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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    cat: if you hit "refresh", you end up with duplicate posts.

    Unless of course you meant to meow more than once, in that case maybe you're hungry? ;-)

  • I've just had some fish, and am not hungry now

    : )

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Grilled turbot is my favorite.

    I gotta go check out a 2003. I'm sure I'll end up wanting one, though.

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    When ARE we getting together for the 1st Annual Subaru Banquet? I'm in as long as we don't have "Roadkill Pot Pie" like they did at the banquet I attended before I bought Rufus.

    Ross the Retired
  • storytellerstoryteller Posts: 476
    Ross: You still gonna sell Rufus?

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    Yes unfortunately. He's definitely the best car I've ever owned, but with my retirement coming a bit earlier than I originally intended, too much of my limited capital is tied up in him. Besides, I've driven in the small town (~ 18,000) to which I'm moving, and a Forester would be severe overkill. Almost everyone drives on "Island time", very relaxed, waits for a looong gap before pulling out into traffic. I'll fit in better with a much lesser car . At least I had the pleasure of driving a Roo for 2 years. Maybe in a few years when I get bored I'll get a used WRX. :-)

  • erzhanerzhan Posts: 9
    Hi all.
    I'm decided to change AT fluid on my 01 Forester (12000miles).
    I have a klicking/clunking sound when upshifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. Dealer didn't found anything wrong with transmittion, but this sound is annoying, so I decided to change the fluid.
    Can anyone recommend me the best ATF Fluid? (May be Mobil 1 ATF?).

    Also, Is LubeGard worth it to add to ATF?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm not very familiar with the types and brands of ATF, but find a shop that has those machines that completely flushes out the old ATF and forces in the new stuff.

    In fact if you chose a type with a different color, this makes their job easier. When the stuff coming out changes color completely you're done.

  • erzhan,

    One of the best ATF is by Redline. Check out D4 ATF should work for Forester's auto tranny. It will reduce the torque converter lag and smooth out the shifting a little. It does work better than Mobil 1's. Actually I plan to replace ATF and diff oils with Redline stock after the '03 reaches 5K miles.

    I also experienced the famous AT lag last week when I was merging into a highway. The behavior struck me as a combo of over-sensitive traction control, slow torque converter, and some engine control quirk. The report of reprogramming '02's ECU does raise my eyebrow.

    BTW, the '03 manual says that the AT box take 9.8 qt of fluid! Wow! Is this a typo or what?

  • juice - I believe you won't be disappointed by the 2003. Last weekend I did a sharp 90 degree turn at around 35-40 mph, unintentionally. Actually I was searching for the driveway and almost missed it. It handled that very well. We were again surprised.

    Go check it out and tell us your experience.

  • Hi my 2001 forester is at 30K miles and needs a plug change. The manual says the dealer should do it. I have some experience turning a wrench and am not afraid of a little work. Just how tough is it and are special tools involved.
  • rlastarrlastar Posts: 10
    Thanks to everyone for all the great input. I have my new L sitting in my garage thanks to you folks.
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Hello all. First of all, let me say that I am one of those "lurkers" that have been reading this discussion for months trying to extract every last detail about the 2003 Forester. I've finally come out.

    I am deeply in love with my 1999 Forester L and felt I could only replace it with something even better! I have scoured the Internet like an obsessed maniac trying to find pictures and specs and release dates since February. Thanks to EVERYONE who has posted useful info on the new 2003 Forester over the last few months.

    So today was the big day... After reading here that people had already BOUGHT Foresters a week or two ago, they weren't anywhere to be found in the Philadelphia area until 1 PM this afternoon.

    I sped to my local dealer who had a loaded Silver XS Premium with every option but leather with a sticker around $26,500. It had the gray cloth interior.

    The first thing I did was sit in it and get the seat comfortable. I am pleased to say that I DEFINITELY was able to find an improved driving position over my '99 thanks to the improved height adjustment. (I am 5' 10" and always felt like my left foot was too cramped. If I put the seat all the way back, I was too far from the wheel.) Well, not in the 2003. It was perfect... except that the very top of my hair was lightly brushing on the sunroof trim.

    From there, I left the front seat in position and moved behind it and definitely noticed the improvement in rear seat space. Not much, but good enough to keep my knees from rubbing, and there's a LOT more toeroom.

    Now for the bad part. I tried and tried to be open-minded about the cloth seats, but I just couldn't stand them. I mean, I REALLY hated them. I don't know if it's the vinyl trim or the weird cloth lining on the armrests or what, but every ounce of my excitement went down the drain with the feeling that the interior just looked plain cheap. I mean deal-breaker cheap. My '99 L has the low-end cloth and I find them much more attractive, believe it or not.

    Am I the only one that feels this way? At first I was in total denial. I WANTED to like it but I couldn't! So I walked across the lot to look at the other Forester with the beige interior hoping it would look better than the gray. It was worse! It was a weird beige, almost yellow. YUCK! Come on Subaru! You let me down.

    So now, in desperation, I am seeking out another Subaru dealer that has one with the leather. It looks nice in the pictures, so I'm praying that it looks more upscale in person.

    Has anybody compared the leather's looks to the cloth? Do you feel it looks a lot better and is worth an extra $700?

    After my big disappointment, I am actually putting some serious thought to the LL Bean Outback for ~$2,500 more. With the V-6, nicer interior, and more cargo space, I might just step up. Any opinions here: loaded 2003 Forester XS Premium vs. LL Bean Outback?
  • rlastarrlastar Posts: 10
    To each his own, but I like the look and feel of the fabric. I had leather in one of my cars about 10 years ago and will never go back to leather. It's cold in the winter and sticks to you in the summer.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Don't forget that I think the subaru trannies contain the front diffy in that fluid as well. Also they are monster units. My XT6 also takes 9.X quarts of fluid as well and they are all pretty much the same units.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    My '98 2.5l OB takes 10 quarts of ATF, and that's not including the front diff.
    The front diff. takes IIRC 2 quarts oil?
    Don't quote me, I think I forgot. :)

  • kohallkohall Posts: 12
    For "eps150" (and others thinking about this): I drove both leather and cloth in the 2002 Forester and definitely thought the leather was more comfortable and classy. I now have the 2003 XS Premium, Java Black with Grey leather and am very pleased with my selection. The grey leather, coupled with the 2 tones of grey on the dash board is a real pleasing combo. Seeing that I normally drive cars over 100k miles, the extra $700 does not amount to much over the long haul. The durability of leather, if you treat it with Kiwi (or whatever) conditioner, is far superior to fabric. Plus, for me, having forgone the "opportunity" (and ridiculous price) of the BMW X5, Acura MDX and Lexus RX300, found the leather to be something that they all have in common. In fact the Subaru leather is better than the MDX perforated leather (and the seats in the Forester are way better - comfort wise) and more durable feeling than the Lexus (which felt like 1950's naugahide - real shiny). I have to admit; however, that the $55k X5 did have a notch higher quality leather than the Forester, but when my subie wears out, I can go buy another and still be ahead on $ over the Beemer.
  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    I went to look at the new Forester and I didn't care for the metallic starkness of the new center console. It looked cold and germanic not as inviting as the 2002 I am picking up Wednesday. As far as leather goes all my cars for the last 15 or so years have had leather and I wanted cloth seats this time. Leather is overrated as far as I am concerned. Yes it can get too hot in summer and too cold in winter (unless it is heated). I did not like the cloth designs on the 2003.
    I didn't drive the 2003 but overall I still like the design of the 2002 and I am getting the sport grill which I think makes a big difference in the look. Just my two cents FWIW.
  • rsunicorsunico Posts: 82
    juice: where did you get a quote for 895 for a moonroof? it would be worth my while to schedule my next trip to DC soon and get it done! I'm just not a pop-up kind of sunroof guy!

    to the person getting advice on prices for 2002 forester: my dealer (Liberty Sub. in Oradell NJ) quoted me 21,308 for a 2002 black Forester premium. Automatic should be 22,000. If you are close to NJ give em a call.
  • ckirk4ckirk4 Posts: 11
    Does anyone know when Edmunds will have their website updated showing the 2003 Forester? Also, has anyone out there printed a copy of what a Forester will cost at Van Bortel's in New York and presented it to a local dealer asking them to match the price?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, Rick. What color?

    The plugs are hard to access. On mine you have to move the windshield washer fluid reservoir out of the way, as well as the intake. So go ahead and change the air filter while you're at it. I'd also do the PCV valve and the fuel filter.

    E: I'm sure you'll like the leather much better, and it's heated so you're all set.

    The Bean is one fine ride, but quite different in character. It's more of a near-luxury car, very quiet. The H6 (not Vee) is so quiet you have to look at the tach to make sure it's on. It's not super quick - it's refined. And they geared it tall for good gas mileage and relaxed cruising. While I found it very nice, it's just not my style, I want something more fun.

    I thought the 2003 fabric was OK, but tastes vary so check out that leather.

    10 quarts? Seriously? My Miata takes two, though the diffy takes another quart for a total of 3. Our 626 used to take about 3.5 quarts. These Subies must be well lubed!

    BTW, a $55k Bimmer should have better quality materials, but not necessarily better reliability - they've had 14 recalls already on the X5 alone.

    Renato: Adler & Mandell in Rockville MD. I've personally used them twice. Friends a few other times.

    BTW, Automotive News published an incentive of $0-500 for the Forester, probably depending on the number of sales, so don't be surprised to see prices for the 2002 at about $500 under invoice.

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    juice, I see you're back. How'd it go?

    Where in the Philly area are there '03 Foresters? I have been to three dealers and have yet to see one.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually, I'm running off to the interview right now...wish me luck.

  • erzhanerzhan Posts: 9
    Hi all.

    Does anyone knows any Service technician in Columbus, OH who can flush transmission fluid and fill it using fluid that I brought with me?
    Firestone Service can only flush transmission. - They don't accept fluid that i brought - only use their own.
    Is it hard to fill out transmittion with my fluid once they flushed it? Can anyone give me step-by-step directions?

    Thanks a lot!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I took a base X auto for a short spin. It felt very solid and more "planted" in the corners than our '01 S Premium. A definite improvement, for sure. Also, I noticed:

    • Yes, it does have lit power window switches, thank you very much.

    • When you switch on the cruise control, the cruise button (still the lower left of the steering column) no longer has a orange light, but instead a green "CRUISE" lite now appears on the instrument cluster. As many of you know, I've long been an advocate of a "cruise engaged" light; well this is not it; but it's a better solution than what they had before. Still, I wished that the green light only came on when the cruise control was being used, not when you turn the switch on.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I hate leather. It's cold in the winter. Hot in the summer, and more slippery than cloth.

    The LL Bean's leather seats don't have nearly as good side bolstering as do the Foresters; they won't hold you in place during brisk cornering as well as the Forester's seats. I think if you buy a Bean over the Forester just because of the leather seats, you'll be making an expensive mistake.

    If you must have leather, get the XS Premium auto w/leather.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Mine has 2 lights "Cruise on" and "Cruise Engaged" I love it!

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    That's the best solution.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Job is in the bag. I was told so by the person that interviewed me. :-)

    Bob - it's funny, I think you got a lot of stuff you were asking for, like the lit switches, lit key ring, rear wiper de-icer. Little stuff like that adds up. But that makes the cost cutting even more puzzling. Why no mud guards, cargo cover, cargo liner?

    The Bean's 2-tone leather, not to mention the real wood-and-leather steering wheel, are all about impressing your passengers, while pampering you with luxury. Not hitting the apex hard.

This discussion has been closed.