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Subaru XT Turbo Forester

chassolchassol Posts: 95
edited March 2014 in Subaru
Don't ask why cause I don't know, but the XT takes a new oil filter - "Bulletin No. PT120103
Oil Filter Please be advise that there is a new oil filter, part number 15208AA080, that applies to the 2004 MY Turbo Baja and MY Turbo Forester models. This new filter, 15208AA080, is smaller in size (68mm) than the current filter used on non-turbo models, part number 15208AA060 (80mm).

The current (larger) filter used on non-turbo models (15208AA060) should not be used on 2004 MY Turbo Baja or 2004 MY Turbo Forester.

The oil filter that should be used on 2004 MY Turbo Baja or 2004 MY Turbo Forester models is 15208AA080)."

As many times as they repeat this information I really think they mean it. My dealer ordered a case of them late last week. I was going to change oil and filter this weekend, but couldn't because I don't know the cross reference for the Fram or Purolator (checking both websites no help either).
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Comments

  • declansdaddeclansdad Posts: 120
    the oil filter from the WRX STi? Same engine; I would assume the same oil filter too. Just a thought.

    Michael
  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    Parts manager at local Subaru dealer says this is NOT the same oil filter as that on the 2004 WRX STi - Go figure.............
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Among the nearly sixty cars I've owned

    Wow. I bought my first car 44 years ago, and (not counting jointly-owned but mainly spouse cars) this XT is my ninth car. Four of those covered my four impetuous teen years; the other five spanned the remaining 40 years. And the lives of two of them were prematurely cut short by major rear-end collisions; otherwise, the number would be even lower.

    Owning them as long as I do, this is why it matters very much to me that a car meets my requirements as fully as possible.
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    I now have 461 miles on my black XT MT that I picked up Friday evening. Here are my impressions to date.

    It's a great car!

    The Black is very classy looking (when clean).
    I love the standard cloth interior. I looks great and feels much more upscale than my 98 S did.

    The first thing that I noticed was not the power but the smoothness. The entire drivetrain is much smoother than my 98 and the handling is noticeably better.

    The power is certainly there, although at first I was a little disappointed in the power delivery. I have owned several turbo cars over the years (the last being a 91 Eagle Talon Tsi) and I was expecting that 'kick in the back' sensation when the turbo comes in. It's just not there. Instead there is a strong, very smooth flow of power. I'm not sure I like the drive by wire throttle. The response to your right foot is not linear. The first 50% of the throttle produces 90% of the power, especially at highway speeds. That said, at one point on the highway I was cruising abot 75 and needed to pass and hit a hole up ahead. I floored it and not much seemed to be happining except I was passing very fast and had to apply a little brake to fit into the hole. I glanced at the speedo and I was doing just under 100! It's sneaky fast. Out of the toll booths I limited myself to 4500 rpm. I believe that the engine is just starting to get into it's best powerband at that rpm. In first and second gear the engine note turns into a growl as the revs increase. It sounds great. I have a feeling that last 2000 rmp are going to be FUN! Again I wish the throttle response was more linear, but that's my only complaint so far.

    It's a great highway cruiser. On cruise control it effortlessly gobbles up the miles. It is quieter than my 98 at speed, but still not as quiet as my wife's 2000 Passat V6.

    Overall I am very happy with the car. I can't wait to really wind it up through the gears.

    Jack, I will be very interested to see if your impressions of your MT XT are the same as mine. I look forward to your report. I will report again after mine is broken in and I can really 'see what she'll do'.

    I am going to post this message on the new Forester Turbo forum as well. Should we start using that instead of this one?

    -Les
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    ibhaley writes, "On cruise control it effortlessly gobbles up the miles."

    Shame on you. Doesn't the book say use of cruise control during break-in is verboten? If you're not careful, your dealer will come take your car away...

    " It is quieter than my 98 at speed, but still not as quiet as my wife's 2000 Passat V6."

    My boss has a 2003 Passat V-6 4motion automatic; it's very nice. But outside my price range and unavailable with manual transmission.

    "Overall I am very happy with the car. I can't wait to really wind it up through the gears."

    My long, gradual breakin is going to really test my self-discipline.

    "Jack, I will be very interested to see if your impressions of your MT XT are the same as mine. I look forward to your report. I will report again after mine is broken in and I can really 'see what she'll do'."

    Other than incidental observations, real tangible performance reports from me will be long in coming - probably not until late September. It'll take me that long to put 2000-2500 progressive break-in miles on before I will run hard. I probably won't even see positive boost on the gauge until September.

    "I am going to post this message on the new Forester Turbo forum as well. Should we start using that instead of this one?"

    Works for me!

    Keep those updates coming...

    - jack

    -Les
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Here's a link to another 1st-drive report:

    http://www.mississauga.com/mi/wheels/story/1146025p-1365995c.html

    Nothing earth-shaking, but quite favorable.

    - jack
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    Jack says "Shame on you. Doesn't the book say use of cruise control during break-in is verboten? If you're not careful, your dealer will come take your car away..."

    Yes, I know that you should vary your speed often when breaking in a new car. Believe me, with the traffic and weather conditions that we encountered to and from Albany, it never was on cruise for more than a couple of miles. The owners manual says nothing about not using the cruise control during break in. I plan to keep it below 4500 rpm for the first 1000 miles. At that point I will change the oil and filter and gradually begin to increase the rpm over the next 500 miles. By 1500 miles I will begin to take it to 6000 on occasion. I seldom go all the way to red line as the last few hundred rpm are usually well beyond the HP peak and don't really accomplish much other than add unnecessary wear and tear. This is the way I have always broken in my cars and I have never had any engine/drivetrain problems or excessive oil consumption as a result of this break in method. I believe that the first few hundred miles are the most critical ones and after that it doesn't hurt to begin to 'exercise' the engine a little. The way you plan to do it certainly won't hurt it, but I wouldn't have the self control to wait that long.
    -Les
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    ibhaley fights back: "I seldom go all the way to red line as the last few hundred rpm are usually well beyond the HP peak and don't really accomplish much other than add unnecessary wear and tear."

    The only advantage of revving 900 rpm past the HP peak is that immediately after your next upshift, you're already farther up in the rising powerband in the next gear than you'd be if you shifted earlier. With the wider spacing of the automatic's 4 speeds, this probably provides the best acceleration times. But I'm with you - always asking a little less of a car than it's maximum capabilities is a surefire way to considerably extend its life.

    - jb
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The XT turbo is a low-boost turbo, unlike the WRX or STi turbos. It's not meant so much to give you a "turbo -kick-in-the-pants," but suggest more of a smooth big-bore V8 power type of delivery.

    Bob
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    1) the good old "ADP" reason... new filter means no aftermarket stuff fits, so it's a year or so easily of dealer-sold parts for Additional Dealer Profit. this also includes cases of changing the threading/stud size Because They Can.

    2) could be size restriction, flow rate issues, or a filter element woven from nose hairs of unicorns is necessary for this particular engine and car combination, requring a new part number.

    I think you are supposed to boast about this, not grumble about this, but you can call Subaru and see if this is the case... ;)
  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    The parts manager got them today and I went over and got two of them today, you never know what fits and where you may need one. Let me tell you these things are not only smaller diameter - they are short in length too. Also, these are Japanese imports not made by any filter maker (for Subaru) here in the USA. Make sure you let your parts manager know as this is a BRAND NEW not stocked before Subaru filter.

    You'll understand what I mean when you see one.

    Price is about $7.50 (each) plus tax.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Took delivery of my silver 5-speed a few hours ago. Tires were at 34 psi cold; dropped them to 31 all around. Engine seems noisier than the automatic version I drove earlier - not happy about that. There also seemed to be more road/tire noise even at just 31psi. This is not the fairly quiet car I remembered the automatic XT to be. Faint buzzy rattle somewhere in the right side of the dash won't be easy to find. There's a small flaw in the clearcoat on one door that looks almost like a door ding already, except that there's no dimple. I guess that'll have to be fogged or something.

    I'll undoubtedly adjust before long, but I can't say I like the clutch very much at all. It's not that it's too heavy - it feels light to me. I'm no doubt exaggerating, but it feels like about 10" of travel top to bottom - way too much - and the clutch doesn't even begin to engage until about 4 or 5" off the floor. Then it engages fairly abruptly. If you caught even a few too many revs while the clutch was coming up so far, lurch city. I like to drive smoothly, and this car will take serious concentration to do so, at least for awhile.

    Like the X 5-speed I drove, it's tough to find the right seat position. Far enough away for arms-straight driving position, and you can't depress the long-travel clutch all the way. Move the seat forward enough to do that, and both the steering wheel and throttle are too close. For me, it is going to be imperative to find a solution to that too-long clutch travel.

    It's nearly impossible to keep the revs under 3,000 (my objective for the first several hundred miles), especially in first. First is such a numerically low ratio that you're already past 3,000 barely across the intersection.

    As I hoped, dropping the steering wheel down as far as possible without bothering my legs or cutting off the top of the speedo/tach with the upper wheel rim does lower the boost gauge enough to see the entire fuel gauge. It still blocks the bottom of the temp gauge, but that's the cold end, so no problem. The boost gauge is entertaining as all getout - no need for a DVD player. It is genuinely astonishing to see (slight) positive boost at very light throttle and below 2,000 RPM. Makes me wonder whether the gauge needs recalibration!

    Even with the tires at only 31psi, the steering is way light, both at low speeds and high. Climb out of this into just about anything else, and the other vehicle's steering is going to feel truckish. I have no idea why Subaru would overboost the steering so much in a car that encourages driving with brio, when drivers will want lots of feedback during hard cornering.

    No doubt a few months from now, when I'm finally able to enjoy the full measure of my XT's performance, some of these issues will fade into the background. Until then, I'll be adjusting to the car a bit more than I anticipated.

    I can't say enough positive things (so far, at least) about my dealer, and particularly about the internet fleet sales rep through whom I arranged this purchase. Unbelievably low (zero) pressure, well informed, totally matter-of-fact, and (amazingly) didn't even ask one single time if I wanted an extended warranty! First time that's happened in the last six cars I've bought.

    - jb
  • krccrkkrccrk Posts: 36
    I also find the clutch very hard to use smoothly, especially when trying to accelerate quickly or go around corners. The saleman says they can lower the point at which the clutch engages. I will see when I take it back in to get the remaining options installed.

    The steering is really overboosted. The seat in my '01 was more comfortable and held me in place better when cornering. The XT doesn't lean in turns as much as the '01.

    It's easy to for me to keep the boost negative during in city driving. Doing so gets me about the same acceleration as my '01 forester. I'm at 5000 ft. altitude
    which may have some affect, but I would think it would cause an increase in boost (relative manifold pressure).

    Ken
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I wouldn't be so concerned about keeping the break-in to 3000 rpm. I'd go with Subaru's recommendation of 4000 rpm. If you're that concerned, maybe try to keep under 3000 for the first 100 miles or so, and 3500 rpm for the second 100 miles. After that, I'd just follow what SOA says.

    Bob
  • chassolchassol Posts: 95
    Could you folks please advise the type of noise you get from going over the "tar strips" on the Interstate, not the ones on the side to wake you up if you are too close to the edge of the road, but the ones that are inbetween the concrete sections of the main highway.

    I'll explain this question later..........
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    I find it interesting to hear the complaints about the clutch and steering on the XT. I wonder if they vary that much from car to car or if it's the driver's point of reference (ie. what they are used to driving.) I have been driving a 98 Forester MT and my wife's 2000 Passat V6 MT for the last few years. Compared to my 98 the new XT much smoother, quieter, and handles better. The clutch feels about the same as the 98 (which I considered very good) and is much smoother than the Passat. The shifting is excellent, almost on par with the Passat which I consider one of the best manual shifts I have driven (if you exclude the grabby clutch). The steering does not feel over boosted to me. My car is extremely tight and rattle free. On our trip to Albany we drove over about 8 miles of grooved pavement. The vibration was constant and annoying but the car didn't exhibit any buzzes or rattles. I considered that an excellent test.
     
    A few other things I forgot to mention in my previous report:

    The tires WERE over inflated when I took delivery. They were all at 46 pounds. I dropped them to 30 and the ride and darty handling improved by a huge amount. The darty handling completely disappeared.

    I am not crazy about the auto climate control. It stays in AC mode too long and the fan speed stays annoyingly high. I found it easy to use the manual controls and set the temperature where I wanted it. By the way, the AC seems to sap a noticeable amount of the engine's power.

    I didn't do any actual mileage check but the car used almost a half tank of gas in 180 miles. That is about what the Passat uses for the same distance.

    I hope that everyone that is having small problems with their XTs get them resolved so they can enjoy what is a really great car!

    -Les
  • krccrkkrccrk Posts: 36
    My previous car was a 2001 forester 5-speed. I've never had any trouble using the clutch on it or my other 5 previous manual transmission cars. The clutch in my XT is by far the worse I have had. Hopefully it can be adjusted, it is more than a minor annoyance.

    My XT was also delivered with tires at over 40 pounds.

    I don't seem to get any air through the vents without the fan on, even on the highway with recirculate disabled.

    Ken
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    chassol asks, "Could you folks please advise the type of noise you get from going over the "tar strips" on the Interstate, not the ones on the side to wake you up if you are too close to the edge of the road, but the ones that are inbetween the concrete sections of the main highway."

    I won't be able to help you much on that. Although I've noticed very annoying examples of those when driving in certain other states (dunno how people put up with them), there aren't any examples in Oregon that I can think of. I can say that at 31psi, the XT soaks up road-edge warning dots well.

    Man, driving this car during break-in is a PITA. It's like riding a high-spirited quarterhorse that yearns to burst into full gallop and just hates being reined in. It's amazing now to climb hills on my commute that had our '91 Grand Caravan straining, and even our 3.5-liter 24-valve Concorde feeling like it would have to downshift once or even twice to accelerate. The XT just charges up as if Subaru has figured out how to defy gravity. And that's with light throttle!

    jb
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    les observes, "I find it interesting to hear the complaints about the clutch and steering on the XT. I wonder if they vary that much from car to car or if it's the driver's point of reference (ie. what they are used to driving.)"

    It is fascinating to hear differing reactions. I forget who said that the XT's clutch was far too heavy. Mine is the lightest-pressure clutch pedal I've experienced since my 1957 36HP Beetle. People talk about the need for the Kartboy short-throw shifter which, by altering the lever lengths with respect to the pivot, cuts the travel while increasing the effort. I don't yet feel any need to modify my shifter, but I'd LOVE to see a similar mod for the XT's clutch; I'd gladly accept twice the effort for half the travel! I have no idea why such a long clutch-pedal travel is necessary. I really hope my dealer can at least adjust mine so the point where engagement begins is about half as far off the floor as now.

    "...and handles better."

    I haven't had any opportunity to push mine in curves yet, but I very much like its lively responsiveness in ordinary maneuvers. I'll defer judgement on whether the heavier nose demands a stiffer sway bar until I see whether understeer is really a problem or not.

    "The shifting is excellent..."

    As above, I doubt I'll spend the dough for the short-shift kit - but I do think I'd appreciate the crisper, more precise shift motions that the Kartboy hard bushing(s) are said to provide. The shifter on mine is a bit vague and imprecise. No doubt I'll get used to it, but we'll see after a few weeks.

    "The steering does not feel over boosted to me."

    We really differ on this
     My car is extremely tight and rattle free. On our trip to Albany we drove over about 8 miles of grooved pavement. The vibration was constant and annoying but the car didn't exhibit any buzzes or rattles. I considered that an excellent test.
     
    A few other things I forgot to mention in my previous report:

    The tires WERE over inflated when I took delivery. They were all at 46 pounds. I dropped them to 30 and the ride and darty handling improved by a huge amount. The darty handling completely disappeared.

    I am not crazy about the auto climate control. It stays in AC mode too long and the fan speed stays annoyingly high. I found it easy to use the manual controls and set the temperature where I wanted it. By the way, the AC seems to sap a noticeable amount of the engine's power.

    I didn't do any actual mileage check but the car used almost a half tank of gas in 180 miles. That is about what the Passat uses for the same distance.

    I hope that everyone that is having small problems
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Sheesh - twice now I stupidly hit the enter key before I was ready to post. Idiot!

    Anyway - to continue:

    "The steering does not feel over boosted to me."

    We really differ on this. Our ponderous Grand Caravan's wheel has always felt a little light, but our Concorde's boost struck me as exactly right. Not too heavy in slow-speed maneuvers, but still retaining good feel and feedback on freeways. My XT defines the term "fingertip steering". The weakest little old gray lady on the planet would think she was Arnold Schwarzenegger driving this car - it's that low-effort (almost no effort) to turn the wheel. I really thought on the three I tested (X, XS, and auto XT) that the tires must have been extremely overinflated to feel like that - but even at 31psi, my XT's steering is still very light, and I don't want to go any lower on tire pressures or the outside tire edges will scrape off too soon.
    It's not that I can't or won't get used to such light steering, it's just that a lot of road feel/feedback is sacrificed by so much boost.
      
    "The tires WERE over inflated when I took delivery. They were all at 46 pounds."

    It's understandable that Subarus are shipped with those pressures, but it's inexplicable that so many aren't adjusted prior to customer delivery.

    "I am not crazy about the auto climate control. It stays in AC mode too long and the fan speed stays annoyingly high."

    I hate loud fans, but I haven't encountered this issue yet.

    "the AC seems to sap a noticeable amount of the engine's power."

    I understood that during any degree of heavy acceleration or hill-climbing, the A/C compressor should automatically dis-engage to leave the engine with full, unimpaired power. Not so?

    jb
  • dcdouglasdcdouglas Posts: 28
    Ballistic,

    I had the pleasure of test driving my first XTs last weekend. I agree with much of your analysis in your short report.

    The AT was very quiet compared to the MT. (I guess I was revving higher, but still not TOO much!) I wonder if that's one of the benefits of the drive by wire. The AT consistently stayed quite low in the power band (usually around 2000-3000 RPM). Perhaps the Subie engineers felt that was OK due to high torque and turbo assist. I bet that's why the AT gets slightly better mileage as well.

    The clutch on the MT took much for me to get used to. I stalled in the lot, for starters. My MT '92 Legacy clutch takes much more work to depress and engages lots closer to the floor (what can I say, it's old). The XT's clutch almost seemed to be misadjusted from my perspective. Why would a performance-oriented MT engage so high along the length of pedal travel? Perhaps with a couple of thousand miles of city driving it would be better. It still troubled me.

    Keep those driving impressions coming!

    --dcdouglas
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Ken says, "I don't seem to get any air through the vents without the fan on, even on the highway with recirculate disabled."

    So long as it's inaudible, I don't mind keeping the fan on its slowest setting just to move a little air. I've had zero time to read the manual, so the entire heating/AC system is guesswork so far.

    I've barely fiddled with the radio, but the sound system seems only average thus far. Maybe after I figure out how to tailor the sound, the subwoofer and tweeters will make themselves known.

    I also haven't done any night driving yet, so I have no idea whether the XT's U.S. DOT headlight intensity and beam patterns are adequate or not. This is a very big deal to me. I can see (in my garage) that the low-beam cutoff is somewhat cleaner and sharper than either of our two Chrysler products, but their headlamps have to be the worst in the world.

    jb
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    I have to assume that the clutch varies a lot between cars. Mine is nice and progressive and takes right about where it should. No problem with potential stalling (my wife's Passat on the other hand is VERY easy to stall). The light steering must be driver perception and preference. I can understand clutches being different between cars but not steering (if the tire pressure is the same). I have owned many performance oriented cars over the years including several BMWs and a Corvette. I would say that to me the steering feel (not ultimate handling limits) is right up there with the best of them.

    I will check the manual fan operation tonight and let you know how I did it. I can't remember just what I did to make it work. The owner's manual tells tells all, as well as the "cheat sheet" that I recieved with mine.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    dcdouglas wrote, "I had the pleasure of test driving my first XTs last weekend. I agree with much of your analysis in your short report."

    See? If I keep yapping, people WILL come around to my way of thinking...

    "The AT was very quiet compared to the MT. (I guess I was revving higher, but still not TOO much!)"

    I really don't think this is just me. The difference in interior sound levels between the auto XT I tested (which was so pleasingly quiet in all ways that I made a point of it in my report back then)and my 5-speed seems quite pronounced. I drove the crap out of the auto, repeatedly redlining under full throttle, and I'm not revving my 5-speed anywhere near as high (3,000-3,300 max on light throttle). Even the engine note seems different - I commented back then that the auto's engine had a really delicious note under hard acceleration; my 5-speed sounds pretty much like the X or XS. It's not the end of the world, and I'm certainly not saying I wish I'd bought the slushbox, but the aural differences are unmistakable.

    "I wonder if that's one of the benefits of the drive by wire. The AT consistently stayed quite low in the power band (usually around 2000-3000 RPM)."

    Not the way I drove it!

    "The clutch on the MT took much for me to get used to. I stalled in the lot, for starters."

    I managed to avoid that humiliating embarrassment, but I stalled once at a traffic light on the way home. Which is worse? (-;

    "My MT '92 Legacy clutch takes much more work to depress and engages lots closer to the floor (what can I say, it's old)."

    Hey, I'm old, too - that's how clutches oughtta be.

    "The XT's clutch almost seemed to be misadjusted from my perspective. Why would a performance-oriented MT engage so high along the length of pedal travel? Perhaps with a couple of thousand miles of city driving it would be better. It still troubled me."

    My exact reaction. As a footnote, my sister bought a new '03 Audi A4 Avant 3.0 V-6 6-speed a year ago, and its clutch feels almost exactly the way my XT's does - same light pedal, same long travel, same very high engagement point. Every time I drive her otherwise-fantastic car, I complain about the clutch. So does she. Her car is even harder than my XT to launch smoothly without excessive revs, lurching, or clutch slip, because the Audi doesn't have the XT's pulling power at idle. And her engine is so dead-silent that you can't even hear the engine note as an indicator of how many revs you're using as the clutch begins to engage. It's a terrific car to drive very fast, but difficult to drive sedately and smoothly.

    jb
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    ibhaley takes the contrary view: "I have to assume that the clutch varies a lot between cars. Mine is nice and progressive and takes right about where it should. No problem with potential stalling"

    What he's really saying, folks, is that he's good with a stick and I ought to trade mine for an electric wheelchair.

    "The light steering must be driver perception and preference."

    That's no doubt true, but I've owned several dozen cars and driven a slew of others. I've never experienced such light, almost zero-effort steering before. A lot of people consider that a plus; I'm just not one of them.

    Frankly, I can't say I'm looking forward to driving on ice, because what miniscule feedback and resistance there is on dry pavement will completely vanish, and I'll have absolutely no idea what the front end is doing except for visual cues. I wish there was a way to cut the boost by about 2/3.

    jb
  • dcdouglasdcdouglas Posts: 28
    Juice suggested that I post my review to the board...

    Juice,

    Thanks for getting back with me. My wife and I headed out to Tyson's early Saturday to test the XT. Drove an AT first, then the MT.

    The AT was interesting. When I first accelerated out of the lot, I heard the turbo spool up (you know, the high pitched whoosh). Power was strong and linear as I rapidly sped up to 50 MPH. The interior was quite quiet (more so than the MT most likely due to the AT maintaining a lower constant RPM). The ride was nice (no apparent changes to the suspension). I missed the feeling of control of a clutch. It's a tough call, but I would miss out on downshift engine breaking/accelerating around a tight corner. It's a driving experience I would miss with an AT.

    The silver MT I drove was BRAND new. They had to pull it off an auxiliary lot for me. It had three miles on the odometer when I sat behind the
    wheel. (I don't think it had been prepped for showroom at that time.) Most likely the tires were overinflated, but I didn't check and Gary, our saleman didn't have a pressure gague.

    Driving impressions:

    Wow.

    The MT is everything I thought it would be. I had to struggle to keep the tach under 4500--so tempting to let it run out. My test drive included some twisties so I felt how it handled the curves. Some body roll, then firm in the corners. It's a lot higher than my old Legacy wagon, so I'll need to get used to it. All in all I was impressed.

    Aesthetic Impressions:

    --The silver MT was more attractive than the Black. Something about the aluminum roof rails blending in more on top was really nice.
    --The hood scoop was not terribly intrusive into the driver's field of vision.
    --It looks like I'll need to add on that armrest extendor. (What a jyp that Subaru makes you nickle and dime these little things when the car already has so much on it stock.)
    --The lower cladding on the silver did not quite match the silver body paint. Small difference, but I noticed it. I'd really like to look at a
    red one as well.
    --I asked them about adding aftermarket leather (we're thinking about starting a family soon). They said it would cost me about $300 over a
    factory install. Their aftermarket uses a higher quality leather as well.
    --No option for window tinting--looks like another aftermarket add on.

    It was all I could do to keep from putting down a payment right there-- my wife had to hold me back. We need to explore financing options and get our act together before we get in line for one. Her professional association
    is on the Subaru VIP list so we'll pick it up at close to invoice. Gary said he'd be glad to get one from his allotment or arrange to take it off
    another dealer's allotment so that I could get a "fresh" one. Just give me a little more time (a couple of months) and I'll be ready.

    --dcdouglas
  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    Unfortunate about the light steering, but for those who have driven performance cars, does the manual feel capable of the 0 to 60 in 6 second claims? The dealers in my area won't be getting any in for another 2 or 3 weeks.
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    jb says "Even the engine note seems different ". That may be partially because, as you said, you reved the test AT to a lot higher rpm than your MT. My MT is quieter than my 98 below 3500 rpm. As it approaches 4000 it takes on a delightful growl. I hope that growl becomes even more fierce beyond 4500. I will pay close attention to the steering effort when I drive it tonight. Maybe I was just so happy with the smoothness of the car that I didn't notice the light steering. As to whether this is a 6 second car, it's tough for me to tell keeping it to 4500 rpm. Based on the seat of the pants feel up to 4500 I would say no. A 7 second car for sure but 6? I don't know. However I have already found that the car is faster than it feels and that it seems to be right on the edge of coming on very strong at 4500 rpm. Maybe that last 2000 rpm will make it feel like a 6 second car. I guess we will have to wait for the magazine road tests to get a definitive answer.
    -les
  • krccrkkrccrk Posts: 36
    Redline is 52mph in 2nd, even if the rev limiter doesn't force you into 3rd gear you are past the peak of the engine.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    dcdouglas wrote, "--The silver MT was more attractive than the Black. Something about the aluminum roof rails blending in more on top was really nice."

    Agreed. On that particular point, silver is definitely best.

    "The hood scoop was not terribly intrusive into the driver's field of vision."

    Agreed again, though it'll never let you forget that you're in an XT!
     
    "It looks like I'll need to add on that armrest extendor. (What a jyp that Subaru makes you nickle and dime these little things when the car already has so much on it stock.)"

    I bought it because the "standard" armrest is so low and so far back it's ridiculous. The extender solves the height problem, but it's still really farther back than it should be. It also doesn't feel all that sturdy. And there is absolutely no padding on top. And, on X/XS models, the grey or tan box matches the interior, whereas the black lid looks like it came from some other car. At least in the XT, there's enough other black stuff that the lid doesn't look so odd.

    "The lower cladding on the silver did not quite match the silver body paint. Small difference, but I noticed it. I'd really like to look at a
    red one as well."

    I haven't seen the mismatch yet, but I've been inside looking out a lot more than I've been outside looking in! Red was easily my second choice in case I couldn't get silver.

    I asked them about adding aftermarket leather (we're thinking about starting a family soon). They said it would cost me about $300 over a
    factory install. Their aftermarket uses a higher quality leather as well."

    I'd really have preferred leather, but so it goes.

    "Her professional association is on the Subaru VIP list so we'll pick it up at close to invoice."

    I feel fortunate to have bought mine, out of very the first batch to arrive, at just $100 over. And it didn't even take any arm-wrestling; the rep initially offered $200 over, I countered with $100, and the deal was done. When I added the MSRP for the car plus the options and deducted my actual price, the difference was around $2,600. No complaints about that.

    jb
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    I have to respectfully disagree with jb and dcdouglas as far a color goes. The silver is really nice, it was my 2nd choice, but when it's clean and polished, black has a "depth" that silver just can't match. I know that this is purely subjective and I fully respect everyone's opinion on what the best color is. I agree with Jack that those of us that bought our XTs early probably got a much better deal than will be available once the word gets out. I really wouldn't be suprised to see a 'dealer add on' over sticker if the magazine reviews are as good as I expect. (If there ever are any magazine reviews).
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    krccrk says, "Redline is 52mph in 2nd,"

    In an XT? 5-speed? I won't be redlining mine anytime soon, but that doesn't sound right. Based on specs (final drive, tire rolling radius, gear ratios) I calculated that a 5-speed XT would do about 24.3mph per 1000 rpm. Based on that, I calulated 35.6, 59.7, 85, 113, and almost 158 (theoretical) speeds in gears at 6500. I haven't yet verified my XT's speedo accuracy against mileposts with a stopwatch, but the 24.3mph per thousand appears to be very close to correct. Therefore, the other calculated speeds (in gears) ought to also be pretty close. Where did you find the 53-in-2nd-at-redline number?

    jb
  • krccrkkrccrk Posts: 36
    "Where did you find the 53-in-2nd-at-redline number?"

    Page 7-12 of the owners manual.

    Ken
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    ibhaley, polite to the end, says "I have to respectfully disagree with jb and dcdouglas as far a color goes. The silver is really nice, it was my 2nd choice, but when it's clean and polished, black has a "depth" that silver just can't match."

    Hey, we have zero disagreement on that. I've written several times (if not here, elsewhere) that (IMO) black is easily the XT's best-looking color. I had a new Barracuda in '64 with show-quality many-coat hand-rubbed black lacquer, and the paint looked stunning. I'm just too old and too unmotivated to put in the work to keep it looking that way, and it gets too hot sitting outside in direct sun. Those are the only reasons I chose silver.

    >I agree with Jack that those of us that bought our XTs early probably got a much better deal than will be available once the word gets out."

    Wouldn't that be nice!

    jb
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    "I haven't yet verified my XT's speedo accuracy against mileposts with a stopwatch..."

    And what have you calibrated your stopwatch against? =)

    Len
  • forestergumpforestergump Posts: 119
    "I agree with Jack that those of us that bought our XTs early probably got a much better deal than will be available once the word gets out. I really wouldn't be suprised to see a 'dealer add on' over sticker if the magazine reviews are as good as I expect. (If there ever are any magazine reviews)"

    Goals are good. But history has shown that this assumption is incorrect. Typically as the model is rolled out in regular production, the prices actually paid decrease. Quite frankly, if the situation is as you predict, I will go willingly with another vehicle and another manufacturer - with no hesitation. There are alternatives...
    -Bob
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    >Where did you find the 53-in-2nd-at-redline number?

    Ken answers, "Page 7-12 of the owners manual."

    I now see them, but I'm not ready to believe them. Every spec I've seen thus far indicates that the XT and X/XS share the same identical gear ratios, final drive ratios, and tire make, size & aspect ratio (thus diameter). These three factors fully define the overall MPH/1000 for each car (and in each gear) to be equal. Yet, despite that the X/XS have a 5% lower 6200rpm (?) redline instead of the XT's 6500, the manual says the X/XS reach a 7% HIGHER speed in 1st, nearly the same in 2nd, and the same in 3rd. Unless the cars.com tabulation of identical X/XS and XT transmission gear ratios is wrong, as well as the information we've been given that the XT and X/XS use the same transmission, something does not compute. Plausible explanations are invited and welcome.

    - jack
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Len asks,"And what have you calibrated your stopwatch against? =)"

    I'm busted. I guess I could calibrate it against the Naval Observatory atomic clock. However, my (lack of) consistency in pressing the start-stop button is probably the biggest variable.

    jb
  • lbhaleylbhaley Posts: 91
    A BIG change has taken place in my XT MT. It has to do with power, and I think I know why. When I picked it up last Friday evening I was somewhat disappointed in the power delivery. It felt stronger than my 98 Forester, but not the dramatic difference I was expecting. All that has changed! My car now develops impressive power at the touch of the throttle and is coming on like gangbusters at 4500 rpm. It now feels the way I expected it to feel based on all the driving reports I have read. I want to change my 0 to 60 estimate that I made yesterday. This definitely feels like a six second car. This is what I think happened. When I picked the car up the fuel tank was full. I bet it was filled with the cheapest low octane gas available. I have since topped the tank off twice with 94 octane gas. After the first top off it felt noticeably better. After last night's top off the transformation was complete. Driving to work this morning it felt like a totally differemt car. Needless to say I am THRILLED. Another factor may be the engine management system. I believe it 'learns' your driving style as you drive. My car was delivered from Wakefield MA in the 5:00 traffic. I wasn't crazy about the idea of someone else triving my car, but was assured that the driver was an 'old retired guy' that would take it easy with the car. I was at the dealer when he arrived and indeed he was an older guy (probably about my age actually). He complained that the traffic was so bad that he never got over 30 mph for the entire 60 miles. At the time I thought "great", but I bet the engine management computer was learning that this is how I want to drive. Does that make sense or am I off base on the computer idea? I know the gas was a factor. By the way, the steering and clutch still feel fine to me.

    -les
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Here's a link to another Canadian first drive. Nothing new that I could see.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/driversedge/story.html?id=01832527-48- 55-405C-A4E8-C247F175B451

    jack
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've posted reviews in other threads, but most of you already know that I found the 5 speed to be fantastic. The Auto I sampled took a lot of the edge off, though I'd love to try one broken-in and with a tranny that's learned an aggressive driving style.

    Steering? I dunno, it's not too light. Go drive a CR-V or a Vue, those are much lighter. Also, the ratio is quicker on the Forester. Overall I'd rate steering as best-in-class. You may be comparing to the WRX and other sports cars, but that tells you right away how quick the XT is, that it's even being put in that category!

    -juice
  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    The thing only weighs 50 pounds more than a WRX wagon and has 20 pounds more torque so I would think the 0 to 60 time should be comparable. Kind of decpetive because it looks much heavier than it actually is. Glad to hear tha the gas was the problem. Doesn't surprise me that the dealer would put the cheapest gas possible in. I'm really looking forward to driving it and if it's as fast and as fun as everyone says, I'll have to buy one. Imagine the aftermarket stuff that will be available. With minor modifications you'll have a $26,000 SUV that will smoke Porsche Cayenne's.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    0-60 will be hindered slightly because the 5 speed needs 3rd gear (2nd redlines at 53mpg). A shift can cost you about 0.3 seconds or so.

    Still, I'll predict it's a solid 6 seconds. 7 with auto.

    -juice
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    So I finally caved in the other day and had to go check these two out...I've been laboring over a decision to keep my Outback or get something sportier for a while now.

    The dealer had 3 XT (all autos) and several WRX wagons (manuals). I took the XT out first and -- WOW -- that's one hell of a rush off the line. The power comes on really quick and really strong, unlike the WRX (MT) that I sampled immediately afterward. The wrx seems to need a few ticks of the clock to get going, but it really felt plenty strong down low. Lag? Sure, but it's still much quicker than my Outback off the line. I was most impressed with how quick and quiet the auto XT was. Speed is truely effortless.

    I think for my money, though, I prefer the WRX to the XT. I like the exterior style better and the handling certainly felt sportier in traffic than the XT, which felt very similar to my Outback. Also, the price difference is hard for me to rationalize...and that's assuming I could even get the XT around invoice. This particular dealer had an absurd $3K markup on EVERY car in stock, and seemeed unwilling to go below MSRP. They're nuts.

    Both cars were a thrill though -- my OB feels so old now! Hats off to Subaru for entering the performance arena. There are few makers in this price point that can touch Subaru's fun-per-dollar.

    Brian
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    bkaiser1 wrote, "...and that's assuming I could even get the XT around invoice. This particular dealer had an absurd $3K markup on EVERY car in stock, and seemeed unwilling to go below MSRP. They're nuts."

    No kidding. My XT, including everything I wanted including the boost gauge (well, except for the leather and sunroof they decided to withhold from 5-speed buyers), and with nothing I didn't want (like the expensive, pointless spoiler), and including exactly $100 over dealer invoice, cost $23,978 out the door before license and title. That's more than $2,500 under MSRP., and $5,500 under any dealer that tries to tack on another $3K of additional markup. Rape city.

    jb
  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    Cars Direct is already offering the base XT for $24,000. If I end up buying one of these I'll just print it out and show it to the dealer. If he balks I walk. Don't foget, Mitsubishi is offering $100 to anyone who test drives one of their cars and then buys a competing model. It's an easy $100 for anyone buying a new car!
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    corkfish wrote, "Mitsubishi is offering $100 to anyone who test drives one of their cars and then buys a competing model. It's an easy $100 for anyone buying a new car! "

    Wish I'd known that last week. On the other hand, Mitsubishi would probably shrug shoulders and say "sorry - we don't have any wagon or SUV that can come close to competing with the XT, so our $100 offer doesn't apply. Get lost."

    jb
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You could have looked at an EVO. The comparison is not that far-fetched.

    -juice
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Juice says, "You could have looked at an EVO. The comparison is not that far-fetched."

    Um...well, I think I follow you (the Forester's performance, while not in the Evo/STi league, is not all that far behind). If that's your point, I don't disagree.

    However, just between you and me, if you lined up an Evo, an STi, and an XT and put the same prices on all three, I'd still have bought the XT.

    I hate the boy-racer styling of both the Evo and the STi. The Forester is no great shakes in the style department, but at least it's tolerable. Plus it's infinitely more practical for day-to-day use than either of the other two.

    If, though, Subaru had also offered the STi with the Impreza/WRX wagon body (instead of only in the lumpy, bespoilered sedan) then THAT would have made the STi-versus-XT decision extremely tough. I probably would have bought the STi sportwagon, even at 7 or 8 thousand more money. But if dealers attempted to tack on another 3 or 4 thousand in additional markup, forget it. I will always refuse to play that game.

    jb
This discussion has been closed.