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2009 Subaru Forester



  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    For some Reason , Consumer Union reliability reports for the Forester and Impreza show the AWD systems going sour after around 5 years (much above average plummets to much below average).

    This does not seem to be happening with the Outback drive train (much above average to a little above average over 8 years).

    AFIK there are no differences in the components of the AWD. However, there might be differences in wheel bearings source between Indiana cars (Outbacks) and Impreza/Forester made-in-Japan cars. Respondents to CU questionnaires might not distinguish between wheel bearings and AWD failures. Wheel bearing problems have been reported here at various times.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Kurt: where is that?

    I have the 2008 CR buyer's guide in front of me. They don't score the AWD system seperately.

    Let me look at the detailed scores, and interpret them from what I've seen and heard from real-world experiences.

    Overall, the 01 model is Average and every other year is above average.

    The only below average detailed scores are for exhaust (2001), drive system (2001), and Engine, major (also 2001).

    Interpreting those, the exhaust is self-explanatory, the drive system is very, very likely due to the wheel bearing failures, which were common up until 2003 when they redesigned them.

    Note that CR's scores are better than average for drive system from 2003 and on, and that jibes with my theory.

    We all know the engine was the head gasket failues. 2002 and on they are better than average. That is exactly the year where they switched to a new head gasket material, in fact our 2002 Subaru is not covered by the extended 100k mile warranty for head gaskets for that reason.

    Again, CR's scores jibe with the common knowledge here on Edmunds - head gaskets were a problem until around 2002.

    Even the exhaust is OK from 2003 and on.

    There has not been a single trouble spot, below average that is, after 2001. That year was the first face-lift, so who knows, maybe there was some hidden cost cutting.

    I have faith that the 2009 Forester will be reliable. The powertrain is an evolution of what is reliable today, so I don't see a reason for any significant change.

    Subaru forked out a bunch of money for wheel bearings and head gaskets, so you know they'll keep an eye out for those issues, too.
  • Car and Driver reported wheel bearing failure in their Legacy testing, and if Subarus Foresters are already known for wheel bearing failure, that falls right into line.

    So why are the bearings failing?
    What can be done to keep them healthy?
    Do they need regular lubrication?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nope, they're sealed nowadays.

    Car & Driver abused their car pretty badly, I think they had some other issues, too. Plus it was a pre-production 2005 model IIRC.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    If you can find a mechanic willing to do it (BIG IF), sounds like it'll cost several hundred dollars. That's a lot for one little light.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    So why are the bearings failing?

    Poor design or bad production run

    What can be done to keep them healthy?

    Nothing. As Juice said, they're sealed.

    Do they need regular lubrication?

    Nope (see above)

    The good news is we seldom hear about them failing anymore so I'm guessing that most of the bearings that were going to go bad already have :)

  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    Car and Driver reported wheel bearing failure in their Legacy testing, and if Subarus Foresters are already known for wheel bearing failure, that falls right into line.

    So why are the bearings failing?

    If it was front bearings (I can't recall), there might have been a reason for lowering the drive end of the engine a little bit as was done on the new Impreza. The off-angle forces would have been reduced somewhat. Such small changes can greatly reduce bearing load resulting in longer life.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The new ones are simple bolt-in setups so replacing them isn't an issue.

    The fix is what they did in the STi and Tribeca, using SVX based bearings which are bigger, heavier duty units. That's why the STi and Tribeca use the SVX wheel lug pattern. 5x114 as opposed to 5x100 used in the others.

    I had a wheel bearing failure in my 94 Legacy turbo, after 150k miles and 15k track and race miles...

    None of my other Subarus ever had a bearing failure with about 500k miles driven en total.

  • dcdamedcdame Posts: 24
    "Pretty sure that Baja pic was taken at my dealership."

    I wouldn't be surprised - I've got tons of Baja pictures on my hard drive that I've accumulated over the years and don't recall the source (other than various places on the web).

    My del Sol was a blast - with the VTEC engine, it was like a turbo-charged roller skate. It was the perfect car for when I lived in downtown DC and didn't have my own parking space - it fit in lots of spaces where other cars couldn't. Plus I loved the removable hardtop roof (a ragtop parked on city streets isn't a great choice). On an impulse, I gave it to my niece for her 16th birthday (in 1998) and immediately regretted the decision (but wouldn't think of asking for it back).
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hope she appreciated what a NICE gift that was! :)
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    We've still got ours (a '95 Si in Paradise Blue-Green), but hardly drive it anymore, now that we have a child and the del Sol has a non-disableable front passenger airbag. It was the perfect roadtrip car for my wife & I, though... fun to drive, nimble in town, comfy seats, removable roof panel great no matter the weather, fun to drive, and we could approach 40MPG on long highway trips. And even with the roof panel in the trunk, there's way more room than a standard convertible's trunk, meaning plenty of luggage space for longer trips or room for a couple weeks' worth of groceries. With the power rear window down, I actually hauled some 8-foot lumber in it (and got quite a few looks). It's not too many non-convertible 2-seater roadsters that can haul lumber. :D

    Anyway... done reminiscing, now back on topic. :)
  • ...especially the torque of the turbo motor - much lower peak point than the Outback's.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Are there ugly warning stickers on the visors of the 2009 Foresters?

    I hate to tell you but even my 2004 Forester has the obnoxious yellow rollover warning stickers. The good news is that you quickly stop noticing them. For instance, I was pretty sure I had them but had to keep reminding myself to look :)

  • I am furious. This vehicle seems to have all the improvements I was looking for. How can they make a turbo and not match a stick shift with it?
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I suggest that if you feel that strongly, you should email Subaru and let them know (I already have). Certainly if enough people weigh-in in favor of a manual, Subaru will reconsider.

  • For what it's worth I already have.
  • You're leading the charge here. I'm not so concerned about the no-manual Turbo as I am about having to get a Turbo to get a telescopic steering wheel!

    Just so we collectively get the most bang for our emails, what email address are we to send our concerns to?
  • On the Subaru website go to the bottom right of the page and click on "contact us". Tell your friends to mention the manual transmission issue - ha ha.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I just used the "Contact Us" link from SOA's website. Within 24 hrs I got a well written and individualized repsonse from a CS rep.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Looks like the LL Bean model also gets the telescoping steering wheel, so we're happy about that one. :shades:
  • Hope you're right about the LL Bean getting the Tilt/Tele wheel. I see shows that, but the Subaru Brochure shows only XT and XT Limited getting it.

    Wait and see - not too much longer, anyway...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In my conversation with the CEO on Friday (about 30+ minutes) I mentioned the no MT in the XTs, and it was essentially a business decision, in that the percent of MT Foresters sold was soooo low that they just couldn't justify it to the bean counters. As much as I'd like to see one, I do understand their business decision not to do it.

    It's not that much of a killer swap to do, the parts are all available, so it's just a matter of getting a mechanic to do it for yah.

    It's not like the SVX which there was no way to swap em in easily w/o serious fabrications.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Everyone keep their eyes peeled, we should start seeing these in dealers in a couple of weeks.
  • Hi everyone
    I haven't posted here in some time, but like to keep informed often by reading your views. I drive an '06 Tribeca and really enjoy it. My lease ends in July and want to down size vehicles. I plan on staying with subaru and really like the new Forester and also the Outback.
    My only complaint over the years with Subaru is the lack of the telescopic steering wheel. Why due they refuse to include this simple addition on all of their vehicles? The Tribeca creeps to 40k and lacks this feature, why? Though it's included on some Outbacks and the new Forester XT. Is this feature just to costly to include on all of the models?
    Sorry if it appears that I am rambling about what is probably not important to most people, but I just find it strange.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    it was essentially a business decision, in that the percent of MT Foresters sold was soooo low that they just couldn't justify it to the bean counters

    Well yes that's what we pretty much assumed. However, sometimes it's worth it to offer an option even though it may not be in high demand. For instance, is was the manual transmission Forester XT that won Car & Driver's Best Small SUV award twice. I wonder how many additional Foresters were sold because of those awards and the associated publicity...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I thought it was 3 times? Either way, they definitely got a lot of good press from that.

    I think RAV4 is the current champ, let's see if the 09 update is enough to steal the top spot back.
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,923
    OK, first click this link for reference, because I took all the same measurements that cars101 has for the 2008 model:

    2009 measurements, with my tape measure. Note I attempted to catch the same measurements, but the exact location used may vary from theirs. FWIW, here goes (all measures in inches, most rounded):

    A - was 36, now 40
    B - was 53.5, now 52. Note there are pockets so something like an umbrella might get as much as 62" of width
    C - was 41.5, now 42
    D - was 37.5, now 43
    E - was 46.5, now 45.5
    F - was 53.25, now 48

    Those are all width related. Basically it's more square and consistent. While some measures are smaller, the 09 will fit boxy items better, the wheel wells intrude much less basically.

    G - was 13, now 17. The wheel well is taller, but not nearly as wide, basically.
    H - was 31.5, now a whopping 36 inches. Huge gains in floor length.
    I - was 62 before, now 67 inches, again big gains in cargo length
    J - was 32.25, remains the same, I got 32" rounded off
    K - was 34", now 31.5". Less height in some places, perhaps the cargo floor is higher?
    L - was 31, now 30.5", about the same useful height with a moonroof

    Those are the hard numbers from my tape measure.

    Joe Spitz now has his own measurements for the '09 up on his site. What surprises me is he shows the cargo length (measurement I) as being shorter then the '08. Both say that they are measured to the to of the rear seat when folded. This is unexpected, and not only contrasts with the measurements Juice was nice enough to provide (Joe 09: 60", Joe 08: 62", Juice 09: 67"), but also with the conventional '09 Forester wisdom to date. :confuse: Myself, I want more rear legroom, AND more cargo space. Y'know, cake, eat, and all of that.

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 17 Toyota 86

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I noted some differences, too.

    Some may be attributed to how we obtained each measure.

    I had the hatch open, and measured the bump in the plastic all the way to the back of the front seat, which I had positioned all the way back, and reclined to a comfortable position.

    I measured at floor level, though, I just saw the "top of the rear seat" part now. To me floor level is what matter because that's where you would place stuff. I'm thinking of flat-packed boxes from, say, Ikea.

    I doubt the longer 09 Forester shrunk on that measure.
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    Maybe the difference in measurements is the back of the center console? If the console is situated further back than the front seatbacks, that could account for the difference. Just a thought...

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