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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • kalimbakalimba Posts: 1
    This board was really helpful in preparing me to negotiate so I wanted to share my experience, aka "pass it on." I did the thing on Edmunds where you can request a quote from several dealers in your area. I got a quote of $19.5 (before taxes, license fees) from one dealer but the one at the large dealership didn't get back to me before we decided to go out and look. We went to the large dealership and as we were looking the salesperson said that "just between you and me" the black one was advertised in the L.A. Times for $18.8 and they have to sell it at that price if someone asks even though it's a loss. I inquired about a different one (different color, same features) and he said it would be "a few hundred more." Luckily I liked the black the best anyway. So here's what I got:

    2006 Subaru Forester 2.5X
    customer tailpipe cover
    popular equipment group 5A
    popular equiment group 1E

    MSRP: $23,936
    Our price: $18,800
    After taxes (8.25 in California, ouch!) and license fees: $20,811.31

    When we got home with the car, the Internet manager at the dealership we bought at had e-mailed back a quote of $19.5! I told him we bought from his dealership for $18.8, and he said that they took a $300 net loss on that car, that it was their advertised "loss leader." I'm not sure if they really lost money, but overall I'm really pleased with the car and the price we paid.

    Best of luck to everyone! I think $19.5 is also a pretty good price (before taxes, license fees) for this area--SoCal.
  • russkahnrusskahn Posts: 4
    Offered 22.7K, including the compass in the mirror deal. (No other fees.) Can probably get him to throw some floor mats in, too. What else do I need? Are the mud flaps necessary? How about the cargo net? I wouldn't mind getting a few small things thrown in as well...

    Really annoyed that the stereo doesn't come with an iPod jack, though. And that the '07 models will be out so soon... but I need a car--SOON!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I usually see those for $22.8k and up, I think the price is fair. You can get mats cheap, so don't miss out on a deal for something so minor. The dealer's gotta feed his kids! ;)

  • growler5growler5 Posts: 67
    Mud flaps - depends on if you're driving on roads with a lot of loose stone. Otherwise not really needed.
    Cargo nets - go for the side cargo nets, they're easy to reach and can easily hold a well-filled plastic grocery bag of stuff on each side.
    Arm rest - I have an '05 XS, and it works great for me. I think '06 front seating area is shaped differently, you'll have to check it out.
    Cargo mat (rubber mat that fits in rear cargo area) - absolutely. It has a lip all around to retain dirt/liquid spills, and when you need to fold the back seat down for big cargo, you don't have to worry about that lip, it's plenty flexible to handle anything you lay across it
    Rear bumper cover - I thought about this, then decided against it. If I ever get to the point where that bumper starts to show wear 'n tear, I'll go out and buy a cover to hide the damage. Still haven't done that , 19 months and 29k miles later.
    Go for a bit o' flash - get the tailpipe cover (optional on '05, dunno about '06 or later). This seems to be a "standard" option, I've seen only one late model Forester so far that didn't have it.

    And - if you close the deal - enjoy! :D
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Floor mats come standard but the rubber wet weather ones cost extra (useful if you get a lot of snow)

    Ditto what Growler said about the mud flaps. Not sure I agree with him about the side cargo nets though. I find that the standard bag hooks work fine to keep grocery bags from sliding around. I do have a rear cargo net that is useful for securing larger items but it gets in the way of loading and unloading.

    I have the bumper cover and it has definitely saved the bumper from getting scratched by my Lab retriever jumping in and out.

  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Gotta agree with Frank on this one. The bumper cover is a must in my mind, otherwise the top of the bumper will be scratched the first time you load something heavy or awkward, or stand on the bumper to reach the roof rack. I think the grocery bag hooks work fine, too - I can put two or three bags on each hook. I think the net that attaches to the back of the rear seat would be more helpful - you can secure things without blocking loading/unloading access.

    Those all-weather rubber mats aren't very expensive. If you know you're gonna be in a little mud or dirt (or sand at the beach!), just toss those mats in to keep your carpeted mats looking nice. It's a lot easier to shake sand off of the rubber mats than try to vacuum out the carpeted ones.
  • astralgoaastralgoa Posts: 4
    Hi everybody,

    I'm a new member here at Edmunds. Like driver56, I live in the South West Coast of Canada (I'm in Vancouver, BC). I'm currently considering buying a 2006 Subaru Forester 2.5X (base model) but, in Canada, here are the two main features that are missing in the 2.5X trim compared to the US version of it:
    - 4 disc brakes (in Canada: front disc brakes and rear drum brakes).
    - Electronic Brake Distribution.

    I'm not in a big rush to buy it and, if it's worth waiting for the 2007 model, I prefer doing that. So, I have a few questions:
    1. Does anybody know when the 2007 Subaru Forester will come out in Canada ?
    2. If you don't know, when will it come out in the US ? That would give me an idea.
    3. For the 2007 model, will the 2.5X trim in Canada include:
    - 4 disc brakes.
    - Electronic Brake Distribution.
    - MP3 support for the CD player.
    - Line-In connector for the audio system (to connect an MP3 player or similar device).
    4. Is the 2007 model gonna be a new design ?
    5. If yes, does it mean that it will be harder to get discounts (invoice cost or fleet return price) ?
    6. Do you know of any link detailing the upcoming changes for the 2007 model ? I Googled it and all I could find was related to Sirius satellite radio (as an option). I didn't find anything about the 4 features I ask above in question 3.

    Thanks in advance.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually the US model is the same, no rear discs and no EBD.

    For '07, I say yes for the MP3 and line-in questions, not sure about the brakes.

    We should hear about the 07 models soon, stick around. Nothing yet, though. It's not a redesign.

  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    '07 Forester production started May 15, and deliveries are supposed to start in June. I assume Canada's not far behind, but don't know.

    This won't be a new design, but there's rumor of some possible minor visual change.

    Word is that '07 Forester and Impreza will have aux input only on the 6-disc CD changer, not on the base stereo. That's an upgrade you should be able to add to an X, so wouldn't need to get a Premium just to get aux input. Legacy, Outback and Tribeca are supposed to get aux input on all models.

    Wish I could give you more answers, but I don't have any. I agree that the X really should have the same braking system as the Premium.
  • astralgoaastralgoa Posts: 4
    My bad about the disc brakes on the US 2.5X trim. I had accidentally looked at the 2.5X LL Bean Edition (I don't know what this name means, we don't have it in Canada).
  • astralgoaastralgoa Posts: 4
    For 2006 models, I'm actually hesitating between the Impreza 2.5i Sport Wagon and the Forester 2.5X. These are both the base trim models. However, the Impreza one has 4-wheel disc brakes and EBD but the Forester one doesn't. Do you think I should:
    1. Settle for the Impreza 2006 (for the all-around model, it is currently my second choice behind Forester) ?
    2. Settle for the Forester 2006 without rear disc brakes and without EBD ?
    3. Wait for the Forester 2007 and hope that it has 4-disc brakes and EBD standard on the base trim model ?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would wait, that can't hurt. Selection of 06s may diminish so keep an eye out for the 07s.

    But...I would not pick an OBS over a Forester for that reason alone. The Forester has a lot more cargo room, and that's more likely to matter (several times) during the course of ownerhip than the rear drum brakes.

    I hit the brakes in the wet once, and a Saturn plowed in to the back on my Forester. Stopping power is still quite good, too good in this case.

  • astralgoaastralgoa Posts: 4
    What is an OBS ? Is it a special name for the Impreza ?

    Sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you and the Forester are ok :-)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OBS = Outback Sport, just our abbreviation for it here in the Subaru Crew threads.

  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Yes, the drums work quite well. I think the main advantage the discs have is less fade, so if you're doing a lot of mountain pass driving where you'd be going downhill for extended periods and braking frequently, maybe you'd notice a difference.

    I'd go with what juice said - wait 'til the '07s have just started to come out, or at least until you find out for sure what the equipment will be on them. Personally, I like Forester better than Outback Sport, even considering the brakes. I think of the Sport as being for folks who don't like Forester's boxy look but still want something smaller than a Legacy or Outback wagon.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you tow heavy loads and live in hilly SF, get the rear discs. :)

  • mikemcolomikemcolo Posts: 2
    unless there is a problem, i am picking up my 2006 forester x tomorrow, black 5-spd w/ Tweeter Kit, Cargo Tray, Bumper Cover and Splash Guards, $18,590 before tax, $20,012 out the door after taxes. i'm pretty happy, and can't wait to get it. my first new car and first subaru! looked at a lot of car options, weighing safety, reliability, economy, and utility, and for the money the forester seemed like my best bet. test drove locally but couldn't find a 5-spd in a color i wanted, so i am driving a little further away to pick one up. so far Flatirons Imports- Boulder, Colorado has been real helpful, and i was happy with the internet price quoted. hopefully it continues to be a good experience when i get over there tomorrow.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Congrats on the pending purchase! Let us know how it turns out... sounds pretty sporty with the 5-speed & black paint! :shades: Embarassed to admit I'm an AT guy :blush:, but the 5-spd should be quite fun to drive.
  • russkahnrusskahn Posts: 4
    Subaru Forester, 2.5X, Premium, Red, Automatic

    Paid $22.9 with a bunch of extras--auto-dimming mirror with compass, bumper cover, and cargo tray. Figured it was pretty much in line with the other prices listed here. Only wish I didn't have the NY state taxes--8.75% OUCH!

    Oh, and it was $1,000 better than what the initial dealer offered me in NYC! Ha!

    Congrats to both of us on our first cars, Mike
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Yes, congrats! Enjoy your new ride—and stick around. We would love to hear how you like it, as the miles build up. :)

  • gooseberrygooseberry Posts: 1
    Hi Mikecolo -
    I have been doing some back and forth with the internet sales person at Flatirons Subaru and am not overly impressed so far... I specified that I needed numbers for the X with Premium package and got numbers for the base X, and when I questioned that, she gave me a lower price, which is obviously incorrect. Did you first negotiate via email or go straight into the showroom?
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Try contacting more than one dealer, and consider making a phone call to clarify your needs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sweet, I'm jealous. That's a heck of a first auto...I want exactly that vehicle, except maybe the color, as my next one.

  • mikemcolomikemcolo Posts: 2
    RE: Flatirons Imports in Boulder, i just asked them for the price via email and I thought it was ok so i didn't even try to negotiate.

    After not having a good time at a local showroom, and talking to a couple other dealers online, I decided to go with Flatiron because the price seemed 'in the ballpark', they responded fast, they seemed really easy to deal with, and they had the color i wanted in stock.

    I didn't really want to waste time haggling over a few hundred bucks. I was mostly concerned about getting the car i wanted, in the color i wanted, at a price i could be happy with, and getting it done quickly and painlessly.

    I have no complaints, and I love the new car. But as with anything, I guess your mileage may vary. Best of luck!
  • retempleretemple Posts: 2
    I think I've decided on an 06 Forester X Premium which receives a $1k rebate through the end of the month. Should I hold out to June or July to see if I can get a greater rebate (when 07s come out??)?? Has the X Premium (or previous XS) ever received greater than a $1k rebate?
  • russkahnrusskahn Posts: 4
    That's a darn good question, retemple. I thought the same thing. Basically, there is no way to know what the rebate will be in June or July. But here's the thing: The 07s are coming out soon. Wouldn't it make sense for them to try to unload the 06s? Maybe add an incentive?

    The dealer I spoke to said it could go up, stay the same, or even go down. Frankly, I don't imagine how a rebate would go down on a model that's about to be "old." If you can wait, I think it's probably a good gamble. We couldn't, unfortunately.
  • retempleretemple Posts: 2
    I think we'll hold out to June. We're not in a huge hurry and I would not be too happy if I bought one this week to find out I could have saved $1k if I had waited a few days. I don't know if we'd wait until July though.

    I'm kinda surprised that they aren't offering GREATER incentives for the more expensive trim options. It seems that all I see on the road are base X's.. My local dealership had 3 LL Bean models on the lot (out of about 7 or 8 Foresters).
  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    You going 'automatic' on us, Juice? ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wife and I have been discussing, right now we have THREE clutches and zero autos. We've pretty much acknowledged that one of the cars, the one used for family duty most likely, should be a slushbox. :(

    We do road trips a lot, from DC to CT and also to the shore, and in B2B traffic the knees start creaking. I'll take a DSG if it's offered in the vehicle I want! :shades:

  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    astralgoa (Chris in Vancouver) - 2007 Forester info now posted from Joe at
    "Prices on all models are are slightly lower! Due to California emission requirements there are now 2 non-turbo 4 cylinder models (like Legacy, Outback), one for 45 states, the other for California and other Northeastern states that adopted Ca standards. There are new colors and combinations, new front door panel trim with large cup/bottle holder, the X model gets the EBD (electronic brake force distribution) upgrade that has been on the other models. XT turbo gets 17" alloys, upgraded stereo; LL Bean gets gray colored alloy wheels... more to come"
    A few more details at the link. Forester X does get the EBD for '07, but the rear brakes are still drum, apparently.

    There's also good info on his site about importing Subarus from the US into Canada - could save you some bucks since Subaru's pricing seems to be fairly high in Canada. Here's the link for that:
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