Changes You'd Like To See in the Subaru Forester

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
edited April 2014 in Subaru
Have an idea tomake the Forester even better? Maybe it's something as simple as more color choices, different drivetrain, or maybe it's a radical redesign.

This is the place to let your creative juices flow! (Is "juices" a Subaru Crew pun?? :P )


  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Did someone call me? :)

    I have several suggestions:

    * how 'bout a 5 speed auto with SportShift?
    * VTD please, and not just on a CrossSport model
    * offer the self-leveling suspension on all models
    * stability control is long overdue

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Better towing. :)

    Class II (3500 pounds) would be perfect.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That should have been assumed by our hosts and Subaru. :shades:

    I'm surprised you didn't ask for more...

    What do you want to see for the '09 model?

  • solowalkersolowalker Member Posts: 118
    like they had in '00 but not quite as dark...With a TAN interior in Leather or cloth...

    After all it's a "Forester"..aren't Forests green? :shades:
  • freddrapfreddrap Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2006 Forester LL Bean edition with a sun roof. When the roof cover is back to allow the sun light in, the car gets hot. I noticed the glass is not tinted.Is it standard not to have tinted glass or is this an error on Subaru's part. Also I checked to see if I could have the glass tinted and was advised the glass could crack. Any information on this problem is greatly appreciated
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Besides the increased towing, and in addition to what you've asked for:

    • 3.0 H6 option

    • Turbo diesel option

    • Be able to match, or be in the ballpark with the CRV, et al, in terms of interior room

    • Dual-range tranny option—on both 5EATs w/sportshift & manual tranny models

    • 6-speed manual on turbos

    • Larger tires

    • Bring back the full-size spare

    • Improved NHV & more refinement

  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    I had my sun roof tinted, applied tint, the film, and it did indeed crack. I took it to my insurance, they said it was a manufacturer defect, and my local Subaru dealer replaced the glass free of charge.

    They never said a word about the tinted film on it.....
  • lakepoplakepop Member Posts: 221
    Bigger gas tank.......firmer brake pedal... a light green paint.......better front glass/windshield.

    My .02
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAMember Posts: 116
    the perfect Subaru Forester would be a little taller and maybe even a pinch longer and wider. The sun visors would slide back, or have internal extensions, so I wouldn't have to salute the sun left-handed when it glares on me. The "automatic" day/night mirror would be replaced by the manual flip-handled kind of old, i.e., the kind that works, and there'd be some more leg room and clearance to make it easier for me to get in and out. And I'd never thought I find myself saying this, but with the advent of the new ultra low sulphur Diesel fuel here in CA - which makes for a noticeable improvement in smoke and odor "issues" (I can't wait to see the air quality stats after a few months of this new fuel's use) - yes, a Turbo Diesel might be a good thing! In the meantime, though, an H6 matched to a 5 speed auto would do just as well. Oh yeah, a little more soundproofing and deadening against engine, wind, road and tire noise, too. And whatever you do, don't shrink the sunroof: "keep watching the sky!" ;)
  • kenskens Member Posts: 5,869
    Bring the Forester STi here! That would certainly make me consider getting one. ;-)

    But echoing the others here, Subaru really does need to keep up with transmission offerings with their models. The Forester and Impreza line are long overdue for a 5EAT and VDC.

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I have a sneaky suspicion that we may see Subaru offering CVTs in the future. I've heard from someone "in the know" who said Subaru is having a "change in philosophy" in terms of transmissions. However, he would not elaborate. :(

  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    I have heard the very same things, coming out of designers conferences, etc. The CVT is a easy and cheap way to increase Federally mandated MPG numbers. ;)
  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    Let's just hope that the Forester doesn't follow the RAV4 and Outlander and get all bloated in order to fit a third row! I just can't understand this "third row fetish." It's not as if families today are getting larger and need more seating capacity (Google "Social Security" and "bankruptcy" to see what I mean ;) ), carpooling is an idea that never seems to get anywhere, and for the people who actually do need >5 seating capacity there already are many suitable vehicles available.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247

    The Forester, which I do love, really isn't more than a two passenger automobile, or at the most two adults and two small children. Beyond 10-11 years, its backseat isn't comfortable....

    Which dovetails nicely into my suggestion for a change I would like to see, which is rear seats that fold really flat, or tumble and stow beneath the floor, at least flush with it. :)
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Member Posts: 504
    Let's just hope that the Forester doesn't follow the RAV4 and Outlander and get all bloated in order to fit a third row!

    Could not agree more.

    Subaru will be able to provide more backseat space by using a different suspension configuraion (e.g. multilink) without making the car bigger. Making the Forester bigger would be a suicide for Subaru. It's popular because, among other reasons, it's the size it is now.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    A CVT would not be surprising, especially since JATCO has made trannies in the past that shared parts between Subaru and Nissan.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm not saying Forester should be that vehicle, but Subaru is just about the only manufacturer without a 3 row vehicle of any kind below $30k.

    They need a budget people mover, maybe like the Mazda5.

  • sharksoupsharksoup Member Posts: 26
    Couple of items have already been addressed by posts here. Here's my few in order of priority.

    1. improved fuel mileage (every maker should be striving for this)
    2. fold down flat seats with heavy rubber of plastic covering (difficult to load large flat items, and tends to dirty up the carpetlike covering)
    3. extendable visors (my 2002 has the cheesy plastic sunvisors. Had to buy an even cheesier add on to get an extension. I drive to work and home with sun on the left, so this will always be a problem)

    And what I don't want:

    1. more powerful engine at cost of fuel mileage. For my purposes 165 hp is fine thanks; I could probably do with a little less under most circumstances.
    2. more "standard" features. Prefer the utilitarian feel of my 2002 L compared to the newer models with color coded bumpers, moon roofs, 6 disc CD changers etc that in some cases may be included as standard.
    3. bigger model. Like the small SUV feel and the easy handling.

    Just as aside; didn't Subaru try a CVT in their Justy?? Don't know why they abandoned it.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Juice, reading through older threads in several forums, it seems it is very hard to get people to adjust (although they finally do) to the CVT and even the drive by wire, which does have some lag time.

    Guess we all get set in our ways, and its hard to retrain our own ears for the sounds we are used to. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I had a scooter with a CVT. That plus it was a 2-stroke, i.e. no engine braking.

    So imagine driving a vehicle with no engine braking that felt like it never shifted...definitely an adjustment!

    Any how, if the engine it at the right RPMs for torque, power, or economy, whatever is best at the time, I'm all for it.

  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Definitely bring the STi. :) That will satisfy the sports driving enthusiast but I also think that the base model has strayed too far upscale. Subaru should bring back the unpainted bumpers and give the X a more utilitarian interior with fewer goodies standard. The color choice combinations for any particular model are also very limited. Speaking of limited, there's too many things standard on the XT Limited. Items like the moonroof and leather seats should go back to being options. Oh and the moonroof, love the overall dimensions but it should be factory tinted like every other moonroof on the market!

    Other changes I'd like to see:

    - 6-speed MT with the turbos, 5-speed with the AT
    - Stability control (if only to keep up with the competition)
    - Increase the width by about 2 inches
    - Increase rear legroom (but only if it can be done without changing the overall length)
    - Add sun visor extensions and while they're at it, add vanity lights to the sun visors
    - Reduce NVH

    Things I hope Subaru doesn't mess with:

    - Don't make any significant changes to the overall exterior dimensions (except for above mentioned width increase)
    - Don't mess with the ground clearance
    - Keep the existing turning radius
    - Don't bother with a useless 3rd row seat


    P.S. Bob, while I too would like to see Class II towing, I don't think a 3400lb Forester could safely tow more than it's own weight and I definitely don't want to see the Forester lose its agility by getting porky!
  • applejfapplejf Member Posts: 40
    Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
    Brighter display on the radio; even push/holding the volume button doesn't make it
    particularly bright
    Better quality fabric on non-leather seats - I'm putting in a leather kit on my 2006,
    because after four months it's showing wear

    All I can think of!
  • gordrgordr Member Posts: 3
    I would add a few things to enhance the off road side;

    -better approach and departure angles: all subie owners mention their concerns going through water-bars. Might mean changing the look a bit.

    -a low range option for North American models (technically I guess this is a double tranny). It is available for our Australian friends so it is already produced.

    -some skid plates similar to RAV4
  • rochcomrochcom Member Posts: 247
    I really like my 1998 S, but when I replace it, I would prefer to buy a base model because usually it will be the best value. What I want in the base model:

    Current power level
    Better gas mileage
    Unpainted bumpers
    The wider, heated mirrors
    Heated seats, as least as an option
    Cruise control
    An opt-out for the radio and the ability to install an aftermarket unit and easy-to-replace speakers (as in the '98)
    NO leather, sunroof or automatic climate control
    Fully adjustable manual driver's seat (as in '98)
    5 speed auto with full manual shift control
    Nylon velour upholstery with grip with NO little pockets to collect dirt
    Instruments similar to '98 with orange backlighted pointers and simple, readable white numbers and green backlighting
    Flat rear load floor (it seems flat enough in my '98 where I have carried heavy boxes of books/magazines and a new 18 cubic foot refrigerator among other things)
    Switchable all-wheel/front wheel drive
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    A CPO '04 XS model would be pretty close to that wish list. ;)

  • sebemismnusasebemismnusa Member Posts: 23
    As I am shopping for a replacement SUV (I accidentally rolled a 1998 Chevy Blazer - over steering from a high speed skid on an icy road)
    Add these options to the basic Foresters X line with an automatic transmission; separate these options from the Premium package; create a separate option package

    1. Add the rear limited slip differential with the auto trans option
    2. Add VDT/VDC with the automatic transmission option
    3 Add the all weather option
    4. Add the four wheel disc brakes

    In addition, create the following options.
    1. 5 speed automatic transmissions
    2. Electric hybrid option - some people are willing to pay extra for higher gas mileage and additional towing capacity; this is in contrast to these people who want more power from the XT Sport with the turbo; both add price and mechanical complexity; the electric hybrid appeals to the eco and towing markets.
    3. Brighter colors (yellows, highway orange). At least the Hummer drivers can see what they will hit.

    Keep the same
    1. 173 HP Four cylinder engine, realizing there may be differneces in an electric hybrid model (if ever made)
    2. Size and weight; this is a small SUV; keep this size;
    3. Superior AWD

  • kavoomkavoom Member Posts: 181
    Put the suspension back to where it was in 2004. Reduce the boost on the power steering. Stiffen the springs so it quits rolling (comparatively)and wallowing around. Put the steering back to 3.0 turns lock to lock instead of the new 3.1. Better bushings everywhere instead of those mushy ones. 18 to 20mm sway bar. Oh and bump out the lower side like it used to be in 04 so the side of my car won't get dented in parking lots!!!

    I had an 04 and these are the distinct differences I note. But I'm picky and I tow a trailer for camping.

    I'm actually putting the Subaru performance springs on (Pinks) which by the way put the height back to where it was in 2004/5 and increase spring stiffness quite a bit. What's the deal with the extra inch of height??? Oh and you can buy the suspension bushings from the Subaru performance catalog which in the words of the catalog "helps create a tighter more responsive handling experience." Well, if they do all that, why didn't you put them on in the first place...??? "They are on my list after I see how the springs do.

    I do like all the goodies on my 07 Premium and in particular the safety features brake force distribution, VDC and four wheel brakes and the fly by wire does perk things up, but they obviously "refined" the vehicle a little bit too much for my tastes. And obviously I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning...(grins) It's still a great vehicle.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm with you, by the way, but cushy sells more than sporty. I'm glad they now offer a Cross Sports model that's stiffer.

  • rochcomrochcom Member Posts: 247
    Where is that to be found?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It'll be a new 07 model.

  • kavoomkavoom Member Posts: 181
  • rochcomrochcom Member Posts: 247
    I found the new Forester X Sports on the Subaru website and all I can say is that they have given a new definition to "sports." Or perhaps it is an old definition a la GM where sport once meant a badge and few pieces of trim.

    The "Sports" model has an STI style front spoiler. Sport-Y perhaps and useful maybe at speeds over 120 mph, if the Forester did not have a speed limiter.

    The "Sports" model has DRUM brakes on the rear. (As long as we are going retro: What, no 4 barrel carb?)

    It does not seem to have any changes at all in suspension or engine. ("Sports" must mean going to WATCH the auto races).

    It has automatic climate control (does a "sports" vehicle take control AWAY from the driver?)

    It has the standard STEEL wheels. (How sporty is that? Unsprung weight? Whats that?)

    It does not have the useful heated seats and mirrors.

    It adds the premium radio with 6 disk in-dash changer (in the old days, sports type drivers cherished a radio delete option)

    I has black rather than tan or gray cloth upholstery (at least they didn't put in leather)

    It has a black grille with a "Sports" badge. (I thought Subaru broke up its relationship with GM.)

    Ok, Subaru, old "sport," WHY?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, I sense some double standards on your list. Heated seats aren't "sporty" if auto climate control isn't.

    Yes, it is an appearance package, but they figured out a way to lower the price without de-tuning the engine or suspension.

    The Sports XT model makes more sense, you can now get an XT for less, and the cloth seats are gripper. Plus, it still has alloys. You do give up the AWP though.

  • kavoomkavoom Member Posts: 181
    Yep, on the X, it is just looks. The XT would seem to be the way to go. And for another 600 bucks you could put the STI springs on it for suspension...

    It is the only model to have oh what do you call it, variable traction control allowing it to make the safest list.
  • rochcomrochcom Member Posts: 247
    I agree, heated seats are not sporty, but they are practical - it's cold here (usually, anyway) and we really appreciate the built-in "bun warmers." :-)
  • rochcomrochcom Member Posts: 247
    The XT Sports does look like a great package. There must be a separate brochure for the Sports models because they are not in the regular Forester book.
  • dt63944dt63944 Member Posts: 66
    The Sports XT is the way to go. Disc brakes all around, nice wheels, bun warmers, a welcome return to cloth seats...but I don't know if the suspension is any different than the "regular" 07 XT.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    so if you are looking for "sport" it just isn't there.

    No offense to forester owners who like to drive agressively, but rochcom wanting an all-out sports vehicle in the forester body, is kinda like a NASCAR Truck!

  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Oh I disagree! The video from a British car magazine posted a while back that compared the Forester STi with the WRX STi shows just how "sporty" a properly configured Forester can be :D

  • driver56driver56 Member Posts: 408
    What I like about the Forester is that, properly configured, the wagon becomes a WOLF in sheeps clothing.
    You gotta' love that!
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    anything you can do in a forester, you can do in an sTi better. Think about it. No matter what you will have aero against you. You will have weight up high against you.

    Not saying it can't handle well, but it's not designed as such. I mean yeah I could say the same of my armada, but no matter what you do it's still not a sports car.

  • otis12otis12 Member Posts: 171
    The 4-speed feels peppy off the line, but really, I think a 5-speed auto would help improve highway gas mileage. A 4-speed auto just seems outdated to me.
  • otis12otis12 Member Posts: 171
    One more thought: A forward-folding front passenger seat, for long items that I prefer not to put on the roof rack.
  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Mike- You're missing the point. Of course even the XT in STi trim isn't going to handle as well as a true sports car but it will defintely handle better than the vast majority of vehicles on the road today :P

    As Driver56 pointed out, one of the best things about the XT is that while it looks like your basic utilitarian vehicle, its performance is anything but! As the driver of a G35 found out the other morning when he tried to pass me ;)

  • smittynycsmittynyc Member Posts: 289
    It's not as convenient as a forward fold, but you can accomplish much the same effect by moving the passenger seat all the way forward, removing the headrest, and fully reclining the seatback. The top stump of the passenger seat *should* nestle against the bench of the rear seat.
  • dt63944dt63944 Member Posts: 66
    Subaru does things that seem absolutely bizarre to me and it might cost them another sale (to me). They come out with a "Sports XT", adding VDC (finally...and a wonderful safety feature) and then they go and (1) delete foglights and replace the front bumper with something that looks silly (2) delete the heated windshield and mirrors (3) make roof crossbars optional and (4) limit the choices to 3 colors, none of which is my favorite. Forgetting about the colors and crossbars, they basically added one nice safety feature and removed two others. What kind of thinking is that? Why not just simply offer the VDC as an option on the XT Limited and add that ridiculous blue and make the anthracite cloth seats optional (the cloth works fine on my 2004 XT, which I prefer to leather). I heard they took away the heated seats on the Sports XT, but I can't confirm that - not that it matters, it makes me just want to keep my 2004 XT longer, since they've made some pretty stupid decisions since. The Outback is pretty nice, but this is a Forester discussion...
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Are never a selling point nor should they be as OEM Fog lights are useless!

    As for the heated windshield? It's pretty expensive. I think they were trying to keep the price down yet add the expensive VDC to the equation.

  • dt63944dt63944 Member Posts: 66
    I'm on my third Forester since 1999 and I hope we can agree to disagree, then! I'd like to find a reason to buy something I like more than my 2004 XT with 100K miles, but the Sports XT isn't it.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I have been on SOA's case about a bigger sedan for years or a coupe ala SVX. I've had to look elsewhere for my towing needs as well. Heck my only Subaru left is my race car!

This discussion has been closed.