likely consider one down the road. In the mean time I think Subaru needs to address several issues.
    1.As others have mentioned, Subaru really needs to offer a 5spd auto or a CVT.
    2.They should bring back a FWD version. The energy bill makes the AWD a bit of a liability. Back in the early 90s my FWD Legacy worked great even in the snow. The FWD would cost less, weigh less and have better performance using the same motor.
    3.Subaru should consider selling a FWD model with the 2.0L motor. Removing the AWD and using a smaller engine should result in a 200 pound reduction in weight. My guess is that the vehicle would weigh about 3,000 pounds – something a 140 hp, 2.0L engine could handle.
    4.Subaru might also consider a 1.5L turbo.
    5.A diesel motor, I am not sure about. Around here gasoline is going for $3.10 and diesel is $3.55. I have seen the spread as high as 70 cents. The higher cost of diesel negates some of the fuel savings. A lot will depend on the extra cost for the diesel motor. We have also had shortages of diesel but not gasoline. If another longer shortage hits during spring planting or fall harvesting things could get ugly.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If they offer FWD there would be no compelling reason to buy a subaru over say a Honda or a Toyota IMO.

    -mike
  • I consider the Forester a decent vehicle even without the AWD. Prices for the Forester are competitive with the RAV4 and CRV. Around here I can get a Forester for $21K while the others are above $24K when I can find a basic model. Drop the AWD and the price would likely be just $20k. We have a FWD 4cyl Highlander and like it a lot. You might be right in that others won't see the value. The 08 model was just a wee bit small. The new model appears to be just big enough. I like the increase ride height too. What will Subaru actually do to meet the energy bill requirements, only time will tell.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    The best performance that a V6 engine (AWD) can deliver is 18/24 miles/gallon and this is the Nissan Murano CVT with prices $29,000-$34,000. CVT helps economize petrol consume. The other alternative is Diesel engine that increases to 22/30 miles/gallon. Latest German Diesel can do this by using an extra tank with some urea chemical fluid to eliminate pollutants. The other situation is to stick to 4-cyl engines that could perform 19/26 miles/gallon. The problem with using a 4-cyl on line vehicles is that the towing capacity is around 1,500 lbs. Only those who want to tow a boat or a caravan -in my opinion- need a V6 or V8. I think these are the people who can afford to expend thousands of dollars in extra petrol. The problem with CVT engines is the engine noise when accelerating and the small time lag that the CVT needs to respond. If buyers do not care about the noise then a CVT is the solution. I think the 4-speed automatic in the Forester has been proved to be reliable and Toyota is still using it in its RAV4.

    I will not advise to buy a FWD instead of a 4WD/AWD just because of saving of money. Rear wheel drive only or FWD only is not sufficient to avoid an accident on icing roads. I know what scaring is when the car starts to skid without control out of the road.

    I wish the 2009 Forester price would not be higher than$24,000-$25,000. I wonder why the Forester is not in the top 10 SUV (2007)?
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