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Article Comments - 2009 Subaru Forester XT First Drive and Full Test



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I gotta agree - that plood warms up the dash.
  • dcampagnadcampagna Posts: 6
    We owned a '98 Forester which worked well for us except I hated its clutch chatter, historical rear wheel bearing problem and impending possibility of head gasket leaks (and with TWO heads!). So when we replaced the Forester recently, the clutch/bearing/gasket problems weighed heavily in my decision to not buy an '09 Forester 'cause I don't know that those problems have been solved. Therefore we bought an '08 Honda CR-V EX 4WD and absolutely LOVE IT!!!! The Forester would be SO much better if it had a Toyota or Honda drivetrain! (hint, hint)
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    The rear bearing problem was supposedly addressed and fixed a few years back, as were the timing belt, head gasket and other issues.
    CR-V's do have nice interior.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Forester would be SO much better if it had a Toyota or Honda drivetrain! (hint, hint)

    The Foresters full time AWD is superior to the Toyota or Honda FWD bias on demand. The redesigned CRV is nice, but lacks punch compared to the XT.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    When I drove CR-V, RAV4, Forester, etc., each one had strengths and weaknesses. Motor Trend and Car and Driver (latter comparo without the new Forester) pointed variations out in more detail than I can here.

    It also depends on how the vehicle is used and where driven.
    Though in its recent supercar mountain road compario, Edmunds put the STI last, they also wrote its suspension travel would give it an advantage on rougher roads.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The wheel bearings changed to a new, sealed design from model year 2003 onwards.

    The head gasket issue was addressed in 2002. Consumer Reports reliability ratings for engines show a notable improvement under the "Engine - Major" category right around that time, confirming the new gasket material was indeed better.

    I find it a little strange that you didn't experience that problem in 10 years yet that's one reason you left Subaru. :confuse:

    Congrats on your CR-V.
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 400
    I enjoy the back and forth regarding the 09 re-do. Unless Subaru secretly sold out to GM without telling anyone, I just dont see how anyone can ask for a better combination of utility and performance than a Forester XT. My 04 has 57K flawless miles and counting, and still hauls all the crap, tows what it cant haul, and passes Audis like they are standing still.
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    Wonder if that could be a dealer installed option. It does look a heck of lot better. The silver plastic looks pretty rank!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They list 0-60 for the XT at 6.2 seconds, quicker than a V6 RAV4.

    MT got 6.6, and Edmunds got 6.8. That's what we've seen so far.

    The rest of the C&D review is generally positive but they didn't do a fully instrumented test, so hopefully we get more in a comparo soon.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Although I know it's subjective, I just can't get over how ugly the new CR-V looks. I much preferred the more functional/utilitarian look of the previous generation.

    As for Toyota having more reliable drivetrains... didn't I just read somewhere that Toyota felt it necessary to extend the warranties on older RAV4s due to drivetrain problems? Just goes to show you that nobody is perfect :)


    P.S. I agree with Juice, you go 10 years with no problems with either wheel bearings or head gaskets (both of which were addressed by Subaru) and then you use those as reasons why you didn't get another :confuse:
  • dcwestbydcwestby Posts: 29
    I find it also weird that any comparisons so far have refrained from mentioning the Nissan Rogue, even tho the Rogue is only a first year car...
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    Motor Trend addressed that in its recent 5-way compario and I remember the Rogue coming in second, mainly because of the way it handled (ride was pretty harsh, though).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think perhaps it's because the Rogue is a tad smaller and *really* pushes the styling envelope, so it's form over function.

    Forester is much more conservative, and function over form.

    One's an egg, the other is a box. We're practical so we prefer the box.
  • phdewiphdewi Posts: 1
    Has anyone with a new 2009 forester had trouble keeping comfortable in 80 to 90 deg days? My AC is not up to the task of keeping the car cool. On a sunny day, there is so much glass that the AC will not overcome the heat load. The dealer tested my AC and says that it meets factory specs. However I am still not able to keep the inside temperature below about 80deg, even with the recirculating air setting.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    If you have a moon roof, the interior cover will get hot in sunlight (the moon roof is not well tinted) and put more load on the A/C.

    You could either have the moon roof glass tinted, or (assuming you do not open the roof very often) put a windshield reflector in the space between the glass and the interior sliding cover.

    Otherwise, my XT's A/C seems to do fine with our heat waves up here in Portland, OR. Then again, my XT's white (chosen to minimize summer heating).
  • buckhuntrbuckhuntr Posts: 11
    My Forester's ac seems to handle the heat ok here in Tulsa. The onboard thermometer read 100F at 5:00 today, and the air cooled it down as fast as most any other car ac I've had.
  • red927red927 Posts: 118
    It's been quite warm in NJ the past few days, but I have had no problem with the A/C. I leave it parked all day at the train station. The only thing I do is put a sunshade in the front windshield.

    If your car does not have the privacy glass, that also may cause the A/C to work harder.
  • Wrt the AC loads, I did get my moon roof tinted with 25% light reduction film. Made a big difference in summer heat load (sun roof interior cover doesn't get as hot) and did not obscure visibility out the moon roof all that much.). Cost was around $30.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds cool.

    We just close the shade. I know we lose the roof itself, but it's not often that it gets *that* warm that we feel the need to do that.

    Plus, that's usually only when it's parked in the sun for a while. Our car port provides shade.
  • I took delivery of a 2009 Forester 2.5X, Automatic, last week.

    I thought the outlet air with the A/C on was varying by the feel. Today I measured the temperature using a digital thermometer with a thermocouple. The outlet temperature does vary. If you sit at idle with the Recirculate Off the air temp can go up to 55-58 deg or more. As soon as you start up it drops down to 40 or so. If you go into Neutral at idle the air is about 50 deg.

    In Recirculate On mode I saw that the temperature will sometimes rise up to 45-48 and then drop back down again. The outlet temp goes as low as 36 deg in recirculate mode.

    I suspect the the compressor is cycling on and off and is giving temperature swings. Also the cooling system doesn't put out as much cooling at idle as with some RPMs on the engine.

    The manual does state that they do shut off the compressor under hard acceleration as when climbing a hill, a number of vehicles do this.

    The manual states that the Auto Climate Control can maintain an inside temperature of only 65 to 85 deg. That was one of the reasons I didn't want it.

    I had the sun roof glass tinted today with 35% visible light transmission film. I think that there is less heat coming throught the roof panel now. The manufacturers display in the shop said that all the films block greater than 95% of the heat and UV rays and allow varying amounts of visible light through depending on the darkness of the tint.
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