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2009 Subaru Forester



  • rich28rich28 Posts: 23
    I bought an '09 Forester to replace my Dakota 4wd that I put a ton of money into after driving it up the beach in OBX 3 times, once thru deep water for a week because the roads to the house we stayed at were very flooded. I went back this year and chickened out and rented a jeep because I didn't want to ruin this car. I'm still curious as to how it will do on the beach in the deep ruts, though. Maybe I'll wait till it's older before I give it a try.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    There's a you-tube video out there somewhere of guys comparing the sand performance of a new and last gen Forester. Try searching for it. I think we may even have linked to it here.
  • 26cars26cars Posts: 19
    Interesting parallel- I traded a '99 Ranger 4x4 for my Forester, had gone all thru it except clutch which was next. At 153K it ran perfect and used no oil. Then cash-for-clunkers hit and I caved in to it- how could I turn down $4500 for a truck worth maybe $2000? A real shame to see a vehicle with life left in it go to the crusher, but I had been wanting a small SUV and would have been a fool to pass on a once-in-a lifetime deal. So far the Forester seems a good choice, though I hope it proves heavy-duty enough- I use my SUV's as they were intended, also maintain them faithfully. Time will tell. I'll post after I take it on the beach.
  • Yes I watched that video (but have not seen it recently and - sorry - do not remember name).
    The older Forester got hung up on the sand, while the '09, with more ground clearance, did OK.
    Older Foresters had Limited slip Dif's in back, '09's rely entirely on VTC.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not the same one, but this gives you a pretty good idea of how capable it is. Certainly more than 99% of owners will ever try.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Certainly more than 99% of owners will ever try.

    ? Do you mean "never" try?

    That sled hill next door to me that I mentioned last week gets more tempting every day. I think I am just going to have to do it before the snow flies (which is any moment now). :)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • noey8noey8 Posts: 16
    I think this is the vid you guys are referring too...
  • Yes , that is the Sand comparison video referred to earlier. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think I said it correctly - more than they'll ever attempt.

    Most poeple just want to get out of the county fair grass parking lot on a rainy day without giving it a mud bath.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2009 isn't even a turbo, the old one was. So even with a bunch less torque it easily performed better in deep sand.

    Nice. :shades:
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    If that was a manual (we don't know that), it likely had a low range. This video was from the Ukraine, I believe. If it did have a low range, it would certainly have helped in that sand.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Oh, gotcha. I completely misinterpreted what you wrote, there. :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • noey8noey8 Posts: 16
    I'm in the market for a 2010 forester and have been doing some research for quite some time now. I was really curious as to what transmission had a better performing awd (offroad). I actually contacted the owner of that red forester in the vid and he verified that it was an automatic.
  • rich28rich28 Posts: 23
    Wouldn't the vehicle perform better in the sand with vdc off? That way, it's more like 4wd then awd.

    Also, I'd like to see the Forester navigate the 4wd area in the Outer Banks, especially the steep ramps over the dunes. Whose gonna video that one???
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    I am not going to comment on the AWD systems themselves, but without a low range, I sure find maneuvering a Subaru in off-road situations a lot easier with an auto versus a manual. I don't have any problem doing it with my old pickup truck, but the Subaru engine does not have nearly the torque and the Subaru also has a much more precise "trigger point" on the clutch pedal. That's just me, though.

    That said, it didn't keep me from buying a manual. ;)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Also note that the non-turbo '09 (and probably '10) X appear to have a faster throttle tip-in than the XT.
    You'll notice it mostly in 1st gear at stoplights or at low speeds, where a tap of the throttle has the X jumping forward where the XT simply moves forward.

    Also, the '09 XT's turbo boost appears to start around 2500 rpm and is pretty much all there just over 3000 rpm.

    That's my experiences, anyway...your mileage may differ ;)
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    I disagree there Juice, I'm pretty sure at the rev range you'd be running from a standing start that you'd see more torque from the n/a XS than the turbo. If you're up to 3k revs where the turbo starts pulling away, you'll certainly be spinning the wheels, defeating the purpose.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, guess so. At that rpm the turbo is in vacuum mode anyway, not providing boost until pressure builds.

    Also, the n/a engine has a higher compression ratio and would make more power until the boost does arrive (hence the term "turbo lag" - you get slightly less power, then much more).

    I think both of those were automatics.

    The first did not appear to have traction control, but the 2nd did. There was much less wheelspin with the 2nd one. It was more controlled.
  • My guess is older Foresters used a Limited slip rear dif to try to handle the side-side torque transfer, while new '09 and up Foresters rely on brake-based VTC for this task.

    Apparently, the '10 Outback 3.6R (and the '09) has both LSD in back and VTC. The new rear suspension in the '10 appears to have tamed the swing-out the earlier models showed in some testing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The XT and XS had the rear viscous limited-slip diff, but I think the base X model only had an open diff. The front diff was open on all models.

    That meant zero or 1 axles were "managed" for traction.

    Now VDC manages both axles, even on the base model. That's an important improvement.

    And note that many competitors have traction control or AWD acting at any given time, often not both. The Forester lets them act in unison. That's why if you watch the video again, all 4 wheels are accelerating, and forward progress is easy even from a dead stop in soft sand.
  • 26cars26cars Posts: 19
    Thanks for the utube link, watched a bunch of the others there as well. Gives me a new appreciation of the capabilities of this little truck! Although I'll probably pass on the rock crawling and jumping. :sick:
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    "Now VDC manages both axles, even on the base model. That's an important improvement."

    Yes -- I think the VDC, VTC, AWD and 4AT are all electronically integrated to produce a very effective system.

    I've been very impressed with handling in snow.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We haven't had enough snow to really challenge our Forester.

    They say this year we'll have more snow here in the DC area, if so we'll see.

    My Miata has summer tires so it's absolutely out of the question in bad weather. Our van in FWD and the stability control is too intrusive, though it's better when you turn it "off".

    Still, the Forester will do all the snow duty, no question.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    OK, so I'm undecided, and I'm asking for your help. Driven stick all my life, but last two vehicles have been automatics because the Highlander doesn't come in stick. Honda dropped the manual trans option from the CR-V and Toyota did the same on the RAV-4. Which leaves me shopping for a Subaru Forester.

    I've driven 2010 Forester XT Premium in both Auto and Manual. The manual was nice, and the Auto was very good for an auto. In Manual-mode, it even seems to rev-match on a downshift going into a corner. But these were both 3 mile test drives at best.

    So what do y'all think? Also, anyone have the quick-shifter installed? A review of the before/after experience would be most welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    I don't think Forester XT comes with a manual. Do you mean Forester X premium?
  • Since 2009, the Forester XT is 4 spd AT only. It offers a sport shift mode improves responsiveness at expense of mileage.

    It's a decent 4 spd auto and works well with its cruise control, but over 75 the engine's spinning close to 3000 rpm.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    With the torque available from the turbo engine, the top-gear ratio seems unnecessarily short, especially for an automatic, where a kick-down is just a toe nudge away. I would think that 2500 or even 2200 RPM would be plenty at 75 MPH. :sick:

    I'm still bummed that the XT is no longer available in the USA with a stick. :(
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    The Forester is LONG overdue for either a 5 speed auto or a CVT. 2011 or 2012 models will probably finally get one of these transmissions.
  • Unfortunately, the current 5 spd AT used in H6 models is not made by Subaru and is in limited supply, hence its limited usage by Subaru.

    Subaru has stated they plan to move the CVT into more vehicles, with the Forester being a likely choice for 2012 model year.

    Whether the CVT will become robust enough to replace the 4spd AT in the XT models, or H6 Legacy/Outback models, remains to be seen.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    Yup, sure did mean X Premium. That's what I get for putting up a post after midnight.

    So, with the non-turbo model, same question - Manual or Auto?
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