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2009 Subaru Forester

batman47batman47 Posts: 606
The 2009 Forester will be unveiled in Japan this Christmas and in the USA in January 2009. What will happen with the Forester 2008? Will the Forester 2008 and the Forester 2009 be sold during the year 2008? I think that it has never been a Forester 2008 just the Forester 2007 sold in 2008. Are there any comments on this? The 2009 Forester is another animal completely. It will compete with the RAV4, CR-V, and Outlander. So when the 2009 Forester will be sold in the USA?


  • When the Land Rovers point out the LR2 did well in euro crash tests, they don't point out that it was __severely__ deformed when a pole, part of euro testing, was bashed into its side.
    An Audi Q7 by comparison showed half the deformation.

    Ironically, it was a Land Rover dealer that pointed me to that site, and those results where what killed whatever interest I had in it.

    Unfortunately Euro testing has only one older Subaru in its listings.
  • Not sure anybody's had one long enough to say for sure yet--what you get during the break-in period typically is well on the low side. I'm at only a little over 400 miles on mine and the gauge is showing 17.1 mpg--that's all local, lot-of-stop-signs driving (haven't even had a chance to take it on the expressway yet), so I don't think that's too bad. It's kind of difficult to resist giving it a good rip now and then either, because this thing cooks--but that doesn't help the mileage. I think if I'm getting 17 or so with only 400 miles of stop and go/aggressive driving, my real world ultimately is likely to bear out the government numbers of 19 city/24 hwy, and for the kind of performance/utility this car has I think that's excellent. Since the fed revised the official fuel economy numbers down last year they seem much more realistic than the old ones.
  • A query about SPC to Subaru got this response today:

    Thank you for your recent e-mail to Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us. At this time we are not aware of any plans to offer air filter or exhaust SPC enhancements for the 2009 Forester.

    Looks like if you want SPC, you buy the Imprezas.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The 08 Forester has been out for a while. The 09 will ship in Feb/march time period.

  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,271
    I like how it looks. I was worrying Subaru will botch the Forester's body style, and I'll have to buy 5 Foresters'08 to last me next 20 years ;) but it looks like I'm safe waiting for 09 (while driving my Forester'06).
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    The new one (2009) has now been officially released in Japan: (click on the lower left button with a car symbol to get details).
  • According to their spec sheet, the base model has about 140HP and 140 TQ. That's a step way down from that of the 07 base model.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Japanese-spec models use a 2.0 engine, not the 2.5 that we get.

  • I like that aqua/green jade tone. Probably won't offer it here.
    Wonder if they'll offer that stain-proof material with the orange stitching.

    Back seat looks nice and high up off the floor as opposed to too low to the floor like most Subaru passenger seats as of late.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I like it, too, but my wife has a light green metallic Legacy so she's ready for a change. Not sure what she'll want, though.

    Comments from the photos:

    * love the perforations in the center sections of the leather seats
    * love that rear cup holder/fold out thing, perfect to keep the kids happy
    * headlamp washer are neat, but overkill (?)
    * only 1 sunglass compartment. Old one had one, then two.
    * rear seats recline

    Nothing here to turn me away from it, still looks very promising. Hope it drives well.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Remains to be seen how much of the JDM equipment carries over to North America.

    As far as the headlamp washers are concerned, for those of us who live in the cold north with a lot of salt and grime in winter, they would be a great addition. A lot of higher-end European cars have them, as do many JDM cars. They do work nicely.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My 1988 XT6 had the headlight washers too.....

  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Can somebody give some information about the following:
    (1)- approach angle
    (2)- departure angle
    (3)- turning circle
    (4)- ground clearance
    (5)- skid plates?
    (6)- front/rear vented discs?
    (7)- xenon?
    (8)- repeater/mirror signal lights?
    (9)- main options?
    (10)- 4 or 5 or 6 automatic?
    (11)- steering wheel controls?
    (12)- 4-cyl 2.0 or 4-cyl 2.5 or turbo?
    (13)- EPA mileage estimates
    (14)- etc
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    The competition may be:

    The RAV4 4-cyl 4/auto (Toyota)
    The Santa Fe V6 4/auto (Hyundai)
    The Outlander 4-cyl CVT/auto (Mitsubishi)
    The CR-V 4-cyl 5/auto (Honda), and
    The 2009 Forester 4-cyl 4/auto (Subaru)

    From the above the CR-V or the Outlander could be the winner because of the up-to-date technology. However the Forester provides better off-road items, e.g. center differential (mechanical), limited slip differential front, limited slip differential rear, limited slip differential center. I will feel much safe driving a Forester than the other ones. Another factor is the petrol consume of these vehicles and prices.
    Equally, from the photos the Forester (Japan) does not come with a rail roof and I think this is a disadvantage. I personally like my SUV has a rail roof so when the situation arise I could order a cross rail and therefore be able to load several items on it.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    The roof rails are available with the JDM Forester. They just have to be ordered as a manufacturer's option.

    An article from Nikkei: (see pics at the bottom of the article)

    Nikkei also has an article on the U.S.-spec Forester, but it is in Japanese only, and I am too lazy to translate. Once Nikkei translates the article into English, I will post the link.
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Posts: 423
    on the Motortrend site
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    You can find some specs here in a Subaru press release:

    Some of the specs are translated from the metric and commented upon below:

    Interesting information from Forester Press release with comments:

    110mm Taller = 4 1/3 inches higher. Harder to remove snow from roof? How does it affect center of gravity and handling?

    45 mm wider = 1 ¾ inches wider. Seems reasonable.

    0.1 meter = 3.7 inches smaller turning radius “for zippy handling.” Great press release writers.

    120 volt ( and 12 volt) power outlet in hatch area of Japanese version at least.

    Large center console compartment that can hold small notebook computer Approximately 8 ¼ x 11 ½ inches.

    Styling (reprinted without comment): “Streamlined, yet sculpted styling evokes images of powerful, well defined muscles carved out of stone. “

    Power train information given is NOT for North American models.

    Fuel efficiency information as quoted elsewhere is for Japanese domestic models using the 2.0 litre engine.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    3.7 inches smaller turning radius

    Wow that's good news and impressive too given that they increased the WB by 4 inches.

    Also noticed that they added a telescopic steering wheel and pneumatic hood supports :)

    I'm skeptical on whether the HIDs and washers make it across the pond. On and no turn signals in the side mirrors?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Didn't notice the hood struts, good catch, Frank. That's pretty rare nowadays in that price class.

    Telescoping wheel is good because I feel like my wife sits too close to the steering wheels some times. You're supposed to have 12" space there, I believe.

    Clearance has been stated at up to 8.9". My guess is the XT model will have a bit less, but still over 8". Still, that's best in class.

    4EAT for the auto tranny. This is the only significant "miss" in my opinion.

    As for the competition, all those listed and a few more. Forester may stand out with fuel economy (base models) and performance (XT models).
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    I like what I have seen of the Japanese 2009 Forester so far. However, I would like to talk about the options that seem to me that every country where a vehicle is sold offers options to maximize the dealer/manufacturer profits. For example if someone wants to include xenon/HID in the vehicle this option only comes as part of a very expensive package (e.g. Outlander Sun & Sound Package + Luxury Package). Similarly, even if fog lights are wanted you can have this option only by buying an expensive package (e.g. Nissan Rouge Premium Package), and so on. This tendency has to be stopped or regularized to prevent dealers or manufacturers from exploiting costumers. This tendency is not only with the two previous manufacturers above mentioned but is in almost all the car manufacturers. For example to have the intermittent signal light (indicators) incorporated in the mirrors in a Mazda CX-9 you need to buy the top of the range vehicle and it is not an option for any other less expensive Mazda vehicle trim.

    I wish the options for this new Forester could be fully independent without being pre-conditioned with other ones. For example an option should be for the navigation system, an option for the xenon/HID lights, an option for the moonroof, an option to upgrade the sound, and an option for the heated leather seats. Fog lights, repeaters or mirror sign lights, roof rails, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, privacy glass, heated driver and passenger mirrors, controls on the steering wheel, engine immobilizer, skid plates, and anti-theft alarm system should be standard and not an option. Equally, for example with the size of the wheels, an option should be offered to order the bigger size wheels that generally are mounted on the top of the vehicle range. For example in the Forester two wheels sizes are given the 215/65R16 and the 225/55R17. These wheels/tires are mutually interchanged without affecting the wheel speed sensor or TPMS and the vehicle suspension system. Moving from 215 to 225 affects the Speedo difference by 0.973% too fast and the diameter difference is 0.97%. Why do customers have to buy the top of the range vehicle just to have bigger wheels/tires?
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Will Kia Borrego 7-seats compete with the Subaru Forester 5-seats? Would someone comment why he/she will buy a Forester instead of a Borrego? If the MSRP is similar (close to the $30,000) what could your criteria be to select one instead of the other?
  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    Subaru does not sell enough vehicles to make dozens of options configurations available from the factory. Unfortunately having them packaged doesn't really allow for individual preference, but overall it's a much more efficient business model.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think so, the Forester competes with the Tucson/Sportage and to a lesser extent, the Santa Fe.

    The Borrego should be a lot bigger, and would probably compete with the Tribeca.

    I agree with dstew that a company as small as Subaru has to standardize option packages in order to gain economies of scale.

    Even Toyota, with all its volume, still forces you into packages.

    For instance, to get AWD, you must get run flat tires. To get a GPS Navigation unit, or worse, a backup camera, which is a safety option, you have to get leather on a Sienna. Why? What does leather have to do with any of those? To get a DVD player, you're forced in to the premium sound system.

    Also, even though lots of options appear to be a-la-carte on the menu, they just don't build them that way. You get what they make, unless you special order, and some regions even limit what you can special order, believe it or not.

    So it's not just Subaru.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    "Fog lights, repeaters or mirror sign lights, roof rails, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, privacy glass, heated driver and passenger mirrors, controls on the steering wheel, engine immobilizer, skid plates, and anti-theft alarm system should be standard and not an option."

    Even your abbreviated list of standard features would be unacceptable or unnecessary for some. For folks who are barely able to afford a Forester, those features may put it out of reach, or force Subaru to list a higher "base model" price than a more bare-bones competitor, thus losing the shopper looking for the cheapest price to get into a small, reliable SUV. Skid plates would be unnecessary cost & weight for the majority who never take their Forester off pavement. Folks who live in warm climates would probably not use or want to pay for heated mirrors. Roof rails could be a bad item to XT owners who take their Foresters to the track or to folks who prefer the wagon look to the SUV look, since the rails increase wind noise, weight and center of gravity while decreasing aerodynamics. Many people don't like tinted privacy glass (and I'd rather have it done aftermarket so it can be whatever color & level of tint I prefer). Leather-wrapped steering & shift knob? Many would rather spend that money on mudguards, cargo nets, all-weather mats, etc.

    That said, I'd like everything on your list (except the privacy glass) on my Forester. My only point is that it's too hard to please everybody and too expensive to make everything a stand-alone option. No package they offer will be perfect for everyone. :)

    I'd like to see leather, the giant moonroof, HID and audio systems each be standalone options regardless of trim level... and package them all together at a discount for someone who wants them all.

    Expect an engine immobilizer to be standard equipment. It now is on all other Subies.

    You can order larger wheels from your dealer's parts dept. Lots of folks prefer the smaller wheels for driving in snow and they should be easy to get rid of on one of the enthusiast forums or maybe even to sell back to the dealer. Granted, it's extra work, but you can get what you want that way.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Skid plates in the front cut the cooling down so you won't see em from the factory.

    Tinted windows behind the B-pillar will be std on the 09 Foresters.

  • Are these ok for dirt roads? Sounds dumb, but what I mean is if I buy one, and I would wait for the new one if I were to buy, how sturdy are they? You can take almost anything on 4 wheels on a dirt/gravel road. Repeatedly. And it will get you to work and the store fine afterwards. If you don't mind headlights going out, tires going flat, windows not closing all the way, dashboard, rear window, and rear cargo rattles and squeaks. Etc, etc.... When I go most anywhere into the hills from the Greater Seatttle-Tacoma area, the Subarus are thick. I can't afford $30,000 +. I need a reliable car that I don't need to turn around when the road to the day-hike turns to gravel. But, I drive around 30,000 miles a year. and want a quiet pavement ride, too. I'm used to boring conservative Toyota reliability. I am not 100% sure of any purchase, as it wouldn't be the smartest financial move. Have been thinking about it anyway, and the '09 Forester looks just fine!
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