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2009 Subaru Forester



  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    thanks....that just sunk the CRV AWD I was considering. Now I can properly focus. :shades:
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Puddle lights, baby!

    Otherwise, meh. The only performance part in the "performance" accessories is the short throw shifter. :sick: Other than that, it's shift knobs (overkill in comparison w/5 choices!?), stainless steel pedals, front underspoiler and SPT oil cap & battery hold down.

    Also pretty disappointed the cool cargo area rail system from the JDM model isn't available here (allows bikes to be mounted safely in the cargo area & can be used to keep loose items from rolling around).

    Also, for those interested in bluetooth capability, note that the web address listed in the brochure - - only redirects you back to the subaru homepage at this time.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    One thing I'm disappointed in is the steady de-contenting of Subaru models each year. Now, on the Forester, roof rack crossbars are optional, as is the AWP on the Premium Package. Same with the cargo cover, rubber cargo mat, mud flaps, and the protective pad on the rear bumper, they're all now optional.

    Yes, the MSRP is lower—but not because Subaru is feeling generous. It's because you're getting less. Period.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree, but....

    I think there was too big of a price gap between the 2008 X and X Premium models. It was a few grand. The bigger rebates on the X model made that gap hard to justify for many.

    Now that step is a lot smaller. Or you have an intermediate step, if you will. X, X Premium, X Premium AWP. I don't get why you have to wait for June to get the AWP, though, given they make it for the LL Bean model.

    I'm OK, because the LL Bean model keeps the AWP standard.

    Our van has cross bars, so I may not get those, if only for aerodynamic reasons. I didn't use my cargo cover towards the end, I'd removed it. But my wife uses hers. We'll have to see if she wants one.

    Lame to drop the rubber cargo mat, that's a definite must-have. Same for the protective pad on the rear bumper.

    This is purely cost-cutting, as Bob says, though to be fair Honda and Toyota do the same thing, so Subaru is just trying to meet a price point (so they can advertise under $20k).

    I will probably add the puddle lights (very cool), the rubber cargo mat, and a cargo net. I don't think I will be accessorizing the wife's car like I did my 1998 Forester, where I had almost every thing in the whole catalog.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Replying to myself here...

    The Premium package was $1500 before, but rebates for the X were $1000 higher for most of last model year, so the actual cost of the package was $2500.

    It was a pretty big step.

    They had the Sports model between the two before. Now the Premium model moves down a tad (to occupy the price slot of the Sports) and the Premium+AWP takes the spot of the old PP.
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    It's probably fair to ask "What did the 2009 Forester 2.5X Premium gain that the 2008 Forester 2.5X Premium lacked?" Here's at least a partial listing:
    1) VDC + TCS
    2) side curtain airbags
    3) hood struts
    4) trip computer
    5) reclining rear seats
    6) flip-out tray
    7) larger fuel tank,
    8) steering wheel audio controls,
    9) 17'' wheels and tires,
    10) more interior room
    11) more ground clearance
    12) fold-flat front seats
    So, it's not entirely clear that 2009 buyers are getting less.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    my only real Forester complaint is lack of footroom around the accelerator pedal.
    A pretty tight fit thanks to that wide transmission tunnel.

    The Honda CRV and my old Maxx have plenty of footroom, which helps avoid cramping on long trips.

    The Outback also has a little more in that area.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think they built-in more standard features, but took away some "accessories".

    I spoke to my friend at FitzMall and he said his dealership was going to order the Accessory Package with 4 of those items Bob said were deleted on every model they order. It's about $400. Given the base prices is down $1200 on the base and $700 on the LL Bean, even with that package you still come out ahead most of the time.

    kurt: the CR-V has lacked a dead pedal, so despite all the room I never found the driver's seat comfortable.

    Honda misses on a lot of models when it comes to a proper dead pedal.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    So how many AT-only models have dead pedals? I think it's when you drive a MT that you really value having dead pedal.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Finally got a chance to get behind the wheel.

    First thing I noticed is that it felt familiar. Despite growth in each dimension, it's still a Forester. I felt at home, having owned the a 1998 model for 9 years. Still miss it, come to think of it.

    Visibility is fantastic. Narrow pillars plus a huge green house give you a panoramic view, one made even more obvious when driving out in public roads, and then parking it after the test. Competitors could learn a lot from Subaru - you can see every corner of this car. No need for a backup cam.

    And that's a good thing because I was told the GPS option will not come with a backup cam. Given the camera itself only costs $100, and the GPS is a pricey option, this is a mistake. It could help you line up a trailer hitch, for instance.

    Inside, I really like the new interior. It still has good ergonomics but a dash of flair was added. Both of my elbows found nicely padded surfaces when I rested them, a big relief given my '98 hit 2 hard surfaces. The stereo could be better but Subaru has never paid much attention to that, and I heard the LL Bean model gets a better system.

    The seats are a lot different than mine. Less side support, not nearly as stiff. I liked the old seats better, especially for aggressive driving, but my wife said she liked these new seats a lot more. They have more padding, but less side support. This model had a black cloth that was attractive and looked very durable. It's not the type of fabric that grips your body and gives you static shocks when you exit the car. I prefer a more velvety texture on cloth seats, but this seems more durable and makes it easier to slide in and out of the seat.

    The rear seat was also nice, though really meant for 2 in comfort. With the front seat all the way back I verified that my knees do not hit the front seatback when I wiggle them.

    The moonroof is still huge. Thank you.

    The tinted windows look good. Not too dark, in fact I they seem lighter than most OE tint, though perhaps that's just the large green house.

    OK, so how does it drive?

    Slide the shift in to Drive, then left and it goes into Sport mode. Tap it up or down to change a gear. Hit the gas and 170 horses move it along better than this same engine does in the Legacy. We will probably get this engine, as opposed to the turbo, so to me it's not lacking and 20/26 mpg sounds good when oil just hit $111 per barrel.

    The SportShift was a pleasant surprise. It responds very quickly. I remember hating how slow some tap shift autos were - some times taking 2 seconds to shift. This one completes the shift in about half a second. The only better TipTronic I've sampled was connected to a Porsche. High praise for SportShift.

    There is less body roll than before. It really stays flat. This was a mild test drive so I could not push very hard, but I definitely got the impression that this suspension is sportier than before.

    Ride was good, in fact you hear but do not feel the pot holes. I think the test model had too much air in the tires, as it was all tire noise. Wind noise was largely absent, though I probably only hit 45-50 mph, no high speeds to test those new door frames.

    The steering wheel felt beefy and had a lot more feel than the Toyota I'm driving now. That may not say much, but Subaru has always shined in this area and they still do.

    Love the trip computer! I have one in my van and wasn't sure if it would have it. It was displaying average MPG.


    * no backup cam with GPS
    * mouse fur headliner
    * sun visor was cheap plastic (durable, but not very pretty)
    * auto should have a 5th ratio

    Mostly nit-pics, really. And I wonder if the LL Bean and XT will get a nicer headliner or visor.

    I left feeling very pleased with the update. It felt familiar, yet incrementally better in every way than the Forester I have fond memories of. I can't help but think this will be a hit for Subaru. Their timing may be bad, with slow auto sales overall, but I have little doubt that this Forester will be in demand for a while to come.

    I'm pretty certain we'll have an LL Bean model in our driveway soon. $1600 Subaru Bucks, a gauranteed trade-in program scheduled for April, and a good first impression have nearly sealed the deal. All that's left is for my wife to drive one.

    It's her car. :D
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    Really? How many people who drive MTs actually rest their left foot on the clutch pedal? I find the "dead pedal" valuable on any car that has a low/reclined seating position. Higher-sitting vehicles, like minivans, vans, and pickups do not need the pedal because flat on the floor is a natural position to rest one's feet. In a car, though, having that angled support is very comfortable.

    I trained myself out of using the one on my '08 Outback so I would keep my foot within the protective borders of the MacNeil WeatherTech floorliners. It was somewhat annoying and would definitely be uncomfortable for long trips. The advantage for me, though, was that I did not have to clean the dead pedal's surface when I sold it and I did not stain the carpeting around it. That car was immaculate when I sold it, and that is not easy to do with a light-interior car over a Fairbanks winter. :shades:

    The "dead pedal" is not AT only. My '07 Outback with MT had a dead pedal, and it was well used when not shifting gears. I will post a photo in a sec, but CarSpace is acting up again.

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Looking forward to when you bring it over, so we can show Deb, and do a side-by-side comparo with her '01 Forester ;)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds good. We'll see how easy it is to back down the driveway from hell. :D

    (FYI for others: it's dark, narrow, and twists, oh and it does down hill)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    Nice review, juice. Sounds like they are definitely moving in the right direction with the Forester.
    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
    I think so. They managed to go a little more mainstream yet somehow kept the old car's character, so that someone trading up from an old one won't be turned off.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    How many people who drive MTs actually rest their left foot on the clutch pedal?

    The "dead pedal" is not AT only. My '07 Outback with MT had a dead pedal, and it was well used when not shifting gears.

    Wes- you misunderstood me. My point was that having a dead pedal is more useful when driving a stick :)

  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    a gauranteed trade-in program scheduled for April,

    Do tell...I was just asking about this, and was told that there would not be a guaranteed trade-in program on the '09 Forester. Is that not the case?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    Hahah, yes, Frank, I did misunderstand! :blush:

    I imagine you gathered this, but I thought you meant the dead pedal was more useful on AT cars where the owner had experience with a manual. :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    So how many AT-only models have dead pedals? I think it's when you drive a MT that you really value having dead pedal.

    Holy heck. Reading your post again, I have no idea how I came to that conclusion. :lemon:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Holy heck. Reading your post again, I have no idea how I came to that conclusion

    Oh good! I know my writing style isn't always the most direct when making a point so I was worried I'd have to take Effective Writing 101 :P
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    No, I need DEVE 010, Reading Comprehension. :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Could someone confirms that the 2009 Forester needs to change the oil every 3,000 miles for normal driving?

    Majority of vehicles nowadays require to change the oil every 7,500 or 10,000 miles for normal driving.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Only the turbos (XT model) require a 3,750 mile oil change.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nothing official yet, this was just my salesman buddy telling me that is what they expected.

    His info contradicts what I've heard from other sources - others thought the Forester would not need such marketing help to sell well.

    So don't hold your breath. We'll see.

    What I'm going to do is wait until April, right now supplies are very short anyway. The wife said she wants the Gray interior color, and among the exterior colors that come with that she liked the new Spark Silver Metallic and the Newport Blue Pearl.

    I think I'd prefer the blue, plus I like Pearlescent paints.

    By the time they have those in stock, LL Bean model specifically, we'll know if the GTP is in effect.
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    Just bought 09 Bean for 26162.00 (+$40. sevive fee License $8.00 Title $15.00 sales tax 1561.20 6%. additional equpt mirror compass puddle kit luggage compartnet cover rear bumper cover and last but not least the CARGO NET..Also gave me 3 year frre sceduled maintenence.She said they were going to mail out this maintenence package to former Subaru customers to get them to return.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, you bought the first here on Edmunds!

    I'm jealous, you beat me to it.

    3 years free scheduled maintenance sounds great. Is that a dealer thing or from Subaru?
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Posts: 288
    Juice, and others waiting for 09 Foresters. I was told by the Manager of the the local Subaru dealer that delivery of new Foresters in numbers has been delayed a few weeks at least here on the east coast, because Subaru ran into shipping problems from Japan. According to him, Subaru wasn't able to book enough ships to transport all the cars they had hoped to have in stock by the beginning of March. I know this dealer was counting on the new Forester to boost their sales which otherwise were way down, Imprezza excepted.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hey congratulations! That's what, about $1400 under MSRP? Pretty good price for a new model debut :)

  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    They told me that it will be in Wednesday.They are also waiting for the vehicles.The tip you gave me on selling my 05 Honda CRV instead of trading it in was cool,Considering it was nearing 71K I wound up getting 2000. more than trade in.THANKS..A friend turned me on to a web site (craigslist) this site is awesome and it's free.Posted the Honda 7AM started getting call 8AM.(sold to 1st caller) I never heard of this site but it must be pretty popular.A guy started it San Fran 6-8 years ago and the site is world wide..As far as the sceduled maintenance program I just recieved the mailer in the mail today. If I knew how they post pictures and things I would do it,I'm lucky to navigate E-Mails.I live near Ann Arbor Mi. but I hope this is available to all of you.I looked in the servive dept.and seen some prices 15000 mile $610..same for the 30K.If anyone would like I would sent it if that would help.But will look into posting it.That will be a first.Again that for your help..TamK
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