Subaru Forester

SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
Subaru Forester 2006+ ... Edmunds.com First Drive due soon!
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Comments

  • solowalkersolowalker Member Posts: 118
    To my surprise, in Consumer Reports Aug. issue new car reviews, The review stated that the 2006 Forester has done away with the rear window opening separately. The reviewer stated that the only access to the rear was to raise the hatch..

    Rear window access is a feature that I need. I can't understand why Subaru would do away with this convenient feature....

    I haven't seen any '06 models on the lots around here as yet. So I couldn't verify it first hand..
    Is the review correct on this..? :(
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    "The 2006 Forester is an off-road vehicle fit for a New England liberal arts professor."

    Subaru's Small SUV Is Carlike in the Best Possible Sense (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host
  • declansdaddeclansdad Member Posts: 120
    Subaru never had a rear window opening on any Forester...it's looks like they did away with the rear wiper heating element (or de-icer).

    Michael
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Rear window was always fixed.

    -juice
  • rubysubyrubysuby Member Posts: 6
    I am disappointed that Subaru did away with the unpainted cladding on the 2006 X. That is unless the dealer is wrong. They told me they are all monotone and all painted. For those of us who camp, bicycle and do other activities that are hard on bumpers or cars in general, the cladding is essential. It is a biggest reason why I bought a Forester instead of an Outback.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Say bye-bye to the unpainted cladding. I liked it, too. I think they just thought it was too "Dodge Neon", i.e. down market looking.

    You can still get two-tone in the LL Bean models, so he's wrong about that.

    -juice
  • rubysubyrubysuby Member Posts: 6
    I think it is rugged looking, not down market :mad: . I constantly get compliments on my car. Two of my daughters' friends parents have bought Subarus because they like mine so much. I deserve a kick back! LOL

    I guess love is blind when it comes to my Forester. :blush:
  • ladywclassladywclass Member Posts: 1,713
  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Unpainted cladding is definitely more pratical in a "utility vehicle" but as Juice pointed out, it also smacks of entry-level which is counter to Subarus hopes of moving the brand up-market.

    -Frank
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Not so sure I agree with that Frank. BMW, Volvo both use unpainted cladding, although rather discretely; so does the Tribeca for that matter, and they certainly don't smack of being entry-level.

    Bob
  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    I'll grant that there are exceptions but you gotta admit, there are way more entry-level models with unpainted cladding than there are luxury models. Besides, you got a better explanation for why Subaru decided to drop the unpainted cladding? :)

    -Frank
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I think it's the "amount" of unpainted cladding, not just unpainted cladding, per say. The vehicles I mentioned use it, but only where it makes sense, such as around the wheel wells, or down close to the lower body edge, or on the lower edges of the bumpers. Those are areas in which unpainted cladding makes more sense than painted surfaces.

    I think on these vehicles, it really is "form following function," rather than a "market positioning statement."

    Also, I'm not so sure it's just lots of unpainted cladding, but lots of matte black paint too that conveys a "base-level" image. Look at all the Ford trucks with black grilles and black bumpers. Those are the entry-level XL trim lines.

    So I will agree that lots of unpainted cladding or matte black paint, suggest entry-level models, but a little unpainted cladding doesn't convey that feeling at all. It all comes down to how it's used.

    Bob
  • ozman62ozman62 Member Posts: 229
    I was looking at a couple of them on the weekend. Although I love the unpainted cladding on my '98, I'm not really too keen on how it looks on the new 'face'. The way it comes up between the grille and the headlights really makes it look like an Escape, ew!
    Owen
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I love mine, too, it's scratch and dent resistant, easy to clean, easy to maintain.

    RIP.

    -juice
  • memikememike Member Posts: 3
    So, I gues it's true that you cannot get leather seats unless you buy the LL Bean model? My 2003 XS premium package included leather....I have a dog and need the leather....so, unless I go aftermarket, no leather without LL Bean? How odd.
  • memikememike Member Posts: 3
    I've looked at the 2006 Foresters (and commented on lack of leather unless you get the LL Bean edition) and now comes word that Subaru is going to be moving its model lines designs toward the Tribeca-styled grill and lines, which says to me that the Forester could be radically redesigned for 2007, beyond this year's headlight treatment and tailight redesign...
  • ejjejj Member Posts: 36
    I think the L.L. Bean has taken over the leather market. I wonder how the price compares to the old XS leather auto? (I don't think the LLB is available with a 5 speed?)
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Think MY2008, not MY2007 for the redesign.

    Bob
  • skygazerskygazer Member Posts: 4
    I'm considering buying the new model, 2006, but never driven any subaru before. How are they ? Are they comfortable? silent when you drive? Tell me what you know. :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That's a pretty broad question so I'll give a general answer.

    They're fun and full of character. The boxer engines have a unique sound and they tend to be small and sporty in each class they compete in.

    The Forester in particular has a short wheelbase so it's nimble and fun to toss around, great in the city to absord those potholes, too.

    The '06 got softer fabrics for the seats, the same cloth that's in the B9 Tribeca. You have armrests on both sides, so yes, they're comfy.

    Silent? Yes, in C&D comparison tests the Forester has been the quietest small SUV in the group in both tests it competed in. Just understand that as a class these aren't as quiet as most cars, of course.

    I've had mine for 8 years, and it's been to the dealer just once, for a recall. She's still going strong and I'd buy a new one but there's no reason to get rid of her because she's running great.

    Good luck with yours.

    -juice
  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    I suggest you check out one of the multiple online resources like Edmunds and Consumer Reports that provide comprehensive reviews. Of course we'll be glad to answer any specific questions you have but for general driving impressions there's no subsitute for taking a test drive yourself.

    -Frank
  • skygazerskygazer Member Posts: 4
    For me its important that its not to noise, it has to be comfortable to drive. How are the sound systems in Forester? Good? Can you listen to music without having to put the volume at the highest to hear when you drive? Funny questions, I know, but thats me :-)

    Regards,
    Benjamin
    Sweden
  • ladywclassladywclass Member Posts: 1,713
    the guys can probably answer this question much better than i can ... but i can tell you that my 2001 outback is so quiet that i'm still surprised after 5 years ... sometimes i drive up behind people walking on the street or on a parking lot and they don't hear me (can tell by the surprised looks when i 'ease' past them!)

    and i like music fairly loud ...i've never been anywhere near the 'loudest' setting on the radio/CD
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    I actually think my '04 Forester XT is quieter than my '00 Outback wagon was.

    -Brian
  • manamalmanamal Member Posts: 434
    The forester is considerably noisier than most sedans....Much noiser than my previous drive (Camry). It is also significantly noisier than the Legacy/Outback.

    As for stereo, I added on the Woofer and Tweeters, and think that the car has very good sound. I do not turn it up that high.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I play my stereo at volume 6 and can hear it fine. It goes up to 22 or higher, at least that's as high as I've ever had it.

    -juice
  • skygazerskygazer Member Posts: 4
    I do hope that the new model is better about the noise, it´s very important to me.
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Member Posts: 1,760
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Great flick...

    Subaru did enhance noise suppressions on the 2006 models. I drove one and it did seem a little smoother and more quiet. Actually compared to my 1998, a lot more.

    -juice
  • skygazerskygazer Member Posts: 4
    That are great news!! :shades:

    I would If I could, but the new model 2006 are ariving to Sweden November/ December, and then I will try one! :-)
  • actionjacksonactionjackson Member Posts: 4
    I like the look and price for 2006-The seats are so hard..Am I the only one who feels like that
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    My '98 had even firmer seats. The new ones have a little more padding and softer fabrics.

    Subaru tends to go with firm seats, but those are more supportive on long trips IMO. I hate the too-soft seats on the Saturn Vue for instance - spongy and no support.

    -juice
  • jeffmcjeffmc Member Posts: 1,742
    Any 2006 Forester owners out there who can confirm or deny from personal experience that the spare tire is now a temporary spare, rather than full-size?
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    http://www.cars101.com/subaru/forester/forester2006photos.html

    Nope, it's a donut. :mad: Really dumb move Subaru.

    Bob
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    Any changes below in the chasis area that would require them to change the spare? Is it for increased ground clearance or departure angle?

    Just more glad I have my '04 XT. :shades:

    -Brian
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Nope. All the other-market Foresters still have fullsize spares. I think it's just a cost-cutting measure—and a lousy decision.

    Bob
  • eps105eps105 Member Posts: 216
    I can't confirm if the 2006 has a donut spare, but I can offer a potential rationale for the decision.

    I discovered a few years ago that my 2003 Forester has a cavity under the trunk floor that allows you to stow the cargo cover, but the full size spare is too tall to allow it to be utilized. Thus, it was not documented is the U.S. owners manual. The donut spare was used in the Forester in some other countries.

    Therefore, I believe the switch to a donut spare in the U.S. could be considered a cost-cutting and streamlining move while giving Subaru the ability to tout a new "feature" in the U.S. for the cargo cover storage. (Can anyone confirm if this is mentioned in the '06 manual?)

    That's my guess.

    Elliot
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Bad move. CR-V and RAV4 have full-size spares, and they are the primary competition.

    -juice
  • eps105eps105 Member Posts: 216
    Yes, but CR-V and RAV4 both have the spares on the back gate. That is a 100% deal-breaker to me -- I will never buy a vehicle with the spare on the back, no matter what. The smallest fender bender does at least $1500 in damage, as the whole rear gate gets crushed in, not just the bumper.

    While competing directly with the CR-V and RAV4, the Forester is clearly aimed at a much more practical audience that prefers car-like sensibilities and safety rather than an SUV facade. Form follows function, if you will.

    I've only had one flat in 15 years, and that was plugged in 10 minutes for $5. If I have to compromise, I'd rather have more space and a donut over reduced rear visibility and heavy damage in a fender bender any day.

    That said, the only people that would truly suffer from having a donut spare are people driving off-road. For the 5% of us that do that, perhaps Subaru figures they can buy their own full size spare.... :confuse:

    Elliot
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The '98 to '05 Foresters had all that and a bag of chips.

    I got a flat last week - 2 hours away from home. A donut is rated for 50 miles and I still had about 120 to go. I would have been stranded and this was late at night with 2 kids in the back. How long would it have taken for Road Side Assistance to show up in the middle of nowhere?

    If I had one I'd probably bring a patch kit with me. I already carry a compressor to be safe. But I replaced my wife's Legacy's donut with a full sizer, and I wish Subaru wouldn't go backwards.

    -juice
  • ladywclassladywclass Member Posts: 1,713
    yeah .. but the 'these go to 22' doesn't have quite the same 'ring' to it ...
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    The donut is rated for 50 mph, but you're right in that it also has a limited mileage too. I believe it's under 200 miles, but I can't swear to that. Anybody know for sure?

    Bob
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Manamal, I agree with you about the sound system totally. :)

    However, as to the noise, I do not. My new 2006 is as quiet as my Murano, and much quieter than the 2002 Camry I owned.....
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    :confuse:

    Donuts are suggested for 50 MPH maximum speed, not 50 miles in usage distance.

    As often as a spare is used, I hope all of you realize how small and petty your complaints sound.....it is 2005, people! :P

    I would rather do without the weight, and size, and enjoy the under floor storage and ease of changing the donut permits. As for the Roadside Assistance, I received service on Interstate 80, 100 miles outside of Winnemuca, Nevada, within 30 minutes not long ago. I hardly think most of you live that far out. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Good catch, guys.

    I guess you're still limping home for 120 miles. Plus I just hate seeing cars supported by those tiny tires.

    -juice
  • chassolchassol Member Posts: 95
    Yesterday I was at the local Subaru dealer and was looking to buy the 2006 Forester XT - it has the donut spare and I'm am holding off trading as I'm not totally comfortable with the donut tire. It is probably going to be the deal killer for me. I don't want to spend the extra $9,000+ to get a B9 which is the only Subaru model with a full size spare.

    Because of no other model having the full size spare Subaru is effectively forcing you to get the B9 if you want a full size spare. I don't like the idea of that as the Forester would serve my needs.

    Also checking with my insurance company the B9 is more expensive to cover, not only because it's more expensive, but it is now classified as a truck. I think Subaru will lose more than my sale.

    Anyone that owns AWD can not feel comfortable with a donut as a spare. The dealer offered to do a full size spare, but it would cost me more to get what I feel should be standard.

    :confuse: Poor Subaru is letting the bean counters in the back room win again.

    :sick: Forgive the rant, but this just hands the competitors another way to take sales away from Subaru.

    BTW --------- CUSTOMER CASH REBATE ON 06 FORESTER MODELS
    06 Forester models are available with $500 Customer Cash now through August 1, 2005. Must take delivery from dealer stock by August 1, 2005. 2006 Forester all X and XT Limited models $500.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I got a full size spare on a universal rim for $54 back in '99 when I got my van (used tire, new rim). I tend to get a flat a year, but a donut isn't going to be a deal killer for me. Hopefully there's a way to cram a full size spare into the donut space, like I did with my Outback.

    Steve, Host
  • ozman62ozman62 Member Posts: 229
    Note: B9 does not have a full size spare!
    Owen
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm with Steve on this one, you know it'll fit so just buy one. Tire Rack will have a steelie for $40 or so, plus a tire that's in the area of a hundred bucks. Definitely not a dealer killer, just a minor nuisance.

    We did this with our Legacy. Donut was replace with a steelie 15"x6" and one tire we had to buy. We got a set of alloys (from Jim in Texas) so I already had the steel rim. Gave two steel rims away, in fact I still have one spare if you want it, it's free. But I don't think 15" is big enough to clear your brakes.

    Not a deal killer, though.

    -juice
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