2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited January 2014 in Subaru
Share your purchase experience here!


  • ballisticballistic Member Posts: 1,687
    On June 23, I paid $100 above the $23,323 invoice price for my XT, plus $177 and $145 for the two Popular Equipment Groups I wanted, $33 for rubber mats, and $200 for the column-mount boost gauge (all at dealer port-installed invoice cost) - and I specifically did not buy the expensive, pointless rear spoiler. My total price out the door was $23,978.
  • erictooleyerictooley Member Posts: 13
    Purchased 7-21-03
    Options: automatic, Package 1 (bumper cover, cargo tray, splash guards), auto-dimming mirror, armrest extension
    MSRP: $25,010
    Invoice: $22,604
    TMV: $22,279
    We Paid: $21,879
    Financing: 2.9%/60 months (Subaru financing)

    Purchased from Stevens Creek Subaru in San Jose, CA. We were quoted this price by their Internet sales rep. Originally had planned to trade in our Civic, but since the dealer didn't offer what we felt the car was worth ($11,000 offered, we were looking for $12k), we listed it on craigslist and sold for $12,300 in less than a day. The final transaction was relatively straightforward.
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Member Posts: 1,760
    Java Black Pearl
    options: Popular Equipment Group 1D (Java Black-colored rear bumper cover, cargo tray and splash guards), armrest extension
    MSRP: $28,492
    Invoice: $25,873
    TMV: $26,881
    Paid: $26,127

    Purchased from Liberty Subaru, Oradell NJ. We were quoted this price by the internet sales rep. No hassle, sales rep very knowledgeable and nice. Finance guy did not hassle. Pleasant.
  • joybelljoybell Member Posts: 275
    next time I'll buy online. It's easier to shop for a deal that way. Besides, what do the dealers really do for you? I spent a long time trying to get two glue spots removed from the windshield of my brand new Forester. I had to be carefull not to scratch the glass (being worried about "soft glass" windshields). So much for dealer prep. The Impreza in the dealer's showroom had a crooked "R" in "SUBARU", and when I helpfully pointed this out, I was told that this would be remedied when the car was prepped for the buyer...not caring a hoot about the impression it makes on a showroom visitor. Nope...no more dealers for me.
  • subkidsubkid Member Posts: 94
    exactly my experience. I did it through the internet/phone. Turned out to be one of the most pleasant experiences ever (the only comparable is when my wife and I planned and organized our wedding all alone).

    Once I have some time I'll explain it in detail (Forester buying, not the wedding :)), but suffice it to say that I visited the dealership only once - to pick up the vehicle, registration plate was already on, all papers in order - took 15 minutes all together to be on our way home. And above all - $600 (Canadian) over invoice.

  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Member Posts: 1,760
    have done all of my internet buying the last 2 cars. only way to go. i didnt even visit my first one, had it shipped to nj from ohio. i only saw their driver. last time at liberty subaru, all was ready to go by the time i got there. internet buying rules...
  • joybelljoybell Member Posts: 275
    do you really, really have to have it serviced at the dealer? Seriously thinking of not going to a dealer at all but to Canadian Tire, except if there is a warranty repair to do. I have a lot more confidence in them since they are honest, cheaper, concientious and have serviced my Subies after warranty for many years.
  • subkidsubkid Member Posts: 94

    you are touching a very sore spot for me. I'm still trying to decide on that one. Additionally, I have to deal with the fact that I bought "out of town", so none of local dealerships is my home. (I even had a sales person threatened me that if I bought out of town, I'd have to go there for service - which I understand is illegal threat to make - didn't feel like pursuing it further, other than making a mental note never to deal with that dealership again).

    Back to your question - I called a dealership service to ask for an oil change price - $72 (and they do some "other important stuff", but that doesn't include tire rotation. I find it a little bit steep. However, I wouldn't put Canadian Tire that high on my list either - their service leaves a lot to be desired. I particulary dislike their sales tactics - you leave a car for brake job, and instead of having it done in two hours, they call you at work to tell that fuel injectors need cleaning, and intake needs flushing - only $100 bucks more :). My natural reaction is "what the h... did you do in my engine if I told you to change my brake pads @#$%!!!" :)) So, do you want some underpaid, non interested kid messing with you new Subaru engine - which is probably the first and the only one he will ever see in his life?

    So for me, the jury is still out on that one. I'd prefer some local garage that doesn't have high turnover of staff and has some exposure to Subaru. I decided to approach every Subaru owner that I meet at gas station, parking lot, car wash bay ... and ask where they service their car (hope not to start getting stalking charges and restraining orders).

    I'll take this chance to invite Canadians to comment on shops that can commonly be found up north. So, who do you trust?

  • joybelljoybell Member Posts: 275
    Maybe this topic should go to the Canadian Subaru owner's board. I guess I've had good luck with Canadian Tire (and they are sueable), but I also know of a good Subaru mechanic that is now working at a Mazda dealership (since the Subaru dealership he worked for closed), but there you have dealer prices again....and, after all, he's working for "the competition" now.
  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    Read this before you decide to go with the chain stores up here:

    Subkid, I'm eagering awaited your tale of purchase. I know I will be following closely in your footsteps, and anything you can share will be most appreciated - heck, I might even spring for a round of golf out at Kananaskis!
  • subkidsubkid Member Posts: 94
    I'm in the time squeeze right now, will post later. You are in the right town to purchase - I'll let you know dealer/sales person name.

    Too bad I don't care for golf, but would certainly appreciate capable hiking companion to Kananaskis - Mt. Indefatigable, just in case that grizzly lady is still wandering around with her cubs - gave me big chills last year.

  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    Isn't hiking just golf without the swearing or the little white ball?
  • mikef11mikef11 Member Posts: 74

      Mark me down as another person intrigued with how you purchased over the internet. I find that there isn't much Cdn pricing info that I can find on the internet.

      I'm in Ottawa and don't travel to your area often, but can always get you a beer if you get out this way :-) If I do head West, I'll bring my hiking boots!

  • kullenbergkullenberg Member Posts: 283
    Someone, I forget who, once said: "golf is a nice walk - ruined"!
  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    By famed Canadian author Shania Twain! Or was that Mark Twain...
  • subkidsubkid Member Posts: 94
    no problem for beer, as they say here on the wild west - it's always good to know somebody in Ottawa.

  • stoner420stoner420 Member Posts: 165
    Just purchased a Cayenne Red XT with AT, no options, at Crabtree Subaru in Shelton, CT. Great experience, no pressure, they let my wife drive the XS vs XT, and let me drive the XT too without complaining. Even the finance manager was not a major pain in the behind, he was pretty laid back and barely even tried to sell us on the extended warranty. (Too bad we got the guy though, the other finance manager was a really cute blonde lady! Well maybe it's good after all that we got this guy instead.. ;-) We went in on Sunday, they did not have the car in stock, but located one at a dealer about 35 miles away, and so we picked it up Monday evening with 58 miles on the odo.

    We traded in an 01 Accord EX with low mileage; when the time came to deal, the salesguy just asked us how much we would be willing to pay bottom line... I gave a number based on edmunds invoice/tmv for the XT and kbb for the Honda, and they accepted right away (guess I should have tried for a few hundred lower, doh!) Anyhow, it works out in the end that I got a value pretty much right inline with the kbb value for the Honda and the edmunds tmv on the XT. Maybe we could have done slightly better, but we didn't even really shop around or try to haggle, it was just wham, bam, done. I've already used this dealership's service dept. for my WRX a few times, and they've been pretty good, so I was somewhat inclined toward buying from them anyhow. The pure convenience factor of the whole thing probably offsets any small amount I might have done better searching around. I financed 2.9% for 3 years, this included $3000 remaining to pay off on the Honda.

    Only downside was that they only filled the gas just less than halfway. (Also the windshield wiper fluid was almost empty, but they refilled it for me.)

    Anyhow, the car RULES!!! THE ENGINE IS AWESOME!!! We love it!
  • mfletouvamfletouva Member Posts: 166
    Cayenne Red

    MSRP: $22245
    Invoice: $20365
    TMV: $21100
    PAID: $19500
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Dang, they gave it to you. Congrats.

  • mfletouvamfletouva Member Posts: 166
    I thought it was a really good deal, although it sounds it wouldn't have been in Oregon (I have my doubts...) :)
  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Sheesh! $865 below invoice already on an 04! Do you think the fact that the big 3 are practically giving their cars away is forcing the whole market lower?

    -Frank P.
  • pleiad7pleiad7 Member Posts: 59
    Wow, $865 below invoice is one heck of a deal! It astounds me that it is possible to get a price like that on a '04 X while the market for the XT remains completely unaffected by the current lowballing (at least in the SF Bay Area).

    I now have my own little conspiracy theory that Subaru is trying to actually create an artificial shortage of XT's to force prices higher. How is it possible that there is not a single silver XT w/ premium package available in all of Northern California?? Is anyone else experiencing this problem in other parts of the country?

    I've been trying to get my hands on an XT premium for over two months and there are simply none available; if a dealership is lucky enough to get one, they're usually already sold or are marked up well above MSRP... very frustrating!
  • mfletouvamfletouva Member Posts: 166
    Whats the MSRP on that? The dealer that I just bought the X from has a Silver '04 XT with a $26320 MSRP...It doesn't say what options are on that. Of course, the dealer is in Rhode Island anyway so that isn't going to help you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yes, I think consumers are addicted to incentives.

    Subaru has kept them under control, only the Baja offers a truly huge one ($2000).

  • pleiad7pleiad7 Member Posts: 59
    It's mostly the XT's with Premium Package that are so few and far between here; in combination with the platinum silver color - which is my color of choice - they are almost impossible to find! If they're not already sold by the time they roll off the truck at the dealership, they get marked up as much as $2500 over MSRP.

    Of course it doesn't help the situation that I'm trying to purchase one through Subaru's VIP program at invoice price... kind of ironic, because to a car dealer, the real VIPs are the people who walk onto their lot with no clue and willing to pay inflated prices!

    Just curious whether this is a California problem or if this is happening elsewhere. I heard that overall XT sales are rather slow.
  • cmunizcmuniz Member Posts: 604
    Just bought a red XT with AT and a couple of other things, but no premium package or leather for about $1,600 below MSRP in North Carolina. According to SOA there are about 28 XTs of various sorts at NC dealers. It was a very good buyig experience.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Cool, congrats. That's a pretty deep discount for a hot new model.

  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    My wife called an audible today after spending the day driving my 96 Sentra yesterday... I have permission to shop NOW for a new vehicle. I am leaning towards the Forester XS Premium, but would like to hear about Canadian info on purchasing, especially on the 2003 models that are probably few and far between... AND... subkid's experience with using e-mail and buying in a different city after shopping around.

    PS I think the Subaru Canada website might be the most lame medium-sized-global-corporation-that-benefits-from-user-input website that I have ever seen.
  • subkidsubkid Member Posts: 94
    starting from the back.

    I agree with the website remark. Actually I couldn't agree more. But if you checked, it changed yesterday, you'd see that new info is there, and according to it, there's no financing available from Subaru right now. You should only hope their info is wrong this time around.

    I don't think you have time to do all I did with my purchase, so I'd suggest a quick fix. Call Subaru of Calgary (they also sell Jaguar) and see what they can do for you with regards to 2003 models. If nothing, than I'd suggest wait a little until situation improves.

    And one more thing - don't buy stocks these days - your timing is awful :)

  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    They have been, by far, the best dealership I have found in the province, and the salesguy there has been very patient with me. No way to get through to them until Tuesday, though, and the website, as you said, shows zero financing. Not zero percent. No financing at all! Man, I would trade all the XT MT moonroofs in Canada for a website like the SoA has!

    Carcostcanada.com butchered my attempt to get invoice pricing on the XS Premium, and I have nothing to show for 45 minutes worth of trying. I hope I can get something before I go in on Tuesday to be a bit informed on what I should be asking. I have a semi-recent MSRP + delivery package of $CAN 37,7454 for the tricked out XS Premium. I would guess the invoice + delivery package to be in the CAN$ 35,500 range, lower with incentives for the 2003.
  • subkidsubkid Member Posts: 94
    Frying, what do you mean carcostcanada didn't show anything? They worked for me. Maybe, if you tried 2004 model?
    Also, Subaru of Calgary is their business partner, so you might want to consider going for the premium membership and have them try negotiations for you. Before doing that, I'd try to ensure that there are 2003s available in the Western Canada. There is something else. Assuming that there are some 2003 available and that 1.8% for them were in the effect on Friday, if you ask them nicely, they might be able to squeeze you in and show that deal was arranged on Friday.

    A far as trading of XT MT moon roofs goes, I'd even throw in 4.11 final gearing ratio for free :)))


  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    I can't get the website to take my VISA! "Take my money" I say, and it just ignores my requests. All three invoice websites I found giving Canuck prices use the same durn authentication website.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the premium thingy with Carcost, though, subkid! That would be worth the price of a premium membership, for sure! I'll call as early on Tuesday as I can, and see what's up for availability and financing. It might be a deal-killer to not have that 1.8% anymore, but I can't belive there is no financing at all!
  • subkidsubkid Member Posts: 94
    I had problems with credit card thing too. It turned out, you have to put your CC info exactly the way it appears on the monthly statement, address in particular.

    I used combination of premium membership/fine tuning the deal myself and and it worked for me well. I already described my take on it on the other site (whose address I can't post here) and in the recent thread Forester vs CRV , but long and short of it is: 1.8% makes $3200 (even more for XS premium) difference between Forester and CRV for example.

    If you can't get financing @ 1.8% - well there is another thing you can do (depending on your circumstances, of course) but - TALK TO YOUR TAX MAN/FINANCIAL ADVISOR FIRST. Sell some investments, pay for car in cash, borrow money with intention to invest and buy investments back (after 30+ days). Interest rates on such loans aren't too high these days and interest can be written off against any future gain tax on the investment. As an additional benefit, you will probably realize some nice capital losses (if you are like the most of north Americans :(( ) and get a chance to realign your position now when new cycle starts.

    Hello village, can't you see how hard I work to get another member in! :))))))

  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    ... and eating it 31 days later - while driving around in a new Forester! Thanks, subkid... though my 'tax expert' resides on a little Intuit CD that I buy every year!

    I'll let you know how things progress over the next week or two. It would be cool to drive a new Forester out to Waynefest next weekend, especially if there is a desert monsoon to take a spin in!

    Go Esks! Yup, you read that right... GO ESKS GO!!
  • qdiscqdisc Member Posts: 29
    Getting quoted b/t $500 to $800 over invoice in Colo. Anyone with recent XS buying experience to share? I thought this was pretty decent, right around the Edmunds TMV, but dang, if people are paying under invoice, I'm not so sure!


  • subewannabesubewannabe Member Posts: 403
    like STi's and many other "hot" cars with limited production runs, are going straight to dealership owners' and sales managers' driveways with dealer tags on them. The big dogs dont want to sit on cloth seats, and the vroom in the XT is irresistable . A lot of them, at least for now, will never make it to the lot.
        Unless you're willing to wait , you may have to settle for a less desirable color or consider aftermarket leather. The aftermarket moonroofs are no comparison to the OEM in the Forester, so thats a tough one.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    2003s have a $750 incentive, prices should end up below invoice once you factor that in.

  • gbernsteengbernsteen Member Posts: 12
    Well I guess I can't post the link, even though I didn't buy from them. But check out fitzmall.com

    Try most new 2004 Foresters for SEVEN hundred under invoice....not a bad deal at all!

    Pretty amazing. I do wonder how they can make much money, even w/holdback.
  • tinytootinytoo Member Posts: 6
    In July I special ordered a red XT MT with quite a few options (security system upgrade, hitch, rear differential protector, air filter, and auto-dimming mirror to name just a few). It took exactly four weeks for my car to arrive from the factory. I paid $2185 below MSRP. All of the options were offered at invoice price, I simply paid $500 over invoice for everything. I purchased through the Costco auto program, and it was easiest, hassle-free experience ever. I am incredibly pleased since I wanted a lot of options and was afraid that would be the painful part of negotiating a final price. I contacted a few local dealers before I knew about the Costco program and they told me not to even bother coming to the lot if I expected to pay only $500 over invoice!
  • fryingbolognafryingbologna Member Posts: 85
    available in the SoC network! Financing on the 2004 is 5.8%, so things don't look good, although if the 2004s are going for under invoice already in parts of the US, there still might be hope.
  • spikeitspikeit Member Posts: 2
    qdisc - I just purchased (well, ordered) a 2004 XS Premium MT with several options for about $580 below invoice. That's in NJ though, a bit far from you. I nailed the price by eliciting bids from many dealers by fax and going with the best offer.
    Something like that may work for you... Anyhow, good luck on the hunt. I'm looking forward to enjoying my first Subaru.
  • lfdallfdal Member Posts: 679
    Ended up paying $650 over invoice (including the option pricing) for my Red XT Premium w/Auto. Five hundred over invoice then that darn 150 doc fee. BTW they would not budge on the doc fee and were willing to walk away from the deal over it.

    By the same token they took $200 off of the Autobahnd stone guard (which I'm liking more every day).

    Gave me every option at or near invoice, and I had a load of them - security system, mud flaps, cabin air filter, arm rest extension, diffy protector, boost gauge, rear cargo net, the new much impoved day night compass mirror and wheel locks.

    Had to wait 4 weeks for it, most all the options were installed at the port (except for boost gauge and stone guard), so very well done installations. It seems the port guys just do it better - by itself a good arguement for ordering one if you plan on adding a lot of options vs having the dealership install them.

    3.9% 60 month financing through Subaru/Chase Manhattan

  • mfletouvamfletouva Member Posts: 166
    As I mentioned earlier, we just got our X Auto for $865 under invoice. On another board, a dealer explained that there is a big quota program on Foresters from Subaru that's allowing dealership to more than re-coop the loss on the Forester purchase, provided of course that they sell enough of them. Proving once again that the higher volume dealer, the better.

    A few dealerships I shopped said my price demands were ridiculous and that they would lose money on them. Yet the one I bought the car from was eager to make the deal. I guess I know which one is more confident about how many Foresters it is going to sell!
  • qdiscqdisc Member Posts: 29
    Thanks for the input all...I checked fitzmall, but I can't determine if they'd deliver out of state..do you know, gbernsteen?

    Got a few other quotes, both right at $500 over invoice on XS 5-speeds with various but similar option packages....so, that seems to be decent. I'll let you know which way we go.

  • gbernsteengbernsteen Member Posts: 12
    Sorry I don't know, as I said I didn't buy from them since they were a little too far away for the extra 200-300 I'd have saved. But certainly worth inquiring. If I had gotten quotes that were 1300 higher, I'd make it work! Don't forget doc fees too...
  • salkowskimsalkowskim Member Posts: 2
    Silver 2003 w/armrest extension and air filtration-
    MSRP: $22,366
    Invoice: $20,416
    TMV: $20,578
    I paid: $19,500 w/0%apr for 24 months

    1st post for a first-time subaru buyer in Tucson, AZ. Dealt with Mike in the internet/fleet department at Pitre Subaru in Scottsdale (Tucson only had '04's and weren't dealing and I couldn't get under $20,000 on the phone to Phoenix). Two emails, two phone calls, and one great experience. Paperwork was done and we were at the dealership for 30 minutes. Sounds like I could have done better elsewhere (like Portland), but I love the car!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    No names of individuals, please.

    Steve, Host
  • spgrspgr Member Posts: 23
    Are there any incentives on a 2003 or 2004 X? Has anyone out there purchased one lately (manual or auto) in Western New York and for how much?
  • ivestorparkivestorpark Member Posts: 31
    Subaru did have $500 rebate to dealer on '04 Foresters, except I think the XT. It expired 9/2/03. Check the Edmunds website. That's how buyers were getting the ridiculous offers below invoice (as much as $800 and change).
  • envyabullenvyabull Member Posts: 10
    White XT with Premium Package: I paid $26,360 which included the armrest extension and the Square Bar Roof rack. Financed through dealer 60 months at 3.90%. I financed everything and will invest my money in something doing better than 3.90%,, hopefully ;-)

    I called three local dealers and gave them all one chance to give me their best price. I said I would not go back and play them off of each other. It was one chance for them to do business with me. In the end I went with closest dealer even though he was $200 more. He has a better reputation. I never met the dealer until I came to pick up the car. He ordered the car for me just from my assurances that I would buy it if he got it. I even arranged financing over the phone with them sight unseen. It was the probably the easiest sale he ever made and I felt like I was in control the whole time.
    I had very little trouble getting a white XT with Premium Package. I drove a silver at one of the local dealers, but they quoted me $26,900 without options. I think it is still there. I wanted a White one and had to wait a couple weeks for the late August boat to come in. Apparently there are only three white XT PP in New England to date. The dealer swapped another N.E. dealer for it. It showed up with about 70 miles on it.

    The square bar rack accommodates Thule accessories. It attaches quickly with the flip of a lever at each pedestal and includes locks and keys. This rack is manufactured by MontBlanc. Still it seems to be a better rack for much less money than buying an after-market Thule. The rack does sit a few inches higher on the bars compared to the factory rack. It is also less aerodynamic, so noisier, especially with kayak attachments. However, if you already have a bunch of Thule accesories it is the best value.
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