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Subaru XT Turbo Forester



  • I normally lurk here, but I'll jump into the flame fray on this one.
    -Acceleration/Power even at highway speeds
    -AWD and handling, no matter the weather
    -Fit and finish (Mine's a XT/PP)
    -Audio quality of the factory stereo
    -The smile my wife gives me when the heated seats warm her in the right way!
    -The smile I get when I blow the doors off all SUVs and most other cars when the light turns green!

    -Fuel efficiency (I now understand power vs. fuel)
    -No MT w/ PP (Come on, Subaru--Canada gets it)
    -Climate Control has a mind of its own (at times)
    -Interior road noise transmitted (likely the tires)
    -Stereo--need to press "load" before loading CDs or risk irreperable damage to the head unit?
    -Smallish fuel tank and range (only 15 gals?)
    -Not enough seat time!
    -Not enough seat time!
    -Not enough seat time!

    (Sorry about that last one. My wife uses our XT as the daily commuter while I'm either hoofing it, pedaling, or riding a bus.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry to hear you thought the Vue's suspension still felt floaty. Was it a Redline package? How were the seats?

    Vague steering, too?

    Saturn has to realize they can't just plop in a powerful engine, you have to balance the whole package. It needs to handle better too, brakes, maybe even chassis bracing. Definitely get rid of those spongy seats, too.

    Altima is fast, but rides a little stiff and has wicked torque steer. That plus the interior is cheap. Handling and acceleration are excellent for the price.

  • I recall a post about optimum seat adjustment to get a maximum bed for sleeping in XT. When I tried it there was quite a gap above my head, shortening the bed too much. How was that eliminated ? I didn't play around with this as I had a bit of junk in the car and I just slept on the diagonal for that night....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Remove all the headrests. Fold the rear seats as flat as they go. Now move the front seats forward, and recline them to meet up with the back of the rear seat.

    Try it out.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    The owner's manual for the 04s actually covers how to covert for sleeping (just as Juice described).

    -Frank P.
  • In 1120 miles, I've only had one fill-up below 20 MPG at 18.5 with a high of 22.7 - no cruise, varying throttle position / rpm's, all mix city / highway with a max speed of 90. This is consistent with the MPG of my '98 V-8 SHO under similar conditions although the SHO was well broke-in w/ 81k on the clock. I'm still very impressed in how smooth the XT builds torque & speed without drama.

    93 premium just dropped to $1.33/9 at a Shell/Texaco nearby... :)

    Happy Holidays!
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Holy moly. 89 new messages since I last checked and many of them quite lengthy too!

    jb: It's good to know that despite all your ranting, you do like your XT. Sometimes people need to know that.

    Geolandars: I thought they were a decent all-season tire too. I replaced mine at 45,000 miles with some tread left to spare before hitting the wear indicators.

  • Among the nearly sixty cars I've owned (I won't confess to many other expensive behaviors), I've owned three BMWs -- not bad benchmarks for road worthiness. My last BMW was a '99 E36 M3. FWIW, its mid gear and top gear/ RPM relationships were nearly identical to those in my XT MT. While not ideal for some -- nor even for BMW, apparently, as the latest M3 now comes with six forward gears -- the combination produces prompt and effortless acceleration at nearly any speed. The XT is nearly as responsive to throttle inputs as the M3. This is a decided, "active safety" factor. (The low first gear seems to be a concession to creeping up steep and slippery inclines or slithering through Australian bogs, as some comrades down under have pointed out.

    On balance, I don't feel I've stepped down from the BMW. With due respect to Hondas, Acuras and Toyotas I've owned, the XT has an overall road competence (superior AWD system) and solidity that I haven't seen matched by another $24,000 car -- and I looked hard before buying. It damned near leaps the Sierras in a single bound. It's solid and remarkable advancement over my trusty '92 Legacy AWD wagon.

    Lastly, after three years, I'll own it outright, instead of still owing over $30,000.

    Happy Holidays to All!
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    93 premium just dropped to $1.33/9 at a Shell/Texaco nearby... :)

    At that price, I'd be adding smileys, too.

    $1.73.9 in Oregon. ) ;
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    despite all your ranting, you do like your XT. Sometimes people need to know that.

    I've nearly always blended criticisms with praise. It's like a love-hate relationship; some things I like, a lot. Some things, I dislike - a lot. Most of the latter were unnecessary and avoidable, making the car's failure to attain my definition of true greatness all the more maddening. Then again, not many people would share my standards for greatness. Most folks scorn Fiats. My beloved little 850 Spider with graceful Bertone coachwork met and surpassed them with no reservations whatever. Pure delight. I'd still own it today if an 18-wheeler hadn't crushed it like a beer can with me inside.

    Geolandars: I thought they were a decent all-season tire too.

    We've been having typical heavy Oregon winter rains lately, and I haven't detected a trace of hydroplaning. Very confidence-inspiring.

  • darbowdarbow Posts: 30
    getting back to #2466 about the Vue, i drove a V6 FWD not the red line, for 2 grand you get 18" wheels and suspension upgrades so i would assume the ride will be not as floaty. The steering felt rather vague, but at 24-26k you can get a AWD Forester XT or even a semi loaded Altima 3.5 5speed (family 350Z!!), so saturn will need to keep giving the 0% or 1500 cash back to lure buyers (the ads on tv are pointed directly at me, 30's male speed-freak who likes 80's fun rap songs.)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I think I'm at 9 cars since '74. Hard to read Town Hall and not run to the dealers though!

    Gas here is $1.63 - no Oregon full serve surcharge, but still way above the national average.

    Steve, Host
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    since 1988, but #1 was a used Tempo done in by an errant dump truck.

    #2 was a 1986 4Runner I bought used with 90k on it and sold 6 years later with 186k on it.

    #3 is our 1999 OB, which my wife started driving after her 1991 Exploder bit the dust and I bought...

    #4 a used 2.5GT. This is the first car I own that I won't drive into the ground or be done in by some outside force, only because my needs have shifted quite a bit and I am looking seriously at the XT. Should I buy an XT, I intend to keep it for a looong time.
  • Just a little downslope cruise once you get east of the Rockies into the Heartland to enjoy the lower fuel cost... :) Yesterday, 91/93 ranged from 1.44 - 1.48 / gal. (still is at some stations). FWIW, regular unleaded is $1.24/9 at this Texaco.

    Personally, I liked the 850 over the X/1/9 & the more "upscale" 124 - driven all 3...the 850 had more heart & character, IMO. Now a Fiat Abarth...
  • miamixtmiamixt Posts: 600
    What EXACTLY is Dealer Prep anyway?. I know what Dealer Service Fee's are when you buy a new Car, just an extra built in Profit Margin! My XT came with low Engine Coolant, a Dashboard Buzz that made me hate my new purchase, Windshield wipers that thunked in the massive Rains (used Rain-X, was told by the Potamkin Subaru Service Manager Jim Bosilay that I voided my Warranty) I had a leaking Tire, this Service genius told me it's normal to loose 5 PSI a Week, I felt like punching him out! And STU, my Transmission has done some strange shifting too, actually just the Engine reeving with no movement. I predict a recall down the line? I have found Subaru Customer Service Representatives to be excellent, however I had to purchase the "Gold Added Security" Service Contract to give me some added peace of mind. It is quite disappointing to know that Subaru will allow a Dealership to operate without Subaru Certified Technicians! By the way, I love my XT now, I will never step foot into my Selling Dealer, Potamkin Subaru of Miami, part of the Planet Automotive Group.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    One of you has to drive the Redline package for comparison. I may do just that.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Unfortunately, Subaru has very little control over their dealers. In fact most car manufacturers have very little control over them. The system is weird the way it works because the dealers are independent of the manufacturer.

  • Thanks for the seat configuration instructions.

       We are alleged to pay the highest gas prices in the nation here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I figure my recent 500 mile trip down to Yosemite to X-C ski cost maybe $10 extra because I bought XT instead of, say, XS. I can live with that. The XTra fun of driving XT was worth that sum to me. It DOES sound like a lot more, when viewed as a percentage though; because I'm figuring, roughly, $40 instead of $30 for gas, which is a 25% penalty.

       If I were commuting, and putting on lots of miles (some here are already at 40k miles!! It will probably take me 5 years to get that on my odometer. I'm retired and XT is a "3rd car".) I might have viewed the gas considerations for this vehicle differently. Or not. Each of us is probably paying quite different prices in different parts of the country/world. We are all in different financial situations and driving different yearly mileage.

       On an unrelated issue: I put a Yakima "Basket Case" and a bike mount (ankle biter) on my XT. I didn't want bars protruding outside the sides of the car (I'm using the flat OEM bars). I discovered I could mount just a front fork mount to the front of the basketcase (think U-bolts) and have the rear wheel of that bike rest on top of the rear side of the basketcase, where I tie it down to the basketcase. I get two bikes up there + the basketcase (mounted way back so as not to obstruct the big view out the moonroof) doing it this way. I also found that I could just bungie strap my X-C skies to the basketcase, so I've also, in effect, got a ski rack up there too! I think this is a good solution to the limited width of XT compared to some big SUV for mounting items on the roof.

       The basketcase gives me those few cu/ft I "lost" by not buying the hulking Honda Pilot that I was comparing to XT. The $7 or $8,000 I saved with XT over a comparable equipped Pilot will pay for a lot of that Premium Gas in XT over the years....
  • I've owned 5 cars in 17 years, "co-owned" several more, and have driven close to 50 cars overall. And none of them had retarded seatbelts like the ones in my XT. I'm actualy starting to hate the XT because these idiotic seatbelts make for a very frustrating driving experience. That and the incompetent climate control overshadow the excellent power that the engine delivers. What a shame.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Just a thought: The seatbelts in your XT seem to be exceptions to the general rule; mine don't hold me anywhere near tight enough. Just guessing here, but I suspect you could have the retractors and belts for your driver's seat completely replaced for not much more than a few hundred dollars, and that might make a big difference in your ownership experience. Fixing my beef (the gearing) would cost several thousand and would void the warranty.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I liked the 850 over the X/1/9 & the more "upscale" 124

    Never drove an X1/9, but I'd like to find a mint example someday, or another 850 spider. And if I strike it rich and start a car collection, a double-bubble Abarth 750 coupe would be high on my target list.

    Hope everyone is having a safe and satisfying xmas.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Why not get a set of harnesses? That will fix the problem, and leave the stockers in plce.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Wow, I am certainly in the company of some car-owner veterans. Here are my purchases:

    #1 - used '86 Honda Accord LXi 5spd
    #2 - used Audi 80 3 speed auto (yep, no overdrive)
    #3 - new '96 Camry base model, auto
    #4 - new '98 Forester S, 5-speed
    #5 - new '00 VW Jetta GLS VR6, auto

    The Yakima Basketcase is very nice. I think it's great that you retain the functionality of the cross bars and get a cargo basket as well.

  • The easiest & most cost effective way to obtain a taller final drive ratio is to increase tire size diameter since there are no other easy solutions at the present.

    FWIW, my son & I don't have any issues with the seatbelts in each of our XT AT's. I drive mine for business purposes covering a lot of miles & a lot of entry / exits each day.

    However, in the attempt to be intuitive, the auto climate control does require too many operations to deselect the options you don't want for the functions you do. The heating & cooling capacity is outstanding, though.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    The easiest & most cost effective way to obtain a taller final drive ratio is to increase tire size diameter since there are no other easy solutions at the present.

    True, and I'll definitely change to the tallest 70-profile tires that will still clear when the Geolanders wear out. Unfortunately, the improvement will be limited to only about 5% without installing a lift kit, which I wouldn't want to do. Anyt further improvement requires changing the final drives, and the parts & labor cost for that is in the thousands.
  • I haven't seen a dble bubble since the 60's much less to be able to secure a ride in one. Should you be in a position to add this to your collection, give me a call - I'll ride with ya! :)

    On the X1/9, my brother had one for a few years & I was the one who called to work on it over weekends... Mechanical access to the engine compartment was not friendly. The handling was decent with the mid-engine setup but performance was sluggish - in stock trim anyway. Space utilization overall was very deficient. Quite honestly, I preferred the 850 spider as a driver.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I preferred the 850 spider as a driver.

    In nice weather, so would I; thoroughly enjoyable. In Oregon's 10 months of on/off drizzles, the X1/9 lightweight lift-off targa roof with quick underhood storage would be really nifty. The 5-speed would also be good. Engine access is difficult on any mid-engine car I ever saw.

    Sorry about the topic drift. Slapping hand. Done.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Parked next to an XT at the hill this morning - it was in a slightly better spot, so I guess the owner drove up through the twisties faster than me :-)

    Steve, Host
This discussion has been closed.