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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • Recently my low fuel warning light has been lighting earlier than usual, once when the gauge showed 1/4 tank remaining.

    It's an intermittent problem, doesn't happen every tank. Sometimes after lighting early it goes out, to return at the appropriate time, other times it remains.

    A related question: has anyone run their Forester out of gas? I know it's not a good thing to do, but just wondering how far down the gauge really goes.

    DISCLAIMER: This perceived funtionality issue is one that I characterize as "minor." It does not detract from my appreication or enjoyment of my Forester. I do not contemplate, intend or plan the filing of a lawsuit.
  • Fuel economy ended up being an issue in my decision (that and the lack of moonroof and leather in the 5-speed, but we've been through that already). The Forester XS fuel economy is rated at 21/28 for the 5-speed (the standard 2.5 liter boxer engine) and the XT at 18/23. Meanwhile, the Impreza TS Sport Wagon (2.5 liter) also gets 21/28, yet (and here's my point) the Impreza Wagon WRX gets 20/27 with a 2.0 liter turbo engine.

    I take it the same kind of conversion was not possible with the Forester?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It was, it is, actually. Overseas they've sold 2.0l turbo Forester for years, with anywhere from 170 to 240 hp.

    But...SoA probably thought turbo lag would be too bothersome. Foresters are used more often for towing (it's even pre-wired) and you don't want a sudden surge of unpredictable power hauling heavy loads.

    So they went with a torquier, less laggy 2.5T. But 25% more displacement coupled with a shorter final drive ratio is going to use more fuel, any way you look at it.

    The Vue Redline is slightly slower and makes about the same mileage as the auto XT. The XTerra S/C is a guzzler in comparison, and much slower. So I don't think that fuel economy is unusual.

  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    in decision making - will engender more importance with each passing year (wouldn't you say?)

    With this in mind, what's the best highway MPG noted to date for the FXT.

    Tahoe C: what say you?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think some have hit 25mpg. I don't recall the low, maybe 17?

    Still, Edmunds' long-term Tribute got 14 mpg on one tank, 16 mpg overall. Makes the XT look like a fuel miser.

    My theory is that Subaru will re-certify the next Forester as a truck. They already did with the Baja, that allows for more looser CAFE standards. 20.7 today, 22.2 to be phased in from 2005-2007.

    Cars have to average 27.5, so I think the Forester won't be called a car for long.

    Let's see the Lexus RX400H (hybrid) when it debuts in Detroit, and how popular it is. I think that will influence the market a lot if it's popular, like the Prius is. Highlander would be next. Honda and Ford are rumored to be working on them too.

  • i consistently turn around 18mpg in mixed driving and have gotten as low as 14.98 in city driving.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    of the XT where there is info about the fuel economy my recollection was that it was classified as an SUV. I don't know if that means it is already certified as a truck.
  • Can someone tell me how to remove the overhead clock from a 99 Forester. thanks
  • Juice: I agree that the fuel efficiency of the XT is still better than most in its class, and it might be the only decent 5-speed available with any such power. Also, I see your point on the towing problem, though frankly I am suspicious of how effective in general pre-market analysis really is. Thanks for the clarification.
  • To remove the clock just take a small screwdriver & put it in the seam at the bottom or top edge of the clock. Pry down & it will pop out. It's a snap fit. Once it's out unplug the wiring connector. Mine went out last January. I bought the replacement from Liberty Subaru 888-suby4wd.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I think they could have changed the gearing on the XT a tad, for a little less acceleration and better fuel economy. Low 5 sec 0-60 runs are fantastic, but I'm sure we would still love the car if it was in the low 6 sec range.

    I guess that the XT is spinning at higher RPMs on the highway at cruising speeds because of the gearing. Can any XT owners comment on this? Is it noticeable? what RPM at say, 60mph?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Interesting, George. If so we missed that.

    I think 1st is shorter but 5th is taller, so highway rpm isn't much different from the XS.

    The short final drive got SoA what they wanted - great press. You didn't see anyone who tested it asking for more power. How rare is that?

  • yesterday. On the highway 3000 rpm is right at 70 mph.
  • Chuck,Thanks for the info. on the clock, I'll replace it. Earl
  • subkidsubkid Posts: 94
    Hi, are you kidding us? Already started a N.Y. party :) :) :). Asking XT owners (i.e. inviting particular one) to comment on gearing?

    On the other side, if you really are serious and interested in that subject, just search a little - there will be lots of info on one of those forums.

    Happy New Year everybody - how about a N.Y. resolution - no more use of the words 'XT', 'gearing', 'final drive ratio' in the same post :)

  • Is there a forum for Subaru Forester manual transmission enthusiasts? There is so much to like about the Forester in general, and I think the MT enhances the experience. Am I a dying breed?.

    Anyhow, I'm awaiting my XS MT to get its after-market leather seats, and I'd like to let Subaru know that I'm not all that thrilled with their marketing decisions re: the MT in the US (aside from the obligatory letter, which I've already drafted). Maybe there are other folks out there who have banded together to send that message to the powers that be--I'd like to join them if they are out there.

    Oh, and Happy New Year.
  • The last car I bought with an auto was a 1970 Pontiac LeMans. Bought it in '75, before I learned to drive a stick.

    While I've found one automatic that I like (VW's six-speed with the 1.8 liter turbo engine), I doubt that I'd actually buy a vehicle with an auto. Maybe I'm a dinosaur (have been called worse) but I think any vehicle will be more fun with the MT.

    Congatulations on the new Forester, Walker. I was spared the agony of your XT-or-not decision since I bought in '02. Would have been a tough decision for me, too.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Walker- There's been plenty of griping here about the lack of the PP option for the 5MT. It no doubt was a marketing decision based on perceived demand and I'm certainly not qualified to second-guess them. And while there are a dozen or so people here on Edmunds who have stated they would have bought an XT PP 5MT (including me), in the overall scheme of things (they sell more than 4k Foresters a month), that's just a drop in the bucket.

    But speaking of manual trannys, I realized the other day that my parents haven't owned an automatic in over 30 years. They're both pushing 80 now but still drive cars with manual trannys.

    -Frank P.
  • Frank--My mother just turned 85 and still drives her '92 5-speed Subaru Legacy wagon around town.

    I'm also married to a manny tranny freak (lucky me). Between us, we've owned 14 cars, 13 of which were manuals, including 5 vws, 2 volvos, and 2 subarus (the one that was not--a Pontiac--was a gift). I even owned a '75 AMC Pacer with a three on the floor.

    I've been out of the car market for five years, and I was quite surprised to find out how hard they are to come by (just finding one to take a test drive in proved to be a real chore, and I never found a Subaru dealer that had both the XT and the X/XS in manuals at the same time).

    I'm feeling old, and it's not just that another year is upon us!
  • I have a 2001 Forester S Premium, 35,000 miles. Never had a problem until recently when I began to develope a hesitation at low, stop / go traffic. Did a fuel injection cleaning, but the problem persisted. It's gotten so bad now that I have stalled on two occassions; when stopped, the motor will sometimes race and I can feel a slight bounce; when accelerating from a stop, there is a delay and then an acceleration with my foot only slightly on the gas pedal. Think I might have heard a backfire, but couldn't be sure it was me given the heavy truck traffic. No lights / indicators have come on (except when stalling). Took it to a few mechanics and dealer, but they can't diagnose the problem for sure. It didn't act badly with the dealer, who thought it might be either the ratio sensor or air intake valve assembly. One mechanic thought it might be the TPS sensor, but dealer didn't think so and warned me not to let anyone adjust it. The car restarted after the stalls.

    I've enjoyed reading the posts on this board, and have learned alot - hope someone might have some suggestions / perhaps a similar experience. Thanks.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    ....manual trans folk (my last auto was a truly beautiful '57 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner); witty ex-Navy types and best of all: all of you are bright!! This beats the hell out of spending Christmas in the Tonkin Gulf............

    Seriously, great source of information...H-2004/ez
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Witty ex-navy?!?! What about us Army types?

    -Frank P.

    P.S. Jack's a nice enough fellow but I'm concerned that his eggs got a little scrambled from crewing on a nuke sub :-)
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    ..being the holidays and all, I certainly mean to tread carefully here but:

    ..were you to be aware of the requirements for submarine duty (diesel, let alone nuclear) you just might be impressed.

    Incidentally, I served in the Army prior to college. Ever hear of the ASA?

    All the best...ez
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I have a 2001 Forester S and recently had a similar problem with hesitation. It turned out to be a burnt coil pack (the thing that looks like a distributor cap on the front of the engine). The dealer also replaced the spark plugs and ignition wires. One of the plugs had fouled, due to one of the coils misfiring. The wires were originals, so they were changed as well.

    I hope this helps in diagnosing your problem. Happy New Year.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    EZ- Actually I'm fairly knowledegeable about the requirements for sub duty (I was just busting Jack's chops and hopefully he took it in the spirit intended).

    Hear of the ASA? Yes you could say that, I was in it. I assume from the question that you were too. What Field Station?

    -Frank P.
  • mckeownmckeown Posts: 165
    If you haven't Get it to a Dealer ASAP before your 3/36 runs out. Get the complaint registered. The few of these that happened to me and 3 others I know (they were either Legacys or Outbacks), turned out to be the Oxygen sensor. Have the dealer "plot" it. It may have slow response. OR if it happens after it warms up, then this happened to me also. Left me on the NY Thruway 'chugging' along as if I had water in the gas...Go....Coast...Go...Coast without removing my foot from the gas pedal.
    One of my buddies just stopped on the highway and wouldn't restart. Flatbedded to dealer.....No Trouble Found. 2nd time it happened, the Oxygen sensor was the fix. My experiences and $.02
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    requirements for submarine duty (diesel, let alone nuclear)

    Requirements? What requirements? They let me do five patrols; three on the first ballistic missile boat and two on the 3rd. If I could qualify, an average chimpanzee could do the same.
    I decided to postpone buying studded snows until next year. Right after making that brilliant decision, southwest Portland naturally got snow beginning several days ago. About 4", then another 3 on top of that, with some below-freezing temps in between. The XT hardly seemed to notice. I have a steep hill starting at the foot of my driveway, and another at the only entrance to the neighborhood. Child's play in this car. I'll tell you, though, nobody will ever fail to notice when the ABS kicks in. The brake pedal pulses in and out at least an inch.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Requirements? What requirements? They let me do five patrols; three on the first ballistic missile boat and two on the 3rd. If I could qualify, an average chimpanzee could do the same.

    Ahhh... that explains why they now have much more stringent requirements ;-)

    -Frank P.

    P.S. Jack- I saw on TV where Portland was getting snow. Good to know that your XT handled it with aplomb.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Good to know that your XT handled it with aplomb.

    Wife, who spent her entire first 18 years in extreme northwest Minnesota where they measure snowfall in feet, not inches, and it lasts months, not days, now comes completely unhinged when she rides with me in a few scant inches. The XT never faltered, but you'd never know that by her paranoid reaction.

    I built our home in a very hilly area. In the past, any snow at all left us trapped, either in unable to get out, or out unable to get in. Amazing how liberating a Forester is. We had yearly dinner reservations last night at my favorite establishment, and I didn't want to cancel. We didn't. The steaks tasted twice as good.

    What mad cow disease?
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    Let me do a sales pitch on the wonders of lean, Australian Beef. Shipping now to a butcher near you, and BSE free (we hope)! I guarantee that it tastes nicer than US Beef and leaner. One of our really great export producs.

    Now, how to tie this back to a Forester theme... I know, "bad idea to run into an Australian cow, even with a Forester. They are bigger and stronger..."


This discussion has been closed.