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2009 Subaru Forester

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  • tntmythtntmyth Posts: 70
    I may sell the Trooper when I get the Forester. It depends how much driving I have to do with the new job. Our other car is a Mazda 626 my wife needs to drive to work. Only downside of the Trooper is the gas mileage. Its very reliable. Bulletproof. I think it would last for 20 years as I change the oil at Jiffy Lube every 3000-4000 miles. I bought the 7 year 100,000 mile warranty when I bought it new. Only repair has been a leaking tranny gasket. They repaired it under warranty. I even still have the original brake pads. Recently changed the serpentine belt. Only 2WD though. Funny thing. My friend went out and bought a brand new Jeep Cherokee the day after I bought the Trooper since he couldn't stand me getting a new truck and him not. He has has lots of problems. engine rebuilt, new radiator, window motor, air conditioning problems. It has been interesting to watch the difference between his Cherokee and my Trooper for reliability. The other day he mentioned that the Trooper has been good to me.

    If you are looking for a Trooper, I just noticed two nice 4WD models on ebay. One with low miles.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Isuzu-Trooper-S-4WD-SUV-2001-TROOPER-4X4-3-5-1-OW- NER-CLEAN-BUY-ITNOW-NO-RESERVE_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6269QQihZ008QQitemZ180- 226113488QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Isuzu-Trooper-LIMITED-4X4-2000-EVERY-OPTION-MADE-- SUPER-NICE-99-NO-RESERVE_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6269QQihZ016QQitemZ260223047- 761QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

    I remember you were a regular on the Trooper forum. I think you mentioned you used to drive your Trooper up to 100mph? lol That was you, no? I have been up to 95mph, but only once when I wasn't paying attention on a long trip. I changed out the original Bridgestones for Costco Michelins which are much better for road driving.
  • tntmythtntmyth Posts: 70
    I have been shopping the CR-V vs Forester vs RAV4 as well. IMHO, the CR-V may have a slight edge on interior quality for fit and finish. But the Forester has more comfortable seats and interior quality is still very close to the CR-V. Regarding features, it's really subjective. For example I prefer the center console that the Forester has over the fold out tray on the CR-V. And I would rather have the fold down rear seats of the Forester over the tumble forward rear seat design on the CR-V. Alows for loading longer stuff. Better rear visibility on the Forester. Engine and AWD are better in the Subaru. One important feature decision for me is...If I were out in a snow storm, I'd rather be in the Forester. Both are obviously reliable vehicles. Depends what you need the vehicle for and the weather where you live. Enjoy taking the time to compare all the details and really decide which is best for you.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    For my mom, I'd probably still lean toward the Forester solely because of visiblity. There are, of course, some features in the CR-V that aren't in the Forester--two can play that game, but I'm not going to do that right now.

    But let's get real. Honda doesn't "need to be nervous." The Honda CR-V is the best selling SUV in America. It outsells some entire brands, like Mercury. Subaru is still a niche player--not taking anything away from the Forester, but its not even going to put a dent in CR-V sales. Nor should it be trying to.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    "Also, though '09 Foresters seem very capible at Catalina Island, there are absolutely no skid pans or any protection under the car."

    First, CONGRATS, Kurt! You've really put a lot of time & energy into this research, and you've ended up with a fine ride. :shades:

    Second, it's only a matter of time before aftermarket skidplates are available for the '09. You're lucky to be near a manufacturer... check out Primitive Racing, just around the corner in Tigard, OR. These guys make tons of equipment for all Subaru models. I've been tempted to get skidplates from them for my Outback. Drop 'em an e-mail or give 'em a call, maybe you can be their first '09. A full set should run somewhere around $300, I'd guess. Here's their website:
    http://www.writerguy.com/primitive/

    Post a photo of your new XT Ltd when you get a chance.
  • bikerguy3bikerguy3 Posts: 43
    For those of you contemplating a Forester purchase (& doing comparisons with CRV's etc), my advice is GO FOR IT! I Love mine!

    I bought my 09 Forester from Wentworth in Portland on Feb 28th (one of the first off the boat, I think!). I have the 2.5X model w/ Premium package. Topaz Gold color w/ black cloth interior. I've put about 1,000 miles on it (trips to coast and Mt Hood). The fit/finish quality is great (especially for new model). I love the manual xmission, big sunroof, privacy glass, ipod i/f, audio system (w/ steering wheel controls), fuel economy (28 mpg), instrmnt lighting, reclining rear seats, front seat adjstmnt/comfort, and many safety features. Plus there's a LOT of little features you don't realize initially (12V outlets, console cubbies, cargo hooks, accent lighting, trip computer, etc). The big things like AWD w/ VDC, visibility, handling, ingress/egress, etc are all well designed (though the variable assist steering is a bit light for my taste and took some getting used to).

    I would definitely recommend the Premium package versus a stripped down base model - you get a lot for the extra $. [I wanted manual xmission so XT & LL Bean models weren't a viable option for me].

    My only complaint so far is that the HVAC blower fan seems a lot noisier than it needs to be...(ducts & outlets are too small/restrictive for fan cfm?)

    This is my first Subaru, and so far I am impressed. I'm even starting to understand why it is that Subaru owners become such zealots about their rides!
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    Try shutting rear gate on the CR-V, then shut the gate on the Forester.. You will feel the difference.. Also I have shut rear gate sometimes 3 to 4 time to shut tight...07 CRV..all you need to due to solve your dilemma is get them both!!!
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    Which rear gate has which quality? It's not clear which vehicle you think is superior in which way.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    wrt the two turbo models I tried, the one with base A/C seemed to move less air and make more noise than the Automatic system in the XT Limited.

    Wrt CRV .vs. Forester, yes the CRV has a nicer interior and more footroom for the driver. It also costs a little less. Rear Gate quality seemed similar on both - the Forester latches easilly though its closing sound is a little tinny. The rear opening in the Forester is larger than the CRT's.
    In terms of responsiveness and handling, the XT Limited I tried ran circles around the CRV.
    Also, if off-road capabilities are important, remember that the CRV got stuck on Catalina Island, while the Forester did not.

    As for fuel economy, it's very early to tell but for me it seems to be around 21 mpg or so for mostly city driving, and includes several full throttle passing manuevers (I had to learn how the turbo actually responds :D ). The vehicle has 120 miles on it and needs 1000 or so to break in.

    Jeffmc, thanks for parts info. As I live very close to Tigard I'll try to visit the people you mentioned when time allows.
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    However, if something has been the case in the past, this is never a guarantee that it will continue to be the case in the future. I suspect that the Forester will do far more than "put a dent" in CR-V sales.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    One other point: Subaru USA just told me that other than VDC, there is no side-side torque distribution on the '09 Forester. There's no limited slip Diff this time around ('08 Impreza doesn't have limited slip diffs either, as I remember).

    That would explain what I saw in the Subaru test ground videos, when the Forester would frequently stop, spin its free wheels and then move forward.

    Well, so long as the VDC does the job of managing traction in a seamless manner, that will be good enough. It may be possible to add Limited Slip Diffs at a later date, if they are really needed. Limited slip diffs do have drawbacks; frequent clunking sounds, some loss of power.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    The '09 Forester manual I have is apparently dead wrong about the Auto dimming mirror. The illustration they have, and instructions they offer, don't match what Subaru USA is actually installing in these vehicles. As a result, I can't calibrate the compass.

    Anyone who has the Homelink based Auto-dimming Rear View Mirror:

    What is the correct procedure to calibrate its compass ? :confuse:
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Just in terms of production capacity, the Forester is not going to be knocking the CR-V off its throne.

    There is plenty of room in the market for both vehicles. Its a given that the CR-V will do very well, but we don't yet know about the Forester. Certainly, Subaru hasn't done any marketing on the new one yet.

    I think there are pros and cons to both, but my basic point is that I don't think there's any way the Forester will end up selling at a higher price point than the CR-V (except of course in XT trim). The CRV is selling at $23k for an EX and $25 for an EXL, so I would expect the Forester X Premium to be under 23 and the LL Bean to be under 25.

    Of course, whenever there is a new vehicle, there's always a rash of people who can't wait for it and go out and overpay for it, but once inventories get up a little bit and that initial demand is satisified, we'll have to see what Subaru does. A dealer I've spoken with said that he's pretty certain there will be incentives on it pretty quickly. He also said that they are worried about the decontenting on the X Premium...their strategy is going to be to try to get existing Forester owners to trade into a new one, but in order for many to keep the same level of features, they'd have to get into an LL Bean, and he thinks that will be a tough sell in this economy.

    That's exactly what I thought when I saw the content in the Premium package.
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    On my wifes 07 CR-V the rear gate seems a lot lighter compared to the 09 Bean. It just feels more solid???In buying my 09 I negotiated a 3 year free maintenance plan. The way the economy is I think it's worth a try if you are thinking about buying a Forester.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I am used to turning on the heat as soon as temp needle moves off the line

    Yup me too and I agree that deleting the temp gauge was a mistake. As to Mike's point about the idiot light, you still had that in addition to the temp gauge.

    -Frank


    So now when the "blue" cold light goes off, you can put your heat on. Also if you have auto-climate control, it doesn't start to blow the air until the car is heated up.

    I don't remember seeing a temp idiot light but I'll check when I start my LGT today.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    To calibrate the compass just drive in a few concentric circles in an empty parking lot.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    One other point: Subaru USA just told me that other than VDC, there is no side-side torque distribution on the '09 Forester. There's no limited slip Diff this time around ('08 Impreza doesn't have limited slip diffs either, as I remember).

    That would explain what I saw in the Subaru test ground videos, when the Forester would frequently stop, spin its free wheels and then move forward.

    Well, so long as the VDC does the job of managing traction in a seamless manner, that will be good enough. It may be possible to add Limited Slip Diffs at a later date, if they are really needed. Limited slip diffs do have drawbacks; frequent clunking sounds, some loss of power.


    Well the VDC acts like an LSD by braking a slipping wheel and thereby sending the power to the other side of the axle. The LSDs in the subies (except the Spec B rear and the STi) are viscous fluid LSDs and will not lockup/transfer power as well as a truely mechanical LSD anyway.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I remember you were a regular on the Trooper forum. I think you mentioned you used to drive your Trooper up to 100mph? lol That was you, no? I have been up to 95mph, but only once when I wasn't paying attention on a long trip. I changed out the original Bridgestones for Costco Michelins which are much better for road driving.

    Yup had it up to about 115ish on a regular basis :)

    My dad has my 2000 Trooper now and has about 150k miles on it, so far so good with it!

    -mike
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    115 in your Trooper? Ever hear of wind resistance? :surprise: That must've been like being a salmon swimming upstream to spawn!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I've hit nearly 120 in my Armada :) Hee Hee, it isn't speed limited, but that's where the drag just got to be too much. With my 4-hella 4000 lights mounted up front now I can't get much about 110 with the armada.

    -mike
  • johnsorajohnsora Posts: 2
    I got the X Prem + AutoDim Homelink Mirror, rear bumper cover, splash guards, cargo cover, and cargo tray for $23,419. That is invoice and not a penny more!! I also got a killer value on my 11 year old Legacy Wagon with 175k on it. Took 2 days of negotiations, but deals can be found if you find a hungry dealer. I think it helped being a very slow Easter weekend for them. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's face it, the CR-V is the benchmark. People will compare these left and right. And Honda will be fine. New competitors come in yet Honda keeps increasing sales, because the segment keeps growing.

    I think the Forester may win a few hearts on the test drive, if people get the chance to push it. It's harder to win the battle on paper.

    For me, what stands apart the most? One word: glass. Lots more of it. The moonroof is 3 times as big, and the windows are bigger. Visibility is better all around.

    bikerguy3 and johnsora: congrats.

    tkay: I think you noticed the same thing I did - the Forester's hatch has an electric latch, so it closes perfectly every time, no rattling.

    Subaru actually took some stuff out to match the content of the Honda. I don't think the EX had heated seats, did it? Now the X Premium doesn't, either. Same with fog lights. Cargo cover. Cargo liner. Mud flaps.

    Subaru took a page from Honda's book. I believe these are now add-on accessories, as they have been on Hondas for quite some time.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    No, they weren't in the CR-V, but they never were at that trim line, so nothing was taken out of the car.

    That's the problem for Subaru. And now the Forester Premium is woefully short of the Honda in the audio department--the EX does have a 6 disc, 160 watt system--double the wattage of the Subaru's and obviously 6 times as many discs.

    I agree about the visibilty. I really like the basic design of the Forester and I think visibility is better than the Honda. Its still a niche vehicle, but for people like my mom I think its perfect, and it is a very well executed evolutionary design.
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    I'm glad that your mom likes the Forester. Still, I'm curious. What is your definition of a niche vehicle?
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    Wondered why it closed so tight everytime.Now I know.. Thanks AX... AS far as comparing CR V & Forester you would be wise to take in consideration the dealership service (customer servive)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    6CD changer is nice, but aren't most people using an Aux input nowadays?

    Does the single CD player read MP3s recorded on CD, at least?

    My van plays those. You can fit almost 200 songs on one disc. Times 6 is 1200 songs. More than I own. :D

    Having said that, audio has been a weakness for Subaru, supposedly the 2009 Outback is getting big improvements, so Forester may get them eventually.
  • deerlake7deerlake7 Posts: 162
    After just replacing my main driver, we're in the process of downsizing my wife's '03 Honda Pilot. Two of the many crossovers we've driven include the CR-V and '09 Forester. For us, the CR-V has Honda's typical excellent space utilization and steering. On the down side, it seems to also have what's becoming Honda's trademark, we found it VERY loud. Although I can't find the right word, the CR-V felt like I was driving an old car with a lot of miles on it. I found the same thing with the '08 Accord. This is after two Accords and a Pilot since 2000. On the other hand, we found the Forester reasonably quiet and good riding, excellent visibility, along with being fun to drive, even with the non-turbo version. Our dealer only had a LLBean version and since we're not leather people, we want to check out a cloth seated model. For us, the Forester is currently our number 1 choice, followed by the Rogue. I'll keep spending too much time at the gas station with my old Pilot before we purchase a CR-V. As a side note and it may be because of a single individual, I'm finding Subaru corporate to be exceptionally customer focused and I'm looking for a reason to buy a Subaru. More later.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I found the Honda Odyssey had a bit more road noise than I prefer, also. It did handle slightly better than the Sienna I ended up with (mostly better steering feel), but the Sienna was more comfy and a lot quieter.

    Honda could add sound insulation to the CR-V, I supposed, but it already weighs more than the Forester does.

    Let us know what you end up with.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I had a CR-V as a rental on a recent trip. In retrospect, I should have taken some time to go over it closely in order to better compare it to the Forester. Overall, it seemed pleasant enough to drive and I did find it quieter than my 04 Forester. The handling wasn't as sporty though and I still haven't learned to like the shape of the new CR-V, I strongly prefer the previous generation. The back end of the current one just looks too huge and the half-moon windows do nothing for me. I think that's a technique that several manufacturers use to try and convey a more sedan like shape to their CUVs. That doesn't work for me as I like a more squared off profile which denotes more functionality and cargo room. Oh also didn't care for the CR-V's LED fuel gauge or instant mpg readout. I prefer the mpg display on my other car as it better depicts the actual mpg avg vs the CR-Vs constantly changing instantaneous readout (I don't really need to be told that the mpg goes way down when I floor it and way up when I'm coasting) :P

    -Frank
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Really, as a rental?

    I've seen a lot of companies using Escapes (the really cheap 4 banger ones) and XL7s even, but never a CR-V.

    Where was this? In AZ?
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I know I was surprised to. Oddly enough it was in a podunk little airport in Alabama. I rented with Hertz and they had several other CR-Vs on a very small lot. The one they gave me only had 800 miles on it.

    My parents got a base model Forester for an airport (Phoenix) rental when they came to visit last fall.

    -Frank
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