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2009 Subaru Forester mileage reports



  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    So 2.5 years later, are u still happy with the Forester?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Our 09 Forester Limited is my wife's daily driver. She *LOVES* it. Won't even talk to me about trading it in. It's a keeper.

    I was hoping when a more fuel-efficient CVT comes out she may want to upgrade with the Guaranteed Trade-in Value program and the $1000 Subaru Bucks we have saved up, but I can't convince her.

    My daily is a Miata, but I also have a family/trip car, a Sienna minivan. The Sienna is perfect for its missions of carrying as much people and stuff and peacefully as possible over long distances.

    To be honest, while I'm not unhappy, it's the Miata that I am second-guessing. Then again it's winter, there's snow on the ground, and pot holes in the streets. When it warms up, I'm sure I'll love it again.

    I've never owned a Saab, must've been someone else. Bob has, IIRC.

    I like the character in some older Saabs, but how did a company known for all-weather turbo hatchbacks become so mainstreamed?
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Oh I thought it was I'm curious who it was someone tho that I read often on numerous similar threads we frequent.

    I intend to drive one of those CVT's sometime soon I hope. I need good wx for a proper test drive. Plan on driving a few others too, but the Sube is the only AWD unless I go the SUV route which I already have (a std tranny CRV) (seat kills me)

    I think tho that even if she was keen to trade, as I'm sure you realize, the depreciation would never be saved by the slight gas savings.

    Not sure what you mean by Saabs having gone mainstream? Possibly the dealer interaction has gone mainstream in that dealing with GM is easily considered that way.

    I see they have gone upscale even farther now, so for me, a new one is out of the question. They are big engined AWD's now.
    Too bad, an AWD 9-3 or 9-5 with a turbo dsl would be just perfect for me.

    I think I was meant to live in EU :(
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited January 2011
    Not in terms of price...

    I meant the character. They went to sedans instead of hatchbacks. And they were way too slow to launch AWD variants.

    Saab went from being a quirky brand with turbo/manual hatchbacks to a premium GM Epsilon sedan.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I didn't realize u had a Miata. Later I recalled that u had the Sienna.
    What year?

    Ya, the Saab in manual tranny is likely only a pipe dream now too. If GM was smart they would NOT mess with that nameplate. But I guess it's too late now..

    On a dif thread...I feel your pain...and no it is not your imagination working overtime in case u were wondering. I have run into it also.. There are a few that go outta their way to be difficult.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Still have both.

    1993 Miata, replaced by 2008 Miata PRHT.

    2007 Sienna.

    Wife has a 2009 Forester, so that's also our snow car.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited January 2011
    PRHT? I guess pwr hardtop? Cool. Std tranny i hope.

    IYO, what are the primary dif between the Forester, Outback, Legacy and Impreza? At the risk of over simplifying, they use all the same engine right? And the Forester and Outback likely have similar grd clearance. In terms of seats, which would have the roomiest, best seat? I think they are all similar...from 3 i sat in a few weeks ago, but they didn't have a Forester.

    I noticed it is getting harder to find a manual even with Subaru now. (assuming you're not looking for the turbo) I actually would love to have the turbo, but not the high perf turbo. Still tho, i think even the lesser turbo still calls for 93 octane.

    I read this whole thread and i was able to see what people are getting for FE in the real world. The biggest shock was the 800 lb trlr hauler.

    The CVT will have to work a whole lot better with the paddle shift ability, than the CVT in the Murano and Altima i have driven. And I have read about excessive revving with CVT in hilly terrain. Sounds to me like that is defeating the purpose of engine rev matching to good torque range vs road speed.

    Oh ya, also, I have read that many Subes seem to have not that cold A/C systems. Would you consider your wife's to be marginal? Hot fast heaters and cold A/C are among my top priorities in a car.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    With regard to the Saab ownership, it may have been "Mr. Shiftright" that was the owner you recalled. He is a host and is very active on these forums.

    With regard to the different models, the Impreza and Forester are based on the same (smaller) platform, while the Legacy and Outback share a larger platform. The Impreza has the least leg room, but it is still good. If you have rear-facing carseats in the back, it can feel a little cramped, but still not bad and certainly not worse than the Legacy/Outback of old (2009 and earlier). The new L/O are very roomy, more so (in terms of feel, I think - I don't know about the actual numbers) than the Forester.

    Manuals are still available through about half of the lineup for Forester/Legacy/Outback, and are available on all Impreza models (exclusive on the WRX and STi). So, while they have restricted their availability to some extent, there is quite a bit of selection.

    Fuel economy, my MT car (with 22,000 miles now) has averaged 23.9 lifetime, if I recall correctly. I have the spreadsheet at home so I am going off memory here. It is dragged down by the winter averages, which can be very low depending on how cold it is here in Fairbanks, Alaska. Some winter month averages are as low as 20 (give or take a few tenths). Summer averages are more like 27. Unfortunately, every time we take a long trip we either have a top carrier or trailer in tow... sometimes both! As a result, we have not had the opportunity to see what an unencumbered highway tank will yield. Ah, well... I guess that dream is not "real world," is it?

    I towed a trailer that was probably about 1400# on a trip last summer, with the roof carrier and the car loaded. The car handled it very well, but it was an 1100 mile trip and I think it netted something like 17.8 mpg. :cry:

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    edited January 2011
    Hey, thanks for the pic! Really adds perspective cuz i can see the lack of aerodynamics of the trlr. And you can see the car is loaded and that's without the ankle-biter and dog loaded up, haha.
    Plus ya gotta love a pic with the family pup in adds that special level of realty. Looks like a real nice pup too.
    Where was that white birch forest? There's so many, who'd think they were planted exclusively.

    Is that an 09?

    I know all about the affect of cold temps on AWD. I think our average lows up here are worse than yours there even. For Jan our average lows are 1 Feh and highs are a balmy 23. 11.2 as I type, but the past 10 days have been 5 to 15.
    Have you considered swapping out the factory gear oil in your transfer case and fr and rr difs with 75W90? That is a 100% synthetic gear oil. Check with Subaru to ensure they approve. Not only does that lube the gears quicker due to easier and quicker flow in the cold, it helps fuel economy noticeable. I use a 5W20 (Honda requirement) 100% syn in the engine too. Cam lobes etc all get the slick stuff quicker that way.

    Good to know about the 09 and newer more room. I didn't know the Forester and Impreza were based off the same platform, but the shorter WB and overall size of course does give that away. Have you always had Subarus?

    I could get by with less grd clearance, so technically the Legacy, being lower to the grd likely has the edge in FE, but I need seats that are situp and beg style postitions, and i think the Forester is like that more than the Legacy. Just going by memory (and I was distracted cuz the salesman was right there and i couldn't concentrate...(i was wishing a customer would come so he could go and help them instead) but I think I sat lower in the Legacy even than the Impreza.
    I really like full size minivan seating positions. I also like how easy it is to get in and out of minivans. I wish they weren't so hard on gas and offered AWD and that is what I'd prefer. Even tho they are top heavy in comparison to a Sube, I only race around when I'm on two wheels. ;)

    edit - in looking at those trees, they remind me of poplar too but our poplar are never that white..but your bark there and black spots have a poplar look when i look more closely.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    edited January 2011
    Other than her occasional need to belligerently run off from time to time (I think it is the husky in her - she's a racing (Alaska) husky & yellow lab cross), she is a great pup. I can't believe she's ten years old now. :surprise:

    The trees are birch (Betula papyrifera), almost exclusively. There are some mature white and black spruce on that plot as well, but not so much in that particular frame. Poplar and aspen is also prevalent in the area, it just didn't get a foothold on the couple of acres I own.

    My car is a 2010, purchased September 2009. I swapped out the factory oils with synthetic lube in the transmission and differentials, as well as engine, when I first brought it back to Fairbanks (purchased it in Seattle and drove it up). If it had the factory oils in it, I would likely lose another couple MPG during the winter! Still, if it is cold, the economy suffers. Last month was pretty nippy: The average temperature for the month was -17.8 F, with the maximum low -41F on 12/15 with ten days' lows at -30F or lower. So far this month, though, which tends to be colder, the average temp is 7.8 F. That said, the temp is dropping! This morning it was -23 F.

    Our first Subaru was purchased ten-point-five years ago, and it was a 1996 Outback. We had it until 12/30/2006 :cry: and quickly replaced it with a 2007 Outback. That car was sold five months later after we found out we were having a second baby. We then purchased a 2008 Outback for a trip then sold it when we returned home (saved us some money versus flying and renting, and it was much more fun!). After that, we were Subaru-free for a couple years until our minivan bit the big one and my wife wanted another Subaru (which is the 2010 Forester).

    You can get an AWD minivan, but only one if I recall correctly: The Sienna offers AWD on the LE and XLE models. Chrysler eliminated the AWD option in favor of Stow-N-Go seating after the 2004 model year. I completely agree with you about minivan seating position. My first vehicle, which I still have, was a 1969 Ford Econoline and I still love that thing. I have a soft spot for vans; I am a practical person, and vans are remarkably practical.

    I don't know if the Legacy is lower than the Impreza, but the Impreza sits pretty low, much like other small cars in its class. It also does not have much storage space. I have not been in a new Legacy.

    As far as racing goes... I only race around in the winter! I love winter driving, and I get to do it for six months a year here. The best part about it is that I can "race around" during the winter without even having to go fast (e.g., in excess of the speed limit in most cases). :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited January 2011
    Yep, Power Retractable Hard Top.

    The guy from CNET was funny, he tried to pronounce "PHRT" and made it sound like flatulence.

    Manual of course! 6 speed, sport pack with limited-slip and Bilsteins.

    OK, for me, at least:

    * Impreza is a compact hatchback

    * Forester is a roomy box, offering near mid-size space. Love the moonroof, tall cargo area, reclining rear seats, plus tons of ground clearance and best approach/departue angles (25 degrees for both). A/C is fine in my experience.

    * Outback is a tad more upscale, more comfy, longer cargo space but not as tall and upright. Better transmission choices, but pricier.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't know about the actual numbers) than the Forester.

    It's been a while but I recall the Forester has a very slight edge over the Outback in total interior volume, but much of it is due to the tall roof.

    17.8 mpg

    Don't think of it that way, you had 3 axles. That's like getting 26.7 mpg on 2 axles. LOL
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Correct, Sienna is the only AWD minivan now, and you are forced to get the awful run-flat tires, which are pricey and don't last very long.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Isn't it a Husky's duty to take off on a gallivanting romp from time to time?? lol

    In seeing your temps, i think your area is colder than here. We get temps like that, but i get the feeling not as often. I've seen a -40 twice in 10 years. -35 about 7 times, -30 probably 40 times.
    Last night, that 11.2 became 1.3 only a few hours later. I see we hit -.4 at 730 this morning. This has been a very mild winter for us so far. In fact that is our coldest night since last winter. I have seen -23 in Nov a few years ago, and that was before we got any snow. But that was very VERY rare. There were many frozen water pipes that year.

    AWD minivans...yes, only the Sienna, and they are way too hard on gas. Apparently the 2WD are not too bad, but just like the Caravan, GM's Safari, Ford's Aerostar and Mazda's MPV (did you get those?) as soon as you go AWD, mileage drops about 40%. A huge hit. Far greater than the hit a vehicle like the CRV or Ford Escape, Rav4 takes when u go AWD. I am just amazed that one of the brands didn't offer a turbo diesel with one of those AWD minivans. Chrysler would have been a good choice. Use that wonderful 3 litre V6 MBenz engine that they use to offer in the Gr Cherokee. Talk about a doit all vehicle, and enjoy an honest 30 (your gallon) mpg in all climates.

    I too like winter driving! I have done a lot of it though and more miles in my big truck than most other means. I don't like the salt tho. I wish they would use more sand. Here, they salt it till they get it down to the pavement, and if it is too cold, then they are using that calcium chloride crap that eats metal so fast you can almost sit there and watch it work when the sun comes out and heats it up on the car. I actually avoid the roads they use that stuff on. And if some day I can't, I wash my car when i get home. (I installed hot and cold outside water lines just for that job).

    btw, I sorta lost you here?
    "and quickly replaced it with a 2007 Outback. That car was sold five months later after we found out we were having a second baby. We then purchased a 2008 Outback for a trip then sold it when we returned home "

    You only kept the 07 for 5 mo but bought an 08 the next yr? That part I lost ya..
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    run flats..

    I didn't know that, but I am not in the market for an AWD Sienna. Just way too expensive, altho i think they do offer the 4 cyl AWD finally with the new one.
    But if I am going to spend that much money, I need to be able to justify way better down the road FE.

    But in knowing that about the run flats, let's say I was about to go with the AWD Sienna, and then i discovered I had to buy runflats? That would have been a DEAL-BREAKER. I hate them. I don't even like the basic psi monitoring systems. They screw up, are expensive to service, have to be working if you resell the car etc etc etc. I am getting so that I don't like anything mfgrs do to take more responsibility away from car ownership. I have encouraged family and friends to do the visual anytime they are walking around the car...even if on one side as the walk up to it from shopping. Next the 'thumb test' and/or the hand feel temp test. I like that one best as you can feel the warmer tire than the rest. And of course use a tire press gauge bi-monthly. It just isn't that crippling a chore.

    You know, I am really not liking the direction that tech is taking in the last 6+ years. I have no use for drive-by-wire, these psi monitoring systems, traction control, or anything that can actually park itself!:( etc

    Vehicles are becoming so technically advanced that they can actually be produced, yet not be repaired or troubleshot. There is way too much dependence built upon the computer, both is operation of the car and in a mechanic hooking up to the car.

    Sometimes I think I was born at least one generation too late. In a more perfect world, Id be kicking off soon.

    I guess that sounds morbid... haha - nevermind..I think u probably know what I was getting at..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The real problem is even with the few available manual trannys, you often have to get a base model to get it.

    At least you get a good back-to-basics option.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    You only kept the 07 for 5 mo but bought an 08 the next yr? That part I lost ya..

    Yes, it was somewhat odd, I know, but here's the story (trying to brief, which is not my strong suit!):

    Wrecked the '96 on 12/30/06, then purchased the '07 on 1/7/2007. Three weeks later, we found out we were having another child, which essentially meant my wife would stop working again and back to one income. Since we are also building a house right now (out of pocket), having a car payment would mean little-to-no funds for house-building, so we decided to sell it and get an old beater instead. So, we found the minivan (98 DGC AWD), and finally sold the Subaru in June.

    Come September, just before our daughter was born, we decided to go on a trip to Oregon in order visit family and to take my grandparents' truck (pulling a bunch of other stuff) down there to my mother(that's another story altogether!). The trip down was free, but we had to make our way back to Alaska on our own dime.

    So, I weighed my options and decided to buy another Subaru in Seattle, use it for the balance of our trip, and then sell it in Fairbanks upon our return (Subaru is a popular vehicle here, so it is not hard to sell one used for the same price you can buy new in more open markets). That's just what we did, and it worked out very well.

    Unfortunately, the economy tanked right about the time we came home (November 2007), so I had a little harder time selling it than I anticipated, but we still were able to sell it for the same price we paid for it, which means the trip cost us:

    five hotel nights through CA (driving is slow with a newborn!)
    four months of interest on the car payments
    four months of insurance

    It worked out to be $200 less than a car rental for ~3 weeks and airfare would have cost us.

    Here's a visual representation:


    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's quite a story, did you tell it in CCB?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    Vehicles are becoming so technically advanced that they can actually be produced, yet not be repaired or troubleshot. There is way too much dependence built upon the computer, both is operation of the car and in a mechanic hooking up to the car.

    I agree. In many ways, the are catering to those who are to lazy to actually drive or maintain a vehicle.

    While the traction control systems can be helpful on occasion, they often create more problems than they solve in my experience.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    AJ, I am *not* a chronic car buyer! :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Isn't denial step 1?

  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    That is amazing eh? I love it when you work the math out and it all makes sense as per the original plan.

    Yes, the flop in 07 has cost me tens of thousands...enough so it has advanced my retirement age to dead I think.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Wes, wanted to make sure you knew about these?

    there is a monthly or lifetime option coverage
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    edited January 2011
    Hah! I shouldn't be surprised by that.

    That product is not for me (I hope my wife never finds out about it, though, because she might not feel the same way!). No, I secretly hope that someone will put a bullet in her when she decides to run off, so I am definitely not going to go out of my way to track her down!

    I know I should feel bad about that but, having been raised on a ranch, animals are either useful or they're expendable. Belligerent dogs are definitely not the former. :P
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Aren't leash laws pretty much universal now?
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Probably, but they wouldn't help for Rover who dug himself an escape from his fenced back yard to visit Daisy in the next town.

    Or the rare cases of a dog running from an accident scene when the family gets in a crash in the car.

    Or for most Husky's, Beagles, and all the other assorted hounds who would follow their nose right into a thrashing machine.. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess I'm lucky. Ours uses my compost pile as a restroom and then comes right back in. He doesn't like being away from his family. :shades:
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    Yup, I'd say you are lucky Juice. Gotta love a dog who knows where his meals originate.

    Presently, and for many years I have not replaced my dog. I live in the sticks and have deer, foxes, raccoons, fishers and even bear in the front yard. (not the bears, I take measures to make their fr yard visits not on their list of priorities, but they come within 100').
    So it takes a very special pup to resist such temptations. Still, since I'm alone again, I do wonder if i should get one last pup. With luck we both might die around the same time.

    Have you guys ever heard of a fisher attacking a dog? Even a tiny dog? They live to gut a cat, but I have never actually heard about a canine getting attacked. It is like they know that that little guy may be tiny and totally killable, but cuz it's canine they stay away. You guys may not even know what I'm talking about tho with a fisher? They are part of the wolverine/weasel family, but much smaller than a wolverine. They usually sit on a tree limb 12' up and attack from above. I keep an eye out when I am cutting firewood I tell ya..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No, but maybe that's because I live in the suburbs and quit boy scouts after 6th grade.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    ...please continue the Dog GPS conversation in the Subaru Crew Cafe

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
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