Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

2011 Subaru Forester

prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
The new 2011 Subaru Forester offers a host of new and upgraded features compared to the outgoing model. Foremost among these features is a new New engine- 2.5L 4 cylinder boxer engine, now 2498 cc engine (was 2457cc), new chain-drive DOHC double overhead cam (replacing belt drive SOHC), new coolant system for block and head, slighly longer piston stroke, lighter components. Fuel economy 21/27 for both manual and automatic non-turbo 2.5L models.

This new and refined 2.5L is going to be used in the future in other cars, with new technologies as Subaru moves to further improve economy, power, emissions.

New Models Top of the line X Touring and XT Touring models.

Gone XT Limited model dropped, replaced by the XT Touring model.

New modifications include:

New front grill
New larger rear seat headrests, see photos
New upgraded stereos on all models except X
New Driver's window one push up/down except on X
New Telescoping plus tilt steering wheel on all except X
New Back-up cameras available on Premium and Limited, standard on Touring
New Bluetooth. All models except base X have hands-free Bluetooth with steering wheel controls.

New All models require synthetic oil. 2.5L uses 0W-20. Turbo XT models require synthetic 5W-30 oil.

Colors and Materials
Gone Newport Blue
New Marine Blue Pearl
New Sky Blue Metallic

New cloth on X, X Premium - Black and Platinum cloth
New cloth on XT Premium - Black and Platinum Moray cloth


The oil change interval for the XT Turbo under "normal use" has been increased to 7,500 miles with the new Subaru Synthetic oil.


The new Forester appears to be a significant improvement over the 2010 model and should find an enthusiastic reception among Subaru devotees.


  • saedavesaedave Member Posts: 694
    The oil change interval for the XT Turbo under "normal use" has been increased to 7,500 miles with the new Subaru Synthetic oil.

    I wonder if this recommendation will apply to prior year XT Turbos?
  • saedavesaedave Member Posts: 694
    As of July that was the message. It is not at all logical from an engineering standpoint that the 2010 turbo engine requires more frequent oil changes than the exact same engine labeled 2011.

    I will change the oil in my Forester XT every 3000+ miles whatever the recommendation. Service writers at my local dealer have mentioned the foul condition of the oil drained from all the turbos. I buy my oil changes in bulk (5 at a time) from the dealer. Oil is cheap; engines and turbos are not.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    edited October 2010
    The 7500-mile normal-use oil change interval with synthetic oil should apply equally to the XT engines before 2011, as the engines are unchanged.
  • saedavesaedave Member Posts: 694
    7500-mile normal-use oil change interval with synthetic oil should apply equally

    But without a service bulletin confirming, one should not presume warranty coverage.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Member Posts: 196
    The AT has a manual and sport mode which is very confusing.
    If I wanted a MT. I would order a MT why would I want both ?
  • saedavesaedave Member Posts: 694
    The sport mode improves performance at the expence of fuel economy. It is in no way manual: It is just a change in the transmission's programmed shift points that gives you a choice. It can also minimize hunting back and forth between gears on a long grade.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    And boy is it improved with a dual-zone climate control system and a high-end Harmon-Kardon 440 watt audio system with upgraded head unit! Gone are the days of crappy sound in the Forester.


    The NAV system is also improved.



    This baby is mucho improved and well may be my next car!

    And to top it all off, the big bonus is the steering wheel does not shake!
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Member Posts: 116
    2011 Subaru Forester is online as of now:

    2011 Subaru Forester <Click
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    The new 2011 Forester is going to come with an upgraded head unit and high-end Harmon-Kardon or Pioneer audio speakers!

    Gone now are the days of primitive audio and it's about time! The car will be a sheer pleasure to listen to (and drive)!
  • bdymentbdyment Member Posts: 573
    Still has the rather ancient four speed automatic. Overdue for a five or six speed.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    It may be ancient but it still works just fine. More gears is not necessarily better.

    Look at the Germans. They are up to eight or even more and are still not satisfied!
  • kilnkiln Member Posts: 41
    edited November 2010
    Where does it say the Forester gets the 440 watt Harman Kardon system? I've only seen it in the Outback and Legacy.

    From what I can tell it's not listed as one of the options. Unless the 7 speaker system in the Touring is Harman Kardon (not specified).

    Hopefully I'm missing it somewhere.

  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Member Posts: 196
    Why do they all sound like cement mixers at start up?
    Dealer said that this is normal I think it's embarrassing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Boxers have a characteristic growl to them, most would not compare to a cement truck, though.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,775
    Yeah, I cannot comment on the new engine - I haven't heard it yet. The engines on all my Subaru's - all the EJ25 (one a DOHC, the other three SOHC) - were not noisy unless the oil level was low. My last three, in which I use(d) a high-quality synthetic, are particularly quiet on start-up and run very smooth.

    These engines do not have the balances required on in-line and V engine configurations, though, so until they get get to idle speed (i.e., the first second or so as they are started), they will rumble.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    My statement about the speakers in the new Forester being Harman-Kardon was in error. I took the information out of a general blurb on Subaru audio systems which referred to Harman-Kardon for some of their lines but it did not in fact apply to Forester.

    The new Forester audio speakers are apparently Panasonic.

    My apologies.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It's all good. :shades:
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    edited November 2010
    My 2008 boxer engine has no growl. I do wish it had the rumble that old Foresters have.
    It does have some clatter when started up cold. Sounds perfectly normal, but not as quiet as 1.5L inline four in our other Japanese car.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Member Posts: 196
    I don't mind the growl but concerned on the clatter during start up on a cold engine
    even if it goes away after it warms up.
    It sounds like an old car with bad lifters.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Member Posts: 519
    edited November 2010
    I didn't buy an '09 2.5X Premium, because I couldn't get a telescopic wheel on it. So I'm stoked that the '11 has that feature now. So I went down and test drove one. First off, the oil filter is on top of the engine, and upside down! Easiest car to change oil on, ever! Not sure how they prevent the filter from draining out, or if they designed an oil path that makes this a non-issue. Still checking into that. And, the vehicle requires Synthetic Oil.

    But another thing that I noticed was that the beautiful cast-aluminum intake manifold "spider" is gone, replaced with smooth black plastic intake runners. Hmmm.

    Happy to say that the engine is quite a bit quieter after a cold start. And quickly settles down to a very smooth Idle. On the road, at 2600-3000 RPM, I sense that the engine is a bit noisier. Perhaps the loss of head-to-head reinforcement that the old intake manifold provided is the cause. Not sure. But I had driven a 2010 Forester form Portland to Eugene last month, and it was definitely not making the same noise. This was, so you know, an brand new engine with 4 miles on it, I put on another 6.

    The standard Radio is much better sounding, and I did check that it worked with my iPod and played music directly off a USB Drive! If anyone finds out if the radio can be made to release browsing of the iPod back to the iPod GUI, please post!

    Just food for thought. Can't wait to read what others think about the new engine.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Member Posts: 426
    I find our 2 10 Foresters (PZEZs) much noisier than our previous 5. This is only at start-up and lasts for about 10 to 15 seconds. It is not "lifter" type noise, just busy noise, and slightly "rough" sounding. Part of it sounds like something is being vented and then closes. Maybe due to something with the air pump upon starting.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    ... concerned on the clatter during start up on a cold engine even if it goes away after it warms up. It sounds like an old car with bad lifters.

    Mine is not a clatter like bad lifters. It is just not a sewing machine at a cold start, like my other car which is a Japanese inline four.
  • billwvbillwv Member Posts: 48
    The 4AT with PZEV can be very noisy and erratic on cold start -- this is by design and has to do with emissions control. After starting in "P" shift to "N" and see if it smooths out.

  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    Yet another inferior compromise forced down the throats of otherwise sensible people by the selfish radical environmentalists who would choose inferior technology over tried and proven engine and tranny choices any day. The lack of evidence of their efficacy be damned.
  • propwash49propwash49 Member Posts: 38
    I just picked up the advertising brochure for the 2011 Forester. The only instrument panel shown in this brochure is for the turbo, and it shows a temperature indicator. They didn't have a non-turbo model in stock, so I couldn't check, and I was wondering if anyone has seen a non-turbo '11 model and could tell me if they have put that gauge back in the instrument panel. The 09's and 10's didn't have a temp gauge, and I would like to know if the 11 model has it. Thanks.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Member Posts: 196
    The 2.5x Premium has a temp.light.
  • rustythepuppyrustythepuppy Member Posts: 14
    all trims require synthetic? ive got an xprem nonturbo, and the service mgr at subaru said only turbos require synthetic, but he also said the oil is indicated on the cap. mine says 0w-20 -- which i cannot find.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    New All models require synthetic oil. 2.5L uses 0W-20. Turbo XT models require synthetic 5W-30 oil.

    Per cars101.com.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,775
    I have never seen a non-synthetic oil that is rated as 0W-, so that alone says to me that you'll need synthetic. Synthetic is a better oil, so feel good about it. ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... The 09's and 10's didn't have a temp gauge, and I would like to know if the 11 model has it."

    The Forester water temperature gauge does not display temperature. The needle rises to the middle and stays in one place there as long as the temperature is in the normal operating range of 150-205F. The needle is merely an indicator of cold, normal and too hot -- same as the indicator lights.

    I know this because I have a Forester with temperature gauge, and a Scion with temperature lights, and digital ScanGauges in both cars to show actual temperature.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Member Posts: 196
    Which 2011 model do you have?
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    All Foresters had needle-style temperature indicators through 2008, which is what I have.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The new Touring model does have a needle-style temp gauge:


    They write:

    engine coolant temp gauge (so no blue cold engine light like all the other models).

    Let me see if I can imbed the image:

  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,775
    Atherton -

    I had not heard of the ScanGauge before now, but looked it up and it looks quite nice! Did you have to change the temp sensors in either car in order to get that functionality, or just plug the tool into the port?
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    The ScanGauge just plugs into the OBDII port under the dash. I have one on my 2008 Forester
    http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f280/vintagefortytwo/Forester/Forester%20ScanG- auge/4SGcoverday.jpg
    And in my 2006 Scion xB
    http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f280/vintagefortytwo/xB%20ScanGuage/ScanGuageI- I_1.jpg

    They show much information from the ECU, much more than just coolant temperature. And they can read diagnostic codes, and perform mileage and range calculations.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Member Posts: 196
    This is a type A instrument panel only available on the touring model.
    The rest have a blue light.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Member Posts: 196
    We are discussing the 2011 models.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    edited January 2011
    "We are discussing the 2011 models."

    I thought we were discussing needle vs. light temperature indicators on the 2011 models. Both are indicators, not gauges. They do not show temperature, only cold, normal and hot. And normal covers a 50-degree spread.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    So even the needle is a "dummy gauge"?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Yup, even the need is a dummy gauge. Cold, Normal, Hot.

    When I was discussing putting gauges in with the forester/impreza guru at Subaru, I told him for the STi I would like to see digital gauges similar to the ones I have in my CTSV, which is a small LCD panel embedded in the cluster where you can scroll through several gauges that show things in digital/analog format on a dot-matrix screen.

    Oil Temp
    Coolant Temp
    Oil Pressure
    Tire Pressure (4 corners on a car)
    Trans Temp (even though it's a MT)

    I told him to add in a boost gauge for the STi as well.

    The great thing is that if any of them move outside the normal range, it automatically switches to that gauge and flashes a warning and beeps. It was great on track when I was over-driving my tires on the caddy, the pressure increased and I got an over-pressure warning.

    Similarly with my caddy when I was pushing real hard my oil temp went to 275 and it flashed me warning me that it was too hot.

    This is technology standard in my 2005 CTSV, so hopefully we'll see this in the future on at least the premium models.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Agreed - STI models should include things like that, to justify the cost difference from a regular WRX.
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    edited January 2011
    Some may prefer the needle even if it is a dummy gauge, as it does show movement which dummy lights cannot. The needle slowly moves from cold to normal, where it stays throughout a 50-degree operating range, and then it will slowly move again if the normal range is exceeded. (I have never actually seen that.)

    What I like about the digital ScanGauge is the ability to see the actual temperature within the operating range.

    For instance, I can see on my Scion that using the heater too soon drives the temperature down a few degrees, and even though the blue light goes out at 139 degrees, it takes a very long time or never for the tiny motor to reach full 184-degree operating temperature in winter stop-and-shop errand driving with passengers hogging the heat.

    It is also interesting to hear the fan come on idling in summer traffic, look down and watch 210 degrees drop to 200 degrees, and wonder how many degrees it would take for the red light to come on.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Just an FYI, those temps are only as good as the sensors sending the information. Really any gauges you see on a car are only useful to see if the car is running outside of where it normally runs.

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    The ScanGauge does not use sensors. It plugs into the car's OBDII port under the dash, and reads data from the car's own ECU (computer).
    It can show 12 readings, but only 4 at a time.

    The ECU gets its data to monitor and run the engine from the car's own sensors, as you say.

    It is interesting, if not useful, to watch the such things as coolant temperature (FWT), intake air temperature (IAT), timing advance, voltage, fuel rate, while they vary in reaction to driving conditions.

    For instance, IAT. When cold started, the IAT and FWT are the same, say 25F degrees. As you drive off, the FWT temperature climbs toward normal, but can be reversed for a moment by turning the heater on full fan and full vent. The IAT will continue to be 25F even when the engine is warmed up up, as long as the car is moving relatively fast. Once the engine is stopped and frigid air is no longer being drawn in, the intake system absorbs heat from the hot engine, and the IAT after a restart will be warmer than ambient. Cruising on the Interstate, IAT will stabilize around 7F above ambient. Idling in traffic on a hot summer day with AC, the IAT can rise to 50F above ambient.

    All this info may not be useful, but it is at least interesting to watch the information coming out of the ECU.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I think you misunderstood me. The temperatures that the sensors that the OBDII read are not necessarily correct. The tolerances on the sensors isn't as precise as one would think. A lot of the ECU logic takes into account variances from normal, not absolute temperatures.

    A lot of folks read gauges (be them OBDII or regular gauges) as absolute but really they are only useful to see when there is a problem if it's operating outside of your normal area.

    I can push the temps down on my caddy by running the AC/Defroster by about 15 degrees F because that forces the fans to come on even if the ECU isn't calling for them to be on.

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    You said "I can push the temps down on my caddy by running the AC/Defroster by about 15 degrees F because that forces the fans to come on even if the ECU isn't calling for them to be on. "

    By turning manually turning on the fans with the AC/defroster switch, you cause them to reduce the coolant that 15 degrees, which the ECU then recognizes.

    Is summer, when the AC causes the coolant temperature to reach 110 degrees, the sensor turns on my fans and reduces the coolant by 15 degrees, which the ECU then recognizes.

    Whether the radiator fans are turned on by you or by a sensor, the ECU only sees the actual temperature and does not care what caused that temperature.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Right but those temps are not accurate. All sensors in a car are really only relative to "normal".

    My point being if you see 200 degrees on your gauge, the ACTUAL temp may be 195 degrees or 210 degrees.

    Gauges are only useful to see when something changes. For instance your car normally runs at say 200 degrees, well if all of a sudden it's running at 220 degrees you know there is an issue.

    The temp may not actually be 220 but there is something going on.

    A lot of folks believe the numbers they see on OBDII readers or gauges but they are really just supposed to be used for variance readings.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Member Posts: 16,407
    My family moved to southern, Fairfield County, CT (10 miles from NY border) over the summer and we've found driving around this winter to be pretty difficult. Both my 2001 Honda Prelude Type SH & my wife's 2010 Acura TSX are equipped with Michelin Pilot Arctic Alpin snow tires at all 4 corners. They don't seem to plow very well, at least not when I leave for work at 6:30 AM to drive to the South Bronx. My wife has had some difficulty navigating semi or barely plowed streets as well as snow banks at the foot of people's driveways. I'm thinking of possibly replacing her TSX with a Forester Limited XT. I like the ground clearance, standard AWD, the fact that you "sit down in it" like a car (as opposed to the "sit on top of it" like an SUV), the cargo room (although our Acura has a very deep and spacious trunk), Subaru's reputation for reliability (Her Dad is on his 3rd Outback) & quality.

    One of my concerns is with the transmission. The Automatic is a 4 speed which is pretty archaic (I'm sure it is bulletproof by now, but even GM has 6 speed autos now). Are there plans out there to bring the CVT to the Forester line? Can the CVT handle the torque of the turbo or are they developing a 6 speed automatic?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Sahara 4Xe, 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 4WD

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I think the CVT is very likely, though we're not sure when.

    The XT's engine is very torquey so it's still more than quick enough. My wife has a non-turbo model and even that is adequate.

    8.9" of ground clearance and 25 degree approach and departure angles are class-best for the crossovers that aren't trucky.

    We love ours.

    One BIG problem, though - we fight for the keys when it snows. Today she won, so I had to park my Miata (summer tires) and drive the family minivan to work.
Sign In or Register to comment.