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2009 Subaru Forester



  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    I must be hallucinating because it's a GREEN LIGHT (Sport) that comes on with ignition.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    If your '09 Forester is an Auto trans, you are seeing the SPORT trans light being tested.
    You will see that light come on if the Auto Trans selector/shifter is moved from Drive position to the center of the + / - slot. Moving Selector back to Drive turns SPORT mode off.
    Putting the auto trans in SPORT mode changes the shifting so that auto trans lets engine rev higher in each gear before shifting, and allows more rapid downshifting on hills.
    And yes, it really works ;)
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    While I still remember, here are observations I had while driving a number of '08 Outback XT's .vs. two '09 Forester XT's:

    Quieter interior (little road or wind noise) but some rattles now and then
    Softer suspension (less thumps from potholes, etc.)
    More lean in turns when cornering
    Less low end torque - not much until over 3K rpm.
    Classic "turbo surge" when accelerating.
    Some drive line lash and occasional clunks while driving.
    Limited slip rear diff helps side-side torque
    Rather crowded inside (intimate front, rear seats had no toe space)
    Lots of cargo space in back, but lower overall heigth.
    Little cabin storage space (small door slots, center cup holders.
    Euro class trim similar to that of Audi
    Auto trans reluctant to kick down, even in Sport Sharp mode
    Intelligent mode reduces passing ability - beware!
    Cannot comment on mileage

    Reasonably quiet interior but can be noisy on coarse roads
    Firm suspension - potholes kick back more but are not harsh.
    Very little lean in the corners, unusual for an SUV.
    Little drive line lash
    No limited slip diffs - side/side power handled by braking spinning wheels.
    Broader power bandwidth
    Turbo response comes in two stages.
    4 speed trans responds quickly to throttle input - SPORT mode helps,
    Mileage not so great (expect around 18 - 20 in the city)
    Much more usable interior space (rear footroom! Reclineable seats!
    Interior trim in line with other mid- level Japanese cars (less posh than outback)
    More cabin storage in doors and center console.
    Fewer observed rattles than in Outbacks (but some dash creaks are in mine).

    Outback is more luxo, and possibly a better trip car
    Forester is more eager, practical, and fun to drive.
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    K-Maxxxx u da man!!! Thanks TKay
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    Do any Subie folks here know of good suppliers of lengthwise body strips that can be added to the Forester to protect the doors from various dings and shopping carts?

    I priced such at the local dealer, but $400 for 4 pieces seems mighty steep (their add on spoiler was $700 ( the XT Limited already has one of those )).
  • bufwxguybufwxguy Posts: 10
    Really only because of the third row that the Freestyle/Taurus X has since we have more need for that kind of passenger space but don't want a mini van. My Outback only holds 5 if there are 3 small ones in the back seat, but those 3 get bigger as the years go by! I thought the FS would have ok mileage with the 3L six and CVT, but 18-20 hwy is not good enough. Also, I thought Ford's quality had improved, but I see from your long experience as a Ford owner, that's maybe not true. Thanks.
  • kpevavkpevav Posts: 41
    I have a 2006 Freestyle and my wife a 2005 Forester. The Freestyle is quieter, especially on the highway, and offers a better ride. I get 19 mph in the city, with a moderately heavy foot.
    The downside of the Freestyle? Rear brake pad wear is the only one that bothers me. It has a hefty engine sound when under strong acceleration, but I don't mind that. There are rattles when driving over the purposely uneven brick streets in our neighborhood (that's another story!) but on decent roads, there are no rattles. It is an excellent highway vehicle, for me.
    I understand the 2009 Forester is redesigned and should be more accommodating than the 2005. The same could be said for the 2008 Taurus X over the Freestyle, as it is quieter (with the 6-speed automatic transmission, more sound insulation, larger engine, etc.). I have not seen any brake-related issues with the Taurus X, but they are not selling many of them, apparently.
  • rubdrrubdr Posts: 4
    Yes, I took "extensive" test drives of both a 2008 Taurus X and 2009 Forrester. The X is bigger both in size and engine, but even with the 6 spd trans yielded even less mileage (17/14) and is very slugish on acceleration. The Forrester in 2009 is larger than previous yrs and has 4 spd trans but mileage was impressive (28/23) and had a lot of "zip". I think the X had a little better ride, but figured this was due to the longer wheelbase. They still are reporting the brake issues, especially the rear for some reason. In comparison I believe the Forrester is better in price, mileage, agility and extras. I also hear that 2010 Forresters will have a 5 spd auto trans. Any other thoughts out there on the 2009 Forrester?
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    Those mileage numbers seem a little odd, given that the EPA (using the new-for-2008 standards) a rating of 20/26 for the non-turbo Foresters. Are those metric numbers? As to the five-speed automatic for the Forester's second year, I don't know. It has happened in the past. The 1999 Acura TL had a four-speed, but Acura upgraded to a five-speed for the 2000 model.
  • rubdrrubdr Posts: 4
    No, not metric numbers. Computer reads on both vehicles. That is what made it unbelievable. Are the "avg" mileage on the Subies accurate?? My experience with the Ford computer reads yield pretty accurate reads. Still looking VERY seriously at the 2009 Forrester I test drove for this and many other reasons.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    17.9 mph (at around 200 miles on odometer).
    Mostly city driving with a little freeway thrown in.

    Worst mileage I have ever gotten from any car I've owned.

    Then again, to be fair, it's not completed break in, it's still 40 - 55 deg in Portland, the fuel is 10% alcohol, and the AC climate control is on most of the time.
    We'll see how it goes.
    I wasn't expecting fabulous mileage anyway - the price of an AWD car, unfortunately.

    Subie milage increases until about 10,000 miles.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Finally, Subaru got back to me and told me there is no "formally approved" filter for keeping leaves and other junk out of the intercooler. They did warn me not to block airflow, so it will be a challange to come up with something that doesn't reduce airflow but still catches some of the garbage that could come through the scoop.

    Best bet is some netting/wire mesh from Home Depot. That's what I plan to do on my car. You really don't get all that much stuff down the scoop though.

  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    For those of you who have driven the '09s, what are your estimates for the 0-60 for the naturally-aspirated and turbo models? Do you believe that the naturally-aspirateds will be sub-9 second vehicles?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    My brother, who is 6'5", has gone with me on '09 forester trips, and has put the passenger seat all the way back and reclined it a bit.

    A person my size (5' 7", short legs) can still sit in the back seat behind him with reasonable comfort. And there is space for toes and feet!

    In current Outback or older forester w/ front seat all way back, I'd _really_ be hurting back there. :cry:

    Only other mid-sized car I know of with that kind of rear seat room is the Mailbu Maxx, which is 5 inches longer, has less rear storage space, and was discontinued last year.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,714
    The auto press reviews of the '09 Forester all bemoan the lack of a 5-speed auto trans, which may pop up in the '10.

    However, a true story was the Saturn Ion started its life with a 5 speed automatic. About 3 years into its production, the 5-speed , made by Aisin, was dropped for a 4-speed auto trans suppled from a GM division.
    At that point, the Ion, with the 4-speed, got __better__ gas mileage and maintained its performance. In effect, the Ion got a better drive train matchup.

    Also, another car mag who also bemoaned the lack of a 5-speed Auto found the '09's 4-speed to be well matched to the engine.

    Still, if Subie does a good job matching '10s 5-speed to engine, it should improve the mileage and possibly performance. I would have liked to have waited for that, but winter needs and other factors suggested waiting could be expensive (I expect a healthy price increase in '10 to cover all the inflations and updates).
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    The auto press reviews of the '09 Forester all bemoan the lack of a 5-speed auto trans, which may pop up in the '10.

    It is hard to believe that the five speed which was not put into the 09 for both cost and added weight reasons per Subaru engineers will be used. The CVT (Nissan-developed) offers a wider range of gear reductions for both better performance and economy. The five speed is a Subaru modification of a JATCO (Nissan sub.) auto trans and may not be available in quantity also.

    Why would the CVT for the 2.5i not be universally used in all models with that engine?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Probably, and a CVT is more likely than a 5 speed auto.

    We complain a lot, myself included, about there being only 4 ratios, but the fact is I drove an automatic 2009 and the transmission was very responsive, much more so than the 5EAT Subaru autos I've driven.

    So at the very least they programmed it well. SportShift responds in fractions of a second. Some other manually controlled autos take up to 2 seconds to complete a shift.

    Any how, the point is more ratios doesn't necessarily mean the transmission is better overall. For one I am very, very happy that my Sienna has the old Toyota 5 speed (U151E), as opposed to the new 6 speed auto (U660E) that everyone complains about. Hesitation, mostly.

    Toyota's 5 speed > Toyota's 6 speed.

    0-60 for the Forester? Noone has done a fully intrumented test yet that I've seen.

    C&D took an Impreza 2.5i to 60mph in 7.x seconds, but the Forester is heavier and probably geared for economy, so I expect 8.x or so for the base model, 6.x for the XT auto.
  • Edmunds reviewed a Japanese spec of the 09 forester and the Turbo turbo did the 60 in 5.5 secs. They use a different engine for their base than in the US. Dont have the link but remember reading in earlier this year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I believe it, but that probably had a manual transmission.

    Anyone who has driven a turbo Forester with a manual will know a sub-6 second 0-60 time is totally plausible.

    Automatic, though? Probably low 6s.

    Still very quick.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I drove a new Forester XT over the weekend. I like it a lot—much more so than the non-turbo. Is it scary fast? No, but very "usably" fast.

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