Howdy, Stranger!

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

2009 Subaru Forester



  • xiraxira Posts: 2
    Just finished one year with my '09 XT, have 13,000 miles on the car, and thought I'd check in with my comments.

    Nothing has gone wrong with the car-- I'm very pleased about that! At this point, it is working as well as my Toyota Sienna did. No mechanical problems, nothing has broken. I love the way it handles and rides, the exterior visibility, the power, the tight turning circle, the easy rear-seat access, the big cargo space.

    If I could redesign it for next year, I would improve the interior (especially the carpeting) and make the seats more cushy -- I added a memory-foam pad and custom sheepskin seat covers on both front seats. (The excellent performance of the car is not matched by the chintzy interior.) I would make the gas tank a little higher-capacity. And I would lower the volume of the annoying seatbelt chime.

    Other than that, I can say I am quite pleased with my purchase. The car has been really fun to drive, and grips my steep driveway nicely in bad weather. I was at first reluctant to leave my favorite carmakers (Toyota and Honda), but the Forester lured me away because of its superior ride and handling. (The Rav-4 rode like a go-cart and the interior cargo area of the CRV was too small because the rear seats tumble into the footwell.) The Forester has been a very good choice so far.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    I don't know how you can squeeze that kind of mpg of of a Forster. I have had my 09 will be 5 months in another week and have 13,500 miles on it. Just completed two long trips last two weeks, one from Providence, RI to Halifax, NS than back thru New Brunswick than home, and just todam came back from another three day trip, 1000 miles almost exactly to several locations in Quebec.

    I rarely drive over 70 mpg, and certainly notice the dip in mpg for anything over 60 - 65. The absolute most I have been able to squeeze iw 449 miles, with approx 1/2 gallon left to spare. That's actual mpg, not based on what the computer says. For highway driving, I would not thing the standard you have would easily give 3 more mpg. But, if you figures are accurate that the 31.2 you indicate is based on the entire trip per actual fuel consumption, that'g great.

    The car is getting more "noisy" as time goes on Just a lot of noises of various types, nothing I can pinpoint. The carpeting (if you really want to call it that) is lousy. I purchased a wind deflector for the moonroof which has made things much quieter as I like to travel this time of year with roof open, and I talk on the phone constantly and that does cut down on the wind noise considerably. Only problem the wind deflector Subaru provides is rather large, much taller than really is necessary. But, it does the job. The radio is "so so" You cannot get a great deal of volume out the rear speakers, though. Lastly, my left thigh keeps hitting the part of the door on the inside that sticks into the car a bit. Kind of annoying, I never had that problem with another car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool trip, amazing MPG. Did Subaru sneak a one-off hybrid drivetrain in yours? :D

    I have a Forester and Sienna also - great partners in crime.
  • Yes, I was surprised by the 31.2 mpg I got on my road trip. This figure is based
    on both the trip computer and confirmation of actual fuel purchases. Normally
    when driving locally, I achieve about 27 mpg.

    Probable Contributing Factors:
    1. I usually use premium unleaded fuel
    2. Just before leaving on trip, I changed the oil, using (for 2nd time) Mobil 1
    synthetic oil.
    3. At about 13K miles, the Forester did seem to start getting better MPG...???
    4. While not a "hyper-miler", I do lot's of minor things to maximize MPG - like
    keeping speed under 70 (wish there was a 6th gear!); coasting in neutral down
    hills; avoiding aggressive starts; skipping gears when accelerating (3rd or 4th);
    avoiding prolonged idling; keeping car clean/waxed; closing sunroof at high speeds
    (too noisy anyway); keeping extra weight in car to minimum.

    I should also note that I don't have XT turbo, have M/T, and the PZEV engine
    (mandatory in OR)...">
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Manual tranny, that's it.

    CR found that even though the EPA lab test numbers are similar, the manual Forester got +3mpg compared to the Forester in the real world, which is significant.
  • With just about 3000 kilo. on the car all is well.....except an annoying body creak coming from the right rear. Only hear at very low speeds: backing out of the driveway or making a slow right hand turn. Can't seem to place it, might be the plastic liner of the fender. Or a body panel, somewhere. If I can't locate it this weekend, its off to the dealer next week.

    Anybody else had something similar?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    6. Here's an interesting lesson I learned: I wanted to charge my cell phone while car was parked at hotel. But power outlets are active only with ignition turned on.
    So, I decided I would leave key in ignition, and take door FOB with me
    to unlock doors later after phone was charged up. BUT - Forester won't let you lock doors with key in ignition. Then I noticed if you hold down door lock key for 3 seconds, it overrides and lets you lock doors with key in ignition. Unfortunately, this also "deadlocks" the car and you can no longer unlock doors using key FOB - which I learned upon returning to my car and finding myself locked out!!!

    I figured out a way around this on my '07 Outback, as a matter of necessity. It does require an extra "door key" though, which is a duplicate key cut at your local hardware store for $2-3, but sans chip. Since the FOB is disabled when the key is in the ignition, and the car will unlock the doors if you lock them with the switch, do this:

    1. Lock the doors with the electronic door switch while the doors are closed and the engine is running.
    2. Unlock the driver's door only, with the manual switch, then open the door and exit the vehicle.
    3. Lock the driver's door only, again with the manual switch, then close the door.

    But, if you found that holding the FOB down for three seconds will force the car to lock, that would save these steps. The only common factor is that in order to re-access the car, you need a second key. The door key is convenient because it is small compared to the factory key. It is doubly convenient if your car has a second driver who needs a chipped key. ;)
    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
    Spray some lithium grease on the rear bushings for the sway bars. Is it a metal-on-rubber sound?

    Do that each time you rotate the tires.
  • Thanx for the advice. Will be seeing the dealer later this week and will report back on findings.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... I do lot's of minor things to maximize MPG - like... coasting in neutral down
    That uses more gas than coasting in Drive. When coasting in neutral, the injectors provide enough fuel for idling rpms. When coasting in Drive, fuel is cut off until idling rpm is reached, which would only occur if you were to stop at the bottom of the hills.
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    "When coasting in Drive, fuel is cut off until idling rpm is reached, which would only occur if you were to stop at the bottom of the hills."

    That's interesting... My question, then is:

    What about using engine braking going down hills (i.e. in 2nd gear--4AT), which I do often. Is it more or less fuel effecient than if in Drive?


  • PanosPanos Posts: 14
    They must be on fire, the new foresters are every where here in New England! It's a great car and perfect for New England's weather!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Forester has been a grand slam hit. I'm even seeing a lot of new Imprezas as well, mostly the 5-door model. With the cheaper and larger all-new 1010 Legacys and Outbacks, Subaru is definitely on a roll!

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    “When push comes to shove and people have to spend their hard-earned money in today’s economy, they want vehicles that offer extreme value,” Boch said.

    Yep, and Boch hit the nail right on the head with this comment.

    I was looking at the Forester X a little more yesterday and for about $20K, that thing really is an amazing value.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    Look at it this way, a $20k CRV or RAV4 doesn't even exist. Plus neither of those offer a manual transmission in any trim, and neither offer heated cloth seats.

    With our second dog arriving next week I'm looking to replace my Accord sedan. I have had great luck with Hondas for years and years but am balking at the CRV because of the trims and price.

    A base model Forester offers more equipment PLUS the manual trans. I prefer.
    But the Honda is a known entity, and has no real faults either.

    This is a very competitive class of vehicles to be sure. :shades:
  • I'm thinking this is more relevant with an auto xmission versus a manual?
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    Just went and tested the Forester. Looking at a 2.5X Premium, 5spd, with the cold weather package. This gets you the NA engine, big moonroof, power driver's seat, heated cloth front seats, alloys, etc.

    I am comparing to a Honda CRV EX AWD. Cloth interior, moonroof, auto only.

    Prices are probably within a grand of each other.

    RAV is an outside contender. I drove one when they first came out and still remember how uncomfortable it was for me. I may have to give it another look though.

    We've tested the CRV extensively when we bought our Accord instead. Good car overall, no big faults. Smooth, decent power and space. Known entity as we have owned a number of Hondas.

    I have driven Subarus a number of times and never really liked them... the didn't fit my big body well and they were totally ubiquitous up here. But I was told by a number of people I trust to give the new Forester a chance.

    The cabin is now much more airy and open, hip, shoulder and elbow room for my size was great. It has the biggest moonroof I've ever seen. The drive was just "ok" no better or worse then the CRV. Soaks up bumps nicely, not too much wallowing around, decent power and noise levels.

    I'm not a dash-stroker by any means but the interior materials are clearly a cut below the CRV. The carpets were chintzy, and the dash stuff looked like it would scratch easily but I liked the seat material. Black with a bit of a shimmery blue pattern in it, very nice.

    The engine is noticeably course compared to the Honda. The 5 speed is a real advantage over CRV but it's not a great one. Better then paying for an auto I don't want though.

    The rear cargo area was a bit of a let down. The floor is quite high and sloped upwards towards the rear seatbacks. The CRV's is noticeably larger, lower, and flatter but not as square up top.

    Back seat room was good. I could sit behind myself and I think the boy will have about the same amount of leg room he has now. It's narrower then the Accord we have now but on par with CRV overall. The way the Forester's flip out cupholder piece works leaves a nice well for his toys.

    Front seat was quite comfortable. Layout of everything was logical and a little boring, but no real faults. Again, on par with the CRV.

    We'll load up the family next week and go drive both together and play the numbers game and see where we land. I don't think either has a big edge with me, my wife may disagree... I know she really wants seat heaters. I think I like each one about the same, each has advantages and disadvantages over the other but not enough either way to make the choice easy. My local honda dealer is great and I have a relationship with them. The Subaru place doesn't have a great rep overall but with any luck I won't see them much anyway.

    Buying next week, so this should be, I hope, a short story.
  • We went through the same procedure. Ended up with the Subaru. My wife liked the Honda but said no heated seats was a "deal breaker", and promptly marched out of the Honda showroom.

    I voted for the Subaru for the awd, which should be a help up here come winter.

    Over-all with 3500 kilo, it is working out OK
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    My comments:

    CR-V: better seats (firmer); Honda reliability.

    Forester: better ride: better visibility, better AWD system.

    Subaru AWD is the clincher for me.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    I drove the vehicle mentioned above with a manual transmission in paprika red. My first impression was the seating position - it was very upright and high compared to previous generations of both it and the Outback. The ride was crisp but not harsh even over horribly wash-boarded gravel, which is the way it should be. It was also very sure-footed in the conditions mentioned above, with no tail-wagging, hopping, etc. It retained the characteristic liftgate rattle of recent Subaru offerings, but at 9 miles on the odometer, it was still fairly muted. Speaking of muted, the ride was impressively quiet! The engine purr was difficult to discern, which was a new experience for me in a Subaru. The steering was disappointingly subdued, and I found there to be very little road feedback with the wheel far to effortless to turn. Apparently, Toyota has had its influence on the company. :sick: Along with that, the clutch pedal felt very soft to me and lacked a definite point of engagement that was easy for my foot to feel. The car was peppy but not ludicrous; a nice family vehicle with a little spunk.

    While the radio knobs were very small, the car also had wheel-mounted volume, mute, and station buttons which mitigated the need to use the dials with any frequency. I very much liked the softness of the mute and power features of the radio. Essentially, the music fades in and out rather than simply an abrupt on or off when one of these buttons is pressed. One would think that is a minor thing, but it was very pleasing to me. The seats were comfortable even if a bit flat; they lacked much of the bolstering I have come to expect from Subaru seats. As expected, the power driver seat has a very intuitive adjustment mechanism that even a power-noob like me can use with ease. The interior, dash, and console was pleasing to the eye. I often hear complaints about the dash being "hard," but I am not one to stroke the dash so I find that to be of no importance. I do like the matte appearance. Additionally, the tinted rear windows combined with the moonroof made the interior feel bright without being blindingly so.

    The interior room was quite amazing. Ample cargo area with a full complement of passengers, a ridiculous amount of leg room in the rear (I moved the front seat all the way back and still had 2" from my knees to the back of the seat cushion - at 6'0", that is ample space!). Driving, though, I probably only had the seat 50% toward the rear of the tracks, so any passenger behind me would have limo-like leg room!

    Overall impressions - it is a solid, attractive vehicle. I actually had no interest whatsoever in driving the '10 Outback after returning from the test drive even though there was one of the ugly monsters glaring at me the moment I pulled into the lot. I am absolutely not surprised at the Forester's popularity.

    MSRP on the vehicle I tested - $24,430.

    Of note on the X (non-premium) model: It does not come with roof rails! When inquiring about adding such rails, I was told this could not be done due to the side curtain airbag system having to be removed to do so. If removed, the warranty on that system is void. If so, why in God's name would they opt not to include such a practical feature? Do those who but base models not need to haul cargo? That is just foolishness, there.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • This is a follow up to my earlier message. I noticed an annoying body creak at very low speeds. The dealer found the problem. (blush) On our first camping trip we put down the seats to load up the back. We didn't firmly latch the seats back in place. Slightly loose, but enough to emit that annoying creak. Thanx for advice, but I think it's a live and learn, or rather a teaching moment.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    2 things surprise me about your posts.

    First, the CR-V has the same cardboard sprayed with peach fuzz headliner, very few padded plastics, thin carpets, ... I honestly didn't see much difference.

    Perhaps you didn't like the new berber carpeted mats Subaru is using?

    Look closely and the elbow rests on the Forester are actually softer. The leather on the seats and steering wheel are of high quality, so all the stuff you touch on the Forester is just fine, even better than the CR-V IMHO.

    2nd, Bob and I went to Fitz Subaru over the weekend for an event, and he noted that you mentioned "The floor is quite high and sloped upwards towards the rear seatbacks".

    We looked, and it's very nearly flat. I think maybe if you try moving the headrests out of the way you'll find it's flatter, not to mention seamless, because the carpets connect the back of the seats to the rear cargo area. That way little stuff doesn't get lost in the seams.
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    "Quality" is a subjective opinion, I'm happy to agree to disagree.

    The rear cargo floor of the Forester is most definitely slopped upwards back to front. It looks like they did it this way so that the front edge would match the height of the rear seatbacks (connected by carpet) and create a more seamless load floor with the seats down.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    There's a slight rise, but it's not significant IMO. It's nothing I would be concerned about.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I didn't mean to be confrontational, I guess I was just hoping for more specifics.

    Do you like the design better? The textures, perhaps?

    It's just I've heard that said a few times and each time I look at the CR-V again it's not nearly as nice as some people would have you think.

    I try to be as objective as possible and this is why I'm very specific about what feels cheap and why.

    Having said that, Subaru has definitely done some cost cutting, thing is I feel everyone else in its class has done the same. Forester material quality peaked in 2006, IMHO. Back then they used seat fabrics from the Tribeca and the headliner was not only padded but also fabric covered.
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    I prefer the shapes and textures in the CRV, the dash materials look and feel nicer to me (subjective). The CRV also is noticeably wider inside. My wife and I's shoulders were clearly closer in the forester then in the CRV.

    Seriously... I wanted to like the Forester more, it's cheaper and I'm a cheapskate, but I just liked the CRV a lot better, enough so that even at a lower price point, the Forester didn't appeal to me.

    All subjective.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Understood, and you should buy what you love, definitely.

    I guess I was a fan of the Tribeca interior, so when I saw the swoopy new dash in the Forester, I liked it right away. To me everything is where it should be, and it's very no-nonsense:


    I'd prefer unpainted plastic trim over the fake metal stuff, and maybe more covered storage, plus ROUND cupholders. That's about it.

    Subjectively, to me the CR-V is trying too hard. I really dislike those door pulls, my wedding ring would scratch that fake metal trim every time I grabbed it (a gut feeling, BTW). I don't like how the center console is not connected to the dash, lots of wasted space, and the "cockpit" feel is missing entirely. The shifter looks like a tree growing out of the dash, which is (subjectively) too minivan-like for me. The praking brake looks like Luke Skywalker's throttle on his hover craft, again trying too hard.

    I like the gathered leather but I still would want it perforated. The controls and IP are excellent, just where things should be. Nice big side mirror, too. I do also like the color scheme:


    Overall I definitely prefer the Forester's WRX-influenced cockpit over the CR-V's Odyssey-like cabin. Perhaps this comes from my preference for smaller cars.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    The Forester dash photo is just large enough that I cannot click the "reply" link for your post, juice!

    That said, thanks for posting the photos. I can see how one would come away from each with a distinct preference. The CR-V contours, etc., remind me of the '85 Camry my family once owned: Boxy, but laid out well. I could live with the odd shifter location (I am noticing that location on a lot of vehicles these days, which makes sense for an auto that you touch infrequently, but that is the first time I saw a manual located there!) because I like pass-through foot wells and the (potentially) extra storage that can go along with that.

    For me, the Subaru definitely wins the "pleasing to the eye" contest, but, not having been in a CR-V yet, I will reserve further judgment.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • sporin71sporin71 Posts: 26
    I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to make this a forester vs CRV thread, just thinking out loud and sharing opinions.

    Not sure what CRV that interior shot is from, in the US it's quite different then that. Th da/ is what the one we looked at was set up like, only in black cloth. da/
Sign In or Register to comment.