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Subaru Forester



  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    Was 2006 Forester recently redesigned? If so, a few more years to go... If not, maybe in the next redesigned model or never??

    The Forester got a significant refreshing for MY2006, but not a full redesign. While nothing's been officially announced, the next full redesign probably will come in MY2008 along with the Impreza.
  • era174era174 Posts: 67
    :mad: The 2006 RAV4 also looks awesome. But, I would not choose it because I have to pay around $38,000 to get side & curtain airbags.

    Oooooops. I thought I was writing on a Canadian forum. $38,000 is the maxed out RAV4 price in Canada. You can get side & curtain airbags as an option even on the base model in the States. Some people (on the RAV4 forum) saw those extra airbags on the base model. I only envy American customers.

    Yes, the RAV4 is an awesome alternative to the Forester in the States.
  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    Try the Outback, just in case. A little more bucks than the Forester. But, it's a litte higher than the Forester and has six standard airbags.

    I could be wrong, but I think the Forester has a higher seating position than the Outback. The Outback's ground clearance may be better, but the seats are lower as whenever I drive one (usually a dealer loaner when my Forester is in for maintenance) I notice that I have to "fall into it" more or less when compared to the Forester. Also I feel closer to the road when driving an Outback.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Edmunds' RAV4 tester (AWD V6) ran $32.7k, and didn't have the 3rd row, so that would push it up to $33.5k or so. And that's without NAV.

    I don't think prices will overlap much with the Forester, FWIW. At least not the V6/Limiteds.

    Side curtains will likely show up for MY2008. Forester earned 5/5 stars in NHTSA side impact tests, and a Good rating from IIHS, so there hasn't been a big incentive to invest a lot of money to improve those scores (they could move up to "Best Pick" in IIHS tests, but that's it).

    The existing side air bags do protect the head of the front passengers. Most Forester owners put kids in the back, and the curtains aren't really designed to protect little tots anyway. It would do me no good, in other words. It protects adults, medium to large sized primarily.

  • Regarding the height of the Forester, some of it's unique to me. I never feared a roll over because I drive pretty slow. I suppose I should fear one but that's a different story.

    I equate height with safety in how it allows you to see more. I feel safer when I can see over my fellow drivers. I feel there is more potential danger when I can't see exactly what is behind that GMC Yukon or Ford Expedition.

    I only did a quick eyeball visual in a parking lot but from what I could tell the Forester was about 6-12 inches higher than a typical sedan, but it was 6-12 inches lower than an average sized truck or SUV. Just an observation.

    If I can believe the realibility and quality ratings on Subaru, it's hard to not like the Forester based on performance. I have yet to drive the RAV4 but nothing has come close in handling and power yet. My father would say that makes the decision easy, but I have a "foolish" streak in me that wants to consider the "look" of the car. Then again, I'm actually looking that the Honda Element so I'd say it's safe to say my tastes are questionable. ;)
  • era174era174 Posts: 67
    I guess you're right. I was talking about ground clearance. The Outback has a little higher ground clearance.
  • era174era174 Posts: 67
    Over U$32K for RAV4? I also think that's too much.

    I was looking at the 4x4 Base 4-Cyl Automatic Base Price:
    $21,700. Similar to the Forester, isn't it?

    I just noticed there're 4x2 models as well.

    In Canada, 4x4 only (same with the Highlander).
  • era174era174 Posts: 67
    Wow, the Element! Everybody has different tastes. Whatever you choose is the best for you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Indeed, as is typical for Toyota, you can get a very basic model, or one that is completely loaded. The spread is about $12 grand or maybe more!

    Forester's equipment level lies somewhere in the middle.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    "The problem is that no matter what type of spare you have you can't drive more than 50 miles @50mph because the spare will be more than 1/4 inch circumference greater or lesser than the remaining 3 tires. Drive more than 50 miles and you will fry one or more of the differentials ($$$$)."

    Huh!?!? Yours truly has driven well over 50 miles at 75 mph on a couple of occasions with absolutely no harm done (this on a full-size spare).

    The 50 miles @ 50mph formula is the standard guideline for temp spares but certainly doesn't apply to full-size spares. Sure you shouldn't drive forever with a temp spare that has significantly less or more tread than the other 3 tires but you're not going to fry anything if you only go a couple hundred miles and I know of no restriction on max speed with a full-size spare.

  • era174era174 Posts: 67

    There're only 6 out of 44 SUVs that earned the GOOD mark in the IIHS report on REAR CRASH PROTECTION (released on Jan. 8th).

    Ford Freestyle
    Honda Pilot
    Jeep Grand Cherokee
    Land Rover LR3
    Subaru Forester
    Volvo XC90

    The Forester is the ONLY compact SUV!
  • We are looking in the Washington DC area for an LL Bean Forester in Evergreen. There are few to none to be had (there was one, and it sold). Why is this? Does Subaru do car production in batches, based on color? Can we expect more Evergreens to come down the line?

    What do you guys think of the Evergreen? We love the green of the Outback LL Bean, but are picking the Evergreen based on the color chip in the brochure.

    When is the new model year for Foresters? Are we late in the model year? I read in one post that the 2007 models would be out in May. That seems awfully early, isn't it?

    Any significant changes expected in 2007? (Read side curtain airbags?)

  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Frank, how far did you drive on the full-size spare? I was just relating what SoA told me. Seems like having a regular tire as a spare might be the way to go after all.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Evergreen Forester is GREAT looking! I have seen a few. Have you checked FitsMall (White Flint and Gaithersburg, MD). They usully have a great selection, and super prices. We (son & I) just bought 2 new Imprezas (WRX & Outback Sport SE) at their Gaithersburg store. The Outback Sport (son's car) is 2-tone gray. My son almost picked the Evergreen, but preferred the black interior, which wasn't available with the OBS.

    Subaru usually releases their new models begining in the late spring, and ending in the late summer, depending on the model.

    Production scheduling of colors? I don't know how Subaru does that.

  • bruzeebruzee Posts: 3
    Any advantage or disadvantage between the automatic and manual transmission AWD system? Also, test drove the automatic 2.5X, it was satisfactory but being used to a manual drive, it seemed to grunt a bit on the shift. Anyone own a 05 or 06 manual and feel it was a much better choice? In some brands, where both types are available in the same class, dealers won't even stock the manual drive and pretty much claim that the automatics are so much better and less maintenance nowadays that manuals are all but obsolete.
  • In case anyone is keep score at home ... I went for my second round of test drives and finally got to try a RAV4, which I found to be a very nice vehicle. I was surprised that the 4c engine was pretty peppy. The 4c engine on the CRV wasn't bad but it wasn't great so I expected the RAV4 to be the same - I guess Toyota has an edge on Honda in that area (I have no experience with Honda, Toyota, or Subaru so it's all new to me).

    But I made the trip to the Subaru dealer again to try the Forester to compare while the RAV4 was fresh in my mind. Since the dealer is on an access road to a highway and traffic goes fast, it took me about 30 seconds to declare the Forester the best handling and accelerating vehicle ... again. It's not close like it is with the CRV and RAV4, it's clearer better. This time I had the premium package on a 2.5x. The extra features were nice but I'm not sure they're something I would want. I haven't tried an LL Bean model but that is really jacking the price and making it an unfair comparison to the other stuff I've looked at.

    I still find the cargo capacity, bells & whistles, layout, and the finish of the CRV and RAV4 to be better than the Forester. For me, it's come down to engine/handling vs the features/cargo. I realize that's a silly comparison for some but so far it's enough to confuse me. The sad part is that I probably need to wait for the 6c RAV4 to come out next month so I can do a fair comparison. I was hoping to make a decision this month.

    Oh, FWIW, I talked to the sales guy and he said you can take out the foam storage tray insert and place a full sized spare in the back if you wish.
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I can't speak to the '05 or '06, but I can offer you some insight into my own Subaru test drives. We have a 2001 Forester and a 2003 Outback, both with the 5 speed manual transmission and the 2.5 engine (non-turbo). We test drove the manual and automatic versions of both vehicles before buying them. In both cases, the manual transmission versions were noticeably more responsive. We have no regrets on having bought the 5 speed versions. However, it may be an apples-to-oranges comparison with the models you are looking at, since the 2.5 engine now has a bit more horsepower.

    Regarding the AWD systems, I can only tell you that the system used on the 5 speed version works extremely well, and is unnoticeable to the driver. It's always "on" and it always works! I have no experience with the various systems(s) used on the automatic transmission versions, other than having test-driven them.

    I would definitely recommend test driving a 5 speed manual before making a decision, even if you have to travel some distance to another dealer who has one in stock.

    I hope this helps.

  • bruzeebruzee Posts: 3
    Thank you for the info. I am driving an 18 year old 4 cylinder, 2-WD, compact Toyota sedan with 5-speed, and it may sound comical but I imagine it to have more pick-up than the brand new 4-cylinder automatics in the same class. It must just be the ability to control the acceleration more closely. Checked the local inventory and it seems dealers stock mostly is automatics with some base model 2.5X in manual which would at least suffice for a test drive.
  • bruzeebruzee Posts: 3
    The exterior of the RAV4 is great if you can get over the huge spare tire on the back door. Not ever owning a SUV, I would like to know if it makes a great deal of difference to have the tire off the back hatch and have a swing up hatch door or to use a side swing door like the RAV4? The RAV4 has stability control and traction control standard and normally is 2WD unless slippage detected. There is a manual switch to lock the center differential to set a 55/45 torque split to front and rear wheels, however it automatically disengages itself at speeds over 25 MPH or if you hit the brakes. Does that seem to really place a limited use on the AWD set-up? How functional is that system compared to the Subaru AWD on the manual 2.5X w/premium package which has the normal 50-50 torque split between front and back wheels and also has a limited slip rear differential. Note: The RAV4 also has traction control and stability control standard which is not available on Subarus. Anybody a mechanical wizard here and can answer? I am playing the baffled old woman card here and would appreciate knowing more. In the looks department, the RAV4 definitly had the more comfy front and back seat interior with back headrests that could be folded down out of obstructing rear view without removal, and rear levers by the hatch door that would flip the back seats down flat. The cargo area is also larger without the side obstructions as was on the Forester.
  • era174era174 Posts: 67
    The FULL-TIME AWD, along with its boxer engine and low center of gravity, 4-channel ABS and the third best safety ratings from IIHS (only behind Volvo and Saab), is the bread and butter for Subaru.

    Any AWD system of Toyota is NO match whatsoever for Subaru's legendary AWD.

    Subaru offers traction and stability control only for high-end models like the Outback 3.0 VDC and the B9 Tribeca.

    But, because of its low center of gravity and full-time AWD, the Forester is much better than any small SUVs without the two control systems. That means low rollover risks.

    And that's why the CR-V and RAV4 with their higher center of gravity and part-time AWD have to add them to compensate for their shortcomings.

    Still, I hope Subaru will add those two control features on the Forester as well (2008?, who knows).

    I'm waiting for a new Forester with six standard airbags. My kids are big enough to deserve some head injury protection in the rear seat.
  • era174era174 Posts: 67
    This is not relate to the RAV4 vs Forester discussion, but...

    I read a newspaper article reporting about a rollover accident involving a Volvo XC90. Thanks to its rollover sensing system and curtain airbags covering all the three rows, no one was seriously injured, just a few scratches.

    Had it not been for the curtain airbags, their heads might have been injured.

    If you usually have more than three people in your vehicle, it's always better to have extra head protection.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    bayview6- When I had my second flat I splurged and ordered a set of 4 tires and wheels from TireRack. Meanwhile, I probably drove at least a couple hundred miles commuting over several days until the new set of shoes arrived.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    In most models where it's offered, the manual transmission does indeed provide a little more oomph when accelerating. (car magazines routinely get better 0-60 times with MT models). Manuals also usually get 1-2 mpg better than their auto equipped siblings. However, as you've discovered dealers are reluctant to stock manuals due to their reputation for being less desirable. Subaru actually is one of the better brands for stocking manuals but Americans in general tend to prefer the convenience of an automatic. I guess it's easier to talk on the phone, eat french fries and read the paper when you don't have to be distracted by the act of shifting ;-)

    IRT AWD systems, Subaru’s full-time systems beat the RAV4’s part-time setup hands down. As to the differences between Subaru’s MT and AT versions, both do an excellent job but go about it differently. The AT system is more sophisticated but the MT one provides a constant 50/50 split and is a study in simplicity (less to go wrong).

  • Sometimes the "convenience" of the automatic is a lot less sinister. I've had to drive quite frequently in places with stop-and-go traffic [such as entries to military bases]. During that time I grew very, very tired of using a manual transmission. When the time came for me to replace my vehicle with one that better suited my needs, I had the choice -- more responsive manual transmission or the easier automatic.

    So, my XT is an automatic. Do I miss the power and control of the manual transmission? Sure, but I also appreciate the ease of the automatic.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Kevin- I didn't mean to insult anyone. Of course there are a number of perfectly valid reasons why it would make more sense for somone to drive an automatic but you have to admit that many Americans are extremely disinterested in the actual act of driving.

  • I didn't mean for it to sound like I was insulted. Subaru drivers seem to put a lot more thought into cars (from selection of vehicle to driving to maintenance). I happened to choose my transmission preference based on solving a significant displeasure associated with driving the manual transmission.

    I wholeheartedly agree that a great many people subject driving to a secondary or tertiary priority with respect to other activities like talking on a cell phone or watching their in-car video. I've also seen a great many considerate drivers who purposefully avoid those distractions until they've stopped their vehicles. It may only be that the disinterested drivers are more obvious, but there are certainly enough of them to notice.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru did incredibly well overall, far better than Toyota or Honda for instance.

    RAV4 looks nice, I checked one out the other day (Fitz in Gaithersburg has a Toyota dealer back-to-back with a Subaru dealer.

    It's a lot roomier than before, and bigger than the Forester. Lows were poor visibility, the rear mouned spare only making it worse, and a gate that opens to block curb side loading at the grocery store or Costco.

    I didn't get to drive it but the AWD is part-time and that's not ideal, they actually downgraded from the last generation. Interior has some cheap parts, but it's about par for the class. OK at $25k but not at the $33.4k Edmunds noted (as-tested).

    Still, though, it's very competitive if you want something a little roomier than a Forester. I'll drive a V6 once they come out. Power/efficiency balance is impressive and there is a lot more room than Subaru offers.

  • Anyone with a 2006 Forester ride a bike (either road or mountain) and know if it will fit in the back? I suppose if the dimensions were unchanged in 2006 then a previous model experience would also be good. I don't recall the size of my bike but I'm just 5'11" so my bike isn't that huge. One nice thing about my 96 2door Explorer is that I can cart my bike around and keep it safely locked inside.
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    My bike fits in the back of my 2004 just fine.. Good Luck

  • Time for a road trip !

    Why don'cha take a test drive at the Subie dealer? Bring the bike along plus a blanket or bedsheet to put under it. Take a test drive, and if you still like the Forester, then ask the sales guy if you can see if the bike fits. :)
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