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New Subaru Forester Owners - Give Us Your Report!



  • Hey mb789,
    Im in the process of buying a 2008 premium also for my wife. What did you end up paying for it?
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Congratulations on your new ride! The Newport Blue is indeed a nice color. My previous Forester was a 2-tone Blue Ridge Pearl over Titanium which I really liked.

    As far as favorite Subaru colors I’ll address that in the Subaru Forester forum in order to get input from a larger audience.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sweet - I love it when a car picks its own name.

    Mine was Sandy after a drive on the beaches in the Outer Banks. Sand poured out from the undercarriage for what seemed like an eternity!
  • khoolkhool Posts: 8
    I had to ask if this is a common problem with post 2006 Foresters. The silver paint that is used on the center console (housing the stereo, air-con, etc.) is coming off - and I've barely had the car two years.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is really only on the ashtray cover (for now) - but I'm not a smoker and have hardly ever opened it.

    Surely Subaru aren't that cheap with the materials. Having said that, I'm also noticing that the paint scratches and chips easily (Obsidian Black).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We've heard people complain of thin paint. Since they stopped using solvent-based paints they just don't adhere as well. They don't harm the environment, though.
  • I bought a 2007 that is now 7 months old. The center console is the color you have and is already scratched.
    I have more of a problem with the cheap plastic that they use on the sides and glove box. It dents and scratches a little too easily. When I made a comment to customer service I was told that I should tie everything down so nothing shifts and I wouldn't have that problem.
  • khoolkhool Posts: 8
    I got a similar response. Service is not one of Subaru's strong points mind you. In the two years I've had my car, it's gone back for warranty claims around 30 times. Many of which are repeat (2-3 times) to fix the same problem, or to fix a new problem caused by careless mechanics. Most of the issues have been with poor fit and finish - lots of creaks and rattles.
  • Just a note to say how happy I am with this vehicle at 7500 miles--07 sports xt Forester 5 speed. It is fast (have to watch it or get in trouble), tight, and gets decent mileage (23 around town and 27 on highway). Power explodes in any gear, any speed. Have used mostly premium, but an occasional mid-range fill-up doesn't seem to hurt it. Sunroof is enormous, and a bargain. Am going to activate the Sirius soon--any advice? Service experiences have been good, as was my most recent buying experience. (Had to pay a documentation fee--big surprise.) This is our fourth Subaru, and it's easy to see why we see so many of them up here in Northern Michigan--great value, good mileage, excellent traction, and in the XT's case, reviewed well by both enthusiast magazines and CR. (That is a rare combination.)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats. Good to hear how happy you are with it.
  • khoolkhool Posts: 8
    Well, I've had my Forester for 2 years now, and I must say, it has been the most disappointing purchase I've ever made.

    From the very beginning the car has had multiple problems to do with fit and finish (rattles, squeaks and creaks), and poor service from the dealer (Docklands - Melbourne, Australia).

    Easily over 30 trips back to the dealer, quite often needing 3-4 visits to fix the same problem. Twice I've had the dealer call me to offer to keep the car for 'as long as it takes' to go through and fix all the issues, and both times they've come nowhere near a permanent solution. I've been waiting almost 2 mths to have the latest issues fixed, seems their too busy to worry about warranty claims.

    I've now resigned to the fact that the car is a bit of a lemon in this regard (the latest issue is an annoying creak in the dash when I brake hard) and have made the decision to sell it within the next 12 months.

    After my experience, I will never touch Subaru again. And I certainly won't be recommending them to potential buyers.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Some people obviously have a much lower tolerance for creaks and rattles than others but I can sympathize with your annoyance with both the squeaks and the dealer's inability to stop them. Having said that, proclaiming the car a lemon and swearing off ever buying another because of the fit of trim pieces seems a bit extreme. It's certainly your right but there are plenty of car owners who own real lemons who I'm sure would love to trade vehicles with you. After all, compared to having to replace an engine or transmission, a squeak in the dash, while annoying, doesn't affect the drivability or safety of the vehicle.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a bummer, sorry to hear about it.

    What model did you get? I know the powertrains are different, is yours a 2.0l?

    Though the Forester is only built in one plant (Gunma, Japan) and the interiors should be similar.
  • khoolkhool Posts: 8
    I have the 2.5 litre XS Luxury (leather, sun roof, climate control, etc.).

    The car drives beautifully, it's just not built well. They've had to resort to things like stuffing rags under the carpet to take up kinks, sliding foam between panels to stop rattles, and even using double sided tape to keep exterior panels from falling off.

    What irks me even more is that the dealer has no sense of duty-of-care when they have the car. I've had entire panels re-sprayed due to dealer carelessness (scratches), kick panels replaced (the dealer broke one) and had to replace a window due to overspray from having a panel repaired (the one the dealer scratched).

    Don't know about you, but when I spend $45K on a new car, I expect it to be of reasonable quality and I expect the dealers who service the car and are representative of the brand to have a reasonable standard of service and care factor.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $45k Australian, I'm sure.

    Of course, you have the right to expect a trouble-free car, at least for the most part.

    Sorry to hear about your dealer. We pay high prices here where I live, but service is generally quite good.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Perhaps you should switch dealers? This seems more of a dealer issue than a Subaru-specific issue.

  • I got a 2008 LL Bean last week. I guess it like a non-US XS Luxury, with leather, big glass roof, climate control, automatic transmission. I have already put 800 miles on it and it is a joy to use. It has averaged 27 mpg in rural 2-lane driving.

    There was one problem - an imperceptible glitch in an electric window. After some discussion, the dealer agreed with what I was hearing and feeling, and replaced the regulator. He did not have one in stock, and so took one out of another new car and installed it while I waited.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    an imperceptible glitch

    And, yet, you perceived it! (Just kidding, of course.)

    But seriously, did replacing the regulator fix the problem?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did they switch to VW's supplier? ;)

    Just kidding. Never seen that problem on a Subie before.
  • " ... an imperceptible glitch. And, yet, you perceived it! (Just kidding, of course.) "

    The full story....

    I took a used 2006 manual for an extended 4-hour demo drive at one dealer (and filled it with $30 of gas). I told the dealer there was a glitch in the driver's window, but they said they could not notice it.

    I rented a 2007 automatic from Avis for a day for another test drive, and the window was OK.

    I went to another dealer and test drove a new 2008 LL Bean. I told that dealer the driver window had a glitch and I had seen it before. The salespeople could not detect it. I went into the showroom trying other car's windows and they were all OK.

    I decided to buy that LL Bean IF the window was OK. The dealer had the Service Dept take the door apart and they could not see anything wrong so they greased the track and I was told all was well. I took delivery and the window still had the glitch.

    Yes, the glitch was imperceptible to several salespeople and to the initial service people. This is because they were standing beside the open door working the button with a finger. Over the ambient noise of traffic and shop, they could not hear the momentary fraction of a second graunchy sound as the window rose up. And because they were not driving the car with their arm resting on the armrest, they could not feel the simultaneous momentary graunchy vibration in the door. As soon as I showed the Service Manager how to listen and feel, he immediately said "bad regulator". The window is now perfect.

    A regulator that felt like that would not have cured itself. It would have been a constant irritant, undoubtedly growing worse. The window would become clunky. At some point it would become noticeable to anybody - maybe in months, maybe in years. I could not wait that long.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Thanks for the clarification. Glad you got that fixed!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I've got nearly 2k miles on the forester now. my only concern really is a bad front license plate mount for the right side of the front plate. the screws all the way in, but it doesnt tighten up like it should [and like the left side does], it just keeps turning. Any ideas? cause the plates are special state plates that are very cool and nice looking. and it would really settle my mind if all screws tightened well.

    One thing I'm not sure of is checking tire pressure, does it need to be done every month or two? I've always had a tendency to keep the tire tester on the air valve too long, so generally, I figure 5-10 seconds of air a tire every two months or so will be fine. Opinions or advice?
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    My advice is to get yourself a tire pressure gauge, which is inexpensive, and have someone show you how to use it properly. Once you get the knack, it's very easy to do. Then, check your tires regularly (at least once per month, preferably more often). Check them when they are cold, before driving the car. Add (or delete) air as needed. Be advised that tire pressures change by approximately 1 PSI for each 10 degree change in the temperature. When it gets colder outside, the pressure drops, and when it gets hot, the pressure goes up. Keeping your tires properly inflated is very important for safety, gas mileage and long tire life.

    Best of luck with your Forester!

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I concur with Leo!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I have an 07 Forester xt ...stock...would like to hear opinions of recommended "mild" mods to the engine...don't like "loud" exhaust but cannot hear the engine rev...too quiet...thanks, Richard
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    SPT Exhaust is a good choice for a catback, any STi or WRX one should fit.

    As for engine mods, other than that there isn't a whole lot I would recommend at least not until first modifying several things in this order:

    1) Tires- Single easiest mod to do and the most powerful mod that yields the best results.
    2) Brakes- Upgraded pads to Hawk HPs or HP+, SS Lines, Good brake flush with ATE Superblue fluid
    3) Driver- Modify the driver by attending an HPDE event where you learn advanced car control from an onboard instructor, this mod is able to be transferred to any car you are driving and not only improves enjoyment but safety as well.
    4) Suspension- Springs (Eibach Prokit are good) coupled with either KYB AGX struts or Koni sport inserts will give you significantly better control while retaining a stock-like ride.

    Once you have done all that, then and only then would I suggest "power" mods for any subaru.

  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    >>Eibach Prokit are good coupled with either KYB AGX struts or Koni sport inserts will give you significantly better control while retaining a stock-like ride. <<

    WILL these really retain a stock like ride? No increase in harshness? Are you sure? After putting KYBs on Honda Del Sol Si the ride simultaniously got harsher & had a bit of float in it - I was not happy with that & have been reluctant to modify struts or spings since

    How do they affect the ride height?

    What about the STi larger, solid rear sway bar? Or or those already on 07 XTs?
  • Thanks for the info.....I agree with you about the "Driver Mods".... Although I'm not in the mindset to "race" the car it's nice to improve on current skills....CHP offers training to firefighters with regards to operation of Fire Apparatus and safer "code" driving.. As far as exhaust I have read that the STi exhaust is NOT offered for the Forester and that the fit is a little different....Any opinions on the Cobb System? Thanks, Richard
  • bayarea_s40bayarea_s40 Posts: 19
    My '07 Sports XT automatic now has about 34,000 miles on it. Last week I changed out the four OEM Yoko Geolanders for Yoko Avids (same size), plus had the the wheels aligned and balanced. My early impression is that my MPG has dropped a bit. Where I was getting 22-23 mpg overall, I now seem to be getting around 19-20 mpg. Will increasing the tire pressure possibly increase mileage. I don't want go as high as the stated max psi of 40, but I'm thinking about 37-38 psi.

    Opinions and expertise are welcome!
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Other than assorted creaks from dashboard, a misaligned drivers door and a few other minor things, the '09 XT I'm driving's shaping up as good for a first year model. Mileage is not great at 20 mpg (mix of city and country driving), but engine and transmission are responsive, seats comfortable, ride and handling good. A very practical vehicle, though the interior could use some nicer plastics and a few more built-in cargo nets (the latter's something Chevrolet got right with the Maxx).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Do you have any of the 3 nets for the cargo area?

    We ordered ours with nets on both sides.
This discussion has been closed.