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2009 Subaru Forester



  • sylviecatsylviecat Posts: 10
    This might not be the proper place for this query, in which case, I am very sorry, but i've been trying to figure this out. If you need to rder the 09, and they seem in short supply, if you want specifics (working out a few things, then I want to get the xPremium AWP or X Ltd in Newport Blue)

    If you have to order from the dealer, is there still a way to negotiate price? and if so, any advice?

    Many thanks!
  • johnc19johnc19 Posts: 15
    I am considering purchasing a new 2009 Forester, but in reading the posts in various Subaru discussions, it appears that at one time Subaru had some real issues with head gasket failures leading to expensive repairs or engine replacements. From what I can tell (not having ever owned a Subaru) most of the failures mentioned in these discussions occurred on late 1990s to early 2000s model years.

    I don't really see any discussion of issues for the most recent models. My question for someone with knowledge and experience with these engines is, did Subaru do something specific to improve head gasket durability, or is the reason that late model years aren't having failures is just due to a lack of time/mileage?

    I really like the design and styling of the new Forester better than any comparable smaller SUV, but wouldn't want to be in the position of having to make a major engine repair after 6 to 8 years of ownership.
  • johnc19johnc19 Posts: 15
    Thanks for your thoughts about the differences between these 2 vehicles.

    Can you elaborate on what's better/different about Subaru's 4WD system compared to Honda's. I've never had a 4WD vehicle because it's not absolutely crucial to me living in Northern VA. However, I obviously can't buy a Subaru and not have it be 4WD.
  • board_jayboard_jay Posts: 22
    Thanks! I went to Add-On and Yipes Stripes today (local add-on accessory shops) and the folks at both places told me that Weather Tech and Auto Vent Shade don't have them available for the 09 Forresters yet, but expects them to be out in 2-3months.
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    This morning while trying to lift a small cup of coffee out of the deep square coffee holder the lid came off spilling hot coffee all over. This created a very unsafe situation in several ways. Has anyone out there found a remedy for this ? poor design in my opinion and I think Subaru should offer us an safe insert.
  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    You might want to do a search on "head gasket" in the Subaru threads here. Your question comes up fairly often. There was a period when some head gasket problems were occurring but not on every engine. Still it was enough that Subaru worked on the problem quite aggressively. For the last six years or so it apparently hasn't been an issue, so whatever they did fixed it. It doesn't mean it can't happen but it is very unlikely. No manufacturer has a 100% perfect record on anything as complicated as a vehicle.
    Subaru's are still noted for their excellent reliability. Their engines are certainly at the top for reliability and length of service. I've owned two Dodge Omni's, one "K" car, and a Neon ,all 4 cylinder, and every one had head gasket failure. Chrysler wouldn't provide financial assistance on any of them. Many Subaru's are on the road with over 200,000 miles with no engine issues.
  • pgb0517pgb0517 Posts: 84
    Search for "cupholders" in this discussion and also for my name "pgb0517" -- I posted an update on my quest for the perfect cupholder insert not long ago.
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    I just googled and found a black molded plastic insert @ They come in 2 sizes and are inexpensive. They come in 2 sizes. Model ch-2b Standard 2-7/8"x2-3/4 diameter or 3-3/4" diameter. Any suggestions or thoughts on this product? Thanks.
  • pgb0517pgb0517 Posts: 84
    I have found several products like these in the RV/boat accessory lines. Problem is, they are a single size. I prefer either the ones with graduated sizes (bigger at the top, getting down to soda-can size in one or two steps), or those that somehow adapt to different sizes. My post on cupholders from a few days ago has some options. I'm still researching. I've also e-mailed SOA telling them to come on fer cryin' out loud and make us an insert. It's 2008, manufacturers should have this nailed!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    sgloon: on the 98, the fender flares covered part of the rear door, protecting then when you opened the door. I guess I'll have to take a closer look at the new wheel well covers to see if it's the same way - doesn't the rear door overlap a bit with the rear wheel well?

    Plus is protects you from other cars opening their doors.

    johnc19: our 2009 Forester actually shifts more smoothly than our minivan (2007 Sienna), even with fewer ratios.

    birdboy: 29-31 mpg sounds great. Ours is already up to 22 mpg and we're still on our very first 1/4 tank.

    redherring: thanks for checking the starting-in-2nd for the snow.

    volkov: my Sienna nearly stalls up a snowy hill because the TRAC is so invasive. I think starting in 2nd will be more effective because there may be no slip to begin with. Either way, it's nice to have the choice and full control.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    irollit: congrats, we have the same vehicle! Our is Newport Blue Pearl, what color did you get?

    We also ordered. Get a VON from your dealer, then you can check your status by calling 800-SUBARU3. They were great, they told me when it was built, gave me the VIN, told me when it would arrive at the port, then when it actually arrived, they even predicted (accurately) the exact day it would arrive at my dealer. They said Monday or Tuesday last week, and sure enough, it arrived Monday and we took delivery on Tuesday.

    Hang in there, it's worth the wait!

    sylviecat: of course you can negotiate price. Demand is high so discounts may not be as plentiful, especially since those models are in demand.

    johnc19: Subaru switched to a new head gasket material around 2002 or so. If you read Consumer Reports, you'll see the reliability ratings improve rather dramaticly right around that time, and for all models. That was enough for me - we traded our 2002 Legacy for a new 2009 Forester.

    That 2002 Legacy went 62k miles with no problem, in fact we never once used the extended warranty.

    Before that we owned a 98 Forester and it went 87k miles with no head gasket problems, either. Perhaps we were lucky. Any how, the new gaskets seem to be much better, plus CR's data confirms that.
  • phdhuskyphdhusky Posts: 64
    I havn't had a chance to drive the new forester in the snow but here are my thoughts about the 4WD on both.

    In the cr-v it is mostly if not always FWD unless you have slippage at the rear wheels. Also you can youtube videos of both in the mud but some may be biased when they compare the forester vs cr-v.

    The forester's AWD is truly AWD. When doing normal driving at constant speed the split is 90% front 10% rear. The ratio changes depending on driver input (acceleration, etc), thus the ratio can constantly change and all four wheel always have power. From all the video's i've seen the forester has a far superior 4WD system and many people agree.

    If you don't need 4WD then don't get it but between 4WD cr-v and forester there is no gas milage difference.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    So I finally pried the keys from my wife (it's hers). Phew. That wasn't easy.

    First impressions?

    Wife thinks the antennae is the cooling thing since sliced bread. A minor detail, but she loves it.

    It is MUCH taller than the 02 Legacy we traded. You sit about 2 feet higher up. She had the seat moved up pretty high, so I felt like I could almost see the front bumper. Visibility is the best this side of a convertible with the top down. You see everything, front, behind, and both sides. A+.

    Complaint: the passenger seat is low, indeed, like people here complained. I took a quick peek at the door track and the front is angled, but I will look again more closely. It could be half inch or so higher.

    Love the LED interior lights. I think there's one in the center storage bin, it's cool when it reflects on a cell phone. Very modern.

    What else? Love how so many of the controls are lit, including the stereo and cruise controls on the steering wheel. Also love the 3 spokes, really the entire wheel is perfect even down to the plush feeling leather. Kudos.

    Moonroof is huge. "Big as the Texas Sky" as Motorweek once said. So true. Interior feels very, very airy. The platinum leather is lighter than it looks in the brochure, a lot lighter. Competitors will feel claustrophobic after getting used to this.

    While I agree most plastics are hard, they do at least look nice. The texture on them is nice. I think they wanted to reduce weight as much as possible and did the best they could with that goal in mind. The leather on the seats, steering wheel, and shifter feel nice, at least.

    Haven't used the cup holders yet, but I do like having 2 power plugs. One for the GPS, up on the windshield, and a 2nd in the center console for the BlackBerry. You even have a removeable bin there that fits the BBerry just fine. Slide the arm rest forward and it even hides the device - bonus points!

    Gotta get used to the new radio controls, but at least it has redundant buttons on that steering wheel. LOVE the mute button, something my Sienna lacks.

    My sister has a 2003 Forester and she hopped in, right away she said she really liked the lit ring around the ignition switch, plus all the extra lit controls and buttons. That stood out most to her among the changes.

    I did not accelerate or brake hard, as it's breaking in. The 09 Forester does have a lot less body roll than the 98 Forester, or the 02 Legacy even. Ride is slightly firmed up but not harsh at all. You hear bumps more than you feel them, I have to check the tire pressure as they may not be aired down.

    We got it with just 10 miles on the odo, so noone test drove it (an advantage of ordering one). It was getting 5mpg when we got it, lots of idling, I'm sure, but it's up to 22 mpg and we've only used 1/4 tank.

    So far, so good. It's easy to park, bright and airy, and efficient, which is pretty much exactly what we wanted.
  • nathansnathans Posts: 15
    what are these "gotchas"? I have the card, and am unaware of such problems.
  • irollitirollit Posts: 20
    Thank you. It is also Newport Blue Pearl. How long did you wait? What is a VON?

    When I ordered it the first week of June, I was told that it would come by the end of June. Unfortunately, I was told today that a blue Limited is not in their allotment. We have to wait 6-8 weeks from today.

    Is it really true that the Limited are in short supply? The other story he gave me is the cars wait in Japan to be loaded until the ship has enough cargo secured for the return trip.

    Time does go by fast but I have an older vehicle that may not wait as long before it dies. I do not want to put more money into it and then loose that money when it is sold.
  • skeletonskeleton Posts: 37
    Congrats, juice! (or should I say your wife...)

    I've had mine now for a month. You'll like it even more the longer you own it. I even just take it out for a spin every once in a while for fun. (In fact, I just got back a few minutes ago... thought I'd try and test out the VDC. Found an empty gravel parking lot.... cranked the steering wheel and floored it in second from a moving start. Wow! It just followed my steering. No swerving or difficulty controlling the vehicle. Felt like I was a rally pro.)

    Can't wait for the snow. (Never thought I'd ever say that...)
  • ncc4ncc4 Posts: 16
    I was at my local Subaru dealer having some servicing done on my Outback so I had an hour to wait in the showroom. They still had a new 2008 Forester as well as a new 2009 Forester on display. I wanted a better look at the tires on the 2009 model and leaned on the fender, above the front tire, to get a better look and it almost dented it was so easy to push in. I then tried the same motion on the 2008 model and the sheet metal is much more sturdy.
    Yes the 2009 has more room etc., but is it as well built for the long haul?

    Buyer beware!
  • parkcoparkco Posts: 4
    I'm having a very hard time with the ipod interface on our '09 Forester. The manual indicates that the right knob should control scrolling through playlists. I cannot make it do anything at all. There is a lag time of a couple of seconds in the display. If I advance through six or seven songs on a playlist, the display no longer displays any song titles at all.

    Does anyone have this interface installed and working as the operation manual describes it should? Any user experiences would be great to hear - positive or other.
  • red927red927 Posts: 118

    I am still waiting for mine. I ordered it on 4/19 from dealer I have dealt with since 1992. He told me that they had a black on order and he would find out who in the area had a dark grey one coming in and then arrange for a swap. On 5/30 he called and told me that the other dealer had gotten the paperwork on my car and as soon as my guy gets the paperwork on his and they are delivered, the swap will be made. It is now 6/16 and neither dealer has received a car. He says that there is some sort of delay in delivery and no one knows exactly when the delivery will happen.

    Has anybody else heard of this problem with deliveries? The dealer also said that they have quite a few customer orders and they are having difficulty filling them. It appears that Subaru did not anticipate the tremendous demand for the cars and is now struggling to get them built and shipped. Even those that were promised for June are now being pushed back to July and possibly August.

    In the meantime, the lease on my present vehicle has ended and I had to return it. I asked if they could give me a loaner to use and they said OK. I am now driving a 1998 Outback Limited with 237,000 miles! Surprisingly, it runs fine.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Some things to keep in mind -

    Every dealer wants to increase their volume of sales. In addition to the profit on an individual vehicle they can get bonus money for achieving sales benchmarks. In addition, their future allocation of vehicles is also based on their volume.

    Dealers have to pay for cars that sit on their lots, usually through loans with finance charges for them. This is called "floor planning". The longer a vehicle sits on the lot the more it costs them. They always want to sell what they have for that reason.

    Even if they swap with another dealer, that can also cost them extra. If they are trying to swap a vehicle that is not as popular a model or color they may be "charged" a small premium by the other dealer. This is usually in the $100 to $300 range. This cost gets passed on to you. Sometimes it is an even swap, sometimes not. The "hold back" money also goes to the dealer listed on the window sticker, not necessarily the selling dealer.

    Sometimes at the end of the model year the dealer gets incentive money to clear out the "old" stuff, so this can help you get a deal, but not at the beginning of a model year, for the current model.

    Despite their motivation to sell what they have, the absolute cheapest vehicle they can sell you is one they don't have yet. If you buy a vehicle that is either just coming in or ordered they pay no extra via the floor planning, and they get the hold back.

    So the best deal available should be on an ordered or arriving vehicle because they own it for less. If you notice in this thread, most of the best deals have been on ordered vehicles. This is a win for them because they sell a car, they haven't had to pay financing for it to "store" it, they get the hold back, and it pumps up their sold volume.
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