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2009 Subaru Forester



  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    17.9 mph (at around 200 miles on odometer).

    Are you sure the tank was completely full when you got it?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I take one day off and this thread picks up the pace...figures.

    Puddle lights - these are neat. I didn't realize how useful they'd be until my Sienna, which has them. Very cool feature. I will look in to adding these on or LL Bean when we get one.

    kahanatina: congrats!

    fanatical: same you to, congrats.

    I have to get in gear and go buy one, seems like I didn't get the memo and have been hesitating.

    FWIW, I rented a 2007 Accord when we went to Florida last October, for a wedding.

    As throroughly competent as it was, road noise was my #1 complaint. The engine is quite, wind noise seemed normal, but we noticed tire noise. Perhaps it depends on tire choices, I dunno. The rental car was nearly new.

    Maybe some Hondas are better than others, or maybe its the tire choice. Who knows. That's just my observation.

    Also, I test drove the Ody and Sienna back to back. Again, I felt the Sienna was more isolated.

    If I had been looking for a driver's van I would have picked the Ody due to the Sienna's numb steering alone, but we wanted a trip vehicle and comfort was a top priority.

    Let's see what the instrumented tests say. The Forester has generally done well. Car & Driver measures sound levels at idle, at speed cruising, and at speed coasting. In the 2 comparisons I've seen for the Forester, it was the quietest in both.

    Let's see for the 2009. Competitors have improved. Has Subaru kept up? I guess we'll see when they publish sound levels in the full road tests.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    On another note, I take back my impression that Subaru is customer focused. Our local dealer got a bunch of '09's in yesterday and most have them had $400+ optional "wheel opening trim." I hate when manufacturers put useless options on their vehicles at ridiculous prices to pad their pockets.

    While I personally don't consider Subaru to be particularly "customer focused", I don't see them doing anything different than most other manufacturers. As has been previously discussed, Subaru decontented the 09 Forester to make it more price competitive with its peers. This resulted in a big increase in the number of available options.

    Previous generation Foresters came with pretty much everything standard in a given trim level with very few options to choose from. Ironically, before we had people complaining about too much being standard and too few options and now some are disgruntled that there are too many.

    Another thing, your average Subaru dealer doesn't carry a lot of inventory so they and Subaru have to guess at what the most popular options are going to be and stock their inventory accordingly. Obviously this results in many compromises on what the vehicles are going to be equipped with.

    The good news is that it’s pretty easy to factory order a Forester to your exact specifications. The downside is that you have to wait 8-12 weeks for delivery. Also, refusing to pay for unwanted options is a viable negotiating tactic.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wait until now to order a 2009 Subaru after a comparison by Edmunds in two vehicles, i.e. 2009 Forester and 2008 Outlander

    I see from your other posts that you are actually shopping for the best price on a left over 2007 Outlander. So low price was a priority for you, not rally fair to compare a brand new model that just came out. Of course pricing is higher. The 07 Outlander has very low demand.

    The fact that there are still new 2007s left over proves that. You are buying a car noone wanted!

    Subaru America wants to rip off loyal customers, because I think Subaru owners are Subaru patriotic

    This is funny given what I've observed from Outlander fans - the most "patriotic" that I've ever seen. You obviously had a sip of their Kool Aid.

    If you even bothered to read this thread, you'd see people like Kurt are first-time Subaru buyers. He came from a Chevrolet. Other traded in Hondas.

    Going from 4-cylinders to 6-cylinders inflate the price above $30,000

    Not true, look at an Outback H6. Plus, the Tribeca is not in the Outlander's league, the Endeavor is.

    4-auto transmision that decreases performance by 15% in comparison with 6-auto

    Source? Wait, don't tell me - Mitsubishi. Of course! And Subaru buyers are the "patriotic" ones?

    same petrol consume

    No, sir. Wrong. Outlander is rated 17/24. The Forester XT gets 19/24, and it makes more power and more torque. Why is the Outlander's V6 so inefficient in the city, given it makes less power and less torque? How do you explain that?

    To make things worse, the gas tank on the Outlander is only 15.8 gallons, so your range in the city is a rather pathetic 269 miles. Forester has a 16.9 gallon tank, and with better fuel efficiency is can go a reasonable 321 miles.

    So it seems like your V6 is only 15% better at ... displaying the low fuel light.

    6-cylinders has longer life than a 4-cylinders.

    Source? The most durable automobile engine in the world was a 4 cylinder diesel by Mercedes. Source: Guiness Book of World Records.

    And before you look, 2nd place also went to a 4 cylinder. ;)
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Most of my Subaru shopping was comparing '08 Outlander to '09 Forester.
    Most of those comments are already here but I can recap if anyone wishes that.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Whoa somebody hit a nerve :)

    So it seems like your V6 is only 15% better at ... displaying the low fuel light.

    LOL! Juice I think you have a future as a comedian :shades:

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I hate when someone trolls in to a thread, drops a bomb like that, then disappears.

    I do apologize, though, for the 15% comment.

    That was very unfair. I'm sorry.

    Seriously, I apologize ... to Forester owners. Range is actually 19% better.

    Won't happen again. I swear. :D
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Road noise is a common complaint of Hondas. Check CR's Annual Auto Issue. They mention that on just about every Honda.

  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    Talk about me,talk about my wife,talk about my job,TALK ABOUT MY RIDE "THATS PERSONAL"
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    When I start the 09 Forester a blue light comes on for a couple of seconds that says SPORT, then goes out. This is in the area of the speedo,am I hallucinating? I thought those days were long gone!!
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    I must be hallucinating because it's a GREEN LIGHT (Sport) that comes on with ignition.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    If your '09 Forester is an Auto trans, you are seeing the SPORT trans light being tested.
    You will see that light come on if the Auto Trans selector/shifter is moved from Drive position to the center of the + / - slot. Moving Selector back to Drive turns SPORT mode off.
    Putting the auto trans in SPORT mode changes the shifting so that auto trans lets engine rev higher in each gear before shifting, and allows more rapid downshifting on hills.
    And yes, it really works ;)
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    While I still remember, here are observations I had while driving a number of '08 Outback XT's .vs. two '09 Forester XT's:

    Quieter interior (little road or wind noise) but some rattles now and then
    Softer suspension (less thumps from potholes, etc.)
    More lean in turns when cornering
    Less low end torque - not much until over 3K rpm.
    Classic "turbo surge" when accelerating.
    Some drive line lash and occasional clunks while driving.
    Limited slip rear diff helps side-side torque
    Rather crowded inside (intimate front, rear seats had no toe space)
    Lots of cargo space in back, but lower overall heigth.
    Little cabin storage space (small door slots, center cup holders.
    Euro class trim similar to that of Audi
    Auto trans reluctant to kick down, even in Sport Sharp mode
    Intelligent mode reduces passing ability - beware!
    Cannot comment on mileage

    Reasonably quiet interior but can be noisy on coarse roads
    Firm suspension - potholes kick back more but are not harsh.
    Very little lean in the corners, unusual for an SUV.
    Little drive line lash
    No limited slip diffs - side/side power handled by braking spinning wheels.
    Broader power bandwidth
    Turbo response comes in two stages.
    4 speed trans responds quickly to throttle input - SPORT mode helps,
    Mileage not so great (expect around 18 - 20 in the city)
    Much more usable interior space (rear footroom! Reclineable seats!
    Interior trim in line with other mid- level Japanese cars (less posh than outback)
    More cabin storage in doors and center console.
    Fewer observed rattles than in Outbacks (but some dash creaks are in mine).

    Outback is more luxo, and possibly a better trip car
    Forester is more eager, practical, and fun to drive.
  • tkaytkay Posts: 99
    K-Maxxxx u da man!!! Thanks TKay
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Do any Subie folks here know of good suppliers of lengthwise body strips that can be added to the Forester to protect the doors from various dings and shopping carts?

    I priced such at the local dealer, but $400 for 4 pieces seems mighty steep (their add on spoiler was $700 ( the XT Limited already has one of those )).
  • bufwxguybufwxguy Posts: 10
    Really only because of the third row that the Freestyle/Taurus X has since we have more need for that kind of passenger space but don't want a mini van. My Outback only holds 5 if there are 3 small ones in the back seat, but those 3 get bigger as the years go by! I thought the FS would have ok mileage with the 3L six and CVT, but 18-20 hwy is not good enough. Also, I thought Ford's quality had improved, but I see from your long experience as a Ford owner, that's maybe not true. Thanks.
  • kpevavkpevav Posts: 41
    I have a 2006 Freestyle and my wife a 2005 Forester. The Freestyle is quieter, especially on the highway, and offers a better ride. I get 19 mph in the city, with a moderately heavy foot.
    The downside of the Freestyle? Rear brake pad wear is the only one that bothers me. It has a hefty engine sound when under strong acceleration, but I don't mind that. There are rattles when driving over the purposely uneven brick streets in our neighborhood (that's another story!) but on decent roads, there are no rattles. It is an excellent highway vehicle, for me.
    I understand the 2009 Forester is redesigned and should be more accommodating than the 2005. The same could be said for the 2008 Taurus X over the Freestyle, as it is quieter (with the 6-speed automatic transmission, more sound insulation, larger engine, etc.). I have not seen any brake-related issues with the Taurus X, but they are not selling many of them, apparently.
  • rubdrrubdr Posts: 4
    Yes, I took "extensive" test drives of both a 2008 Taurus X and 2009 Forrester. The X is bigger both in size and engine, but even with the 6 spd trans yielded even less mileage (17/14) and is very slugish on acceleration. The Forrester in 2009 is larger than previous yrs and has 4 spd trans but mileage was impressive (28/23) and had a lot of "zip". I think the X had a little better ride, but figured this was due to the longer wheelbase. They still are reporting the brake issues, especially the rear for some reason. In comparison I believe the Forrester is better in price, mileage, agility and extras. I also hear that 2010 Forresters will have a 5 spd auto trans. Any other thoughts out there on the 2009 Forrester?
  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    Those mileage numbers seem a little odd, given that the EPA (using the new-for-2008 standards) a rating of 20/26 for the non-turbo Foresters. Are those metric numbers? As to the five-speed automatic for the Forester's second year, I don't know. It has happened in the past. The 1999 Acura TL had a four-speed, but Acura upgraded to a five-speed for the 2000 model.
  • rubdrrubdr Posts: 4
    No, not metric numbers. Computer reads on both vehicles. That is what made it unbelievable. Are the "avg" mileage on the Subies accurate?? My experience with the Ford computer reads yield pretty accurate reads. Still looking VERY seriously at the 2009 Forrester I test drove for this and many other reasons.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    17.9 mph (at around 200 miles on odometer).
    Mostly city driving with a little freeway thrown in.

    Worst mileage I have ever gotten from any car I've owned.

    Then again, to be fair, it's not completed break in, it's still 40 - 55 deg in Portland, the fuel is 10% alcohol, and the AC climate control is on most of the time.
    We'll see how it goes.
    I wasn't expecting fabulous mileage anyway - the price of an AWD car, unfortunately.

    Subie milage increases until about 10,000 miles.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Finally, Subaru got back to me and told me there is no "formally approved" filter for keeping leaves and other junk out of the intercooler. They did warn me not to block airflow, so it will be a challange to come up with something that doesn't reduce airflow but still catches some of the garbage that could come through the scoop.

    Best bet is some netting/wire mesh from Home Depot. That's what I plan to do on my car. You really don't get all that much stuff down the scoop though.

  • h2k2f2h2k2f2 Posts: 44
    For those of you who have driven the '09s, what are your estimates for the 0-60 for the naturally-aspirated and turbo models? Do you believe that the naturally-aspirateds will be sub-9 second vehicles?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    My brother, who is 6'5", has gone with me on '09 forester trips, and has put the passenger seat all the way back and reclined it a bit.

    A person my size (5' 7", short legs) can still sit in the back seat behind him with reasonable comfort. And there is space for toes and feet!

    In current Outback or older forester w/ front seat all way back, I'd _really_ be hurting back there. :cry:

    Only other mid-sized car I know of with that kind of rear seat room is the Mailbu Maxx, which is 5 inches longer, has less rear storage space, and was discontinued last year.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    The auto press reviews of the '09 Forester all bemoan the lack of a 5-speed auto trans, which may pop up in the '10.

    However, a true story was the Saturn Ion started its life with a 5 speed automatic. About 3 years into its production, the 5-speed , made by Aisin, was dropped for a 4-speed auto trans suppled from a GM division.
    At that point, the Ion, with the 4-speed, got __better__ gas mileage and maintained its performance. In effect, the Ion got a better drive train matchup.

    Also, another car mag who also bemoaned the lack of a 5-speed Auto found the '09's 4-speed to be well matched to the engine.

    Still, if Subie does a good job matching '10s 5-speed to engine, it should improve the mileage and possibly performance. I would have liked to have waited for that, but winter needs and other factors suggested waiting could be expensive (I expect a healthy price increase in '10 to cover all the inflations and updates).
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    The auto press reviews of the '09 Forester all bemoan the lack of a 5-speed auto trans, which may pop up in the '10.

    It is hard to believe that the five speed which was not put into the 09 for both cost and added weight reasons per Subaru engineers will be used. The CVT (Nissan-developed) offers a wider range of gear reductions for both better performance and economy. The five speed is a Subaru modification of a JATCO (Nissan sub.) auto trans and may not be available in quantity also.

    Why would the CVT for the 2.5i not be universally used in all models with that engine?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Probably, and a CVT is more likely than a 5 speed auto.

    We complain a lot, myself included, about there being only 4 ratios, but the fact is I drove an automatic 2009 and the transmission was very responsive, much more so than the 5EAT Subaru autos I've driven.

    So at the very least they programmed it well. SportShift responds in fractions of a second. Some other manually controlled autos take up to 2 seconds to complete a shift.

    Any how, the point is more ratios doesn't necessarily mean the transmission is better overall. For one I am very, very happy that my Sienna has the old Toyota 5 speed (U151E), as opposed to the new 6 speed auto (U660E) that everyone complains about. Hesitation, mostly.

    Toyota's 5 speed > Toyota's 6 speed.

    0-60 for the Forester? Noone has done a fully intrumented test yet that I've seen.

    C&D took an Impreza 2.5i to 60mph in 7.x seconds, but the Forester is heavier and probably geared for economy, so I expect 8.x or so for the base model, 6.x for the XT auto.
  • Edmunds reviewed a Japanese spec of the 09 forester and the Turbo turbo did the 60 in 5.5 secs. They use a different engine for their base than in the US. Dont have the link but remember reading in earlier this year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I believe it, but that probably had a manual transmission.

    Anyone who has driven a turbo Forester with a manual will know a sub-6 second 0-60 time is totally plausible.

    Automatic, though? Probably low 6s.

    Still very quick.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I drove a new Forester XT over the weekend. I like it a lot—much more so than the non-turbo. Is it scary fast? No, but very "usably" fast.

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