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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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Comments

  • jazzjazz Posts: 15
    Thanks for the kind words. It felt great to know that made such a good deal - way better than driving the car off the lot and wondering how much I had been taken for. I am so thankful for the great info I got from both the Edmunds website itself and this board.

    As for the 40mpg - yes, I know those were the good old days. Great while they lasted though. I ran some numbers and figured that I'll be spending an extra $700 or so per year now for fuel. But I'll be smiling in my Forester. Perhaps one of these days I'll trade it for a hybrid, but I'm not quite ready to take the plunge. In the meantime, I'll stay tuned here for guidance about my new toy!
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    Just did the same on a 2000 accord (30-35mpg) 2000 miles on the new XS PP/L and getting 23-25 mpg and not even broke in yet. Worth the switch happy a Subie can be.
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats to both of you. Below invoice is fine, the dealer's gotta EAT! ;-)

    Don't hurt 'em too bad.

    -juice
  • I have sent all the paperwork to the dealer by email already. Today, I planned to just go to the dealership, test drive and pick up the car and come home in a new car within an hour.

    I had a very disappointing experience at Fitzmall. They brought the car I wanted from another dealership, Forester X green, with upgraded speaker, tweater, cargo bin, air filter, and arm ext. I test drove it. First of all, they wouldn't let me test drive on the highway saying that they don't have the insurance. The car itself was another problem. It had 150 miles on it already. When I asked them to explain why, they didn't have the answer and wouldn't even tell me how long it's been sitting in the lot. I test drove it and the transmission was jerky when it was shifting gears during a short. The dealer was sitting in the passenger seat and when I asked about it, he just said that is the way it supposed to be. I felt it not once, but couple of times. I can't imagine anyone would try to sell a car like that as a new car when the problem was so noticeable even to just an average driver like me. Minor point, but there were dust everywhere inside the car and even the floor mat was not clean. It makes me wonder.

    The price $19595 is the price for only some of the cars which are on special, it turned out. They said the reason why these cars are on special is because they have been sitting in the lot for a while, but wouldn't tell me how long. Because my baby started crying, I hd to come home without test driving any other cars on the lot.

    After this experience, I am not sure if I want to go back there. I may just go to another dealership. For those of you who dealt with Fitzmall, please tell me how your experience was. The dealer was nice enough and I have taken a lot of his time so I feel bad if I end up not buying a car from him. But I don't feel comfortable going back there anymore.

    Is jerky gear shift common for forester? (I guess I already know the answer, but had to ask.) Well, the other one I test drove at another dealer was definitely not like that. How much should I be concerned about the milage in a new car and how long it has been sitting on the lot?

    Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

    JP, (who is still not driving Forester. uhhhhhhh)
  • jazzjazz Posts: 15
    JP, here's something that could account for that mileage. I live in southern NH and there are two dealerships here that offered to let me test drive a Forester for the weekend. My home is about a 40 minute drive from one of them so you can imagine how quickly the mileage would add up!

    I did take one for the weekend and I questioned the owner of the dealership about the insurance. He said that the dealership owns the car and it's insured through them for test drives.

    Can't comment about the jerky gear shift as mine is an automatic.

    I hope you'll have a better experience next time. I'm really happy with the Forester, and with the experience I had at the dealership.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    It may have been test driven by a bunch of potential customers before you drove it. It doesn't take that many people to add up to 150 miles. Also, it could have been a car swapped from another dealer.

    Bob
  • Thanks, Jazz.

    The thing is that the car was an automatic. Thanks for sharing your experience. My question is really how much should I be concerned about the fact other people have test driven the car. Normally, I wouldn't care too much about it. But now after than experience, I am inclined to get one that has not been test driven.

    Frank, yes, the car was brought from another dealership, also a part of Fitzmall. But what do you guys think about the fact that they wouldn't let me test drive on the highway. Isn't that rather unusual practice? I have been to about five different dealership last week and all of them let me test drive on the highway. Maybe Fitzmall needs to keep their cost down to offer a price like that.

    JP
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I've bought 2 cars from FitzMall, plus I've test driven a number of Subies from there too, and never had any problems driving the vehicle on the highway? Which dealer did you go to, Gathersburg or White Flint?

    Bob
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I would be a lot more concerned about the jerky transmission than about how many people test-drove it (and I doubt there's any correlation). If it were a turbo then the number of test-drives would make a bigger difference. I recommend you compare how it drives to another automatic tranny on the lot and if there's a noticeable difference I would steer clear of it. Also, I know of know reason to avoid a vehicle just because it's been sitting on the lot for a while.

    Hope this helps,

    -Frank P.
  • I went to White Flint one.

    Frank, that's exactly what I will do. Test drive other cars and compare. Thanks a lot!

    By the way, when people talk about breaking the car, what is that mean? How do you properly break a new car? As in house breaking a dog?

    JP
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let me preempt this by saying I would not have accepted a jerky auto with 150 miles on the odo, either. I think you did the right thing by leaving.

    It could have been the other dealership's property, so their insurance would not cover your test drive. Still, how can you buy a car blindly like that?

    Our experience was different. My wife's Legacy was also a dealer swap, but they did let us take it on the highway. We took I-270 for a couple of exits. It was delivered without any flaws.

    Get a sitter and take your time, drive several cars until you find one that feels perfect. You could try the other Fitz location, since it's close by.

    The nice thing about no-haggle is you can spend your time finding the right car instead of finding the right price. So take that time and enjoy the experience. Don't feel pressured to buy right then.

    Good luck.

    -juice
  • jlkjlk Posts: 12
    I am trying to decide whether to purchase XS or X. I could forgo some of the additional features in XS but there are some that I don't know what they are. Therefore, I hope someone here can help me. What is EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution)? Since the car is already equipped with ABS, does EBD really improve the braking? What does a limited-slip rear differential mean?

    My last question, sometimes I do need to travel on a hilly road, will either of the model be capable to climb on few steep slope? Or I need to look into the XT model?

    Greatly appreciate for anyone input.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    EBD distributes the braking power, so for instance it might send more to the front wheels, or even more to one side if you're turning.

    In practice? The brakes on the Forester have always been good, even before they added EBD.

    The rear LSD will send power side to side on the rear axle, for better grip when it gets slippery. That might climb that steep hill if it is snow covered, for instance.

    The XT will help a lot in high elevation. Where regular engines are wheezing, turbos just bleed off less boost at each shift and don't lose nearly as much power.

    But honestly, get the XS for the all-weather package, get the XT for the fun of it. Those are the real reasons to spend the extra money.

    -juice
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Just to reinforce what Juice said, it's doubtful you need the XT (the standard 165hp is plenty for most driving situations). Both EBD and rear LSD add an extra degree of handling capability but the base Forester is still a competent vehicle. So unless you want the XS's cold weather package, the X might be your best choice. Even though it's the base model the X still comes with lots of features standard and really is a good bargain.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True, like side air bags that protect your chest and head, AWD, ABS, power everything, full-size spare, 16" rims, CD player, etc.

    -juice
  • jlkjlk Posts: 12
    Juice and Frank, thank you both for your valuable inputs. The EBD and LSD are the two features that draws me to look at XS. However, after understanding what they are and for, I think I can settle for X.

    Is there any option for X that this board could suggest and you think is practical to have?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have a whole bunch of accessories:

    Air Filtration - good since I have asthma
    Cargo Net - so groceries don't roll around
    6 CD - got mine out of a WRX, slightly used
    Premium sound - no worth the price, IMO, go aftermarket
    Moonroof - mine is aftermarket, pop-up, but get power
    Trailer hitch - OE one plugs right in to harness
    Bike rack for hitch - carries 2 bikes without touching vehicle

    I have probably 20 others. What where you considering getting?

    -juice
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    The cargo tray helps protect the cargo area and "most" people prefer the armrest extension. I would normally recommend the bumper cover but since the X's bumpers aren't painted it's not as important.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good points, try the armrest because your height is important in determining if you'll like it or not.

    Cargo tray is great, my carpet still looks new ('98 model).

    -juice
  • jlkjlk Posts: 12
    Since this is my first time getting a Forester, I don't have any particular option in mind. I think the car has already equipped with all the basic elements that I need. Armrest extension, maybe. Wheellock, since I'm not getting alloy wheel, don't need.
  • Gentle falks of Subaru land,

    I finally got my Forester!!! It's crazy, I can't sleep. At 11:00pm, I went to the parking lot of my apt and took care of few things in the car, just an excuse to see it again!

    I got a good deal, I think. $19559 for X auto (blue) with arm rest, air filter and cargo bin, though I don't really like the cargo bin too much. I even got $500 for 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage, with worn out break pad and leaking power steering wheel fluid, and suspicious sounding transmission so I am not complaining about my trade in.

    It did take me 4 and a half hours at the no hassle Fitzmall since the first car I chose turned out to be pre-owned for a day (only 120 miles on it though) by a young lady whose financing didn't go through. So they told me that the warranty on it was already started when she bought the car and there are only 2 1/2 years left. They would extend the milage for 45000 but they can't extend the time. Not a good thing. I said no and got the vehicle with less option (for less price) that had only 4 miles on it. Had to wait an hour and a half because of this but they wouldn't throw in anything for my trouble. Oh well.

    Anyway, I came home at around 10:00 pm but I am so excited I can't sleep!!! I will be able to drive it tomorrow. I will be dreaming of Forester tonight...

    I couldn't join the mysubaru.com since the website didn't recognize my #vin. I will contact them tomorrow.

    Thanks a million for all your support through out the process. You guys really helped to ease my anxiety. Oh yeah, I did test drive the car on the highway today. Different dealer, so I didn't have to confront it.

    JP
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    FYI on MY SUBARU it took about two weeks for my vin to get in after i purchased on 3-08 due to come computer glitch that is not seeing all the numbers. It may be fixed by now good luck and have fun because now you can....:)
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    May your Subaru give you many years of care-free service! :-)

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, JP.

    Don't worry about them not throwing in anything extra, the whole point of a no-haggle experience is that every customer pays the same amount.

    Besides, you got a great deal.

    -juice
  • Thanks a lot guys! I really don't know how to thank you all.

    After a day of driving, I already got a chip on the windshield. I called my insurance and they will take care of it, hopely. It's just funny. I had my previous car for two years and never had a chip. Oh well. Still, my wife and I are both very happy with Forester. I think we like this vehicle more and more everyday. We are finding more and more reasons to like it.

    Cheers,
    Jongwon
  • bobshere1bobshere1 Posts: 59
    I hang out at the XT Group and haven't been here for a while. Just a comment to say all you folks shopping should check out Forester XT. That car is the only reason I bought a Suby. I had been looking at much more upscale cars and a test drive in an Outback and then an FXT convinced me that FXT with a few handling mods (Plus Sized Wheels/Tires/a $100 swaybar) would be perfect for me. I've now got a high performance "SUV" Sports Car. It handles like my Miata and goes like a rocket. The zoom on this car is like nothing I've ever owned before.

      It cost more than X, or XS (and more again for fuel) but it is worth the extra for FXT owners. We feel like we've gotten an incredible bargain!

       My point here is to suggest that if you enjoy sports driving you should at least take a test drive in an FXT, AT or Man Transmission. Both are great. A friend of mine bought an XS. I was surprised she didn't even know about XT at all. She wouldn't have bought one anyway as she's not in to driving in the twisties, etc., but it just highlighted for me that a lot of people don't know about the "special attributes" of FXT. It is a real STEALTH vehicle, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

            Cheers,

                   Bob
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    I just purchased a new 2004 Forester XT and wanted to share my experience. I'd been testdriving the car for a year now and had my mind set on it. Preferred to buy from the dealer nearby because they were very accomodating, no pressure and have good service department. But I didn't want to pay too much. I found the invoice pricing for the car at edmunds, consumer reports and carsdirect.com. Got invoicing pricing agreement over the phone from the dealer my credit union has an arrangement with. I went in to my local dealer with the invoice price offer as plan B, the carsdirect ($200 over invoice) as plan C and told him he had right of first refusal to match invoice price and I'd buy the car that day. I knew there were no incentives from SOA on the car other than the financing special. I expect that could change for May or June. ANyway, the dealer knew I had other options, told him I was willing to wait if I couldn't get the deal I wanted and he had no reason to believe that I didn't have alternate transportation. I got the car (the one with only 2 miles on it, not the one with 60 miles on it) with the options I wanted for only $10 over what edmunds says invoice is. (Cars direct suggests invoice is about $100 less than I paid). The whole transaction took only about 1 hour since I had already picked up a credit application from them - I recommend doing that. So I got the Forester XT (automatic transmission because I'm just so done with a manual living in San Francisco) with splash guards, auto dimming rearview mirror, security upgrade, digital compass and armrest extension for $24,600. I love it! I also knew better than to take the extended warranty (Subaru's regular warranty is pretty great anyway), the maintanance package and other add-ons. Got a great deal, great financing, great car! Also, like someone else on this board mentioned, if you join one of subaru's partners - check out "outdoor life" at subaru.com - you can get a car at invoice without any haggling.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yep, it can be done. Congrats - What color?

    FWIW, I did the IMBA VIP method for my F-XT, which should be here by next week. No haggling indeed, it was by far the easiest car transaction I've been involved in. Was also treated very respectfully, almost like royalty, by the salesperson.

    -Brian
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Got the Silver F-XT. My only laments are that the 2004 models don't come with the rear bumper cover and cargo tray that my 2001 Forester S Premium had. I suppose I'll get used to that and having to open the ashtray to charge my cell phone. I'll be accelerating so fast and playing tunes so loud, I won't want to look away from the road to notice the ashtray is open! :-)
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    FYI, there's an accessory plug underneath the center armrest. You can leave your cell phone cord plugged in and tucked away out of sight. The cargo tray and rear bumper cover are two options that I think are definitely worth getting. Your FXT will thank you!

    -Frank P
  • winnie1winnie1 Posts: 2
    Hello All.

    I am pricing a XT w/ Premium Package, here's the latest deal I've been quoted:

    $24875.00 Base Price
    $ 550.00 Destination Charge
    $ 190.00 Package F4K (items incl. listed below)
    $ 150.00 Paged F4P
    $ 110.00 Popular Equip Group 4
    $ 250.00 Popular Equip Group 7
    $ 398.00 Processing Fee
    $ 1856.61 Sales Tax @ 7%
    $ 22.00 Title and GA Warraty Rights Act
    _______________
    $28401.61 Total Drive Out Price

    The options I've gotten with the 4 option groups are: rear bumper cover, cargo tray and splash guards, interior air filter, rear cargo net and gray armrest extension, cargo bin and rubber floor mats,auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and security system upgrade.

    If you take out the Processing fee, sales tax, and title and GA Warrant Rights Act the price of the Forester becomes $26,125. The invoice price on edmunds.com is $26, 420. The TMV for my zip code is $27,037.

    I know that you are supposed to get the "processing fee" eliminated from your contract, but the dealer had already quoted me a price practically at invoice (off by only a few dollars). When I said I needed the price to come down a more in order to make it more reasonable for me to get a new car when my Honda Civic works just fine...the dealer said there wasn't much more room to move, but that he could give me $300.00 more off. He took the $300.00 off the Base Price and left the processing fee.

    I think this is probably as low as I'll get the price, but wanted to get a second opinion.

    Any thoughts are appreciated. (Oh by the way it has less than 10 miles on it and I'm looking at a Red Forester)

    Thanks!
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Let me guess, you're buying from Gwinnett Subaru?

    $100 over invoice isn't a bad deal at all (that's counting the processing fee) and while it "may" be possible to get another couple hundred knocked off, it's not worth the added effort in my opinion. Besides, if you are buying from Gwinnett, they throw in free maintenance.

    -Frank P
  • fedexguyfedexguy Posts: 6
    Hi All...I plan on buying a FXT ASAP yet I am slow in getting my current vehicle sold to use that money as a down payment. I was offered a trade in value but it is not close to what I want. If I dont get my truck sold this week will I miss out on the 1.9% financing that is supposed to end this month? Or will there be another round of low financing offered next month as soon as this special expires....If you Know or have any feedback please let me know...Thanks Neil
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    I believe that the financing will continue until they get all the '04's off the lots but there is no guarantee that the manufacturers will do that. I also have a guess that the incentives will even increase in May or June. I just bought my new F-XT, taking advantage of the 1.9% financing, but I would have been willing to wait until May and take my chances that the deals would continue. I think the auto makers have monthly expiring incentives to act as incentives to buy NOW not next month. They can frequently renew them - hence the deluge of car commercials every summer all summer with deals that "end soon". Of course, by waiting, you risk someone else buying the car you want... Or you can do what I did and convince your dealer that you believe the deals will be renewed and you are willing to wait for that $1000 incentive, thus getting several hundred dollars more off the negotiated price you were at... :-) However, my dealer told me they are taking delivery of '04s through June but I don't know if he was just calling my bluff ...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're doing fine, the dealer staff have to feed their families. Take the deal and run...

    -juice
  • winnie1winnie1 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the validation. I'm actually purchasing from Ed Voyles in Symrna.....hopefully by this Friday! Whee! :-)
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    Dont panic...the financing incentives arent going anywhere unless Alan Greenspan says we're into inflation, and even then they will be there for 04 models. The risk is what will be available on the lots...the XT PP packages are almost gone; lots of others,though.
    The financing didnt disappear at the end of March, did it? they will work with you to get an 04 out the door.

    Mark
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Actually the 1.9% deal has been around since late last fall so I agree with Mark, as long as there are 04s on the lot then the deals will continue and perhaps even get better. The flip side is also as Mark alluded, the longer you wait the slimmer the pickins. Of course buyers who aren't choosey and can wait always get the best deals :-)

    -Frank P
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I think some of the last '04's are on their way over (with my F-XT) as we speak. I think you'll find the silver and red colors in supply, with gold, black, and white less. This is just based on my searching of the inventory around my area. Most dealers here only have two to four XT's on the lot, many AT's.

    I had to order my black MT XT. It's supposedly on it's way via truck/rail now, for delivery next week (fingers crossed).

    Keep in mind that you can also add some things yourself using SubaruParts.com or other online places.

    -Brian
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    I bought my '04 XT last Saturday and they only had about 10 on the lot at the time, only 5 automatics, and only 2 with options I wanted. They just took delivery of a bunch more. They now have about 10 AT and 5 that have what I want. THey told me they are expecting delivery of more again in June.
  • colbstercolbster Posts: 7
    First off, I bought a Forester XS Pacifica Blue two weeks ago, and I love it. I won't get into the pricing, etc. But I did fine. Where the problem begins is after the sale. I had a trade in and as with many trades, there was a payoff. Initially, I agreed to pay this loan off (shuffling money around), but the dealer said to just let them handle it. "It would be easier." Of course they added a charge for FedEx to take care of this. Well, that was almost 3 weeks ago. Monitoring my bank account, I see that they have not paid off the loan AND I have payment coming up. I'm just about to call them and then lo and behold they call me. "We need to expedite getting this title" My response "Why didn't this happen two weeks ago?" Reply - "I don't know, that's not my department, I was just told to take care of this". Well, I had to call the bank get them to expedite the title to the local branch. Now the dealer thinks he just going to mosey-on-down and pick this up. Uh... hold on... My bank is on the military installation I work on. That ain't gonna happen - at least not easily. Now they start asking me can I meet the guy at the gate, get a pass, blah, blah, blah. I told them (nicely), it's only fair that "FedEx" costs that were charged to me should be refunded (like $30), and I have to take time out of work to take care of this, how about some Subaru bucks or something. THEN the sales manager gets confrontational and says "He can just take care of this himself" and "I can get on that base" (I told him whoever they send will need to be a US citizen and have a picture ID) I said fine.
    $30.00. Thirty freakin' dollars, when this is ALL their doing. I'm sorry I already turned in the survey...
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Wow. I've always preferred selling private party... mostly for the several thousand dollars more I can get for my car... but your story is added justification for my having just spent the following to sell my Subie:
    - $170 on advertising (eBay, free online listing, newspaper ad)
    - 4 hours with potential buyers
    - 1 week waiting
    - 30 minutes negotiating

    My dealer offered me $11,000 for my '01 Forester S w/ prem package. My private buyer gave me $14,000. Same story when I sold my Civic years ago - dealer offered $2000, I sold for $4000. To me, it's worth the a couple phone calls and meeting nice people to get the extra $$ - easiest $5,000 I've ever made.

    I'm so sorry your trade-in experience was so miserable.
    -elissa
  • colbstercolbster Posts: 7
    elissa - I hear you. I hate trading in my car. I know for a fact they will be asking almost $19,000 for a truck they gave me $14,500 (there first offer was $12000!). They won't get that (well, you never know, they might, there's someone who might pay that). I figured I could have easily gotten $16000 for it. Easily (Toyota Double-Cab, Custom cap, full power, well maintained and taken care of). I had negotiated the price of the Subaru before hand, so overall I think I did OK. Of course, a private sale would have been even better. It can be a headache, though. But no more than this. Plus the person on the other end with my truck (it sold in two days) is probably wanting his title (or the bank is). What if the truck gets wrecked??? Hmmm.
  • fedexguyfedexguy Posts: 6
    I paid 25,800(350 under invoice) plus got pretty good trade in value on my giant lumbering 1996 GMC truck. I am happy to downsize and have a vehicle that puts the fun back into driving and reliability too. I suffered all these years wondering what would break next in my GM truck. Now I am just kicking back having a cold beer admiring the view outside my front window. Albany Subaru in Albany Ca. is a class act! E-mail me for a referral to their best salesman. I walked away happy tonight!!!
  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    Great car, great price and a happy buyer... What a combo! Enjoy your XT - Drive Responsibly ( for the first 1000 miles ;-).

    Mark
  • rckyvntrrckyvntr Posts: 17
    I skimmed some of the postings, and did not see any mention of dealder "holdback".

    $200 over invoice is not a good deal if you forget the holdback. My dealer subtracted $830 in holdback fees, then added $200 to the invoice -- the net result was $630 "under" invoice.
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 553
    Consumer reports states Subaru dealer holdback on the Foresters as $777.
    -elissa
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    We say it's 3% of the Total MSRP (Amount may differ in Northeastern U.S.)

    link

    Steve, Host
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