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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • subypowersubypower Posts: 50
    We are getting the following colored Forester's. In the X model,
    Pacifica Blue Pearl,
    Platinium Sliver Metallic,
    Sierra Gold Metallic,
    Woodland Green Pearl,
    and Cayenne Red Pearl.

    We are getting a bunch of these along with one XS, one XS with a moonroof and one XS with a moonroof and leather. $225 retail to add the cargo tray and mud guards.
  • declansdaddeclansdad Posts: 120
    That's a little pricey for flaps and tray. I hope Subaru will bundle those options together with, lets say, the AWP.

    Looks like I'll be waiting for the 2004 forester turbo or hopefully the B4 in 2004 (that does have a nice ring to it).

  • I agree that clearance is important off-road, but a minimum ground clearance number does not tell the whole story of ground clearance. Usually a minimum ground clearance number is measured front the front or rear differential to the ground. The rest of the vehicle may ride higher with much more clearance for off-road use. I would have to say that the SUVs amyash listed would do okay off-road, and would typically do much better than the subbie. Don't get me wrong though, the subbie can do a lot of stuff, but it has more limitations off-road than the others in the list. The good thing about the sub is that it will do much better on-road than the others.
  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    As has already been said, the answer to your question depends upon what you mean by serious off-roading. Here are some pictures of the roads I've driven with Rufus - 2001 S:

    Hope this helps.


  • hayduke01hayduke01 Posts: 128
    Thanks for the info on window tinting. I've found a local shop (recommended by my salesman) that will do seven windows for a price ranging from $139 up to $249. Price difference is dyed film vs. metallic. Dyed film carries a one-year warranty; metallic carries a lifetime warranty. I'm leaning toward the metallic, even though more costly. There's a lot of surface area to cover, and if it's better at rejecting heat then it's worth the added cost, especially with the better warranty.

    On my '93 Civic I added tint, but don't remember the cost or type of film. It held up well, with only a couple of scratches that were entirely my fault. No fading or bubbling.

    Also thinking of adding a trailer hitch. For those of you who've done that, what's involved? My wife was horrified at the relatively minor drilling required for the cargo net installation, so I'd be more likely to attempt it if the holes are already there. I don't even own a trailer, but would add the hitch receiver for a bike rack, since that rack would be a lot easier than the top mounted rack.
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Subaru now follows the other Japanese manufacturers - and GM - in decontenting. Disappointing.

  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    for all the useful tire reco's mentioned on this forum. We were disappointed in the snow performance of the standard Geolanders (though they handled very well on dry pavement) and went to BF Goodrich Precepts. This is an 80,000 mi. tire available at Discount Tire Centers, and has surprisingly decent handling over-all and very acceptable in snow conditions. $83 bucks, good ride and not too noisy,
    although we might try the Dunlop SP Sport A2s recommended here next time. They appear to be a great performance value judging from the stats at Tirerack.

    Also, wanted to mention we have used Mobil 1 synthetic since 1500 mi. and it really helped quiet some noisy engine clatter--now runs fine (26,000 mi.) and purrs like a champ.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    you have to post the album link, not the generic imagestation 'my pictures' section. it should have the album id in the link.

    like this:


  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    When I try my link it gets me to the point where I can choose any of the three albums: Rufus, Fun Roads & More Roads. Don't you get there?

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    ...since you're signed in to the site. try signing out and then try your original link. when I click your link, it asks me to sign in and then takes me to MY personal page - not yours.

    I think this is the album you were trying to link:

    This is the link to your Rufus page. I can see 2 albums of your by doing a member search on armac. The other album must be not public, like mine are. That way I can invite people just by giving them the link(s).

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    I'll try it again



    These are the ones I wanted. I'm a slow learner, is it right now?


  • jeijei Posts: 143
    Ross -
    Thanks for posting your pictures. Several questions:
    Did you bottom out or scrape anywhere, like on Tough Going 2? Did your tires give you enough edge traction to steer so you could stay out of deepest ruts in the rutted parts of the road? A couple of your pictures showed straight ruts fairly far apart, suggesting full sized trucks. How did you drive that part? Were you able to keep both wheels out of ruts or did you drive with one side in and one side out?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also the worst thing that all subies suffer from off-road is angle of approach and departure. With the boxer engine up front and the long overhangs in the rear, cause it to not perform as well as it could off-road. Die's assesment of the "numbers" on ground clearance v. actual clearance is true. My Trooper has "only" 9.X" of ground clearance, but that is only at the rear diffy, everywhere else it's 10-12+

    With that said, depending on what kind of "off-roading" you plan to do, will dictate if the Forester will work for you.

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    Pictures 21, 22 confirm that mike is right about the approach and departure angles. Traction, even edge traction, was never an issue, much to my surprise. This was the roughest road driving I've ever done and I had no spotter with me. Basically it was "pick a line, cross my eyes and pray" on a couple of the crossings. Actually I did "walk" a couple places before attempting them. My depth perception is extremely poor so I did more sweating than memorizing how I got through. Getting stuck may very well have meant waiting a day or two for help. I love my Subie!!


  • storytellerstoryteller Posts: 476
    In this part of the world (Minnesota & Wisconsin) I spend a lot of time on roads just like Ross photographed, usually in fall during grouse hunting season. The real hazard is not getting stuck so much as it is banging some precious body part too hard. Around here a lot of those muddy puddles have big old rocks hiding in them, and if you go through at speed you can really whack the diffy or some muffler part.

    Fun pix, Ross.
  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    I do have the differential protector so I was not too worried about that. I may still get a sump guard. We too have a lot of lurking rocks so most of the difficult crossings were done at "all ahead slow". When the roads were just rough, on the other hand, it was more like "damn the torpedoes" (American reference for the week). :~)
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Did anyone notice the shifter in the auto-tranny Forester on -- in the 2003 preview story? It's the same one from the 2002 Outback Sport.

    I test drove the Outback Sport when deciding on a new car, and I can tell you that the auto-tranny shifter was a sticking point. My wife couldn't stand that staggered shifter in the Outback Sport -- it felt cheap and was not easy to shift between reverse, neutral, and drive.

    Are all the Subarus going to this shifter type? I hope not -- it really feels cheap compared to the plain black forward/backward auto-tranny shifter.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this "new feature?"

  • mst3kguymst3kguy Posts: 10
    continuing the tinting thread, has anyone had their moonroof tinted (forester or other)? when i asked the place who tinted my forester windows about the moonroof, they stated it generates too much heat. anyone had any success getting a moonroof tinted despite this? or is my only option getting an auto glass place to actually replace the glass with tinted glass (which i'm sure will cost a pretty penny, considering the size of the glass)?


    cincinnati, ohio
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I'm not wild about this shift to "gated shifters" by Subaru either.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My moonroof came tinted. You can buy film by the foot and cut it to fit, if you're handy.

    Most Subies do get the zig-zag auto shifter, but the good news is the shiftronic style ones don't. They are straight, and have a separate section on the right for manual shifting. Better yet, it's fore and aft instead of side to side like Chrysler's AutoStick.

    Now I just hope we get it on the Forester.

    Hmm, I'm not happy about losing the mud guards, or the cargo area mat. Both are useful, especially that mat. For $225, I'd go aftermarket, though, that's too high. I think MacNeil sells the mats for about $80 for most SUVs. Mud guards can't cost much. I'd put some one, but maybe not those if the price is so high.

    The bumper step pad - was that standard before? I have it but I thought it was an option. That is custom sized so you'd pretty much have to go OE for that.

    Still, you can't sneak the cost-cutting by us. At least they added some stuff, too. But they'd better keep prices about flat - we should figure on a $225 increase for the mat and mud guards alone.

    Dave: the 2002 seems like a bargain for below invoice. There are no rebates, so the dealer is basically giving you his holdback and not making any money on the deal.

    15" snows on a 2003? I'm not sure there would be enough clearance for the bigger brake rotors up front.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    rear bumper step pad was standard.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    2nd attempt, thanks for the tip, Brian.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    image is still MIA...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bob: Subaru may have looked at the competition and seen that they don't offer those things. But still, content was one of the main reasons I picked Subaru in the first place. That was their edge, they should not give it up.

    I hope they add those things back for 2004. They added power mirrors in 1999, then keyless, a 2nd odo, and a temp gauge, all for less-than-inflation price changes.

    The Yen has lost value, so really there is no excuse for cutting costs right now.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Do you other folks see that image? I took off the part Brian mentioned. I can see it.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    burnsmr4 -- I actually like the gated shifter that's becoming standard on most Subarus. Although I normally drive stick, I've rented auto Subarus when I've had work done my my Forester. I like how the pattern lets you flick between D and 3 for quick downshifts but keeps you from going all the way to 2 or 1.

    juice -- I can see the photo.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I see your pic fine too, Juice. Wonder if it's an AOL thing?

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Anyone else? Why is Image Station picking on Bob? Sony got something against you?

    Off roading: I've been on sand a few times, mostly in the Outer Banks. The vehicle's lightness pays big dividends as it floats well over sand. I never bottomed out on the Pine Barrens run, so choosing the right path and driver skill must play a big role.

    I have the rear diffy protector, worth it for just $80 or so. You can get an aluminum front skid plate for a couple hundred. Want more? 2" taller springs run about $360. Beyond that, it's not a Forester any more. Get a truck.

    Ground clearance is pretty good, though:


This discussion has been closed.