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New Subaru Forester Owners - Give Us Your Report!



  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,745
    Congrats on your new ride! Be sure to put some pics of it on your CarSpace to show it off! :P

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Heated cloth is the best combination.

  • benmbenm Posts: 8
    I picked up my first ever Subaru in urban gray Tuesday night. It came equipped with the following options: an auto dimming mirror w/compass (a little disappointed it didn't include the homelink upgrade), STI metal pedal kit, rear bumper cover, cargo tray, splash guards and wheel locks. Before buying I also test drove an LL Bean Edition for comparison. The turbo gives instant power at the slightest tap and provides very strong low-end torque. The extra cost and required premium fuel on the XT are well worth it, in my opinion. Exemplary fit and finish. The black leather seats could have been softer especially in the rear. A practical car to enjoy with abundant power to add to your driving pleasure. Its not bad looking either.
  • Just picked up our Forester 2.5 X last week. Less than 100 miles on it. This morning we couldn't open the car doors with either remote key fob that came with the car. No response whatsoever from the car with the lock or unlock button. Tried to open the car manually with the key and it didn't work either.

    It was extremely cold this morning in NYC (7 F temp and -10 F windchill), but I didn't think it would cause a problem. People here on the forum live in much colder places... My other car worked just fine.

    Does anyone have similar experience? Could it be a dead battery? I'm pretty sure I turned off all the lights when I left the car yesterday afternoon... Doesn't the car have automatic shut-off on daytime running lights too?

    I'll probably call roadside assistance either tonight or tomorrow to jump-start the car and/or tow the car to a dealership for repair.
  • So ultimately you were able to get into the car, and it didn't start?

    If you did eventually get in and try to start, did it turn over at all? If not, sounds like a dead battery. If so, I'd make sure you're letting the fuel pump kick in (turn ignition to penultimate position and wait to hear a little "whirring" sound). Also read your owner's manual -- there are detailed instructions on how to start and whether or not to pump accelerator, etc.

    All of the lights have auto-shut-off, yes, with one exception -- the parking lights, which are controlled by a little rocker switch right on top of the steering column. Always make sure to check it if you go to a car wash and have the interior done, it's real easy to unwittingly turn it on if you're cleaning the steering wheel/instrument panel with a big towel.

    Good luck.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sweet, congrats. Join us in the Subaru Crew threads under owners clubs. :shades:

  • I'm forgetting the name of the company--will look-maybe Campmor--but there is a camping company that makes tent extenders for all different vehicles. It may be the same company that manufactures then for the Element--gotta look, but they are out there.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    I bought a little teardrop camping trailer last night. Weights about 650 lbs. No problems towing with the Forester. Biggest challenge is backing up!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I know what you mean, everything kinds works double-backwards. :D

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also the smaller the trailer the harder it is to backup. I used to have a tiny little utility trailer and jacknifed it often, same with jetski-trailers. With the 22' car trailer, rarely a problem, with the 26' boat trailer even less, and with the 43' tri-axle boat trailer even less than the other 2.

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    At least with the small trailer, if you really screw up you can unhook it and do by hand. Also don't have to worry about backing it down a boat ramp with other boaters waiting.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Tis true. On a side note if you live anywhere near a boat ramp and are bored on a Saturday morning. There is always ample entertainment watching folks launching their boats.

    - Oh no, I forgot the plug, wife pulls boat up the ramp, but it was unhooked and blamo the boat ends up on the concrete

    - boater launches boat and it blows away in the wind

    - backing up for noobs

    Tons of other entertaining things going on!

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    I've watched the boat ramp entertainment when launching my kayak. Always interesting.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I love FWD wheelspin. This one guy I knew hauled 2 jet skis with a Prelude. It was comical. :D

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Forgot to mention... teardorp sellers partner works for SOA and knew Patti. Said she was one or her favorites from Subaru corporate. I said her presence at Edmunds was missed. She gave me some cool Subie stuff.
  • You are absolutely right. I shut off that rocker switch the wrong way ;) I did remember the guy at dealership who said that this is the most useless feature of the car he's ever seen. Anyway I actually had to call roadside assistance twice. It seems that we didn't keep the engine running long enough the first time around to charge up the battery. The next morning the car wouldn't start again because the battery was very weak. Hopefully this episode won't damage the battery. After driving for about 20 miles today, I checked the battery and it did have 12.5V on it so it should be ok.
  • Well, I learned about the tendency of drivers to accidentally trigger that switch and run down their battery right here on Edmunds, so thanks to everyone.

    I think that Subaru should probably send out a TSB reminding dealers to point out and explain the switch when doing a delivery tour. It's not just the placement of the switch -- how many other makes even have a dedicated parking light switch these days?

    I guess the Subaru considers it a safety feature -- for those rare instances where you want to leave on parking lights and take the keys with you?

    Anyway, I hope your battery's almost as good as new and that this is the last problem you have with your Forester.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Take the caps off the battery and check the water level.

    I was surprised when I decided to check mine right before the cold snap, only to find the water level way down in every cell. I just had the car in for service, surprised the dealer didn't check the levels.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    I just bought an '07. I like the car (although the steering is way too light), but I am very disappointed with the tires. We got hit with a snow storm and then freezing temps right after I bought it.

    The car slid all over the place in turns. I understand AWD canna change the laws of physics. But my '86 BMW 535 and the '96 Taurus SHO the Forester replaced both handled the snow and slippery conditions far better.

    I have to assume the issue is tires. Both the BMW and Taurus rode on Goodrich Traction T/A's and worked great through several major snow storms here in Chicago. It is very annoying that my new AWD car can't outperform a 20 year old rear wheel drive car famous for poor performance in the rain and snow or a 10 year old car that put 40% more horsepower to the front wheels only. I shouldn't have to spend $500 for new tires a week after I spend $26 grand for a new car.

    Fortunately winter is almost over so I will tough it out and probably replace the tires next winter before the snow hits.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    Regarding the arm rest extension. On my '07 the arm rest is adjustable. push in the black button on the front and it slides forward.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keep those tires for summer, and just get winter tires mounted on steelies. A package like that from Tire Rack or Discount Tire Direct probably will cost less than $600, and it extends the life of your OE tires significantly (25% if you use the snows for 3 months).

    I have snows on my Forester and they've been fantastic in the freezing rain conditions we've had lately.

    I think that's probably safer and more cost effective than just tossing out the brand new tires for a new set of all seasons, which are still a compromise.

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    I could do that; but my point is I shouldn't have to. I didn't buy an Audi or even a Forester XT. I bought a standard Forester and it should come with good quality all season tires. Isn't that it's primary market and appeal? AWD stabiity in the rain and snow, not improved canyon carving performance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OE tires are always a compromise. FWIW, most people here find they're OK all-around tires, and we don't see that many complaints about them. A few owners even replaced them with the same tire the 2nd time around.

    I'd recommend the ones I have, Falken Ziex 512s, but even those aren't good in snow. They're great in the dry, and even when it's wet, but not in the snow.

    I'm sure the tires you liked had some trade-offs as well, perhaps extra noise, rolling resistance, or durability.

  • I'm thinking of buying a leftover 06 Forester from a local dealer in northern Va. I've never owned a Subie before and have been reading these posts for a couple of weeks. I got the info below off the local dealers website and this looks like a fair deal to me. What do you experts think?

    Leftover New 2006 Subaru Base Forester auto, blue
    X Wagon, Auto. Trans. Regal Blue Pearl, Gray Cloth.
    Options: tweeter kit, floor mats, cargo net rear vertical, rear bumper cover, cargo tray, auto dimming mirror/compass
    MSRP $23,740, Invoice $22,169, Internet price $18,564.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good price *IF* that includes freight.

    If they charge extra for freight, the price is better. It's in Rockville, MD next to White Flint, not far from NoVA.

    If you go there look for Maurice, tell him "juice" from Edmunds sent ya. My family has bought about 5 Subarus there.

  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    I don't find my OEM tires bad in snow. Juice is right, if you really want good snow performance get some snow tires. AWD doesn't overcome the limitations of all season tires.
  • Thanks Juice. The price does not include freight, so I'd add another $625 on top of that. I may go to Rockville on Sat. My son plays soccer at the Sportsplex in Frederick. Hopefully, I can swing by before or afterward.

    And yes, dedicated snows make a huge difference. I have dedicated snows on my '05 Scion XB and it pulls great in the snow. I passed by the hulking SUVs that were spun off the road in last weeks storm.
  • Can you give me some Subaru info? This is the 1st Subie that I've researched. How will the Forester do as a daily commuter vehicle? I drive about 115 miles daily down to the DC metro area from the Winchester, Va. area, so I guess the auto tranny is the way to go for the stop and go traffic situation. How is the ride, reliability, MPG, regular maint. costs, etc.? Thanks for any info you can provide for my research.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have a '98 Forester and work in DC, so I think I'm uniquely qualified to answer that question.

    Mine has averaged 25 mpg in its lifetime, though yours is an auto the EPA ratings are actually higher.

    It's a comfortable vehicle, you may even want to splurge and get a model with heated seats, since it gets cold in DC, and you also get heated mirrors to melt away the ice and even keep them clear in the rain.

    Ride is good, and the wheel travel is great for pot-holes. I take Canal Road and the Clara Barton Parkway and the pavement is in poor condition due to the snow/ice, so I've been using the Forester instead of my Miata that I use primarily in the summer.

    Maintenance is like any other vehicle, the only difference with AWD is that you have a rear differential that needs its oil changed every 30k or so (60k at most). Not a big deal, just 2 bolts to remove, one quart of 75w90 oil that you can get at the local parts store for a couple of bucks.

    e-mail me and I'll give you some more details. Use my handle and then add to the end of it. I think you'll be happy with one.

This discussion has been closed.