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Subaru Forester



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Camry is wider. Keep in mind the Highlander is the SUV on that platform, and it's bigger.

    5 speed on the tranny means the ratios might be a bit closer. That may or may not matter to you, make sure you drive both.

    Subaru has used 4-sensor 4-channel ABS since 1998 on the Forester. If Honda added that, it was recently. They used to have a cheaper 3-sensor system, basically the back two wheels used only one sensor.

    I think since Honda added stability control for 2006, they had to add a 4th sensor, so now, finally, it has it. 8 years after Subaru.

    Stability and traction control are nice. Especially VSC. Traction depends, because I've been trying to find out if it gets disabled with RT4WD engages (like on the Hyundai Sante Fe), if so the usefullness is severely limited. Detail on the system is scarce.

    I think the Forester will get slightly better gas mileage, because it's shaped a little more aerodynamic and weighs less.

  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    1. Once engine broken-in, pick-up is fine because there is alot of power above 4K rpm.

    2. No. 3 kids, no problem. 2 adults and 1 kid for short trips.

    3. Noise in stock 2006 Forester is acceptable but it doesn't take much to make it very quiet. I put sound damping material in the doors, under the back seat, and under the cargo area so now I hear the cheap Geolandar G900 tires and wind noise. Next week I'm replacing the stock tires with 600 miles on them with very quiet TripleTred tires from Goodyear. Should make a big difference. The wind noise will take some time to track down but not impossible to fix. BTW, the sound damping material in the doors made the up-grade speakers sound twice as good!

    4. Get the premium package. It's worth the extra money. I love the moonroof because the car handles and drives likes a sports car and you also get upgrades on the radio/speakers, a power front seat, better fabric on the seats, etc.

    5. Depreciation is probably the best in its class. I'm not selling mine until I get 250k miles on it, and then maybe not even then.

    6. Can buy extra warranty protection during the first 3 years/36k. I never buy that sort of thing.

    7. no. just frontside bags. They are in the front seats.

    8. The dealer tinted my windows with 3M film for $200. Looks great and probably will never scratch.
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Yes, leg room is tight in the back seat unless the front seat is moved up a couple of inches.

    I doubt if you will notice any difference between a 4-speed and 5-speed automatic transmissions.

    Forester with the premium package has 4 wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Don't know what the "4 channel" phrase means. The Forester's full-time and real-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) is heads and shoulders above "traction control and skid control". I mean, Subaru's AWD is the MAIN REASON why people buy Subaru in the first place. Their AWD systems are just as good as the AWD systems found in cars that cost twice as much!

    Gas mileage will be about 23 city/28 hwy once the engine/tranny and tires are broken in. So don't judge what your initial gas mileage in a new vehicle is because it will get better after 5k miles.

    Probably they are offerring you a 2005 model Forester. I would pay the extra money and get the 2006 because it has a number of significant mechanical improvements over the 2005 model. :P
  • I checked that already...20K + tax and tags.

    What all this about needing sound dampening. Our RAV is way noisy...can't stand it. Hope the sub is quieter.

    Also, the 06 ha NO body it me or is that just asking for trouble?
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    The stock 2006 Forester has a lot of sound control so I would rate it as average or acceptable. It is not a Lexus. I just like to make the vehicle as quiet as possible so I added sound damping material one week-end. Probably if you just change the OEM tires for a truly quiet tire it would make a big difference.

    The '06 does have body molding (clading)......they added the body color tint to the plastic so it is the same color as the vehicle.
  • baboobaboo Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 Forester and would like to undertake what you did to make the car quieter. What sound damping material did you use and where did you purchase it. Also, is it hard to take door panels apart to put the material in? Thanks, Joe
  • you guys are worry me...I hope this sucker is not one of those cars where you have to scream in order for t he person next to you to hear you!
    I guess I'll find out in the morning.

    As far as no body molding...that cladding is platic on the lower half of the car...? It odesnot appear to stick out far. Also, why would it not chip? The rubber molding is suppose to protect the entire door from would appear the cladding will end up chipped all over...I mean it is not white molded platic but rather painted plastic right?

    I did some research and the Forester is on small side of the small SUVs. I'd rank it with the Outlander and Rav. In fact demensionally it is almost the same as the RAV save for the Rav being shorted and having terrible rear hip room. The Escape/Tribute, Tuscon are larger and look more truck like due to the height. So is the CRV though you could argue that is a mid size.

    I really hope our test drive works out. I am just afraid I am going to feel like I am in a station wagon not a little SUV!
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Joe, for each door I used 2 10"x10" pieces of dynamat cut up in smaller sections that I placed on the doors' sheet metal. There is small opening in the door that allows you to reach inside to place the damping material. I also used 1/8" ensolite MLC foam which I glued to most (flat) of the inside portion of the door trim. Actually, since I was not that experienced in this I took the car to an auto trim shop and let the guy do the job while I watched. He was fast and didn't have any problems taking the door trim off. If I had been doing it I would have taken some time. It's not that hard once you have seen it done. You need a flat trim tool to pop the fasteners and a screwdriver for the 2 screws. You need to use both the sound damping material and the foam.

    For the floor under the back seat and the cargo space, I did that myself. I bought 50 sq/ ft of b-quiet ultimate and 3 yards of 1/4" ensolite MLC foam. Used 3M auto trim spray adhesive to glue the foam to the b-quiet. The bottom back seat is a snap to get out once you unbolt it and access to the floor of the cargo area is also easy. I had enough material left over that I did the trunk of my '99 Olds Intrigue.

    Check out the web site of Rammaudio. They offer the best prices. I didn't use his materials but now wish I had. Do a lot of research on the net before you start. You don't need 100%coverage of the sound damping material. On the doors I had about 40% coverage and on the floor (since it was easy) I had about 80% coverage. Cut the stuff with heavy-duty scissors. Use WD-40 for clean-up.

    This sound damping stuff is addictive so you have to draw the line somewhere. :P
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    andre, the stock Forester is quiet so you don't have to scream to the fellow passengers when doing 70 mph. However, if you want the most from the audio system a little sound damping material goes a long way. If you are just going to be driving around town the Forester is fine the way it is.

    My wife calls the Forester a SUV wannabe. :P
  • My impression was the Forester is a wannbe SUV where as they Outback excepts that it is a wagon and it proud of it. Both drove about the same. The Outback, being 10" longer suprisingly offered no extra rear leg room and only a little more cargo room. The outback looked 'richer' where as the Forester looked a little banal. Bottom line is the Outback is $2500 more but comes with alloys, heated seats/mirros, extra airbags, a spoiler and splash guards. It would seam the better value until I start to think that I am paying 24K out the door for a wagon...seems pricey. The Forester is only 21.5K (otd) and though not even in my top 5 when it comes to mini suv looks, it is a well oiled machine in most repsects, and the cheapest I see out there today. I am unsure what we will do....I guess we'll need to see what happens with the rebates since we only 'discovered' the sub a few days ago and could not make a decision in today.

    On thing upsets me about the Outback. They switched from 16" H rated tires to 17" VR rated. I learned the hard way recently that 1) bigger tires cost more. 2) Performance tires cost more. 3) Performance tires wear faster. On my Camry I got about 23K out of my H rated Traction T/As. I was told this was not bad. (if the Camry had AWD I could have gotten a few more miles out of 'em) I downgraded to standard tires and was told I'd likely get 30-35K AND the tires were about 15% cheaper. I asked about the Outback's 17" VRs and was told they are way upscale on the performance end. I was told they may only last 20K and they cost $175+ per tire to replace. That is a phenomenol amount if you need to replace tires every 2 - 2.5 years.

    Why did Subaru do this? What was wrong with the 16" H rated ones? Anyone have any experience w/17" VRs and replacement cost. I was leaning towards the Outback but now am back in the Forester (or in the still looking) camp. Maybe I should look for an 05 Forester...though I wiuld guess they are few and far between now.

    Thanks for all the help the last few days!
  • I have a 2006 Forester X Premium (MT). I was thinking of getting the Subaru Hood Protector. Does anyone know if using a bug deflector like this one will cause the paint underneath to stay darker than the rest of the hood (UV rays)? Also, how does it attach? Do I have to glue it on or use adhesive on the painted surfaces? :confuse:

    Thanks Chris.

    P.S. I had Falken Ziex 512s on my old SAAB and they work great! Used to take them up to 90+ on LA freeways all the time with no problems; lasted about 20K miles of hard driving. Worked great in Tahoe snow and ice too. When the bogus tires that came with my new Subs wear out I'm going to replace them with Falkens. :shades:
  • Does anyone know how I can get an iPod input installed into the Subaru stereo system? :confuse:
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    I can't answer your questions about the hood protector but I'm thinking about getting the rear window dust deflector since my 1/4 mile driveway is very dusty. Has anyone had any experience, good or bad, with that option?
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I think it's a poor generalization to say that *all* 17" V-rated tires will wear fast -- there are so many factors that affect tire wear, including proper inflation and rotation which so many people neglect. A quick search on The Tire Rack's website turned up 10 all season tires for the Outback (all V rated) with prices ranging from $98 to nearly $200 each...about the same price range as you would see for the 16" tires on previous Outbacks.

    Having gone through several sets of HR and VR tires over the years, I haven't seen a correlation to speed rating and tire life. In general, higher performance (ie: softer tread compound) tires tend to wear much quicker than standard all season tires, but size alone (say, switching from 16 to 17") doesn't have a negative impact on tire life. I wouldn't categorize the OEM Outback tires as "upscale high performance tires" at all, but I do agree that the price you were quoted is way too high -- those should be under $130/each plus install.

    Choose the car you like the best, not the one with the cheapest tires. I think you'll find that the replacement cost will be a wash when it comes time to replace them.

  • I hate to over-dwell. I did see some $98 tires on there but never heard of the brand, nor were they sold at any local tire place. I stopped this morning and was told I could step down to an H rated Traction/Ta or Yokohamma for $609 out the door. I was told the Hs would last longer than the VRs. Still, I guess I just got used to spending $400 or so for our Ravs 16" replacement tires.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Forester is quiet for its class, no doubt. Look at back issues of C&D and compare the noise levels, in both comparisons they did it was the quietest.

    17" look better and offer better handling and steering feedback in exchange for more unsprung weight, higher cost, and a stiffer ride. Trade-offs you may or may not like.

  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    I recently put some Goodyear ComforTreds on my 2006 Forester. I thought that the G900s were typical cheap OEM tire. At 500 miles one of the tires had already picked up a nail. Anyway, the ComforTreds are a great tire and the price out the door was $425. The Forester rides and handles better with the new tires and they are highly rated for wet and dry traction.
  • How often do you change your oil, in your Subaru? Also, do you take it to a Subaru dealer, of do you trust a national oil change place to change it for you?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At first I was changing it every 7500 miles, per maintenance schedule B, but the Toyota sludge debacle made me re-think that, so now I do it every 3000 miles, even though Subarus are not known for sludge (not at all).

    I do all the oil changes myself.

  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I do all my own oil changes. I've always changed the oil on a new vehicle at 1000 miles, then again at 3000, and every 3000 thereafter. We currently have 2 Subarus (2001 Forester and 2003 Outback) with the 2.5 NA engine. It's the easiest engine on which to do an oil change of any I've ever worked on.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nicest thing is the oil filter points down. Try doing a car with the oil filter on the side of the block, like the Miata. Yikes that's hard to reach. Some people remove a wheel for access!

  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    Our Honda Odyssey had an oil filter that was easier to access with the right front wheel removed. However, THE absolute worst oil filter orientation I've ever found is on my son's '92 Nissan NX2000. The filter mounts with the open end at a downward angle along the top/side of the engine. There is a shield to divert the oil flow as it runs down the side of the engine, but it only diverts it to another area, which gets quite messy. Terrible design - what were they thinking?

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    That's like asking "How much is your insurance"? ;)
    It depends on location, driving style, viscosity used, brand/type of oil, turbo or n/a, etc.

    I change every 7,500 miles in my FXT using German Castrol Syntec 0W30. :) If you drive an N/A model and use the proper viscosity, you should be able to go 7,500 miles unless you have under 10k on the car.

  • Greetings everyone. Newbie on this site - and I have to say that there is quite a bit of useful information here and people seem to be quite nice as well. Thanks.

    On to my post. Tonight I am picking up our '06 Forester X. My wife and I are very excited to say the least. First car for both of us. I'm 6'-4", so my vehicle searches were very limited to say the least. I come from an F-150 4x4 which fits me very nicely, but the 14 mpg isn't so nice. Add the fact that in about 2 months my pregnant wife won't be able to step up into her - and well, in came the Forester. Our search took us 6 months to find the right fit - and get the right vehicle. Lots of thorough research, head banging, and the run-around w/ too many sales-people.

    The break-in period on my bike's engine (single cylinder 650cc - Kawasaki KLR for those of you that know) was 4k for the first 500 mi (equates to about 55-60 mph) and then up to 6k the next 500 miles, with oil/filter changes at each of those intervals (some bikers only change their filter every other oil change). But this is in an engine w/ only 2.5L of oil w/ redline @ 7.5k.

    About the only thing the dealer has said (and from what I have read) is to vary the driving style, not be too hard on the gas, and not to use the cruise control. That is a no-brainer, but I'm after some real advice from those in the know.

    Is there a general RPM limit during break in, or for that matter a general time limit as well?

    I've also read that syn. oil use leads to problems if placed in the car too early - as the rings may not seat properly. The same goes for motorcycles - where oil is switched to syn. about 4k miles or so. Anyone recommend (which I would hope) intervals before the first recommended dealer service (3,700 +/-). I’d imagine 500 mi., 1,000 mi, and every 1k after until that first service.

    Thanks in advance – I look forward to your responses.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats Dan. Good timing - Detroit News just reported that CR listed the Forester as one of the top most reliable small SUVs for 2006.

  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Break-in - keep it under 4,000 RPM for the first 1,000 miles and don't use cruise control.

    Synthetic oil - wait until the 7,500 or 15,000 mile service to start using synthetic, let the engine fully break in first.
  • Hello all, I've been lurking here and have thoroughly enjoyed the postings.
    Quick questions. A dealer in the area here in Florida has offered a 2006 Forester with the premium package for the price of $24,517, out the door. I think it's a fair price, but what do others think?
  • Edmunds pricing seems none too reliable where I am for Subs of late. I was offered an automatic 06 Forester X for 21,250 out the door by two dealers,. The car had a cargo tray, splash guards, dimming mirror and rear bumper protector....I am not sure what the pemium packages adds for the difference. Alsom, perhaps prices can vary north to south...?
  • inkink Posts: 10
    most of the reviewers with the exception of the consumer reports seem to say that forester is a quiet vehicle, so is it quit or not? i would like to choose my next car on the bases of comfort so i drove and listened to as many 2005 foresters as I could and I think I will agree with the consumer reports. Older boxer engine are not quiet at all! newer boxers seem to be much better. The wind noise is quite pronounced but only at high way speeds, around town there is no wind rush, but then at low speeds there will be no wind rush with any car. so I wander if any body of you had a chance to compare CR-V and Forester, I would like to hear your opinions. thank you. I love the way forester rides and hold the road :) it is a rally car at heart.
  • We drove both several miles at low and high speeds. I thought the V was a bit noiser than I had expected. The F was no worse, may even better. Supposedly the O is the quietest....I did not notice a big difference but would need to drive it again to be sure. One thing about Toyota, at least in my 02 Camry...the are quiet...sadly too quiet as you hear every little vibration and rattle..drives me nuts.

    How are F with creaks, vibrations and rattles?
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