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2009 Subaru Forester



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, I tried to find a not-too-big photo.

    Now that you mention it, that's a manual so it's not a US-spec. Pardon the error.

    I think some Alfas had the shifter there, the old Civic hatch as well. For someone who owned one of those before, it may look more natural.

    My van has the pass-through, but I've never used it once. I can see how it would be useful with infants or toddlers, though.

    The storage on the floor doesn't work so well, though. We put my wife's travel pillow and some umbrellas there, and they slide around, and pick up all sorts of carpet lint (in our Sienna).

    That's why I'd prefer a covered bin, cup holders, cell phone holder, etc. in that location instead.

    Mind you, Subaru didn't use that space wisely either. You've got a shifter, an uncovered well that is blocked by that shifter, and 2 square cup holders.

    Check out a Pilot for a well sorted out center console.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks, you're right, that's a manual and those are not sold here. Too bad but they discontinued those when the new models came out.

    Here's your (much better thanks) photo:


    Now we can see the folding tray that lets the pass-through work. Makes more sense. That's just like my van.

    It does let you hold several cups, but they missed an opportunity for a ton of covered storage space. My Sienna is just like that. A big console is an option and I went to buy one, until I found out Toyota charges $529 for it. :surprise:

    I compromised and put a lidded plastic bin underneath it, but that slides around. The umbrella and head pillow get dirty because they don't fit anywhere else.

    Not ideal but there's no way I'm paying $529 for a piece of molded plastic! :mad:

    I can't tell but I think the door pulls are still fake metal? Are they clear-coated?

    Also, the driver has an arm rest but it looks like the passenger does not? That's strange.

    Where's the parking brake?

    The carpeted mats do look richer than the berber stuff the Forester has.

    Honda's press materials said they were targeting the "toddler mom" with the CR-V, and I think they hit the mark. Those moms will actually use the pass-through and probably stuff their purse under the cargo tray. Makes sense.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,895
    You know, the extra feedback/opinions is always good, so there is no reason to apologize about sparking a conversation!
    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
    Agreed, there's nothing wrong with a healthy debate, and sharing your opinions.

    You should feel welcome here regardless of the vehicle you buy.

    That doesn't mean we will agree with you, though. ;)
    I just went thru a 3mo. Hell with my New Red Pearl XLim. I not only was lied to several times by the GM at Stevens Creek Subaru in San Jose but rec'd. No Help at all from Subaru HQ (see for some good reading 1.5 Star rating!) I live in Sacramento & I have to admit I feel a little stupid buying another after my experience with my 2002. I exp. the notorious Head Gasket failure at 42,000mi. Even thought Subaru HQ was aware of the faulty part and the Thousands of pending lawsuits I had to pull teeth for 3-4mos. The HQ wouldn't come out & admit to it but the Service Mgrs. & Techs. at the local Dealers admitted it very openly. to squeeze $500 out of them torward my $2000 repair. I was given a $ incentive to buy another because of all the problems I had with my first. I really wanted the CRV or Venza but couldn't afford it. On my New purchase I noticed not only Paint chipping off on the "1st Day",excessive dirt in the paint espec. Driverside, but also a texture diff. ( L. Vs R. Fenders & Doors). To get right to I not only had 4diff. experts examine the car inc. my Ins. & obtained a 4pg. rpt. from Hayes Bros. It was determined that YES in fact the mil gage was 2mils thicker on the R.side. In addition there was alot of dirt in the paint which was causing the Paint to lift away. I tried to obtain help thru HQ Again & was told to fax the rpt.& that would really help them help me. After 23pgs. of back & forth emails I was turned away from HQ. The Rep. stated they were sticking by their "1" Rep. who examined the car & basically didn't care what I presented. I started taping conv. between the GM of this Dealership after they had my car for 2 weeks(quoted 4 Days ended up 3 days minus a Mo.!) I offered to let the Dealer Services Rep. at HQ to listen to my tapes to prove how badly I was being treated and was even threatened by the GM. She stated that they had NO Control on how the Dealerships conduct Buss. & treat their customers. She stated that they just sold their products & were basically Independent. The ONLY Good thing I can even say about this GM "IF" he was actually being Honest for once is that he stated he Totally Disagreed with the Subaru Rep.that examined the car but on the otherhand did absolutely nothing to help until pressured. It was actually stated to me by the MGR. of this Dealership that he found out thru Tech. support that the Red Pearl Paint had quality issues. I also had a 45min. conversation with a longtime emp. of Maita in Sac. who went on to state that when the Foresters are shipped & arrive at Port the Paint(topcoat) is still soft. If they sit in port too long the exhaust from Trucks,etc. can get lodged into the topcoat(my orig. sat for 2Mos. in port I found Ship. Docs. in the glove box). He also stated that the Pearl Paints are problematic & typically don't lay even. He stated he has heard of problems before with the Pearl Paint. When I asked "Why do they con't. to use them?".His reply was"Honda & Toyota also use Pearl Paint and we have to compete. He warned me that they always look nice at first but within a few Mos. you will start seeing alot of fine scratches & swirls. Even if you are Very Diligent on keeping the Paint clean & Make Absolutely sure you have a spotless surface before waxing you will still see fine scratches just not as bad. To close it took me 3Mos. & the assistance of the BAR(Dealer cited with 2 Violations) & Channel 3 to obtain a New Replacement. I was "promissed" a Refund in the beginning from the GM but that was just 1 of many lies! Needless to say take a little advice from this Diss. Retired DMV Emp. and check out your paint espec. if you are noticing alot of chipping in unusual-non impact areas such as your Doors. Then look for short black lines & raised nodules.In my situation I found that one side(Drivers) had alot of dirt where as the otherside was 75% less. I'm assuming this side had more exposure to the elements while in port & they DO NOT pack all body sections with Paper. I know this because my orig. still had paper on it & they mainly cover the Hood,Glass Moon,and Hatch area. Needless to say after how I was treated this will be my last Subaru product!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That hurts my eyes. :sick:

    Ever use paragraphs?

    Then maybe I can read it.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,895
    There was some good info in there, but agreed about the difficulty reading (and understanding) it! :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Yes the paint post was hard to read.

    I have white pearl paint on my XT and have noticed, like all car paints, there is some waviness here and there, and that an occasional fine scratch can be seen.
    Given I've owned many cars and their paint jobs, I sort of accept this.

    In California, there is a strong Lemon law for many vehicle defects - Oregon does not have that. I don't know if paint issues fall under the Lemon law, though.

    However, parts of California have occasional strong windstorms that blow sand about. If the cars were on a carrier exposed to this wind, the paint on windward side would probably be scratched or otherwise damaged. Only way to avoid that is a thorough inspection before purchase.
  • I just had the dumbest experience with the parts dept. at a Subaru dealer (not the one I bought the car from, but that shouldn't matter): I went in to buy some touch up paint, and was told they need the VIN for the car in order to be sure they were giving me the right one. Excuse me, but how many variations of 2009 "Satin White Pearl" are there?

    Nothing is easy anymore.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's just an industry practice now.

    Even the laptops we buy have a Service Tag. Without that we can't do squat. Doesn't matter if you have the model and serial number, they want the Service Tag.

    They probably did that because Subaru uses 752 different shades of Silver (on the Forester alone) and people got them mixed up. :D
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    With the paint, it's also an anti-crime thing. People used to come in and buy the small spray cans of touch-up paint for graffiti and other vandalism. By giving the VIN, the dealer is assured that the person asking for the paint really has a vehicle that color.

    Auto parts stores keep generic touch-up paint in locked cases for the same reason.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • I had my 04 FXT in for a 60,000 mile service today, and got a brand new '10 Forester PZEV with 155 miles on it as a loaner. I got a chance to drive it for approximately 70 miles. Here are my impressions.

    The good:
    - It's roomier than the 04, but still has fairly tidy exterior dimensions.
    - Average MPG for my daily commute was 26.1 with 3/4 highway, 1/4 city. This is indicated MPG, not calculated.
    - The 4-speed auto was reasonably responsive.
    - Visibility is still very good, although the side mirrors have a strange shape and offset.

    The not so good:
    - Ride is mushier and the vehicle tends to float a little.
    - Steering is very light, although fairly accurate. Makes the ride a little darty and harder to track in a straight line.
    - Interior materials and design are much worse than my '04 - very, very cheap.
    - The driver seat is not comfortable, and this model didn't have lumbar adjustment, or at least I didn't find one. My back was sore after 1/2 hour drive.
    - LOTS of buzzing and rattling. Unacceptable for a brand new car.
    - The 4-cyl non-turbo engine still feels underpowered. Normal driving is OK, but passing is painful. It could use another 20 hp.

    Overall, a decent vehicle, but cost cutting seems to be too obvious.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Interesting observation about the mirrors. They used to have tiny ones on the L models, and really big ones on the S. Now they use one size, I believe, that falls between those.

    Agree about the auto trans being responsive, too.

    They lifted the whole vehicle a bit, so there's more body roll as a trade-off.

    The Limiteds do have power lumbar adjustments, IIRC.

    No fair comparing a turbo with a non-turbo. :shades:
  • "The not so good:
    - Ride is mushier and the vehicle tends to float a little.
    - Steering is very light, although fairly accurate. Makes the ride a little darty and harder to track in a straight line"

    These were also my initial impressions. Now, after 12 months it seems just right.

  • After having driven my Forester X for 18 months & 17,000 miles,
    I definitely agree that the Forester handling/steering is biased a bit on the "light"
    side. I can't say I have any issues with straight line tracking or the overall handling.

    For me, I've found I just get used to the handling characteristics, since this is the
    only 4 wheel vehicle I drive regularly. But when I borrow my daughters car (a 2008
    Hyundai Tiburon) it is instantly realized. The Tiburon (which is biased to be on the
    heavy side, with almost no power assist in the steering) feels like I'm driving a
    truck!!! I truly can't wait to get back to my "tossable", light-on-it's-feet Forester
    (which is ironic, since the Forester is an SUV versus the Tiburon being a small, low
    2-door coupe)...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru likely keeps an eye on the competition: modest-tweakage/

    180hp now for the CR-V, vs. 170 or 175 (PZEV) for the Forester. The Forester does still have more torque, 170 to 161. Honda also improved fuel economy by 1mpg, per EPA measures.

    They fixed something I complained about recently - the door handles now have rubber grips. I had said the painted metallic trim on the old one would be a potential wear area, and apparently they got similar feedback from owners and made that change.

    Any how, with Honda updating the interior, hopefully Subaru follows suit for the 2011 refresh. Less fake metal sounds like a nice upgrade to me.

    170-175hp is OK but at least bring us that CVT from the Outback.
  • Anyone know of a really good service dealership in NJ? I'm considering taking my car in for warranty work - all the AM radio stations whine enough to give me a headache. So it's not SUPER essential warranty work, so I'm worried to take something in with a potential electrical issue unless I know the dealer will do a thorough job... I'm closest to the Union, Morristown, and Avenel dealers.

    2009 Subaru Forester Limited
  • I noticed the other day my '10 Foresters driver seat cushion has begun to "pill" in one spot (below where my left "cheek" would be). I never have any sharp objects in my back pockets, it appears to be cheap material.
    Anyone else had this happen (cloth seats)? The car only has 2800 mi. on it; I'm really po'd about this and will ask to have the cushion replaced at next service visit. I traded a 1999 Ranger w/158k on it and the seat fabric was still nearly perfect. I am really concerned abot the long term durability of this fabric- hoping maybe it was just a defective piece on that one cushion.

    As for seat comfort, it took a few weeks for my back to adjust to the shape of the Foresters seat; I did find that the power lumber needs to be set fairly soft in order to be comforable. The seat back bolsters need to be spaced wider, I have a broad back and it sometimes feels "squished" in between them.

    Otherwise, it seems to be a well-put together suv. I drove 'em all before buying the Sube and I still think overall it does things the best, especially if you use it as it was intended, ie lots of recreational activity.
  • I have a 09 Forester with 14 K miles and I have a spot that is starting to wear on the right side. I have the black cloth interior.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,895
    Hmmm... not good news! I will certainly watch mine. My '96 Outback's interior (cloth) held up very well even after 220,000 miles. The foam inside it broke down in a couple spots (especially on the outer driver's bolster), but the cloth covering was in great shape!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • so far it seems my '09 XT's leather interior is holding up well. It has wrinkled somewhat in spots from my weight, but no noticeable wear, color change, etc. has shown up after 13K miles.

    By comparison, the '03 Saturn ION I owned (regretfully - was a rolling rattletrap) showed significant leather deterioration after around 20K miles.
  • Liberty Subaru in Oradell on Kinderkamack Rd is pretty good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Our leather is holding up well also, though we don't have that many miles yet.
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    But no standard transmission in the CR-V, which they took away with the current model. Thank heaven Subaru still offers them, as my wife and I find a stick shift and three pedals on the floor adds a lot of involvement and driving fun.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Toyota dropped it from the RAV4 also. The Forester is one of the last few. I think Suzuki still offers them.
  • The last time I checked, Suzuki only offered manual xmission in their base model AWD, which did not have a factory sunroof available.

    When I set out to purchase a new vehicle, I wanted AWD/4WD, manual xmission, sunroof, good fuel economy, and a moderate MSRP. The Subaru Forester was the ONLY vehicle I found that met my criteria. (I briefly considered the BMW X3, but it gets lousy gas mileage and MSRP of $35K-45K).

    I sure hope Subaru doesn't follow the others (Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc) and drop the manual xmission option. If they do, I believe they will lose a significant competitive advantage!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $35k? Try more like $40k.

    $39,575 rounds up to 40 grand for a base model no options if you can find one!
  • Hi again, Bill!

    I'm very sorry it's taken me so long to respond.

    I bought a 2.5X Limited (4AT) PZEV vehicle. And the explanation you seem to have gotten is exactly the same one I did from my dealer's service manager. So, I guess I have to be content with that. It's still a little unsettling to hear the noise this thing makes when starting from cold, but if that's what it's supposed to do then I can't do much more about it.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience! It does help.
  • Did a freeway run of around 30 miles on relatively level ground.
    Both directions, at around 65 mph, yielded an average of 29 mpg.
    A/C was off for nearly the whole run, but a brief period with it on did not seem to affect mileage much.

    Vehicle mileage is around 13 K.

    A huge improvement over when the vehicle was new, getting around 24 mpg on the same freeway. :) Nice to see given Premium fuel's nearly 30 cents/gallon higher than regular here in the NW :cry:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You gotta pay to play. ;)

    At least the turbo 4 gets far better mileage than most V6s in this class. The only exception is the RAV4 V6.
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