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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • maimai Posts: 10
    I guess I should clarify, I have been in contact with Byers Subaru (not Byers Imports, although they are technically the same) and Hatfield. They have both come back and said they are willing to get rid of the advertising fee of $275. They were both so agreeable I was wondering how much more I can get them to come down on the price and still be reasonable.


    Would asking $20,800 be out of the question? I don't want to get laughed out of there. I have not gone to see either dealership yet, as I have been negotiating via email.

    Thanks for the help.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Paid $19,800 delivered plus tax and tags for an 05 champagne gold automatic X with the following:


    after market leather (looks terrific; side arms rests too)

    splash guards

    arm rest extension

    full set of nets side and back

    cargo tray liner


    I think I got a fair deal. Ths included the rebate. What do you think?


  • maimai Posts: 10
    Well, I think that I will be heading to the dealerships next week and offer them $20,800.

    The one dealership is offering me my first year of maintenance free. I will see if I can get some options in lieu of the maintenance.

    Wish me luck! I'll keep you all posted when I finally get the car...
  • Mai:


    Honestly, it sounds to me that you need to research the pricing a bit better. Check out the consumer reports guide. It costs $12 and is worth every penny b/c it arms you with the pricing for every option, kickback/holdback, rebates, etc.


    As you mentioned the "advertising fee" is totally bogus...pure profit for them.


    What I have found in Los Angeles is that everybody is willing to beat the other guys price. Don't let them make you feel bad as if you are cutting into their profits. Obviously the won't sell under what they pay for the vehicle and they have to eat. However, I paid for my 05 XT w/ PP and leather only $500 buck above invoice (this included the dealer kickback from Subaru).


    Trust me the dealers will make money from the servicing of the cars. And any respectible dealer will never make you feel bad, even if you offer them a price below the invoice. They will kindly remind you of the fact.


    Of note, this is for only the AUTOMATIC

    xs $23,086 (dealer's invoice)

    holdback is $735

    bring the total to $22,351

    rebate $1300

    finally $21,051


    so for a manual transmission, not too bad of a deal.


    Best of luck.
  • maimai Posts: 10

    thanks for responding. I am going this tuesday and wednesday to test drive the car at the two different dealerships.

      Would you suggest that I take $727 off that above price? That is the difference between the manual invoice and automatic invoice.

    If so, should the xs 5 spd. asking price be roughly $20,324? ($21,051 - $727 for a 5 spd.)

      Any help is greatly appreciated. If this is a more realistic asking price (instead of the $20,800 I was considering) then it is a big relief to read your post.

    Thanks for your help and suggestions!
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 2,947
    The prices you're considering offering are only a couple of hundred dollars apart, so I wouldn't sweat it. Also, you may not have as much negotiating room in Columbus, Ohio as you would in a larger urban area with more dealerships and competition. Sounds like you're doing everything right. Hope you get the car you want. Be careful about letting a year's free maintenance swing the deal, though. Subaru Dealer service is a problem in Columbus and you might not like the service where you buy the car and want to get dealer service somewhere else.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • peakpropeakpro Posts: 65
    This is my first quote from a NJ dealer for a 2005 XT with manual....from an email I just received.


    "....The vehicle that I am quoting you on is a Subaru Forester XT, premium package. The package includes: cargo tray, bumper cover, splash guards, auto dimming mirror/compass, security system upgrade, and cargo net.


    $23,499.00 that is with the $1500 Rebate already taken off instead of the finance special......"


    Should I try to do better.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Use Edmunds' TMV tool. If you're below that and they don't tack on fees when you buy it, I think you did fine.


  • maimai Posts: 10
    Ok, I know in previous posts I said I was going to buy the xs forester. Well, since I was not able to get the price I wanted, I decided to go back to my original choice of the x 5spd.

    Here is what I got:

    -'05 forester x 5spd. in green (woodland green?)

    -cargo tray

    -all weather mats

    Price paid

    $20,100 (not including tax, title etc), so with the $2,000 rebate, the price was $18,100. Not bad for my first car. I'm so excited because there was some snow in columbus yesterday (not much) so I get to test out the AWD!

    Overall, it was a good buying experience, I went with Byers Subaru instead of Hatfield Subaru, b/c the Hatfield people were a bit pushy. They fed me the "you must come in by tonigt or the price is no longer good" line.

    The internet sales guy at Byers was much nicer and the people were not pushy in the F&I dept.

    This is my first new car purchase ever, I just graduated from college and this is a great first car for me I think. Thanks to all who gave me their two cents worth on this forum, it was extremely helpful when it came time to negotiate.
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    Welcome now its time to get some after market goodies... Enjoy...Matt
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    of off-topic posts were removed. Thanks for staying on subject of Prices Paid & Buying Experiences.
  • Hello everyone! When reading at the differences between the X and XS models, I noticed that the X model has front disc brakes and rear drum brakes while the XS model has both front and rear disc brakes? Could someone kindly tell me the difference between these two types of brakes and whether one kind is safer over the other? Much thanks in advance!
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    mai- Congratulations as a new Forester owner. That's a really good price. I'd say you did quite well as a first time buyer and the X is an excellent value since it comes so well equipped.


  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Excerpt from Edmunds tips and advice section:


    Drum vs. Disc: Today


    In today's automotive pantheon, it's not uncommon to find four-wheel disc brakes as standard equipment on medium-priced, non performance-oriented models. The majority of new vehicles, however, continue to utilize a front-disc/rear-drum brake setup. What does this say about the current state of braking systems? Are these manufacturers sacrificing vehicle safety in order to save a few bucks by installing disc brakes on only the front wheels?


    While a "yes" answer would certainly be great for increasing Town Hall traffic, the truth is that today's disc/drum setups are completely adequate for the majority of new cars. Remember that both disc and drum brake design has been vastly improved in the last 20 years. In fact, the current rear drum brake systems on today's cars would provide better stopping performance then the front disc setups of the '70s. And today's front disc brakes are truly exceptional in terms of stopping power. Combined with the fact that between 60 and 90 percent of a vehicle's stopping power comes from the front wheels, it's clear that a well-designed, modern drum brake is all that's required for most rear wheel brake duty.


    High performance cars like the Viper, 911 and Corvette can justify a four-wheel disc brake system, especially if their owners participate in some form of sanctioned racing activity on the weekends. The rest of us get more of a benefit from the lower cost of drum brakes. Expecting every vehicle built today to come with four-wheel disc brakes would require an across-the-board increase in purchase price, and that could stop new car buyers much quicker than any brake system.


    Bottom line is that disc brakes do a slightly better job of stopping by dissipating heat faster but I don't know that you'd ever be able to tell the difference.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Rear disc brakes offer better cooling, so if you carry heavy loads or tow, on a long descent they'd perform better. In normal driving you won't notice a difference because the drums can easily engage the ABS.


    You also get a rear LSD, i.e. the rear axle can shift power side to side for better tracion in snow. It's an incremental improvement, but still nice.


    You get climate control instead of manual A/C. On 2004s, they called it HAL, though, it was such a nuisance. The 2005s are better, but I still won't call it an advantage.


    You get a leather wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats (nice feature), power driver's seat, heated mirrors, wiper de-icers, alloy rims, and a 6CD changer instead of a single CD.


    That's a lot of stuff, but it does cost a bunch more.


    If you want more than half of those things, I'd say go for it. Especially the all-weather gear if you live in a cold climate.


    Good luck.


  • Thanks Frank and Juice for the helpful info! I wasn't sure if I would be sacrificing safety over the price but since there is no major difference, with the brakes that is, I'm going to focus more on the X. It suits my budget more. =) Could anyone recommend me a subaru dealership in NY? Preferable in Orange or Dutchess county. Thanks again!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try Van Bortel on the web to get an idea of no-haggle street prices. I'm not sure if they're close, but if not ask a close by dealer to beat their price.


  • maimai Posts: 10
    I'm originally from upstate NY and Van Bortel is no where near those counties. It is in the Victor/Rochester area. Are those counties near the Hudson Valley/Albany area? My recommendation would be to go to google and type in "subaru dealers NY" and see what you get back.

    Although if you wanted to get a quote to from Van Bortel to use as leverage, that wouldn't be a bad idea either as the previous post suggests.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can search for the closest dealer on They listed 7 near me.


  • Thanks everyone! I found 3 dealerships that are within 30 mins of me. This is my first time buying a car. Can anyone give me any tips and pointers on how to go about in bargaining for the price, what my aim asking price should be, what to be cautious of, etc. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Easiest is probably to shop on the internet, find competitive prices, then ask them to beat it. Let them know you are a serious shopper and don't want to play games.


    Check out and Van Bortel Subaru, but will give you price references.


    Or if you prefer, use a buying service like the one for Costco members.


    Yet another option - Edmunds TMV. Take print-outs with you and ask them to match or beat that. Nice thing about those is it's regional, so they account for supply and demand.


  • I'm about to buy an XS LL Bean Forester. I just got a quote from Coleman Subaru in Trenton, NJ today for $22486 for a car equipped with:

    armrest extension

    cargo bin

    cargo net



    rubber floor mats

    includes destination charge


    This of course excludes, tax, title, etc.

    The offer was almost $1300 less than other offers I got (even when you compare them all with rebates taken into account).

    How does this sound? I sent a price quote request to over 18 dealers using the Fax Attack technique from and have to make a decision tomorrow.

    It looks good to me! Any input would be great.

  • My wife and I are giving some thought to replacing her 95 Impreza this year.


    She is trying to decide between buying another Impreza or switching to a Forester.


    Her car is running fine, so we are not under any pressure to get a new car, but she would like a new one after 10 years and is interested in having a safer car.


    Given that we are under no pressure, what are other poster's opinions as to the best time to buy?

    Are the Subaru incentives apt to increase later in the year?

    Selection is good right now, which is to our advantage.


    Thanks for the feedback.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds good for the very well equipped Beaner.


    David: based on price alone, the best time to buy is the month before a new model arrives. You still have some selection, but the incentives are in full swing.


    To be honest, I doubt the Forester will get more than the $2000 on the hood it has now, so if you choose that I'd say go for it now.


  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Subaru doesn't deal much. For research there is a dealer out of Seattle (WA)that has an unofficial research site. Go there first to get a feel for invoice pricing and MSRP. Do NOT even mention your trade in until you have a clear hard price on what you want.


    I got my 2004 X(brand spankin NEW)yesterday. I was looking at Baja's (20,995 about best deal) could maybe go another five hundred. Forget used with the present interest rates.


    Well, I found a deal I couldn't refuse. They were desperate to get rid of a 2004 X model with a stick. Invoice was 19,700. I got it for 18,959. Yee Ha!. Nailed down a good down payment as I didn't have to get a new clutch (and linkage problems), timing chain and tires (wear marks showing 75K) for a total of about 15K costs for my 99 Outback Sport with 147K miles with a bent front quarter panel also driven hard and put away wet but a wonderful wonderful auto.


    So, let's see, I had around 1,500 bucks staring me (NOW) in the face on the Outback Sport, they gave me 2,200 on it (It probably under optimum conditions had a 3,200 trade in-mine not optimum). So I figure I got around 3,700 in "real" value trade in.


    My favorite color is the dark forest green with the tan interior (beige). And a five speed. If I was going to custom order one, this would have been it. So much for the Baja. bye bye...


    And there is NOT MUCH Difference between an 04 and 05. This is the second best deal I ever got on a car. And a 250 a month payment...


    Good deal???
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    I just posted on getting a new 2004. You might ask around and see if there are any left that someone would trade around with your dealership...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    '06 is the face-lift; your 04 was a deal, yes.


  • automatic with cargo tray/armrest ext/splash guard/mirror w/homelink/rear bumper cover/all weather mats.

    List 29429, got it for 24800+TTL. That's more than 2k below invoice. Not much bargaining needed, I test drove almost everything there made by Subaru except STI. Salesman was very knowledgeable. He mentioned the B9 base will start at 30k, and the 3rd row seat is definitely not for adult

    I found that the TMV of Edmunds and Carsdirect were a bit off.

    Been looking to get an Outback XTLTD 5EAT, just can't justify spending 4k more for an Outback. For performance, Legacy GT is the choice; for functional and bang for the buck, FXT is the answer, at least for me.

    Thank you all

  • Hi -

    I am in the middle of a deal to order a new 2005 XT from my dealer. He says he'll order me one however I want and it will arrive in mid-April. And if the rebates are not there - then he will refund my money and I can walk away. I am seriously considering this. I think I want a white one but there are none to be had around here (St Louis area) and he could not find any within a 7 state area! He said white is the most popular.

    Anyways - to get to my question. Can I get some feedback from this forum on colors? I am considering white or silver. I currently have a silver car and I love the way it hides the dirt. Does white show or hide dirt? And having not seen a "real" white one - its tough for me to know for sure how great the Forester looks in white? I think it would look sharp in white with the XT's black interior.

    Any and all comments sure would be appreciated!
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