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2009 Subaru Forester



  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    1. There are lights in the headlamps called "position" lights.
    What do these do?

    2. In the passanger compartment footwell, there is a plastic cover protecting heater fan, glovebox underside, etc.
    But on driver side, there is absolutely nothing preventing feet from kicking into wiring, sharp metal, or other stuff under the dash.

    Is there supposed to be a plasic cover or shield in that area? I see screw and clamp holes for fastening one in place.
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    The '09 powertrains have also been revised to increase the torque and make it more accessible over a wider RPM range. The XT doesn't actually gain peak torque but it is available lower in the RPM range relative to the '08 XT.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    We own a '01 Forester S Premium (wife's car), which was the top-of-the-line model that year. I also just put 40+ miles on a new '09 Forester courtesy loaner while my WRX was in for a recent oil change. It was a base Forester X. The only option it had was an automatic tranny.

    Sounds like you've got a pretty good grasp as to the differences between the '08 and '09 models. My recommendation: Go with the '09 model, as it is sooooo much better in just about every way. In the long run I think you'll be happier.

    My choice for the Forester would be the the turbo XT. That's because I drive a WRX, which has the same engine. Since I'm used to the turbo in that vehicle, the non-turbo models just seem weak. Yes, the non-turbos have reasonable power under normal circumstances. However, if you need extra power for highway passing the turbo is much, MUCH better. Turbos also lose less power in the mountains, if that's important.

    The downsides to the turbo:

    • It "requires" premium gas.
    • Oil needs to be changed every 3,750 miles, whereas the non-turbo can go 7,500 miles between changes.
    • You may lose about 2-3 mpg over the non-turbo. Of course that depends on how you drive.

    I would say drive both the turbo and and non-turbo, and then decide. You may discover the non-turbo to be just fine, as do a lot of people. Again, the main advantage to the turbo is passing power on the highway and the ability to maintain speed on long hills.

    One final comment: Don't expect the Forester to match your Trooper's off road prowess. I won't. It's a pretty good for this type of vehicle, in fact I'd say it's the best of the small CUVs. If you want better off road capability with a small SUV, I'd say go with the Suzuki Grand Vitara, as that vehicle has genuine off-road ability. It also has a low-range and full-time 4WD.

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    My dealer Service group told me that using less than Premium gas in the Turbo can cause the check engine to come on. If that happens, the dealer has to reset the computer, and will know exactly what caused the light to go on.
    Still, I am keeping an eye on my mileage and will report once I go through a few tankfulls of gas.

    FYI, The sport mode of the 4-speed does seem to make the vehicle more responsive. Apparently Subaru did a very good job matching the engine to the 4-speed trans.

    Also, though '09 Foresters seem very capible at Catalina Island, there are absolutely no skid pans or any protection under the car. Getting hung up on a rock could tear your exhaust system out. No surprise as the Forester was never intended to be the ultimate off-road vehicle. Driver beware ! :surprise:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Woot! Congrats, man. I'm jealous! You beat me to it. :shades:

    XT Limited, then? Did you get the GPS, too?

    We'll probably get an LL Bean, for the lower operating costs. Bob mentioned passing in the mountains is better w/turbo but ours will be mostly for local driving, as we have the minivan for longer road trips. The wife will mostly commute in it, and we'd use it for errands and local stuff, plus in snow and rain.

    My dealer has a couple of LL Beans in stock. I'm still waiting to line up the VIP pricing thing.

    Congrats again!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool video. I bookmarked that.

    More than enough for most people. Only the hard core will need more capability than that.

    Between an 08 and 09, what I would say is, long term, that $1500 won't seem like much. You'll get a chunk of it back on resale, too. Even if you didn't, over 7.5 years or so that's just $200/year more, or $17 a month.

    Get the 09.

    Coming from a Trooper, the 08 will seem cramped. The 09 will still be smaller, but I don't think it's cramped.

    Getting a bargain is good, but getting the better vehicle, that you like more and will enjoy more for several years in to the future, is even better. :shades:
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Ateixeria, I had no need for Subie GPS as I already have a Garmin that works well. The Subie GPS had small buttons and seemed harder to use than the XT Limited radio, in addition to costing a bunch more.

    My Exterior color's white peral - not their prettiest color but I was determined to have a cool car in summer (I discovered anything other than White gets hot in the sun).

    Also, '09 Forester has heater vents under the front seats (2 for each seat). Another nice touch. :shades:

    Also, the handling of the Turbo seems to be as good as the Audi A3 3.2 I drove some time ago, but Forester has way more ground clearance and ability to handle bad roads (My guess is the Oregon City Hill the Forester and Outbacks easilly drove over would tear out the underside out of the A3 3.2 ).

    One thing you might do when you look at Foresters is to discover if you can see underdash wiring and components on the driver side. There is a cover on the passanger side footwell, but not on the Driver side of my Forester.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Gotcha, we own 2 Garmins also. Even had a 3rd one, but sold it to a co-worker. Love those.

    I thought about the GPS anyway for the big screen, but feedback is only so-so and you're right about it being expensive. Plus no backup cam. The stereo is better, but that's about it.

    I love the pearl white. Wish my wife did, but nope.

    I'll peek at the wires under the dash. I didn't notice them in my test drive, but I wasn't looking, either.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Just a note...Fitzgerald (White Flint and Gaithersburg, MD), has a few new 2009's up, and they are priced right around invoice. They have one X Manual that is $200 under invoice, and the others, including a Premium Package, are $100-$200 over. The 2009 X Premium has a 24794 MSRP, invoice is 23154 and they are selling it for 23254.

    I've never bought a Subaru from Fitz, but have bought other cars and they're fantastic to deal with.

    Frankly, that bodes pretty well for the future. If my mom decides to go with the 2009 (leaning that way, ironically because of color combos--she loves Newport Blue but hates the beige interior), then I'll wait this out several months and see if they slap an incentive on these things and then shoot for invoice - incentive. Probably will be until mid-to late summer until that happens, but if its a good enough incentive, I'd like to get her in an LL Bean so she gets auto climate control.

    To weigh in on that debate, btw---its one of those features that when you have it, at least for me, I'd never do without it again. I always had a hard time getting the "right" temp on my cars and always would fiddle--turn on AC, get cold, have to turn on heat, get hot, and so on. Ever since auto climate, its never been an issue. LOVE it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've never bought a Subaru from Fitz

    I have...

    but have bought other cars and they're fantastic to deal with.

    Yes they are. The Subaru store is no different. We bought our Legacy there. My dad got his Outback, my sister got her Forester, and finally my brother got his Legacy there.

    I love it - no surprises.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Yeah, I bought my Camry Hybrid from the same store as their Gaithersburg Subie the time I got my TCH, it was still a new and very hot model. Every other dealer was at or over MSRP on it and had waiting lists. Fitz had done a dealer transfer on another vehicle and gotten back a TCH exactly how I wanted it, and sold it to me that day for $1000 under MSRP (I also got a $2600 tax credit). They had 3 other couples behind us ready to buy it if we hadn't--they could have sold it for MSRP, I'm sure, but they didn't. AND they beat CarMax on my trade. To top it off, they rushed all the paperwork on it, got me a title in record time, waived their own check clearing requirements just to make sure I had it registered in time to get the particular clean fuel plate I wanted in VA, because the rules were changing on a certain date. Brought the paperwork to VA for me, and then called a week later to make sure it worked. GREAT people.

    Also bought my dad a car there.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Earth to Subaru...

    There aren't that many 2008 Forester's left, and there are increasing numbers of 2009's hitting lots. Dealers are now test driving them and trying to sell them. You can go ahead and put up the 09 Forester website ANY time now.

    Also, no dealer around me has any brochures yet. That'd probably be helpful too!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Coincidentally I just got an e-mail from a Fitz salesman friend that he has the 2009 brochures.

    About time.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    To the Turbo folks here:

    What sorts of sounds can I expect the Turbo engine to make during acceleration and deacceleration?

    I have heard some slight "moans" from the XT after it does a gentle acceleration and its speed stabilizes. I assume that is some sort of waste gate or other airflow management?
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I am used to turning on the heat as soon as temp needle moves off the line

    Yup me too and I agree that deleting the temp gauge was a mistake. As to Mike's point about the idiot light, you still had that in addition to the temp gauge.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    ??? I never noticed any unusual sound like that on my 2.5L WRX.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I actually couldn't disagree more. Climate control is a must have for me. Just another example of different strokes for different folks.

    Different strokes for sure. I hate auto CC and always use the manual override option.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    on driver side, there is absolutely nothing preventing feet from kicking into wiring, sharp metal, or other stuff under the dash.

    Is there supposed to be a plasic cover or shield in that area? I see screw and clamp holes for fastening one in place.

    Previous gen Forester's are the same way but you'd really have to work at it to get your foot up under there to kick something.

    In a similar vein, my wife has accidently popped the hood release with her foot several times when getting out of our other car :(

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    '09 Forester temp light glows blue when engine is cold and red if engine is too hot / overheating.

    right now my AC's on auto and does nothing until the "cold" indication goes out. The manual says this is normal.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Makes sense. The HVAC system uses the radiator coolant to warm the interior. Until the engine is warm, it would be pointless.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    is that In all the Forester models I looked at, I've noted no change in interior trim, instrument display, control layout, etc.
    What does change are available features (auto AC, leather / power seats / additional speakers and/or sound controls), and capabilities (more power, better sound, better interior climate control, more positions to seats).

    This is different from many other manufacturers (most apparently, Detroit folks) who stick fancier trim or interior decoration onto models "higher up" in the chain. The Chevy Malibu is an example: you get more chrome and decoration as you move up the model chain

    Does this smack of an Engineering approach to design? The fancy trim does nothing to improve the vehicle's capabilities.
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    Can you explain more where this light is, I have not noticed it yet. However this could be a first for this forum for the 09.Driving 50mph when a freakin Turkey Vulture flew right into my windshield (thats a big bird) It happened so fast I didn't have time to react. think it hit the bottom of the windshield after scraping his talons on the hood. But to my surprise the winshield held up,but did scrape the hood. Will need to be primed and re painted ($300.00) went back to look for the bird after driving @1/2 mile but nowhere around.
  • tntmythtntmyth Posts: 70
    Thanks for the valuable insight. Sounds like the general consensus is that the '09 Forester is a leap forward. The dealer sales reps think the 2009 is better. Everything I have read says that the 2009 is better. And the Subaru Crew says 2009 is better. That's pretty much unanimous in favor of the 2009. The only nod to the 2008 I am reading is that perhaps it is more unique among the small SUVs. But from what I gather, the 2009 still has all of the best Subaru genes, AWD, same boxer engine, but just bigger, quieter and better looking. I will test drive both the 2.5X and the XT, to see if I simply must have the extra speed. I wonder if they will have any first year kinks to work out?? The Japanese manufacturers are pretty good at getting it right the first time.

    I don't have any Subaru bucks you have discussed here. I definitely need one of those credit cards. I will most likely wait a few months before getting the '09. Hopefully Subaru will come up with some incentives after the '08's are cleared out. My 2001 Trooper is still rock solid with only 59,000 miles. I really will hate to let it go when the time comes. :cry: It does not have 4WD but I don't need it here in Florida anyway. I have never taken it off road except for a dirt parking lot where it performed admirably. :shades: Unfortunately, I checked insurance rates. It would cost an extra $950/yr to keep the Trooper on the policy.

    Paisan, you used to be on the Trooper forum, no?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    On the '09 the temp light is a small thermometer, located just to the lower right of the Tachometer's center pointer hub.

    Ouch wrt the Buzzard - best wishes that the shop gets your ride fixed up right!

    Hopefully the deer in our neighborhoods don't decide to jump out when I go by at night! :surprise:
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    Yep, I noticed it just now (it looks like a blue candle) after a few minutes it went out. Hallelujah!!!!! Thanks for the info..... have to be careful at dusk and dawn because we have plenty of deer also..
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    Erach! Would that just figure?! Hahaha, I was certain that a moose was going to jump in front of me when I bought my '07 Outback last year and drove it home from Anchorage. Happily, I made it home with no problems aside from the car's lack of a block heater and the temperature in Fairbanks at -40 that night. :mad:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • tntmythtntmyth Posts: 70
    I learned last year that Saab's are moose tested. Moose collisions are frequent in Sweden. Photos of moose test in this link.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    TNTMyth, I loved my trooper! :) Cool to see other trooper owners still out there. A Forester while not a Trooper will provide a similarly reliable life as the trooper should have for you!


    PS: Wanna sell your trooper?
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    So I've been cross shopping the CR-V and new Forester a little bit.

    Its obvious to me that Subaru used the CR-V as its price point and packaging competition.

    The Forester 2.5X Premium compares to the CR-V EX AWD, and the LL Bean compares to the EX-L. Price wise, they are literally within a few hundred of each other. The CRV EX AWD is going for invoice, give or take a few hundred $23,000...which is exactly the same as the Forester 2.5x Premium. Now at that price point, I think the CR-V wins in terms of feature content--the CR-V comes with a much better radio and a few other little bells and whistles.

    And the higher end, the CRV EX-L AWD goes for right around $25. We'll see what the LL Bean Subie goes for. The EX-L CRV comes with a 270 watt stereo system, so it beats for the Forester in that department. The auto climate system is a bit more sophisticated, with digital readouts also...I think its fair to say the interior is a bit classier.

    So my conclusion is that in order to stay competitive, Subaru will have to sell these for a little less than Honda's pricepoint...which should mean discounts on the Foresters.
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    It's not so clear to me that the CR-V wins in terms of feature content. Features that an LL Bean has that a CR-V EX-L lacks include:
    -hood struts
    -mute button on the steering wheel controls
    -manual and sport modes on the automatic
    -rear fold out tray and cup holders
    -front and rear wiper de-icers
    -more horsepower and torque
    -weighs 180 lbs less
    -true AWD
    -greater ground clearance
    -better rear visibility
    -greater cargo accessibility
    -more passenger room
    -Radio Data System
    -four setting heated seats

    Instead, I would say that the '09 Forester is a serious threat to the CR-V and Honda should be nervous.
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