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2009 Subaru Forester



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    irollit: congrats, we have the same vehicle! Our is Newport Blue Pearl, what color did you get?

    We also ordered. Get a VON from your dealer, then you can check your status by calling 800-SUBARU3. They were great, they told me when it was built, gave me the VIN, told me when it would arrive at the port, then when it actually arrived, they even predicted (accurately) the exact day it would arrive at my dealer. They said Monday or Tuesday last week, and sure enough, it arrived Monday and we took delivery on Tuesday.

    Hang in there, it's worth the wait!

    sylviecat: of course you can negotiate price. Demand is high so discounts may not be as plentiful, especially since those models are in demand.

    johnc19: Subaru switched to a new head gasket material around 2002 or so. If you read Consumer Reports, you'll see the reliability ratings improve rather dramaticly right around that time, and for all models. That was enough for me - we traded our 2002 Legacy for a new 2009 Forester.

    That 2002 Legacy went 62k miles with no problem, in fact we never once used the extended warranty.

    Before that we owned a 98 Forester and it went 87k miles with no head gasket problems, either. Perhaps we were lucky. Any how, the new gaskets seem to be much better, plus CR's data confirms that.
  • phdhuskyphdhusky Posts: 85
    I havn't had a chance to drive the new forester in the snow but here are my thoughts about the 4WD on both.

    In the cr-v it is mostly if not always FWD unless you have slippage at the rear wheels. Also you can youtube videos of both in the mud but some may be biased when they compare the forester vs cr-v.

    The forester's AWD is truly AWD. When doing normal driving at constant speed the split is 90% front 10% rear. The ratio changes depending on driver input (acceleration, etc), thus the ratio can constantly change and all four wheel always have power. From all the video's i've seen the forester has a far superior 4WD system and many people agree.

    If you don't need 4WD then don't get it but between 4WD cr-v and forester there is no gas milage difference.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    So I finally pried the keys from my wife (it's hers). Phew. That wasn't easy.

    First impressions?

    Wife thinks the antennae is the cooling thing since sliced bread. A minor detail, but she loves it.

    It is MUCH taller than the 02 Legacy we traded. You sit about 2 feet higher up. She had the seat moved up pretty high, so I felt like I could almost see the front bumper. Visibility is the best this side of a convertible with the top down. You see everything, front, behind, and both sides. A+.

    Complaint: the passenger seat is low, indeed, like people here complained. I took a quick peek at the door track and the front is angled, but I will look again more closely. It could be half inch or so higher.

    Love the LED interior lights. I think there's one in the center storage bin, it's cool when it reflects on a cell phone. Very modern.

    What else? Love how so many of the controls are lit, including the stereo and cruise controls on the steering wheel. Also love the 3 spokes, really the entire wheel is perfect even down to the plush feeling leather. Kudos.

    Moonroof is huge. "Big as the Texas Sky" as Motorweek once said. So true. Interior feels very, very airy. The platinum leather is lighter than it looks in the brochure, a lot lighter. Competitors will feel claustrophobic after getting used to this.

    While I agree most plastics are hard, they do at least look nice. The texture on them is nice. I think they wanted to reduce weight as much as possible and did the best they could with that goal in mind. The leather on the seats, steering wheel, and shifter feel nice, at least.

    Haven't used the cup holders yet, but I do like having 2 power plugs. One for the GPS, up on the windshield, and a 2nd in the center console for the BlackBerry. You even have a removeable bin there that fits the BBerry just fine. Slide the arm rest forward and it even hides the device - bonus points!

    Gotta get used to the new radio controls, but at least it has redundant buttons on that steering wheel. LOVE the mute button, something my Sienna lacks.

    My sister has a 2003 Forester and she hopped in, right away she said she really liked the lit ring around the ignition switch, plus all the extra lit controls and buttons. That stood out most to her among the changes.

    I did not accelerate or brake hard, as it's breaking in. The 09 Forester does have a lot less body roll than the 98 Forester, or the 02 Legacy even. Ride is slightly firmed up but not harsh at all. You hear bumps more than you feel them, I have to check the tire pressure as they may not be aired down.

    We got it with just 10 miles on the odo, so noone test drove it (an advantage of ordering one). It was getting 5mpg when we got it, lots of idling, I'm sure, but it's up to 22 mpg and we've only used 1/4 tank.

    So far, so good. It's easy to park, bright and airy, and efficient, which is pretty much exactly what we wanted.
  • nathansnathans Posts: 15
    what are these "gotchas"? I have the card, and am unaware of such problems.
  • irollitirollit Posts: 20
    Thank you. It is also Newport Blue Pearl. How long did you wait? What is a VON?

    When I ordered it the first week of June, I was told that it would come by the end of June. Unfortunately, I was told today that a blue Limited is not in their allotment. We have to wait 6-8 weeks from today.

    Is it really true that the Limited are in short supply? The other story he gave me is the cars wait in Japan to be loaded until the ship has enough cargo secured for the return trip.

    Time does go by fast but I have an older vehicle that may not wait as long before it dies. I do not want to put more money into it and then loose that money when it is sold.
  • skeletonskeleton Posts: 37
    Congrats, juice! (or should I say your wife...)

    I've had mine now for a month. You'll like it even more the longer you own it. I even just take it out for a spin every once in a while for fun. (In fact, I just got back a few minutes ago... thought I'd try and test out the VDC. Found an empty gravel parking lot.... cranked the steering wheel and floored it in second from a moving start. Wow! It just followed my steering. No swerving or difficulty controlling the vehicle. Felt like I was a rally pro.)

    Can't wait for the snow. (Never thought I'd ever say that...)
  • ncc4ncc4 Posts: 16
    I was at my local Subaru dealer having some servicing done on my Outback so I had an hour to wait in the showroom. They still had a new 2008 Forester as well as a new 2009 Forester on display. I wanted a better look at the tires on the 2009 model and leaned on the fender, above the front tire, to get a better look and it almost dented it was so easy to push in. I then tried the same motion on the 2008 model and the sheet metal is much more sturdy.
    Yes the 2009 has more room etc., but is it as well built for the long haul?

    Buyer beware!
  • parkcoparkco Posts: 4
    I'm having a very hard time with the ipod interface on our '09 Forester. The manual indicates that the right knob should control scrolling through playlists. I cannot make it do anything at all. There is a lag time of a couple of seconds in the display. If I advance through six or seven songs on a playlist, the display no longer displays any song titles at all.

    Does anyone have this interface installed and working as the operation manual describes it should? Any user experiences would be great to hear - positive or other.
  • red927red927 Posts: 118

    I am still waiting for mine. I ordered it on 4/19 from dealer I have dealt with since 1992. He told me that they had a black on order and he would find out who in the area had a dark grey one coming in and then arrange for a swap. On 5/30 he called and told me that the other dealer had gotten the paperwork on my car and as soon as my guy gets the paperwork on his and they are delivered, the swap will be made. It is now 6/16 and neither dealer has received a car. He says that there is some sort of delay in delivery and no one knows exactly when the delivery will happen.

    Has anybody else heard of this problem with deliveries? The dealer also said that they have quite a few customer orders and they are having difficulty filling them. It appears that Subaru did not anticipate the tremendous demand for the cars and is now struggling to get them built and shipped. Even those that were promised for June are now being pushed back to July and possibly August.

    In the meantime, the lease on my present vehicle has ended and I had to return it. I asked if they could give me a loaner to use and they said OK. I am now driving a 1998 Outback Limited with 237,000 miles! Surprisingly, it runs fine.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Some things to keep in mind -

    Every dealer wants to increase their volume of sales. In addition to the profit on an individual vehicle they can get bonus money for achieving sales benchmarks. In addition, their future allocation of vehicles is also based on their volume.

    Dealers have to pay for cars that sit on their lots, usually through loans with finance charges for them. This is called "floor planning". The longer a vehicle sits on the lot the more it costs them. They always want to sell what they have for that reason.

    Even if they swap with another dealer, that can also cost them extra. If they are trying to swap a vehicle that is not as popular a model or color they may be "charged" a small premium by the other dealer. This is usually in the $100 to $300 range. This cost gets passed on to you. Sometimes it is an even swap, sometimes not. The "hold back" money also goes to the dealer listed on the window sticker, not necessarily the selling dealer.

    Sometimes at the end of the model year the dealer gets incentive money to clear out the "old" stuff, so this can help you get a deal, but not at the beginning of a model year, for the current model.

    Despite their motivation to sell what they have, the absolute cheapest vehicle they can sell you is one they don't have yet. If you buy a vehicle that is either just coming in or ordered they pay no extra via the floor planning, and they get the hold back.

    So the best deal available should be on an ordered or arriving vehicle because they own it for less. If you notice in this thread, most of the best deals have been on ordered vehicles. This is a win for them because they sell a car, they haven't had to pay financing for it to "store" it, they get the hold back, and it pumps up their sold volume.
  • phdhuskyphdhusky Posts: 85
    How much do you weigh? I don't think there is any concern about the quality in this new forester.

    Next time squat.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I'm pretty sure that VON = Vehicle Order Number. The dealer should provide you this so you can track your new Forester's progress all the way from the factory to your dealer.

    Having a VON also proves that the dealer really has ordered your Forester and isn't just waiting and hoping one shows up in the next allotment.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I ordered it on 4/19 from dealer I have dealt with since 1992. He told me that they had a black on order and he would find out who in the area had a dark grey one coming in and then arrange for a swap.

    There's the problem, your dealer didn't really "order" your Forester on 4/19. I'm sure they had good intentions regarding the dealer swap and were trying to get you into a new Forester as soon as possible. However as you've now discovered, the downside is that these behind-the-scenes trades don't always go as planned. Had the dealer gone ahead and placed a factory order back in April, you'd probably have your new Forester now.

    Some dealerships are reluctant to do factory orders and I don't know why. There's really not that much paperwork involved and as Big Frank pointed out, they get a sale without worrying about any floor-planning fees.

  • sylviecatsylviecat Posts: 10
    Thank you Big Frank; that's some very helpful info! Really explains the whys and wherefores. :) I'll be sure to use it; can't wait.

  • jbkennedyjbkennedy Posts: 70
    Congratulations on your new Forester!

    As to the low seat postion, all 3 people who have sat in the passenger seat of my Forester have all complained about seat height and ask me, "Where is the height adjustment?".

    Has anyone asked their dealer if anything can be done about permanently raising the seat height? I will call my salesman to see if anything can be done.

    Other than that, I am extremely happy with my purchase.
  • bbthomasbbthomas Posts: 24
    Just curious, has anyone tried (or measured) to see if a full size spare will fit in the storage well?

  • Can you elaborate on what's better/different about Subaru's 4WD system compared to Honda's

    phdhusky gives a good summary above, and as the previous owner of two CRV's I can tell you the practical downside to the part time 4WD. Even though the power transfer to the rear wheels happens very quickly when slippage is detected, there's still a slight delay and this can be bad in snow, particularly during a turn. Think about the physics of it--you're partway through a turn, front wheels pulling and starting to slide when the rear wheels kick in. Is this going to help you turn? No--it's going to push you forward, straight ahead, and in my wife's case, right into a curb with the front wheels turned so you screw up the front suspension to the tune of about $900.

    I got used to it after a while and got so I could plan for the delay, but it was never a comfortable feeling.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    after a 600 mile trip. What I learned:

    1. The front doors have some internal resonances that occur in 50 - 60 degree weather. Once they warm up the vibrations stop.

    2. Freeway mileage was only fair; Around 26 mpg from Portland to Medford OR, but only 23 mpg coming back. Speeds were 65 to 70. There's either a lot of driveline friction or rolling tire resistance, for the XT is far less prone to speeding up when going downhill as my long gone Malibu Maxx was. The cruise control, though it handles hills well, can "oscillate" in some situations.

    Other stuff:

    wrt Subaru credit card "gotchas" there are potential for financial fees, and the AFR is pretty high.

    The wheelwell trim does help protect the rear doors when they open. However, those who have it should make sure rearmost door seals are not being pinched by it when the doors are closed.

    Windshield power jack? I've not seen any of those on the XT. There is a lower jack in the center console.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    has anyone tried (or measured) to see if a full size spare will fit in the storage well?

    Sounds like something right up Juice's alley :shades:

    FYI, in the previous gen Forester, a full size spare would fit but you had to remove the styrofoam storage tray.

  • barnowlbarnowl Posts: 18
    Hi all!

    Does anyone know if the 2009 Forester X ( not Turbo ) Premium with All Weather Package has the Rear Limited Slip Differential?

    I see that the 2009 Outback 2.5 SE Specs on "Everything Subaru" website list the Rear Limited Slip Differential.

    I haven't seen any specs on the 2009 Forester that show this......the downloaded Brochure doesn't even describe the various AWD systems in the Specs section at the end.

    Any help appreciated! Thanks.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I could be wrong but I think with the 09s, Subaru dropped the rear Limited Slip Differential (LSD) in favor of Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    No Limited Slip diffs are on the '09 Forester.
    They were dropped in favor of VDC and VTC (vehicle dynamic control and vehicle traction control), which uses brakes as a "limited slip" replacement.

    Outbacks, Legacies still have Limited slips in back (STI also has one in front).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see, I don't recall the exact date we placed the order.

    I looked back and I have an e-mail from my salesman asking us to come in, and that was dated May 1. I think we ordered that Saturday, so May 3rd, IIRC.

    I later e-mailed him asking for a VON (Frank is correct about what that means), and got a VON on the 17th.

    It arrived at the dealership, ready for delivery, on Jun 9th.

    So about a month for me. I'm pretty sure the dealer put in the order right away. Get the VON and you'll know they did.

    Full size spare fit? Only one way to find out! :D

    Though the wife already claimed the storage cubbies above the donut, so I may lose this battle. Especially since she never used the full sizer I swapped out on her Legacy.
  • skeletonskeleton Posts: 37
    I say just keep the driver's seat lowered and the passenger won't feel like their seat needs to be adjusted.

    ...haven't received any complaints so far myself...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Simple solution. :D

    It's fine when I'm there, because I'm taller than my wife.

    Problem is, I want to drive it once in a while, too!
  • phdhuskyphdhusky Posts: 85
    You should buy your own Forester...seems like we know who wears the pants in that relationship ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wear the pants...when I'm ironing her pants. :D
  • From what I can tell the Premium package and the LLBean model are supposed to have height adjustments as one of the features. The Premium package version is manual and the LLBean is powered. Can anyone verify this who has one of these cars?

    Also how much does the wind noise at 70 mph bother anyone?

    Can anyone make a case for the LLBean (soon to be just called the Limited) model as opposed to the X with Premium and All-Weather. I guess the leather seats might be one reason. But I am trying to figure out if there are some other reasons to justify spending more money.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, the power driver's seat is height adjustable on our Limited. My wife was pleasantly surprised to find that feature at this price level (her previous car didn't have it).

    For me, it doesn't matter so much. But I won't complain, either.

    Can't comment on the wind noise because I didn't drive it at high speeds yet. Generally, though, with the window frames there is less wind noise than in her 02 Legacy. A lot less.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    On a 600 mile trip, the XT I drive had very little wind noise at 65 - 70 mph, in either direction (North or South).
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