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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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Comments

  • I just switched insurance companies, and found that our 98 Forester had a higher premium than my 00 Legacy GT. Upon inquiring, I was told that the insurance premiums for the Forester are higher because it costs more to repair than comparable vehicles. (Parts?, labor time?)

    I can somewhat vouch for that, after having to pay for replacing the left front fender, etc. of the Forester after a minor fender bender. Even with my son performing some of the work (summer job at repair shop) it cost plenty!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Source the parts from a wholesaler. Markup on parts is pretty big, 20% or more at times.

    When I got hit from behind, I did that. A new bumper was $150, and a complete taillight assembly was $125 IIRC. Retail on each was around $200.

    -juice
  • mre4mre4 Posts: 15
    On Nov. 17, Shunsuke Takagi, Executive Vice President of Fuji Heavy Industries, told a news conference that interim and full-year earnings estimates were being cut. Takagi-san attributed the revision, in part, to "the weak performance of its Forester sports utility vehicle."

    This weekend, three or four dealerships in Oregon were having sales on Foresters. Anyone think it is a coincidence?

    I do not think it is a bad product, just a bad economy, so I put my money where my mouth was and when one dealership offered a XT PP for about 1200 less than invoice I drove it home.

    I would call this a compact utility performance vehicle. Drives great ... personally I expect the auto trans. to save me about one speeding ticket per year...

    Anyway, anyone considering a Forester might want to see if their local dealerships have had similar reactions to this news. Forester sales in the U.S. declined from Sept 02 to Sept 03 and from Oct 02 to Oct 03 even though there is a new, clearly superior, model. This cannot be encouraging for Fuji, as Takagi-san's comments imply. I think they would like to avoid this in November 03 and might be willing to find significant new discounts in order to attain this goal.
  • kw101kw101 Posts: 2
    I just purchased an '04 Forester 2.5X with AT and no other options for $300 under invoice from Livermore Suburu (CA) via Autobytel. Great experience with the internet sales guy. No BS, very thorough, located the exact color and configuration I wanted and had it there to pick up within a day. Didn't hurt that I bought on the last day of the month, however the Costco dealer (Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City) quoted me about $500 more and wouldn't budge on price.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    the Costco dealer (Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City) quoted me about $500 more and wouldn't budge on price.

    The Costco-connected Subaru dealer in Portland, Oregon quoted me one of the highest prices of all six dealers in my area. Based on that surprising result, I'm unlikely to waste time seeking a Costco price next time.
  • kw101kw101 Posts: 2
    Just to clarify, the autobytel connected dealership quoted me a price $100 over the Costco price the first time, but after negotiating, came back with the price I ended up paying. The Costco connected dealership refused to budge on their price when I asked if they could beat the other dealer's quote.

    The lesson I learned was that it's the sales person/dealer that makes the difference, and that the autobytel/costco price may be negotiable.
  • Was that a typo ??? I'm in Calif. For curiosity I called some Oregon dealers. I found prices here in Calif were LESS than Oregon (a switch !). As for vigor of Forester sales, I could only find one White XT PP in all of Calif. I paid $250 under invoice, with considerable shopping.... (Costco is a non-starter meant for the lazy). The best deals are with the VIP (Int'l Mountain Biking Assoc., for example)if you're not going to do some "shopping".

            Bob (near San Francisco)
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I wouldn't mind seeing more detail, like the actual bottom-line price paid on that deal, myself. If it's true, it was a heckuva buy.
  • At 3% holdback on XT PP Invoice, it would appear this dealer LOST almost $500 on this transaction.... Dealers don't do that unless there were some VERY unusual circumstances (like needing that one last car for a sales incentive...). Again, I didn't hear of anything below VIP (invoice) for Oregon when I called around, while in CA you could easily beat that (at least in the San Francisco Bay Area).
     
             Bob
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Or loss-leader? We don't go below net in our ads, and most other dealers won't match them.

    Are you sure it wasn't $1200 off MSRP?

    There is always the chance it was a Brass Hat car, with another $500 taken for the miles.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    That's what we're all waiting with bated breaths to hear. $1,200 under MSRP would be commonplace. But $1,200 under invoice for an XT would, if true, make my June $100-over-invoice, $1500-under-MSRP XT purchase look like the dumbest deal I ever made.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    sounds about right. CarsDirect in my area has 'em listed around $1250 under MSRP, about $700 over invoice. So, that should be a good general indication of the current selling price of this area.

    VIP pricing (via IMBA or other Subaru partner) will get you invoice pricing no questions asked.

    -Brian
  • mre4mre4 Posts: 15
    Sorry for misinformation: I figured accessories at MSRP instead of invoice, which overstated savings $373, and I rounded up very generously at first b/c I was so happy with car, which is still awesome!!
    Invoice according to Edmunds: 26084. (includes destination, perhaps that is confusion??)
  • mre4mre4 Posts: 15
    I guess since the title is price and buying experience I should mention that the experience was very enjoyable. The car had 5 miles on it when I got in to test drive it. The sales team was professional, friendly, and easy to deal with.
  • shek3shek3 Posts: 72
    i have a chance to buy an XS with premium package for COST minus a $250 rebate........sounds too good to be true....lets see what the real numbers are when I get there!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Watch out for them adding freight or processing fees.

    -juice
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Things are slow this month, you should make out. I'm quoting the $250 and half the holdback, but we have a higher than average doc fee to balance.
  • Giving back for all the help I have received while lurking here over the years: On 12/08 I purchased an 04 Forrester XS with upgraded speakers, security system, and chrome tailpipe from a pacific northwest dealer. After 3 hours in the chair, I drove it away for 22,056 +tax/license, which I *think* is about 500 under invoice (any feedback on that?)

    Knowledge shared is power squared.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats!

    There are some small regional incentives, I think up to $750, but I still think that's a good deal.

    -juice
  • zmanzman Posts: 200
    A new voice here. I'm trying to decide between the XS 5-speed and the XT 5-speed (basically an issue of gas mileage vs. performance). Am I going to find that the X does get 22/27 and the XT 18/23?

    Also, I live a long way from any dealership, and I can't find a XS 5-speed to test. I trust that they are more responsive than than the sluggish automatics. True?

    And why the hell did Subaru choose to make the XT 5-speed without an available moonroof? The bias to automatics is bad enough in this country without Subaru adding to it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Makes it worse when you find out that Canada gets a MT with a moonroof.

    To answer your question, yes, the 5 speed is more responsive, with either tranny. More ratios and more closely spaced.

    I think the XS is perfectly adequate until you drive the XT, then anything seems slow. XS owners get anywhere from 22-26 mpg on average, for the XT it's more like 18-22. So yeah, it'll cost you about 4mpg and that premium fuel by the way.

    Still, it adds up to $150 per year more for gas, or $12.50 per month. What price can you put on happiness? ;-)

    -juice
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    the 5 speed is more responsive, with either tranny. More ratios and more closely spaced.

    5 speeds on the XS, 5 on the XT. More ratios?

    Also, the XT 5-speed ratios are wider than those on the X/XS, not closer. First is the same on both (3.45). The X/XS has a 0.780 top, whereas the XT has a taller 0.738 top. Ergo, if close versus wide is defined as the span from 1st to top (as is customary), the XT gearbox is wider.

    This mainly manifests itself in the very wide 78% gap between the XT's 1st and 2nd, versus the smaller (closer) 68% gap on the X/XS.
  • zmanzman Posts: 200
    Hey, Thanks for the information. Frankly, I'm leaning towards the XT. The moonroof thing really irks me, but hey, I live only 200 miles from Canada. Maybe I can go up there and get the XT, with everything I want on it. Probably illegal. Is it?

    One other thing that I can't figure out. On the Edmund's "True cost to own" feature, it says that maintenance on the XS in year 4 is expected to be $1800 (as compared to under $1000 for the XT). I like it because it helps makes my case in justifying the XT to myself. But what does it mean and is it accurate?

    OK, I'm a moron. Wider gear ratios?
  • sep_sep_ Posts: 4
    Has anyone here dealt with any of the dealers in the San Diego (CA) area? We ended up stopping by a dealership yesterday because we couldn't check their inventory online and the experience there was just awful. The sales kid refused to go below MSRP (all while telling us that he's never had a deal fall apart over price) and I'm stumped as to why I should pay that much when Cars Direct can get me an XT for substantially less.

    Ideally I'd like to buy from a local dealer who has a really good service department. Any recommendations?
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    OK, I'm a moron. Wider gear ratios?

    Wider ratios can either mean a larger total span separating bottom (1st) from top (5th), or can mean a wider step between one gear and the next one in sequence. Closer/narrower ratios mean the opposite.

    For instance: The Forester XT shares the same ratios as the WRX. The total span between 1st and 5th is wider than on the regular Forester gearbox. Most of the increase is found between 1st and 2nd, which (on the XT and WRX) is wider than most other high-performance automotive transmissions I can think of. Most owners don't seem to mind this; I find it awkward. The XT's first gear is very low, redlining at barely over 30mph - almost unheard-of in a car with this much performance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, JB, mis-stated that. I should have said that IMO the 5 speeds are more responsive, either model, XS or XT.

    As for spacing, I'd be referring to the gears you would shift to while in motion, so 2-3-4 mostly. I think those are well spaced relative to each other.

    Overall I thought the clutch was smooth and shifting was a joy, at least it didn't get in the way of the engine's phenomenal performance. The auto XT I drove had a tranny that did, IMO, reduce the performance. Caveat - it was not broken in, the tranny could still learn and improve. But it hesitated, and even in-gear acceleration didn't thrust you into your seat like the manual did.

    Canadian models would have KM/hour and would not be covered under warranty, so I'd pass. Subies aren't cheap there, either.

    -juice
  • zmanzman Posts: 200
    All right, I know what you mean now about the spacing in the gears; I just never had the technical lingo down. I'll look for that when I test drive.

    Yeah, the Canadian option wasn't all that realistic. So, does anyone know if Subaru has any intention of changing this "moonroof/leather available only with automatic" bias?. The dealer says that he can have leather installed at $1500 extra, but I don't care about it THAT much. Frankly, the way things are going, I might not even be able to find a manual in five years! Better make the right choice now.

    Any ideas about the maintenance costs in Year 4?

    Finally, since I am about 75 miles from each of three different dealers, would I be better off doing an internet search for pricing/availability? Is carsdirect.com a reputable middle man? Any other such operations? (I live in upstate NY)
  • Hi Sep,

    I just bought an XT from Rancho Subaru on Clairemont Mesa. So far, they've been a nightmare for service and they delivered a dirty car.

    I read on another forum that Irvine Subaru is good (although far away). The Internet department at Norm Reeves Subaru and Bob Baker Subaru were both very responsive. Personally, I wished I used them instead.

    Good luck.

    Stuart
  • sep_sep_ Posts: 4
    Stuart,

    Thanks for the info. Incidentally Rancho Subaru was the dealership we visited yesterday. While on the back lot looking for an XT to test drive, I spotted one whose right front tire was completely flat! Later on the test drive the kid encouraged me to "really try and redline it going through this curve." After hearing your story I'm really glad I just walked away. I'll shoot an email off to Bob Baker even though his dealership has a stupid slogan. I'll let you know if it really *is* nice to be nice at Bob Baker.

    regards,
    Sep
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Edmunds gives a rule of thumb, sort of. I'd visit your dealer and get quotes, then maybe compare to one reputable indy shop. You can forecast your costs that way.

    I have found that costs vary widely. 60k service can cost $300 or $700, depending on where you go.

    -juice
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