Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

2009 Subaru Forester



  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    My experience with my 09 Forester AT versus an 07 CR V is that the active AWD is superior to the reactive systems -- its working before you get into trouble, not just after -- I was able to experience the difference in certain situations I deliberately set up. In most situations the CR V or RAV 4 will do just fine, but its good to know you've got a little extra working for you in case you need it.

  • My experience with RAV4 vs Forester is:
    RAV - better acceleration from start (both cars have 4 cylinder and AT)
    Forester - better brakes and significantly better overall driving feeling (at least to me.) Bumpy roads feel softer and smoother in Forester, road noise on high way is WAY less. Seat's comfort is about the same (not too comfy :( )
    Forester - a slight lead in an interior quality (personally, I like Forester's cleanliness of the interior's design and layout.) Quality of the cloth is better, plastic has a softer touch. Also, I have not experienced any rattles in Forester (I tried 2 different vehicles.)
    RAV's cargo seems little bit bigger (I could be wrong, didn't measure it,) but the back door is in the wrong position. A design flaw IMO.
    I cannot forgive Subaru that there is no optional DUAL zone a/c, I need it really badly to keep peace in my family.
    So, I am not in love yet, but definitely have a major crush on Subie. :blush:
  • It's really hard to say if $23,318 is the best price available, as dealer discounts to
    the MSRP vary widely in different regions/markets (I've been told by friends in the
    car business that Portland OR is one of the most competetive and highly
    discounted markets in the country...).

    So - while $2K (+/-) off MSRP is not anything to get super excited about, it's also
    safe to say that this is not a bad price. Especially at this time of year (winter) in
    a snowy state, and with all the praise and awards that the Forester has received

    Here in the Portland market, you could pretty easily buy this vehicle for about
    $22K. Or the Limited model (leather, fog lamps, CD stacker, auto climate, etc)
    for $24,500.
  • Dual Zone AC is in the Outback (upper level models), but not the Forester.
    Dual Zone AC is only available in the RAV4 Limited.

    The best Forester seats are in the X limited and XT limited (10 way power, which are similar to those in the upper level Outbacks), and are Leather only.

    A quick comparison of Limited models showed the Toyota having better load capacity, slightly more hp and fuel economy (toyota does make very efficient engines), and dual zone AC for Toyota, but an optional instead of standard moonroof for toyota, and cloth instead of leather for Toyota seats.

    The Forester X Premium doesn't have leather but will be cheaper and still has the moon roof. Toyota's web site doesn't allow comparison of the Subaru forester X-Premium with 4S AT.

    RAV4 has slightly more interior cargo space, but its rear door prevents big boxes from loading (Subaru showed this in their marketing demos, which you can find on YouTube). I too found the rear door cumbersome (Toyota's been very stubborn about that - worse, it's hinged for Japan, not the USA)

    I'd try driving these two a bit more to make sure what you are looking for will be in the vehicle you choose.
    Also, which dealer has the better reputation for service?

    It took me a drive in the RAV4, 6 drives of the Outback and 2 drives of the Forester (both of those were done in conjunction with the Outback drives) before I finally decided.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    the back door is in the wrong position. A design flaw IMO.

    Indeed, it's that way for right-hand drive markets and they were too cheap to flip it around for LHD. How much does a hinge cost anyway?

    Not only does it block curb side access, but also you need about 80 feet behind you if you ever parallel park to open the thing.

    I liked that V6 but I went straight to a Sienna. The RAV4 had that door issue, and the Highlander's 3rd row seat doesn't split fold. The Sienna had no such obvious flaw.

    I think $23k is fine, in fact that's what I predicted if you read back a bit.

    No dual zone but it works for us. If I'm cold I turn on the heated seats, I don't reach for the temp gauge. Wifey tends to wear a heavier jacket than I do, so she just uses the heated seats less often.
  • Prius's are miserable in snow. The traction control, which cannot be turned off, will essentially shut the car down when the wheels slip.

    Newer Priuses (2006 and later I think) have a switch to turn the traction control off. The switch was added because of the snow issues.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My 07 Sienna has a TRAC off button, must be the same way.

    Going up my snowy driveway the TRAC simple retards all your momentum and gets in your way. It just stops climbing.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    Yep, there's my favourite rant on the RAV4. I can't beleive that it would cost so much to switch that door over, especially given the number of units sold with LHD. Another problem I had was that my boys couldn't open and close it by themselves due largely to the weight. This begins as a safety issue as they end up flailing around on the traffic side of the vehicle to do it and means I would be doing it repeatedly - a huge convenience issue as they get dropped off for school or their various sports.
  • Lo and behold, I discovered a worn spot inside the grip area of the arm rest (where my index finger would touch when closing the door). The paint is completely gone from that area.

    My dealer's assistant service manager took a picture to show the manager. I was not sure whether or not this will be covered under warranty. My XT's not even a year old.

    In any event, the interior paint's a weak spot, and the challenge is, after the bare spot is fixed, to coat or cover the internal painted parts to prevent their paint from wearing off.
    I wish Subaru had done a better job with the interior :sick:
  • Sorry to hear about your premature excessive wear on the interior paint. Thanks to
    this forum, I went out last week and checked the exterior rear fenders on my
    early production model '09 Forester. Sure enough - there is significant paint
    chipping just above the area where the clear plastic film fender protectors are
    located. I called the Subaru dealer (where I purchased vehicle), and they "seemed"
    to be unaware of this issue....until I had them pull up the TSB (which, again, thanks
    to this forum I was able to give them)...suddenly, they were responsive.

    So I now have my Forester scheduled to go into the shop next week for 3 days to
    be repainted and have the larger fender protectors installed.

    Needless to say, I am optimistically hopeful that the repair will be done right and
    I'll have no further issues. I'm not happy right now about having to have my less
    than 1 yr old vehicle re-painted...

    Will keep all of you posted on how this plays out...
  • What is TSB and would mind posting a link if you can find it on-line? Thank you so much. I didn't make the dealer bent as much as I wanted, so I had to postpone the purchase at this time. I'll save some money :) My car is still running well, so I'll wait until it's clear with the rumored Forester 2010 diesel.
  • Here is a link to TSB: you must register before downloading PDF files. Some are the official Subaru TSB, so you will have now problem to verify them with the dealer, they will have to do the job.

    Michel Quebec
  • robm2robm2 Posts: 53
    The automatic climate control system, in the Forester and the Impreza is horrible. Absolute junk. You did not mention, in your post, whether you had manual or automatic climate control.

    I have not had the problems that you have had, but for the first 40 minutes of driving, it has only two settings; too hot and too cold. After about 40 minutes, it seems to "figure itself out", and manages to set itself properly.

    I had an '08 Impreza 2.5i, with manual climate control, and it worked fantastic. I could always jet the air to the temperature I wanted, instantly. Since selling it, and buying an '09 STI, I am constantlly fighting with it. My wife has an '09 Forester XT, and same issue; always fighting with it... too hot, too cold, too hot, too cold.
  • karen39karen39 Posts: 1
    Somehow in the first few days that I owned my new 2009 Forester - I about knocked myself out entering the riders side front door to get some stuff out. The door got me right in the forehead - blood and big bump. Today, about a month later, a customer of mine (I'm a real estate agent) did the same thing. Anyone else have this problem?
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 410
    I don't see it mentioned so I'll chime in. No matter what you decide to buy, you should be running snow tires in the winter in Michigan.

    TSB = technical service bulletin. Not sure if this is what you're asking, but that's how I'll answer it. Someone who has it can provide the link.
  • I am writing to today to inform you about the poor customer treatment that my family has received from Subaru Corporation of America. Upon leaving the U.S. Navy, after serving eight years, I returned from overseas duty and took a Federal position with a DC-based agency. My family and I made the difficult decision of what new automobile would be safe for my wife and our infant daughter. Based on good reviews from Consumer Reports, we choose to invest in the newly redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester and purchased the vehicle in Syracuse, NY in May 2008. Rather than taking a loan for the vehicle we nearly used our entire savings to buy the vehicle for cash to avoid monthly bank charges.

    Beginning in Aug 08 we noticed that our air conditioning system in the hot sun would only run cold at the very lowest setting. Even one or two degrees above the bottom setting and very hot air would come out. We took it back to Romano Subaru in New York and sought warranty service. They discovered that nearly our entire Freon tank was empty and Romano thought that refilling it would fix the problem. After one day the vehicle was back to blowing out hot air. After a second attempt to get it fixed, the dealer recognized the problem but said they could not find the source. That maybe it just worked that way. They were willing to "just replace the compressor" but didn't think it would fix the problem. We told them not to bother, realizing we were already moving to Vienna, VA in Oct 08 for my DC job, and said that we would just have it looked at in Virginia.

    We lived with the problem for a few weeks while we got settled in DC and decided to bring the car in after the New Year, the problem never changing. Farrish Subaru took the car in for service and realized that our Freon was near empty again. They decided to put dye into the system and have us run the car for a week to see where a leak may be. We returned and they found a tube leaking and ordered the part. We returned Feb 19th and they took two days to replace the part, saying that the AC was fixed. They dropped the car back off Feb 20th and I tested the car that evening. Within 2 minutes of lukewarm air, on the AC setting, hot air came out again. I returned to the dealership on Feb 21st and showed their repair representative Stan the heating problem. He drove the car around their lot for 5 minutes and returned saying that he couldn't figure it out, the AC worked the day before, but now it didn't, and he couldn't hear the compressor kick on. They gave us a rental car.

    That evening, based on 4 attempts to get the problem resolved, I faxed a letter to Subaru of America saying that we wanted final resolution for the problem or we would have no choice but to label the vehicle a lemon.

    On Feb 23rd we spoke to Stan again who said they could not figure out the problem and they were going to contact the manufacturer to seek assistance with the repair. Furthermore, Stan said that they tested the heated air being released as 119F, which then cooled down to 105F after a few minutes. Hours later we received a phone call from Subaru of America Senior Customer Service Representative Deloria Marshall who said she would investigate.

    On Feb 24th we received a call from Stan from Farrish Subaru that they could not find the source of the problem, they compared our vehicle to another new Subaru Forester, its AC did not have the same problem as ours, but that because they couldn't figure it out, they were assuming that they fixed our problem, and that "our" AC must just work that way.

    On Feb 25th we attempted twice to contact Deloria Marshall who did not return our call. On Feb 26th we attempted to contact Deloria Marshall who promptly answered the phone, obviously screening our calls, "Hello Ms. Schiffman, I still don't have an answer for you." Later that day, she called and said that they are sending a tech rep from Headquarters on Thursday, Mar 5 to see the car because the dealer was now saying that they couldn't figure out our problem and that the dealer says it must be "fixed."

    I called that evening and spoke to Deloria. I asked her point blank if the reason they were sending a Headquarters representative on Mar 5 was to rubber stamp our car "fixed." I told her that doing this would not remove our right to seek legal assistance. I told her that we were worried what 119F air would do to our infant daughter and how a non-functioning AC would affect our daughter in the summer. She said that the sole reason they were sending a representative on Mar 5 was to find the problem and fix it. She said they were a small company and care about their customers.

    At 11:01AM Feb 27th I left a message on Deloria Marshall's answering machine that I wanted to attend the Headquarters tech representative's visit on Mar 5th. Furthermore, I was wondering if I could bring a privately hired, independent car technician to the Mar 5 appointment.

    At roughly 1PM Feb 27th, my wife received a phone call from Farrish Subaru that the Headquarters tech representative had just shown up at the dealership and certified the vehicle as "fixed." That we had until that evening to pick up our car.

    The primary reason we are worried about our non-functional AC is because of our infant daughter. We paid in cash for a vehicle that we trusted to be safe and reliable and regret our purchase. Subaru of America's senior customer service representative swore to me that their Headquarters representative was coming to help. Now certifying it fixed days in advance of the original appointment binds our hands.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    __sometimes__ this person is helpful to owners. He's been referred to at other Subaru forums:

    Tim Colbeck, VP Sales
    Subaru of America

    He's located at Subaru's New Jersey office: address should be at Subaru website or found by web search.

    Good luck! ;)
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    The automatic climate control system, in the Forester and the Impreza is horrible

    I quickly figured out that trying to use the auto climate control was an exercise in futility so I switched it to manual mode. Now 5 years later, I've been perfectly happy leaving it that way.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I blame the trend towards metal-look paint rather than trim that was just one color all the way through, not painted.

    My 98 Forester has plain old black trim. Even if you cut or scraped it, it was black all the way through.

    Our 2002 Legacy had a near-black metallic paint on some of it's trim. It actually wore well, we had that car for 6+ years. It may have helped that the color was similar to the color of the plastic behind it.

    Now in 2009 they use what I call "pluminum", i.e. plastic painted to look like aluminum trim. It's lighter so whatever wears really shows the black plastic behind it.

    They should just go back to using unpainted plastic trim. It may be cheap but it lasts forever.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    Amen to that.

    I really like the look and feel of the interior dash & door materials in my '96 Outback. It was very similar to the look/feel of the '92 Camry materials, so maybe that was the "style of the '90s." Whatever it was, it looked nice, felt nice, and lasted. The worst wear that showed on that car was the steering wheel, where the textured look of the vinyl had worn smooth after 220,000 miles of driving. But, it still looked nice.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Gimme plain-old matte black, unpainted plastic trim, any day.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    It's certainly possible to use good quality colored plastic, with a clear coat.
    But that does cost a little more, and unfortunately Subaru chose to use paint only this time around.

    Once my trim gets fixed I'll research an autoshop repainting all the interior door rests and transmission center plate with a clear coat protective film.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's how my Sienna is - clearcoat over the pluminum trim.

    I still prefer plain ol' unpainted plastic.
  • froggy3froggy3 Posts: 5
    When I purchased my 2009 Forrester 2.5X MT, two months ago, I thought getting a permanent all wheel drive 50/50 system.

    Apparently not, as in snow driving the rear end fishtails during turns!!!

    As a test, after lifting the rear only (car in neutral and no hand brake), I can freely spin the back wheels, while the front wheels remain still.

    Needless to say I will schedule a visit to the dealership repair shop ASAP!

    My points/questions are:
    a) Others may be in the same situation, so be forewarned.
    b) Is there a better/easier way to check if this specific AWD system is working or not?
    c) Feel free to shime any ideas, comments, questions.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323

    I'll be looking for your update!

    Mine does the same thing. It is my first AWD, so I had thought I was told it is suppose to do that, fish tail on turns, especially under any slight amount of acceleration.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Yup, mine ('09 XT limited) does the same.
    On ice, if I gun the throttle, it _will_ throw its rear end out or spin.

    Foresters are supposedly FWD biased, but this one clearly isn't.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The fact that it's fishtailing tells you that power is being sent to the rear wheels. Your AWD is working fine.

  • Brake before you enter a corner: Smoothly apply your brakes before you reach a corner and then release the brakes and use all the grip of the car to corner. Then, once you are through the turn, accelerate out. "Enter a corner with too much speed and then try to adjust in the corner and you will lose grip," warns Pearl. When the wheels are braking, their surface becomes static and they can behave like four hockey pucks and can move multidirectionally (that is: spin). If that happens, you will likely lose control of your vehicle.
  • i'm guessing it is best not to accelerate until you are thru the turn. not while turning.
Sign In or Register to comment.