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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's right, Subies can be pricey in Canada.

    I'm telling you, make the H6 a $1000 stand-along option.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm betting the problem is that there is a limited supply of H6 engines coupled with the CAFE #s is why the H6 engine is in such short supply. Why else would they not slap the H6 engine as an option across the whole legacy line?

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    building another plant just to produce engines right here is the USA? I swear I read that somewhere. If that's true, then the "supply issue" of H-6s will become a non-event.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The CAFE #s will still plague them.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    And from what I read, the plant will make H4s, not H6s. I think it was on the SIA website that I saw this mentioned. Anybody have a link?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Originally I think it was H4s, but the press release everyone is quoting is from pre-H6 debut, so it may very well be setup to make H6 engines.

  • pam29pam29 Posts: 1
    Can someone tell me if they have experienced any noises when applying the brakes after going from reverse to drive. it is a clacking sound. can not tell if it is coming from the front or rear, kinda sounds in between. but it only happens when
    I put it into gear for the first time and not again until I have stopped it has sat I start it and again out it into gear. it is not the transmission it happens when I apply the brakes, but only on the first initial stop fine after that.
    does not matter if it is cold or hot. But always after I get out go into some where came out start it put it in gear apply the brakes. It is not brake dust. they tightened a bolt on the brakes.
    still does it. has 6700 miles on it .

  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    I heard way back in March, 2000 when they released the "face-lift" for 2001MY, (mine's a 2001 S+ I purchased after seeing it at a show) that the new H-6 would definately fit the Forester, from someone in the know. We can safely assume that it will fit the new version as well.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    CAFE is a concern, but the H6 is 20/27 while the H4 auto is 22/27 per the EPA, really only a tiny difference.

    Though they are borderline now, right at the 27.5 fleet average limit. What can they do?

    I think they should consider putting the JDM 2.0l 156hp engine in the Legacy L and Impreza TS wagon to offset the H6. It's a very efficient engine, and only gives up 9hp (more torque though).

    Either that or offer a Phase III 2.5l with VVT and more efficiencies, for maybe 23/28mpg EPA on all the models that use the 2.5l engine now.

    Pam: I've only heard of that problem with the H6 models. I'd have the dealer look at it. They had a shim kit that fixed it.

  • An H6 turbo Forester would be a riot. What a great midlife crisis car. Just add a few more inches in the back please.

    How about a AWD H6 sedan with the room of a 2002 Camry? Or an AWD minivan (thats reliable)?

    This car is really growing on me - the cabin has headroom like my old F150, I can take corners fast, carry large boxes in the back, and get decent gas mileage. Now I need snow, coming tomorrow to Chicago....
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    It's probably the brake pads shifting in the calipers, which is somewhat common (several of my cars made this noise) and nothing to worry about. You will hear a click/pop/clack noise when it happens, and maybe even feel a tiny tap through the brake pedal. Should only happen the first time you hit the brakes going forward after being in reverse.

    The shim kit was to fix a squeal problem on the Outbacks, and is not related to the popping noise you hear when the pads shift.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Now I remember, it was in one of the Baja press releases:

    "Also today, Subaru-Isuzu Automotive announced that Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), parent company of Subaru of America, will build a new Subaru engine assembly plant at SIA in Lafayette, Ind. Construction of the new engine plant will be a multistep project, which will include an initial capital investment of $36 million for full assembly and partial machining. Fuji Heavy Industries will carefully evaluate the investment at each step, which may culminate in a final estimated capital investment of $167 million. The new engine plant will create up to 255 new jobs.
    Central to the announcement, SIA will assemble horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engines for future Legacy and Outback vehicles built at the Lafayette, Ind. facility. The new engine assembly operation will function as part of SIA's Subaru division and is scheduled to produce up to 114,000 engines per year. "

  • Pam29, I have had this noise with my 99S since it was new. Mine's more like a clunk. It's not a problem. There was a post some time ago explaining that it had something to do with the brakes after braking in reverse and then braking in forward (when the noise occurs).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    H6 and turbo? Where do I sign up? :o)

    If you want more room than the current Legacy, you'll have to wait for the 2005 SUW being developed with partner GM. But it might have a GM chassis (Lambda IIRC).

    GM could put a Subaru H6 and AWD in the Montana, but that platform scored poorly in crash tests and is too narrow for its class. Maybe the next generation will be competitive. I rented a Montana and was not impressed.

  • rictomrictom Posts: 89
    I wanted to let those of you shopping for a L Forester that I just closed a deal for a automatic with keyless for $19,766. I emailed my local dealer as well as 2 others. I told them what I wanted and said it had to be under 20k.
    One dealer actually quoted me 19,866 right off the bat. The other 2 kept saying, impossible, we're not a non profit organization etc. I simply kept telling them the price I wanted and that I had one quote already for under 20k. I gave my local dealer a hard time becaise they kept hemming and hawing. Finally they agreed to match 19866. I told them that wasn't good enough, they had to take another $100 off if they wanted to earn my busines 'cause they'd been ignoring what I said I wanted and what I would pay.
    They said yes. Barring any last minute weirdness we'll pick up our Forester Saturday. We want it sooner but just can't do it before then.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Nice going! I know you will be looking forward to Saturday!

    What color did you get?

  • I recently had my "check engine light" come on and since I read this site on regular basis I suspected that my gas cap might be the source.

    Sure enough, after my last fill-up I had screwed the cap on at an angle. Since I was in need of fuel I tanked-up and called my local dealer to schedule an appointment to turn the light off. That was Saturday the 12th of January. Today, the 15th and before I could see the service tech, the light went off on its own. Mine is a 2002 Forester L Automatic with just 3,000 miles.

    Should I keep my appointment? Does the light just go off if the fuel cap gets adjusted? It took 2+
    days after the correction and fill-up. I don't want to drop off the car if I don't need to but I also don't want to damage the engine either! Any feedback would be most appreciated!!

    Thanks, Donn
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I think it needs a few on/off cycles without the error code to turn it off. How many times did you start your Forester during those 2+ days?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    According to Patti from SOA who posts on here often, you need to wait until the tank goes to 1/4 of a tank after tightening the cap. Basically when it hits 1/4 of a tank the ECU will reset itself.

  • Brian- I probably started the car 10-15 times during the period.

    Mike- The tank took about 13 gallons on Saturday when I filled up. This morning the light was on but this afternoon when I left work it was off and has stayed off so far. I have about 3/4 of a tank left. Thanks to Patti of SOA.

    Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll let it go for now and see what happens.:)

  • rictomrictom Posts: 89
    I got the Blue Ridge Pearl. Here's the kicker. I accept the deal and put down a deposit. I then email one of the other dealers thanking him and letting him know I got the deal I wanted, and he says, "Well, I don't like to do this much work and not earn your business, LOL, so if you want to do it this way, give me a one time chance to show you why Capitol will treat you right..."
    Geez, it's tempting to say, ok, take $1000 off and you've got a deal! Unless he's really yanking my chain, should I give him a shot? I'm not sure I'd feel right about 'backing out' of the deal I made... Has anyone bought a 2002 L for $18,7xx?
  • I have to chime in here.

    First, although Auto Motor Sport is a reputable publication, the drawings (first announced by Arne Herrmann in the newsgroup) are just that and simply give us a bit more to ponder about. I have not been able to verify the source, but I agree with goldencouple1 about the fish-mouthed one being in the middle of what everyone has seen. Clearly, what is stated in terms of staying along the lines of cross-over rather than full-fledged SUV makes most sense and is the most likely scenario.

    I don't know why everyone here thinks the H6 is such a good idea. You get similar or better performance from the turbo, at less weight and less fuel consumption. If Subaru decides on the H6, it will be because they think that's what Americans want (as an option), and it helps for towing. But there are too many down sides:

    - fuel consumption
    - front weight distribution
    - too much weight
    - fleet CAFE numbers
    - doesn't fit existing design
    - very expensive option

    If they decide that way, they may just be afraid that too many folks would tune a turbo, which leads to reliability and warranty problems that are difficult to manage.

    However, just because the magazine says so I am not convinced.

    Advantages of a turbo version (in addition to not having above disadvantages):

    - allows a more powerful engine without using up valuable real estate (that needs to be increased in the passenger area instead, to remain competitive)
    - underlines sporty nature of car. Many CRV etc. buyers are young; Forester buyers are demographically far older folks. Allows them to tap into the younger market segment.
    - cheaper to build, does not need extensive engine mount, support and size changes. More like <$1000 versus $2000 (don't forget ensuing changes of the transmission, suspension, brakes, etc).

    No matter what, if they have not managed to increase the power of the existing H4 by 10% while increasing mileage (e.g., using VVT), I am afraid, they will loose the battle. Subaru offers an attractive but strange, idiosyncratic mix that sometimes appeals to conservative folks, sometimes to mainstream people with a sense of adventure or simply common sense. However, that does not mean they don't have to refine their product to stay competitive.

    - D.
  • OK,

    Say I am in the market for a new 2002/2003 model car and like safety, great handling, and a bit of storage space in a smallish car between about $25K and $32K. Oh, and I already have a Passat 4Motion, it should be smaller and a bit more nimble if possible. And I find the WRX too small.

    Three cars come to mind:

    - the 2003 Forester
    - the A4 wagon
    - the Jetta 1.8T or TDI Wagon

    If I give up on the AWD (in the US), I get a great, inexpensive car at up to 50miles/gallon. What I save on initial and gasoline cost, I can put in a chip to get performance comparable to or better than the Forester (assuming an H4).

    When I look at this, the only way I would decide on the Forester is if I really needed that additional 3" or so clearance. The other two are better in most other respects (including trim and mileage).

    With just a few $1000 more than either the Jetta or the Forester, I get a vastly superior car with the new 3.0l A4.

    I know this may sound like a strange comparison to some people, but those are the cars I am looking at. Now you may understand why I think Subaru needs to show us a lot with the 2003 Forester to remain competitive.

    Oh, by the way, I do like Subarus and owned a '77 as well as a '87 GL. Believe me, no one else would like to see a vastly improved 2003 Forester succeed more than me.

    - D.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181

    o Smoother
    o Towing (this is an SUV)
    o Lots more low end torque
    o This is America, we like to see 6 cylinders or 8 it's a psychological thing
    o reliability (a Turbo car will not last as long as a N/A one)
    o doesn't require premium fuel

  • <"With just a few $1000 more than either the Jetta or the Forester, I get a vastly superior car with the
    new 3.0l A4.">

    A few more? about an Edmunds TMV of $33,000 for the Audi vs. $24,000 for the Forester S Premium+. That is $9,000 more, not just a few...
  • thecatthecat Posts: 535
    "mericans" want low end torque. IMHO a turbo Forester has a very limited audience here in the U.S. Maybe Juice and a couple of other folks :)

    However, I thought that the new H-6 does require premium fuel and I think the current towing limits are due to brakes not torque.

    - Hutch
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It suggest premium and runs better on it, but it doesn't require it. I think actually it's the chassis that limits the towing coupled with the brakes, but to do any significant towing over 2000lbs you really need some nice torque and hp.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, Rick. You may want to ask ahead of time if they add any fees to your agree-upon price, so there are no surprises. If one place has a $300 processing fee and other doesn't, the bottom line is better at the other place even if the price is $100 higher.

    Donn: keep the appointment. The tech will read the code to make sure that's what it was.

    Wait a second, the H6 makes 20/26 in the heavier VDC with automatic. The auto WRX makes 19/26 in the lighter Impreza body, so it's actually worse in terms of mileage and CAFE.

    And a turbo has a bigger thirst for high octane, so running regular on the H6 is less detrimental. You lose 4hp in the H6, but in a turbo I would not run 87 octane no matter what.

    Also, the H6 LL Bean is $1800 more than the Ltd wagon, but it includes 3/36 of free service, and a few extra goodies. So figure on the engine costing an extra $1200 or so.

    But the WRX wagon costs $4800 more than an Outback Sport. Factoring equipment, the turbo still costs double easily. Maybe triple.

    Don't get me wrong, I like turbos too. But if it fits, only 2 out of 6 of your down sides are correct, and the extra cost and mpg penalty actually would apply to the turbo. That sort of turns the tide in favor of the H6.

    So let's see, Turbo advantages include:

    * more compact engine
    * lighter
    * weight distribution
    * quicker
    * high-tech appeal to young buyers
    * off-boost efficiency
    * works with a manual tranny or auto

    The H6 basically gives you:

    * lower price penalty
    * better fuel efficiency, 87 octane usable
    * more luxurious appeal to upscale buyers
    * low-end grunt (same as towing IMO)

    Reliability is a toss up, but the H6 may carry a perceived advantage with buyers. The biggest negative I see is that Subaru has not fit a manual tranny to the H6 yet.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I think you got a good deal as-is, and it probably isn't worth the trouble to mess with the other dealer again (never mind that it's not good, and sometimes not possible, to back out of a signed deal unless you have a real legitimate reason). They had the chance to earn your business, and should not be adjusting their deals now -- it's too late. You could go back and forth like this forever. And I doubt they would be able to go much lower than invoice.

    I went through something similar when i bought my first Outback -- I had a good price quote from one dealer, and then went to another who promised me they could do better. I think it was a trick to lure me in. Overall, I might have saved $50, and it was not worth the time and effort. When they said they could "do better" it was with stuff that didn't matter to me, like freebies, baloney paint protection packages that they would not charge me for, a free oil change, etc. I was interested in $$$ plain and simple, but they were just interested in moving a car off their lot.

    Keep in mind that dealers want two things: 1) to move inventory, because it costs them money to have cars sitting on the lot, and 2) to make as much as they can off of each sale. You have pretty much hit the limits on #2, so now the other dealer is vying for your business just to get a car off his lot. I think it's more in his interest to get you back than it is in yours.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Juice is right -- in the context of a vehicle like the Forester, there are more downsides to a turbo motor compared to the H6. No doubt turbo motors are more expensive to build. You have some very detailed and exotic engineering and manufacturing going into a turbocharger and its plumbing and cooling systems. The H6 is a pretty tame design by comparison (I'm not cutting on the H6, just pointing out that it's a pretty normal design by Subaru standards).

    To me, Forester buyers would want low end grunt and a smooth, uniform power curve. Other than a few of us here on Edmunds (I won't name names :-) but you know who you are), most Forester buyers are not going to be driving the cars hard or flogging the engine like you would do in a turbo car. Let's face it, turbos are meant to be driven energetically -- it's the whole basis for how they boost power. If you don't drive the car that way, you may as well get a normally aspirated engine and enjoy the benefits of that type of motor.

    Besides, the WRX wagon is fine for all the turbo-addicts out there . . . .

This discussion has been closed.