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New Subaru Forester Owners - Give Us Your Report!



  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Well, observing your "commute" I can see why you have narrowed it down to a Forester. I had an 04X and went to an 07 Premium. You will end up avg around 24-26 mpg if you have around 50 50 mixed driving highway city. I consistently averaged 29 mpg on the highway with my 04 X and with a tailwind hit as high as 31 a few times. I keep my tires at around 36 lbs though. Some people don't like that hard a ride. Less tire pressure, less mpg and tire life but softer ride.

    With your size and the length of your drive, the electric seats on the Premium might be nice for getting your ride just right. And on those cold mornings, the heated seats are very nice as are the heated mirrors. These are things you don't "need", but once you use them, you really like them. Also, with the length of the ride, you might get some enjoyment out of the moonroof on nice sunny warm days. I already have. But, sit in one...the moonroof lowers the inner roof about an inch.

    You occasionally hear about roof leaking problems, but they really seem to be very few and far between just noticable as they are posted and stand out. Most of the response posts are Gee, I never had that problem. Statistically not a real issue. And they have had about 10 years to work the bugs out of that.

    Irrespective of which model, keep those fog lamps on when on the dirt road. They are very helpful in letting you see farther to the right and left and might cause one of the critters to freeze off the road instead of in front of you. And surprising to me, the little foglamps on the 06's and 07's are more powerful than the "bigger" ones on the 03's through 05's.

    I definitely noticed an improvement in the brakes from my 04X although the 04 was just fine. The four wheel disc on the Premium has a much more flat solid feel with less front end dive. Some of that could be due to the automatic brake force distribution added after 05 though which more evenly distributes the braking action front to back.

    The ride underneath is the same with the exception of the rear limited slip differential (LSD)on the Premium. I did notice the LSD shifting back and forth on ploughed roads this winter, but the X AWD is the main difference between Subaru and everyone else. The LSD is gravy.

    I would look at the difference between a manual and an automatic. They are different systems. I like a manual personally as it keeps the AWD at a 50 50 front back ratio. It's cheaper (about 600 bucks) and more capable in deep snow applications... The other difference is price with the Premium Package being around 2500+ bucks more than an X. You can get an X manual right now for 18,000 bucks with rebates etc. where I live. That is a fantastic price for a fantastic car. A manual premium will run you at the very best deal around 22,500, maybe 22,000. I got mine for i.e. 22K with a 500 buck loyalty discount on top of rebates.

    Check out to see a complete comparison including pricing bottom line. That guy has it all and stays up to date on everything.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Try them both out. See how they fit you. I wouldn't worry about the moon roof leaking.
  • khoolkhool Posts: 8
    I live in Australia, and here the specs are different.

    I bought the XS Luxury (06) which comes with moon-roof, leather, 7 speaker system etc. but no electric or heated seats.

    I've had the car for just over a year and can attest to its' reliability.

    It's not a big car, and at 5 foot 11, I find the driving position adequate, but would benefit further from a reach adjustable steering wheel.

    No probs with the moon-roof whatsoever. Get it, it's awesome!

    My car is extremely comfortable (I noticed quite a difference from stock model due to the self-leveling rear suspension on the luxury model) and heaps of power from the 2.5. I would definitely recommend the manual over the auto as it seems to have more snap. More get-up-and-go.

    My recommendation to you is to go the full luxo pack if your budget allows. You won't regret it. :)
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    >>(I noticed quite a difference from stock model due to the self-leveling rear suspension on the luxury model)<<

    Good or bad difference? Could you describe it?
  • jefbakjefbak Posts: 19
    That is my problem as well. I can't get my legs under the steering wheel without effort in both the Outback and Forester. The Tribeca is the only one I really fit in but my wife thought it was ugly (should have waited for the 08 I guess) so we got a Forester anyway. I do like premium package.
  • khoolkhool Posts: 8
    It's a funny thing. Yes, the Forester (and Outback) are both a little cramped in the leg stretch department (especially in the back where you simply can't get in the car without the front seats being pushed forward a ways), but you kinda learn to drive by adjusting the seat height and rake. Get that right and it's quite comfy.

    Having said that, nothing really beats reach adjustable steering. I really do find it inexcusable in today's auto market. Jeez, how much extra could it cost?

    In OZ, the Tribeca has been slammed for lack of power. And the rear seats seem to be made for carny folk. Much better off in the Forester IMHO. It's a formula that has been tried and tested.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tribeca's getting the new 3.6l, with tons more torque.

    Rear leg room in the Tribeca is often under-reported because people don't realize you have to hit a release knob for it to go back another 4".

    It's the difference between tight and spacious. I'm 6' and had room to spare with the seat truly all the way back (it travels 8" fore and aft in total).
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    I hear telescoping steering wheels are coming pretty much across the lines in Subaru's. 2008's for most including some 08 Outbacks already on lots. Probably 09 for the Forester in its new duds...
  • kreuzerkreuzer Posts: 127
    maybe some of you new owners would be able to answer...? When you bought your Subies, did you question the salesman or mechanics about the reliability and cost factors of owning an all wheel drive system? How much maintenance does this set-up require and how often? What about tire wear and rotation of the tires - - does it require more frequent rotations and is there a specific pattern to the rotation? Lastly, how does this all wheel drive system compare in costs than say the AWD systems of the Rav4 and CRV? Thanks in advance for your comments!
  • khoolkhool Posts: 8
    When we bought our Forester, we already owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee and so I kinda new what to expect.

    Typically, AWD will drink a little more fuel due to the nature of the set up (i.e. powering all wheels), but reliability wise, not an issue. We've had the Jeep for over 10 years and it hasn't needed anything special or different to a 2-wheel drive by way of maintenance costs.

    Tyre wear will suffer a little more however rotating every 10,000km will help keep wear even.

    The Subaru AWD system has been touted as superior to the likes of the RAV and CRV (the later is actually mostly two-wheel drive) as it is symmetrical (power more evenly dispersed) which provides better road traction and general all-round smoothness.

    The Forester is the best handling car I've ever owned. ESPECIALLY in the wet. And it's lower centre of gravity due to the car height and boxer engine makes it better than the competition IMHO.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    For tire rotation, manufacturer recommends 7500 miles in a front-to-back fashion. I do not think I would waste my time asking a salesman any technical questions, as they are usually ignorant (or play that way) of anything detailed. Edmunds has a TCO "calculator" that can give you an idea of cost to own over a 5-year period.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In 9 years the only extra maintenace for me was the rear differential fluid.

    You remove two screws. Drain the fluid. Replace the lower screw. Add 1 quart of gear oil. Replace the other screw.

    That's it. 93k miles and she's running so well I'm having 2nd thoughts about selling it. :cry:
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    I would never ask the salesperson. I have had three subys so knew. They have gotten much better than my 82 hatchback...

    I spent about a total of 1200 bucks on my 99 Outback Sport (Impreza) on extra stuff (one engine repair/400 bucks) including timing belt at about 80K.

    I got 80K out of the first set of tires and the second set (BF Goodrich TA's) was on at trade at 147K. I needed a new clutch at 147K and that was part of the trade in reason. I didn't replace the front brakes until about 119K and never the back brakes.

    All in all, no real problems in six years. My 04X Forester had no problems (except me) and I towed with it for about 12K.

    I believe consumer reports has consistently had them up there very high (red bullseye) for most reliability issues for years.

    I averaged 29 mpg with my 04 X manual Forester on the highway and hit 31 once with a tailwind for a couple of tanks. I consistently avgd 21 mpg towing on 2 to 3K trips almost all highway. That's all pretty good. I averaged overall around 24/25 with in city mix stuff.
  • jefbakjefbak Posts: 19
    All of a sudden I can only gain access to CD1 in my 2007 Forester (prem package). The other 5 cd's appear to be stuck and not accessible.

    I am going to have it checked out this week and will post the reason (me or the cd changer).
  • OMG, I just picked up my new 2008 Forester after putting 16K cash down and financing 3K and I am in so much pain. I bought this vehicle believing because of the higher hip point entry/being higher off the ground it would be better for my hip. Wrong! I test drove it yes, and it was fine. It was also fine for the first 45-60 minutes of the 3 hour drive home but after that my leg hurt from my butt, to my knee, calf and almost excruciating pain in my ankle. The Honda Civic I owned for over 10 years NEVER gave me this problem.

    I just called the dealer and told him the problem. He admittedly had never come across this one before. He suggested trying cushions, if this does not work then an after market seat and if that does not work they would take it back as a trade in. I'm tempted to just take it back right now and say the deal is off but there is no 48 hour thingy. Gads, what a costly mistake. :cry:
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    My '01 Forester has an angle adjustment for the seat, allowing the front of the cushion to tilt forward/back in relation to the rear of the cushion. Assuming your '08 has such an adjustment, you might want to try adjusting the front downward, to take pressure off the nerves in the back of your thigh. I can sympathize with your plight, though, as I have problems with numbness, tingling and pain in my legs and feet due to spinal injuries from an auto accident, especially after sitting for a while.

    Good luck.
  • Thanks Len,

    No, mine does not have this feature and I doubt it would help if it did, I believe it is because of the contouring. In all fairness to Subaru they make an excellent vehicle and the dealer was a dream to work with. I just hope he will be willing to consider this a 24 hour test drive, take the car back and refund my money.
  • Once the car is titled in your name, it treated as used. The dealer can't take it back and sell it as new again. If you want to minimize your losses, sell it yourself to a private party.
  • This story has a most happy ending. The paperwork had not yet gone through with either DMV or the lender. The sales manager rescinded the deal and gave me back my check, considering this an over night test drive. Wow!!

    I fully recommend Kendall Subaru in Eugene Oregon. The management puts organizational interest ahead of personal gain. They really care about product image, the customer and their own reputation. Not only were they more than decent giving me my money back, they were a dream to negotiate with as I initially prepared to purchase the vehicle. No guilty or strong arm tactics, more like a friendly competition with a win-win outcome. I have friends who purchased a Honda from Kendall Honda and they too speak highly of them.

    Kendall also has Hyundais, Toyotas, Lexus, Dodge, Chevrolet. . thirteen makes in all. So, if your anywhere near Eugene, Oregon and looking for a car give them a shot. You will be glad you did. :shades:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Wow that's amazing. Guess it's a left coast thing. Here in NYC if you brought it back 2 min after signing the papers, w/o even driving it off the lot, they wouldn't take it back.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    In NYC once you lift your pen from the paper, they won't take it back.
  • mogul2mogul2 Posts: 14
    You are really lucky. It is unheard of in my neck of woods (midwest). Buy them lunch and beer :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    GREAT story, and a *huge* kudos to that dealer for taking care of you like that! :shades:

    Some places will let you take a car overnight. Saturn offered that when I tested an Outlook.

    Also, consider renting a car for a day to sample it out.
  • danellhdanellh Posts: 14
    Better than that, I'm sending the sales manager a personal check for $100 and the sales man one for $50 to say thank you. When I'm ready, I will buy a different auto from them as well as tell everyone I know about their excellent service. :)
  • I got a 2007 Forester Sports X in March 2007 because I was so happy with my 2004 Forester X. Just one problem with a brake switch causing the car not to shift out of park one day...but that was fixed. Love the car in theory and in general...BUT....

    I have a BIGGER problem...a terrible smell coming from the engine whenever the car gets hot. The dealer tech smelled it right away when I stood with him in front of the car, acknowledged it was bad, and he later told me he thought it was undercoating accidentally sprayed on the engine during the manufacturing process, and it could NOT be fixed.

    Sadly on a prior checkup they claimed to smell nothing (you only smell it with the windows open) and the Subaru regional field tech also claimed (after the local tech had explained the cause of the problem) that no smell existed. This created a stink of a different kind. And nothing in writing except they checked for a smell they couldn't find.

    Subaru has offered to trade the car in, and pick up some but not all of the cost of the trade...but I'm wondering if I should take a chance and pay even more money for a brand new car when the brand new car I just purchased and was otherwise very happy with turned out to have a toxic smell from the engine.

    On the other hand, what are the odds I could have the car declared a lemon in NY when the car still drives, albeit with a bad smell? I feel stuck...

    I also wish there was a way to turn off the "three unlocks to open" requirement for the hatch and passenger doors. I know it's there to protect old ladies in parking lots, but in the rain when I want to open the hatch or simply let a trusted passenger in the car with me, it's a real pain.

    Wish I could have just written a rave, because aside from the issues I'm having with this car I still love it, Geosquealers notwithstanding. Traded in a 2001 Acura CL Sports-Type for my 2004, a move comedian Tom Papa made fun of, and I was happier with the Forester since it handled better!

    What was worse was getting poor customer service from Subaru of America, from a shrill customer service SUPERVISOR who yelled when I said something she disagreed with...she told me the smell could have been caused by something "after-market" like the remote start or the alarm even though she know I'd had it installed at purchase by my dealer. Of course, when you buy an accessory from the dealer to install in your new car before you pick it up, you assume you are purchasing it from Subaru and Subaru won't suddenly disavow any responsibility for it.

    And when I asked Subaru for another supervisor after she'd literally yelled at me,
    they gave the email to the shrill woman so she could call me and tell me she didn't mean to be rude, she's just a loud person. Last Friday she told me she'd call me Monday. No question. Didn't hear from her until an email late Wednesday.

    They promised I'd be contacted this week by another supervisor "early this week" It's now end-of-business Thursday. I've sent quite a few emails through their website indicating my dissapointment with the car smell, the lack of detection, and the poor treatment by customer service.

    I think it's time for a regular letter to the president of Subaru of America. Too bad Asa Aarons just left hope now is that Subaru realizes they have an evangelist about to jump ship and make a fair offer on the trade-in.

    Anyone else have a smell like antifreeze-meets-orange-juice overwhelming them in the 2007 Forester when the engine gets hot?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm guessing you are in the NYC area. If you are shoot me an e-mail and I can probably have you bring it over to my shop and take a look at it. Something doesn't seem right and I'd love to help you get it sorted out.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW my 98 Forester had a nasty rotten egg smell for the first few weeks but thankfully it went away.

    That Subie gave me 9 perfect years of service.
  • hey man,

    i've got a 2007 subaru forester sports as well (bought it in may). and have the same sort of smell that you're talking about--kind of a warm plastic smell coming from under the hood, can't smell it unless the windows are open or you're outside the car with it running, it's more evident after driving for quite a while, etc.

    my problem is that it's not always smelling, and often doesn't smell when i've taken it in.

    i've had the oil changed 3 times (all at dealerships), and asked about it once when i took it in, and was told it was likely just coating or something like that which had been sprayed on something accidentally and would burn off eventually. but it's been 5 months and 4000 miles and still smells...

    i had my brother in law mechanic take a look at it and couldn't come up with anything aside from that or perhaps that some fluid got spilled on the engine when it got serviced. but the latter doesn't seem likely to me now since it's happened more than once and not always right after i get it serviced.

    i dive mostly short distances when i do drive, and so hadn't smelled it in a while and thought it was gone, but i recently took a longer trip and it came back...

    argh. let me know what you find out!

    other than this the car's been great, but i'd really like it to stop smelling!!!!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm smells after a long drive generally indicate a CV joint issue, where when heated the grease will drip out of a cracked boot and land on an exhaust pipe. I've diagnosed this several times. Also could be a leaky turbo oil line as well.

This discussion has been closed.