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Subaru XT Turbo Forester



  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    appears to have gone away. I can't get it anyway.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    6/80k was $870. This is with the $100 deductible, for an '03 XS.

  • miamixtmiamixt Posts: 600
    Juice, always enjoyed your comments, here and back in 2000 at the Honda CRV forum! You are correct about the 2 Tire Rotations included in the Subaru Maintainence plan, however the "coverage" ends at 22,500 so it's two Oil Changes, and two Oil changes w/ Tire rotation for the suggested $350, and that's picking the plan with 7500 Mileage intervals, the 3750 Mileage plan is about $450. One bonus, they included the 1st Oil change in the Coupon booklet to be performed at 3000 Miles. And a note to everyone about, they seem to be out of Business, and who promises to save you 40% is a scam site being sued by Subaru!
  • Ed,
    I'm in the same boat as you. IMHO that's because SoA has been less than helpful at providing owners performance details on AWD. I too hear people tout the superiority of Subaru's AWD system. But I very seldom see objective citations. And what I've seen is often no more than a magazine review, usually a magazine that also has a Subaru ad contract. Or, I hear of a "straw-man" AWD system, such as Volvo's old AWD system, that is so obviously poor that it is easy to pat ourselves on the back for owning a Subaru AWD. Maybe too easy.
    What I've never seen is a head to head comparison of AWDs using stock vehicles from Subaru and other makers, tested by an independent facility.

    Please don't misunderstand. I like Foresters, and I've owned both 1st and 2nd gen models. They seem to me solid value for the dollar compared to their competitors. But I'm not equipped to judge the AWD performance accurately and objectively.

    But Subaru is. And I bet they know how well their AWD stacks up against the competition. They must know if it performs as designed. And they'd know what trade-offs were made and why. Why don't they make that information available to us?

    I don't want proprietary engineering details. But I would like to know what value Subaru's added between Forester generations. Not with sales hype, but with performance specifications that we as owners can use to evaluate our investment. Has Forester's AWD gotten better, worse or stayed the same?

    It's been six years since they introduced the model. If a Forester was a $24,000 stock I bought, I'd like to see management's latest SEC 10-K but I can't seem to find it.

    Thanks for the response,
    PS: Maybe Lance can put in a good word for us with Subaru, get Americans an Australian-class web site with technical specification pdfs for US models.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    somewhere once I read an article comparing the Audi and Subaru systems. In a nutshell it went something like this, the auto systems of the Subarus were slightly better than the standard quattro Torsen/traction control on A4, A6. The VDC system was more akin to that used on the S6 and 8cyl Audis. The manual subarus with the viscous couplings were less capable than all the above.
    I can say from personal experience ( a GT coupe and a 4000S) that the quattro systems on the 80s Audis (torsens but no traction control or ABS) were not as good as the auto subarus of the early 90s.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    While there hasn't been a side-by-side dissection of AWD systems yet, I've seen several tests where they set AWD vehicles against each other as part of a review. C&D did a few involving the Forester and other mini-SUVs. They had the vehicles try out sand and snow.

    Personally, I think the "superiority" of Subaru's AWD system is not in the system itself, but rather in the from-the-start incorporation. The viscous coupling in MT vehicles, electronic clutch pack in the AT vehicles and planetary gears with clutch pack in VTD have similar analogues in other makes. However, very few companies, if at all, have a symmetrical layout of the drivetrain to maximize AWD. There's a reason why Subaru has been advertising it's "Symmetry AWD".

    With the prevalence of AWD systems, I think it's just a matter of time until we see comparisons focusing just on the AWD systems.

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    AFAIK only the Subaru AT system is proactive, all the others are reactive, anyone know of others?
  • lite1lite1 Posts: 26
    Will pick up new XT AT on Friday and will not have much time to look at manual before driving home from dealer - about 350 miles of interstate.

    Any advice on break-in for that drive and thereafter? Edward (S. Oregon)
  • My new XT MT arrived last Friday. I picked it up on Monday. So far it appears to be all that has been mentioned on the XT posts. However, only have 60 miles on it so far. Now starts the long break in period. Had to read the manual to see where they moved the side view mirror defroster switch. Not the same as my outback wagon.
    There seems to be quite a bit of play in the emergency brake lever. It sounds like there might be an adjustment on the lever itself. Will have to sit down and read the manual tomorrow. I am impressed with the output of the fog lights. This really helps to see the side of the road in Deer country. I have a set of steel wheels and Dunlop Graspic DS1 tires ready to go as soon as the bad weather sets in. Decided not to attempt to use the Graspic tires from my outback. Looking forward to post break in period.
  • Ken,
    I tend to agree with you about symetrical AWD and also "from the ground up" incorporation of AWD. I found the movies at Subaru Australia to do a very good job of explaining symetrical AWD and how it differs from other AWD designs. I'd also add that Suburu has long experience with AWD. I expect good design execution and reliability, which does seem to be the case. But unfortunately we can't say for sure because Subaru has not, to my knowledge, told us their AWD performance goals and specifications.

    I count on AWD in the long winters of ND and that means keeping me moving along intended paths even on snow and ice. My experience suggests Subaru AWD is good, better than FWD with Traction Control.

    I seem to recall Consumers Report did a very small test comparing AWD to FWD with TC, and Snow Tires. As I recall the CR testers felt AWD was better on snow and ice. But what I would really like to see, absent Subaru telling owners what their engineers know, is a similar CR test of current Subaru AWDs performance vis-a-vis competitor AWDs.

    It's maybe worth noting that CR has been somewhat critical of the OB routine and emergency handling and CR has dropped Forester's rating for emergency handling (eg 2000S AT "above average" to "average" on 2003X AT). How much of that drop's attributble to AWD vs tires and suspension, I'd don't know. We owners are left to wonder: slower AWD response for torque reallocation, changed default torque split, tires, and/or suspension changes between 1st & 2nd gens Foresters. Who can say?

    As always, I appreciate your input,
  • Dennis,
    Thanks for the comments. I'm not sure how many AWDs out there are "always on" vs "FWD" until slippage is detected (ie proactive vs reactive), but I'd bet the proactive AWD is more common than a couple years ago when I last looked.

    But proactive vs reactive is, maybe, beside the point. What counts for performance and handling is how fast does the AWD system shift torque from the axle (or wheel, eg MB/Audi AWD) that slips to the axle that grips. It's the same critical factor in traction control and yaw control systems: how fast is the response. Some systems are fine on asphalt, gravel or water but too slow for snow and ice.

    The only way to know is if automakers shares the specs, or if some pro (certainly not me) tests the performance in a lab and/or on a test track.

  • Ed, the information I received on break in is to keep the RPM's under 4,000, no full throttle acceleration (unless an emergency, vary speeds, no hard breaking (unless an emergency).
    From the manual on brakes,"While maintaining a speed of 30-40 mph,step on the brake pedal lightly. Repeat this five or more times."
    Parking Brake lining,"drive the vehicle at a speed of 22 mph, with the parking brake release button pushed in, pull the parking brake lever SLOWLY AND GENTLY with a pulling force of approximately of 33 lbs, drive the vehicle for about 220 yards in this condition, wait 5 to 10 minutes for for the brake to cool down, then repeat this procedure.
    Hope this helps. Might be tough on the interstate. You don't want to get run over in the new XT:)
    Good luck on your new ride. Let us know how it goes.
  • lite1lite1 Posts: 26
    Don ... thanks for thorough and thoughtful break-in tips. Am I to take it that for the Parking Brake one is both feeding gas to keep at 22 MPH while simultaneously pulling up (33 lbs of pulling force) on the parking brake?
    Never had info. on breaking in a parking brake before. Edward
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    and reasons:

    #1: VDC. Because it can send 100% of power to either axle, and because it is proactive, i.e. it can prevent drop throttle oversteer or get you up a wet boat ramp without tire spin. So it thinks, using inputs from yaw sensors and throttle positions, and is "smarter" than most other systems. Rear bias to split is icing on the cake.

    #2: Quattro with traction control. The torsen fails if you have frictionless surfaces, but T/C overcomes this Achilles' heel. It is still limited to 67% of power to either axle, and it purely reactive, albeit very quick reacting. Cannot prevent drop-throttle oversteer without stability control (optional), and you will have some wheel spin on the boat ramp, until T/C engages. So close but no cigar, VDC is better.

    #3: Subaru Auto AWD. Proactive, but default split feels like FWD. The catch? Front axle is unmanaged. Rear LSD only optional.

    #4: Subaru's VC. Purely mechanically reactive. works in snow, unlike a Torsen without T/C, and the default 50/50 split is fun. Front axle is unmanaged, rear optional.

    If you put traction control on #3, I'd even rate it higher than Quattro.

    That's how I rank them, but some would pick the fun first and maybe move the VC up in the rankings.

  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    fuel usage? Anyone daring to use regular?

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I used 92-octane until fuel prices zoomed; then I switched to mid-grade 89-octane for about three tankfuls. Prices have declined somewhat, so I'm now back to 92-octane. Neither change had any perceptible adverse effect on either MPG or power. The annoying throttle "fluttering" that I've described before (which starts a second or two after each upshit and continues for several seconds)was more pronounced on 89-octane, but it still occurs now that I'm back on 92. Grrrr. I hate not being able to drive with perfect smoothness.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Proactive and reactive are sometimes misleading terms. All AWD systems re-direct torque after a wheel begins slipping. The "proactive" systems simply try and move torque to an axle or wheel to prevent slippage to begin with. For example, the auto-AWD on Subarus will move more torque back to the rear axles when starting or when the TCU downshifts. However, as Jake points out, it really boils down to how quickly the system can react.

    C&D did a test a while ago with two Audi A4s -- one with Quattro and a FWD version. They equipped the Quattro with all-seasons and the FWD with winter tires. IIRC, the FWD version w/snows did as well as the Quattro except for starting on a hill.

    Perhaps the difference between the 2000S and 2003X are the lower profile tires on the 2000S?

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    they also did a test maybe 2 years ago now where several AWD cars were pitted against each other but it was more a test of different tire traction and stability control systems IIRC.
    BMW330xi vs Audi A4(or it may even have been a S4) vs Outback VDC. While not a proper AWD comparison as such it was interesting. The A4 with summer tires had ridiculously long track times in snow compared to the others with all seasons. Take the summer tires off and the Audi caught up with the others. They also could get the BMW and Audi to spin out but the VDC on the OB was so conservative (this was before the off switch), they couldn't get the OB off the road no matter how they tried.
  • super long time lurker, 1st time posting.

    I ordered a 2004 Forester XT premium with the VIP program. The dealer's invoice price in $25,721 (Rye, NY) and what I see on is $25,612.

    Also, I was promised a $250 Subaru rebate and am told now that it didn't apply to XT.

    any idea if i am getting conned or not?


  • When I bought my WRX in June, the dealer's invoice price was slightly higher than Edmunds. My dealer explained why (can't remember now) and it seemed reasonable. The difference between the two was $60-$80 IIRC - not a significant cost.

    I wouldn't sweat the invoice pricing, but I might check with another dealer to see about the rebate.

    At any rate, buying a car at a reasonable price is always a trying experience. try not to beat yourself up over $340.00 if you can afford it.

    Good luck with your XT!

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Edmunds and other car-shopping websites provide a detailed breakdown - $xxx for the basic vehicle, plus $yy for each option. Do you have that level of detail in the dealer's invoice price? If so, it should be possible to compare item by item and find out where the $109 difference occurs.

    If your dealer has only given you an invoice total with no detail, I'd go back and get the detail.

    When I bought my XT in June, the dealer furnished a printed invoice. Each and every cost exactly matched the prior invoice-price research I'd conducted online. Not one discrepancy. My out-the-door price was exactly $100 plus invoice for the basic XT, plus port-installed invoice cost of each option I selected.
  • I didn't list the options which matches between dealer and edmunds. $25,721 is the base price including destination charge. edmunds has $25,612 (25062 + 550)

    Can Subaru gimme the official invoice price if I ask them directly?

    jim: It's the thought of being screwed, not just about affordability.
  • Ed, that is the way I took it from reading the manual. I have owned a lot of vehicles and I must admit I never saw breakin instuctions for the emergency brake? I went to a Mall parking lot and followed the manual instructions. However, I did not know when I reached 33 lbs. I just guesstimated. You just don't want to pull it up to hard and lock them up.
    See page 11-40 in your new owners manual.
    Good Luck.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I remember that article well. The VDC was the only car they didn't crash, all 3 others rammed into snow banks.

    Ironically, their conclusion was to rank the VDC last and ask Subaru for an "off" switch, which they got. Now I guess they can crash all 4 vehicles! No test would be complete without that!


    Little: I think SoNE (Subaru of New England) has a slightly different price structure than the rest of the country.

    The rebate applies to 2003 models, and there was no 2003 XT so in that regard they're being honest.

    Bottom line? If you like the car, buy it, you are not getting screwed IMO. Having said that, CT has many dealers so shop that price around.

  • Juice,
    Glad to see you weigh-in on this. My experience with OB VDC was on snow and ice (careful test drive of dealer demo in a empty icy parking lot), and it convinced me. Had I not been too tall to safely fit in a moonroofed cockpit I would have bought an OB VDC years ago.

    I found VDC traction and yaw control fast enough to prevent any spin-out or slides as I did figure "8s" at increasing speeds up to 35mphs. Traction control with yaw control is awesome if it reacts fast enough. OB VDC I tested did react fast enough at those speeds.
    However, I've never seen how VDC performs on icy, snowy conditions at highway at speeds (ie 45 to 70mph). I'm not about to look for icy curves on my nearest interstate to find out, certainly not with someone else's vehicle. Do you or anyone else know of any reviews of the OB VDC at higher speeds on a snow and ice track?

    For icy/snowy conditions I treat my AT Forester as a FWD vehicle with superb balance and agility. Default torque split and Forester's slow responsiveness to torque reallocation needs make it "feel" like a FWD vehicle when the surface is very slippery. But it's the best FWD drive vehicle I've ever driven.

    If Subaru put VDC on the Forester, drivers would see a quantum jump in performance on snow and ice and much greater safety. Subaru has price considerations but I'm a little disappointed there's still no Forester VDC option.

    Thanks for your input,
    PS: I agree with your "ratings" of AWDs: they also correspond to my own test drives of those systems. Like the default torque split of the Forester MT but for me, and maybe most drivers, AT provides a better integration of Forester's powertrain and ABS with it's AWD potential.
  • On Sept. 27th, I got my XT at $250 under invoice (Edmunds' invoice price).
    Dealer said that the $250 incentive from Subaru applies to all models.
  • lite1lite1 Posts: 26
    I'm in northwest and will pick up car this Friday. One dealer I am willing to trust indicated that their is no rebate on XT 2004. My dealer invoice price exactly matches Price you got seems to be in the ballpark. Edward (S. Oregon)
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    There is no incentive on the XT, at least in New England.
  • Edmund's invoice pricings are for cars distributed in the Subuaru of America zone. SOA controls the lower 48 except for New York, northern New Jersey, and New England. New York and northern New Jersey are the exclusive territory of another distribution company, Subaru Distribution Corporation. SDC has their own invoice prices which are slightly higher than SDCs and a $50 higher destination fee. The invoices you see are the ones the dealership paid, there is no wiggle room. Subaru of New England buyers have it the worst with the highest invoice and destination fees in the 48. I can't speak for Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico- all of which have separate companies that handle Subaru distribution. All these companies are independently owned and not under the control of Subaru or its affiliates.

    If you think we have it bad consider that Toyota's U.S. distribution rights are owned by one man. Ever wonder why the wacky option packages on Toyotas and how you can't get a simple option without purchasing a package? That's the reason. Toyota is so desperate to get out of the situation that they've offered the guy a billion to release the rights back to Toyota. He didn't bite.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Toyota distribution is done in part of the southeast US by SET, and in the rest of the Southeast by Gulf States, or so I understand from reading the Toyota boards. I thought Toyota USA handled the rest of the US.

    In any case, the captive distributors do like to add port installed options that are generally overpriced.

    Steve, Host
This discussion has been closed.