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Changes You'd Like To See in the Subaru Forester



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Lower CG will give it a better rollover score, it's all about the scores.

  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    I think suby's are or were the only "suv" (intentional small case to pre-empt that argument hopefully) that did/does NOT require the rollover sticker right in front of your face presently. I can't be sure about the Tribeca though...

    These "rollover" "lower center of gravity" arguments would be great for other vehicles, but that has always been one of Suby's best features...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Do the others in the classes against the Forester and Outback have rollover stickers? Not sure though.

    Heck I'm not even sure my Armada has that sticker in it, I'll have to check it next time I'm in it.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I seem to recall that they use a rather simplistic mathematical equation to determine the CG and accompanying rollover score. Something like they don't actually determine the CG but just estimate it based on HT/WT/Ground Clerance/etc. Thus it doesn't take into account the boxer engine's lower CG nor would it care what type of suspension was used.

    I'm sure if I'm wrong someone will set me straight :)

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    No, I think you're correct Frank.

  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    Great, now Frank gets that huge ego boost hes always wanted with that double confirmation. LOL.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Sorry about that! One of our servers seems to have hiccuped.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wybird1wybird1 Posts: 2
    I'd like to see the ground clearance increase for those of us who live on dirt roads with ruts.

    A little more knee room for tall drivers.

    Head rests that tilt for long commutes.

    Rear seats that recline a little more.
  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    How about rear seats that recline PERIOD? ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Head rests that tilt for long commutes.

    Rear seats that recline a little more.

    Believe it or not my 1998 model has both.

    The rear seats recline almost all the way. The rear head rests also tilt. And they are interchangeable with the fronts, so I swapped them out and have tilting head rests. :shades:
  • djensondjenson Posts: 2
    Get rid of the cheap fabric seats... stand by the warranty for wear for 36000. The seats are fraying on the seams in even new cars and Subaru won't admit it is a quality control problem and replace with something more durable. The light color interior is terrible for showing dirt though the car is excellent driving in snow & mud.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Been following these forums for a long time, and yours are the first "worn" seats I've heard of.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I remember there was an issue with the 1st gen Forester regarding the fabric on doors that would show wear from drivers who rode with their arms on the window sill.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Back then Ed used to complain. Ironically, it was the higher trim line.
  • I've had a Forester XT Sport (automatic, with VDC) for a little over a year now. Very reliable, but sometimes it's the little things that get to you:

    1) This model has the "high-end" audio system (MP3-capable), but the two front door speakers are simply terrible. When the engine is on, and at normal volume, they vibrate with the panel with such distortion that it is impossible to listen to some music. We also have a 2005 Volvo S40 T5 with a good audio system, and, while it's not MP3-capable, CD's and radio music sounds GREAT. Two Subaru dealer service depts claim they cannot hear the problem, and now the warranty on the audio system is close to expiring. This problem really strengthens the image of Subarus as being (and sounding) "tinny""! :P

    2) I got the heavy duty floor mats with this XT Sport. The driver's mat has a hook that is supposed to prevent the mat from sliding up under the pedals, but, because this mat is so thick, it quickly slips up and off the hook. One dealer's service guy actually thought there was a different hook available for this mat, so, at no charge to me, he ordered and installed it: it was the exact same hook!! If anyone knows a homemade solution to securing the mat to the hook, I'm listening. :confuse:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I can't disagree.

    I replace the base speakers on my Forester with premium sound speakers, and they are only slightly less bad. To be fair that was a 1998 model.

    The pin that holds my floor mat in place broke off the first year I owned the vehicle. I never bothered to replace it.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Subaru certainly isn't known for it's audio systems. The base speakers are pathetic paper cones and while the upgraded ones are somewhat better construction, they're hardly audiophile quality. However, I've got the upgraded audio system and I have to crank it up pretty high to get the speakers vibrating in the door panels :confuse:

    Does the hook go all the way into your floor mat? If so, you'd think that it would provide enough resistance to prevent the mat from sliding. I've never had a problem with the standard mats sliding.

  • Frank,
    When I swapped it in for a while, the standard mat did not slide at all. The heavy duty mat is much thicker, and the hook is too short to hold it securely. Just wish someone at Subaru had thought this through to where they either: a) re-worked the hole in the mat so the original hook could hold it, or b) offered a bigger hook. :(
  • Now that I have seen and crawled all over the 09 Forester I find that I like it very much, however I am very disappointed that they didn't include a 5 speed automatic in the changes. This would allow lower RPMs at highway speeds. I am not a CVT fan.

    So my first wish would be the transmission. My second wish would be for them to make changes to the 3.0 H6 to allow it to run on regular fuel without compromise, and offer it on the Forester. Some of the changes made to the H6 for the Tribeca, like the cooling system, and valve actuation system, should be easily transferred to the 3.0, and leave it at 3.0 for a good balance of economy and performance.

    I would most likely buy a new Forester if it had the transmission, but would definitely buy one if it had the trans and the H6.

    If I got a 3rd wish, I would like to see the AWD bias for the automatic system changed to the 45/55 as is in the Tribeca.

    The more I think about what I have said I guess what I am asking for is a slightly smaller, more economical Tribeca type Forester.
  • robm2robm2 Posts: 53
    A 5th gear does not mean a higher highway gear. More often than not, it means closer gear ratios with about the same final gear ratio.

    At 110 km/h, (~70 mph), the 4EAT is still well below 3000 rpm, (I think it's around 2400 or 2600 ... can't remember for sure).

    I can tell you that the 4th gear in the 4EAT is a lower ratio (0.694) compared to the 5MT (0.738), and compared to the 6MT (0.756). Lower ratio means lower RPM at highway speed.

    More gears ≠ better highway mileage
  • More gears CAN mean better highway mileage. What you mention is one scenario but not common. The Tribeca and the Outback 5 spd autos have closer interim gear ratios AND lower top gear ratios. This is much more common than what you suggest. With 5 speeds you can have your cake and eat it too.

    You also neglect final drive ratios and tire sizes too. In the case of the Forester the tire sizes are the same but the final drive ratios are different between the manual and the auto. The manual uses a 4.111 final drive while the auto uses a 4.44. The top gear in the auto has to be lower to compensate for this on the highway.

    The highway RPMs end up being similar on both Foresters. At 75 MPH the manual has 3022 and the auto has 2904. However the Tribeca has 2593. At 70 the numbers are 2820/2710/and 2420.

    Subaru does a great job with gear ratios and final drive ratios, including giving good launch characteristics in 1st gear, but using a 5 speed auto would give them better options for matching what is needed for launch and highway cruising. Somewhere around 350 to 400 RPMs lower at "real" highway speeds would provide for better fuel mileage.

    400 RPMs is roughly the difference between driving at 65 instead of 75 in the Forester. Anyone who has done this knows the mileage at 65 is much better than at 75. This discounts increased drag but that delta is a small part of the equation at these 2 speeds.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A 5th ratio would not hurt, but our auto does shift smoothly and doesn't hunt around. Overall I actually like Subaru's 4EAT as in our Forester better than the 5EAT in our Toyota Sienna.

    So add it, sure, just make sure it performs exactly like the 4 speed currently does.

    I'd like the see them raise the passenger seat an inch or so, and how about round cup holders instead of square ones?

    Minor nit picks, to be fair.

    If you keep the speeds down, you can get phenomenal gas mileage in the Forester - we can break 30mpg fairly easily. Drive fast and it's closer to 27mpg. Good numbers for the class.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Very good numbers! I have a '98 MT Escort and on a long trip yesterday keeping it at 60 mph, it returned 38.5. 28% better than what you listed for the Forester, but I give up a lot to get there. If I were up to a car payment, I would dump that little econo-car in a heartbeat.
    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
    I had a 91 Escort GT back in the day. That averaged about 28mpg or so, not a lot better than the Subaru, though I'm sure I used to drive more aggressively.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Exactly. For what you get in return, Subaru's vehicles really do provide very good fuel economy.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
This discussion has been closed.