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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Under $20k with alloys? Out the door?

    You stole it...
  • I found a dealer that was selling a 2010 Forester with 25K on it for more than a comparable equiped 2011 that was NEW!!!

    I contacted the dealer and was told that the Subarus have such GREAT resale that they frequently sell used Subarus for more than new ones!

    I decided to stay away from that dealer.

    Anyone else heard anything like that??
  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    edited February 2011
    Hope you car lasts a LONG time!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,158
    Nope. That dealer sounds like they're preying on the ignorant amongst us. In some places, the cars hold their value very well and so do not depreciate quickly, but they still depreciate! I could probably buy a new Subaru for less in other places than a (slightly) used one here.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Yes, I heard the same thing and my research indicates it's true. I'm in the market for a Forester to replace my 2003 Outback that was in an accident last week. I was sure that I wanted a 2009 or 2010 Forester, but it turns out that both are more expensive than buying the 2011 model. A used car does not have the incentives that they give you with new cars, so if the car maintains its value, the new one tends to be a better deal.

    I looked all over the Internet and could only find 4 2010 Foresters anywhere in the country that cost less (by only $200-$300) than the 2011 price I was quoted and the interest rate is higher to purchase the used model. Not to mention none of the 4 cars were in a state near me. Looks like I'll be getting the 2011 Forester.
  • What does the car cost the dealer?

    Just purchased a 2011 Subaru Forester
    Auto trans
    allow wheels
    roof rails
    steering wheel

    all else standard. I wrote a check for 23001.47 cents. Talk about a pain. What is with this auto game. I can buy 1 million in gold contracts with just a few mouse clicks but buying a car is a game I will never understand. No wonder I keep my cars till they are dead. I hate buying a car.

    Invoice, hold back, "Fees" "dealer prep" "dealer documentation fees" what a load. We all read the same thing. Supposedly a reasonable profit for the dealer is 300.00 dollars. So if the dealer pays 21000 for the car on a credit line of 5 percent then it costs 87.50 a month for each car in the inventory. With a profit of 300 dollars I am to believe the sales people can earn a living and they can pay the electric and heat bill. What gives here?

    How much does the deal make on a sale of 23000.00. I am all for profit in the free world but, why the big secrete. I know one thing I couldn't make a profit selling 100 of something at 21000 if I only got to keep 300.00. It's easier to buy and sell something at a pawn shop. The pawn shop does try to add the Pawn mystery fee.

    "I will sell you the car for 21000.00". Then I get papers in front of me that say 23511.49 cents. I understand I pay sales tax and registration, no issue there. But,,,,,,,, non-itimized "fees", "dealer documentation fees". What BS. Save everyone the time and just say "profit" and add it at the time of the quote and save everyone the time. After 2 weeks of emails I finally said I don't want to know anything about invoices, doc fees or anything else. I will pay 23001.47 on one check end of story and the rest of this transaction will be by email and postal mail. The only time I will set foot on the dealer lot is to drive away the car. I don't want to even see them. I would rather hang out with rats.

    Now, how much did they earn. I surely hope it was more then 300 dollars.
  • I notice that the Edmunds TMV for the 2011 Forester Limited is below invoice. Are the dealerships really selling cars for just 2% over cost (basically, the dealer holdback)? Or, is this where fees such as documentation fees and dealer prep fees come in? Does TMV reflect the negotiated MSRP/Invoice price or the pre-tax sign on the dotted line price?

    Basically, I am trying to get a better idea of how to use the TMV in price negotiations. Are there basically two types of fees:

    1) Invoiced fees from the manufacturer, some of which are paid back to the dealer (holdback and floorplan interest) and some of which are not (destination fee and advertising fees).


    2) Post-settled-price fees added on by the dealer, such as the documentation fees. Do dealer prep fees also fall into this category?

    Does TMV only reflect the average price that consumers are paying including category 1 fees, but not category 2?

    In other words, if a dealership sells a Subaru Forester at Edmunds true market value (which is a bit below invoice in this case), is their only profit from the dealer holdback, or is the TMV not factoring in additional cost that is basically profit to the dealer, such as documentation fees and dealer prep fees?

    Any feedback you can offer would be much appreciated in my up-coming Forester negotiations!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,667
    Straight from the TMV horse's mouth....

    The invoice price does not include any fees that may be charged by the manufacturer to dealers in a particular area of the country, such as local advertising fees, dealer association fees, or docking and storage fees. does not track or provide such local fees.

    If a local fee appears on the invoice, it is an actual cost that the dealer paid to the manufacturer when buying the vehicle. In other cases dealers may choose to write in their own ad fees on the consumer sales contract. However, in either case these local fees are a part of the dealer's cost of doing business.

    Many consumers attempt to determine the dealer's "actual cost" for a vehicle and then "allow" for the dealer to make some profit. However, the invoice price is almost always higher than the amount the dealer actually ends up paying to the manufacturer. This results from a variety of discounts offered to the dealer that do not appear on the invoice. The two most common discounts are "dealer holdback" and "dealer cash incentives" - both of which are available on - but there are often others that are not generally known and that are based on other factors (for example, the dealer's sales volume for a particular month).

    Accordingly, determining the dealer's actual net cost is difficult even for seasoned automotive insiders. This is why we developed the True Market Value® (TMV®) pricing system, which is our determination of what other consumers are actually paying for the vehicle. The TMV® accounts for the effect of all of the manufacturer's extra charges as well as the dealer's hidden subsidies, and we believe it is the most important price to know when negotiating your purchase.


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Some way to do business.

    A dealer does this every day. I do it once in 10 - 15 years. My last Subaru was 17 years old with 270,000 miles. I would still be running it but I live in a mountain location where there is salt on the road for 8 months of the year. First snow in Sept. last in May. While the motor was running fine there wasn't much left on the rest of the car.

    I will only do all this dealing when I have no other choice.

    I just dropped 23000 on a new Forester. I have no idea if I lost my [non-permissible content removed] or did okay.

    How could I know with this way of doing business. At 57 years old I have purchased all kinds of things in my life. Only autos seem to be handled is such a strange manner.

    Let me talk to the manager
    I'm not making any money on this car
    We paid xxxx, here look at the invoice
    We don't know anything about holdback

    We have seen it all.

    My last 3 Subarus all went over 200,000 miles. My Toyota truck is a 1994 with 227,000 miles. If any dealers are out there is listening I can say I would buy a few more new cars and trucks if the game didn't suck. I hope to run this new Forester for 250000 and a minimum of 15 years. I hate dealing with car dealers that much.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,595
    I completely understand & sympathize with your frustrations. The car business is so extemely unique. It is difficult to estimate exactly how much a dealer pays for a certain vehicle & how much profit they make on that vehicle. To be perfectly honest, it shouldn't matter to you. Guides like edmunds, truecar, & kbb are guides so YOU the consumer can determine what YOU think is a fair price to pay for a certain vehicle & not how much profit they make.

    I'm not trying to sound insensitive, but if you are driving a car for 15 - 17 years & putting over 250,000 miles on a vehicle, does it really matter if you paid $500, $1000, even $2000 "too much?"

    Now one option is to not go back to a dealer who "plays games" like you say. Now I don't know where you live, maybe there is only 1 Subaru dealer within X miles & they know it & can get X amount for their cars because of the mountainous region you are in. Maybe it would be worth your time & money to travel to a region where Subaru dealers actually have to compete for business, like New England, New York, or New Jersey.

    If you had a dealer willing to work with you, how often would you trade up for a new one? Do you pay cash or finance your vehicles?

    BTW, you put some really impressive amounts of miles on your cars. What's your secret to getting them to run so long.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I recommend you visit a no-haggle dealer next time. Usually the car salesman are salaried and earn bonuses based on your satisfaction.

    That way you get people truly focused on finding you the exact car you want, and working hard to make you happy, not to make a buck.

    Since I switched to that type of buying, the buying experience has improved tremendously. And frankly that is more important to me vs. getting $100 more off the bottom line.

    The sales man I go to is someone I consider a friend, when I go test drive cars there he just tosses me the keys and says "have fun". It's nice to have a friendly relationship like that with a dealer.
  • No, it's not insensitive at all. I want the dealer to profit. I just down know if I am paying 1000 too much or not, that's the whole point. How do we know other then to pay the average price everyone else has paid. I got my Foreter at Mark Miller Subaru. Basic 2.5x with alloy wheels, roof rails and the automatic. My wife does not like the 5 speed in stop and go city driving and she will be driving this car. The price out the door was 22985.00. Is that a good price,,,,,, I have no idea. I was not willing to spend more then 23000.

    I live in Utah. My home is it 8000 feet. We get 25 or more feet of snow each winter from Sept to June. The salt is what takes the cars out. I am very easy on cars and engines. I use Mobile 1 oil since it flows better when it's cold. I only run manual transmissions in my cars because they are simple and just don't give out. I have also never replaced a clutch. Never over rev an engine. Our 2007 Impreza is not even close to the toughness of my 1984 and 1994s of which we had a pair. My 1994 was the best car I have ever owned. Every Subaru I have owen out performs everything in snow. I have a hill side home with a 23 percent grade driveway and the Subarus go up the driveway covered with snow just like it's July. With snow on the driveway my Toyota truck in 4WD low only makes it half way and slides back down with all 4 wheels spinning. Going up the hills to my home I pass jeeps which can't pull the snow covered grades (mostly because they have the wrong tires). I will say the 2007 engine runs very well and has more power. One reason to not get new ones is that the salt on our roads for 7 months a years just eats them.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,595
    Subaru should pay you to do some marketing for them & film their cars driving around your neck of the woods.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • There is no credability in the car market today. After purchasing two 3 year old off lease cars i vowed never to buy new again, but i did. New 2011 forester touring before they arrived at dealers. 1300 under invoice. The automakers over the years have already built into the price the game of invoice pricing. Cars are mass produced on assembly lines. Give or take a few thousand dollars it costs basically the same to build a $18,000 car or a $40,000 car. Its all about marketing. We the consumer and i accept this game by buying these new cars for way to much money. This is not about profit, remember mass produced on a assembly line. Just my opinion
  • mountaindogmountaindog Posts: 23
    edited February 2011
    Well, Saturday I picked up a new Forester.

    Automatic trans
    alloy wheels
    roof rails

    The total price was 22985.00. Did I get a good deal? I have no idea. I still have no clue what the profit was on this car.

    22985 -(1200 sales tax + 80 DMV + 5 tire disposal)
    22985 - 1285 = 21700

    So 21700 went to the dealer. Now here it the question.

    What profit did the dealer earn? On the way out door the Salesman insulted me one more time. "We only made 90 dollars on this car." Right, and I'm Teddy Roosevelt.

    So, was the profit:
    5 dollars
    50 dollars
    500 dollars
    5000 dollars
    I would like to know because if it was only 90 dollars they won't be around when I need parts.

    What ever the price, profit is fine with me. But,,,,,,,,,,, why the BS "we only made 90 dollars". Was that comment really necessary? If any dealers are here you should know that if you have used lines like that we don't think much of you.
  • Profit is whats left after all expenses ,taxes and salaries are paid.The Salesman has no clue what profit the owners are making.The ownership can pay themselves and management whatever they want. This is real business. With the investment the have an owner has a right to make money. But again the insults from salesmen saying there making $90.00 on a car or loosing money on this deal is a complete joke.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe they have some formula where they figure their total monthly expenses to operate the dealership and divide by the number of cars they sell.

    Any how, don't worry, enjoy your car and congrats!

    My brother is actively shopping for a Forester manual with the Premium package, with or without AWP. Lemme know if anyone finds one in the DC area.
  • I have been driving Subarus since 1977.

    As for first impressions of the 2011 Forester. The most important, high tech items on the car is:

    The oil filter on top of the engine where a human can get to it. Whoever the engineer was who came up with that idea, many thanks. Hundreds of millions of cars world wide and you got it right.

    I didn't check as I usually do but, with the new motor and longer piston stroke is it now and interference engine? Wonder how long the chain will last?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I like the oil filter location, too. 7500 mile intervals are longer now, and that's almost a shame! LOL

    The EJ25 was also interference, so that didn't change.

    I'd feel *MUCH* safer with a timing chain vs. an older timing belt, say >6 years old.
  • I know everyone is going to jump all over me but, here goes.

    I only change oil every 15000 miles. I change the filter every 5000. I run Mobil 1 10W 30. I have done this on my last 3 cars and 1 truck.

    1994 Impreza 280,000 miles. Dead due to rust
    1995 Impreza 148,000 miles. Sold while running just fine and it's still fine
    1994 Toyota T100 truck 155,000 still going strong
    2007 Impreza 90,000 miles still running just fine.

    None of these 3 cars and 1 truck consume any oil.

    I started doing this 15 years ago when I was commuting 120 miles each day. I was doing a lot of oil changes at 5000 miles. So I switched to synthetic oil and a change interval of 15,000 miles with 3 filters.

    As for the new forester, it will be my wife's car. It has way too much automatic junk on it for me.

    auto trans
    push button door locks
    push button to disable the computer transaction system
    auto windows

    I remember when we actually had to learn how a car worked. I smile when I think of the choke and throttle cables. I still double clutch a manual transmission, habit from those years driving a dump truck at a quarry. One of these days I will try to double clutch on a down shift forgetting I am in a new auto trans forester and slam on the brakes twice. Those were the good old days, 5 speed manual with a 2 speed electric rear differential.

    Winding a rope around the top of the motor to pull start the lawn mower.

    Soon all will need to do is sit in a chair and eat all day.

    Not sure where we are going with all this stuff. My first 1977 front driver Subaru got over 40 MPG. Now we are down to 27.

    I still want to know how much the dealer paid Subaru of America to put my car on the lot.
  • Not quite the same as the car prices but still a question on what you paid. I am leery of dealership doing my maintenance but until my warranty is up I want to use them, I don't want any hassles in case of a problem.

    I just brought my car in for the 7500 mile check up and oil change. I have a 2010 premium forester no turbo or anything fancy, except AWP. I did request to put in synthetic oil since I found that when my VW mechanic changed to synthetic my car ran 90% better than before (and had he done it 6 months earlier I might have postponed buying the forrester until now instead of last year- though the AWD did come in handy this year in NY).

    I paid $167 + tax. The inspection which they say cost $10 was free since I bought the car from them.

    What have others paid?

    Thanks, Silvia
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm not gonna jump all over you ... it's your car. LOL

    I think most people change their oil too often, actually. I've drained oil I could see through before.

    One reason I think the intervals aren't often long is that the manufacturers want a chance to spot any early signs of problems. Not to mention dealers make more money on service than they do on new car sales.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,400
    Yeah, I also won't jump someone's case for how they choose to maintain their car. My only suggestion is to make sure that the manual is followed for maintenance during the warranty period. Even if using synthetic oil, should there be an engine failure the automaker can refuse warranty coverage and legitimately cite failure to maintain the vehicle as a reason.

    It's because of that sort of thing that I use normal oil & follow the scheduled maintenance pretty religiously during warranty. After warranty I'll switch to synthetic & extend the intervals to what seems to make sense for me & the car.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, at least go with the "schedule B" as it's often called.
  • I changed my own oi lon 2011 touring myself. Anyone can do work on your car,but the dealers use scare tactics. They even give you info on how to change oil in your car manuel. Im bringing my 2011 to dealer to check warrenty item and having synthetic oil changed and tires rotated. The cost is $79.00 This is fair. I would not pay much more than this. My local mechanic charges me 59.00 for synthetic oil change if i use him. I did purchase subaru oil filters on line. About $4.50 each.
  • I paid about $66 at a dealer in the Chicago area. Includes Synthetic oil/filter
    plug gasket and so called inspection.
    I think $167 is a little high.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,400
    The first time I had a place supply the synthetic oil they charged something like $10 a quart; overall the oil change was about $80. I later found Mobil1 at Sam's Club and it was $30 for 6 quarts. I just checked and depending on weight it's $32-33.

    Check with your shop; you may be able to save some money by bringing in your own oil. Even if they charge the automotive equivalent of a corking fee it's probably still cheaper to bring your own than to use theirs. And since the 6 quart pack is likely less than what a single oil change calls for, you're actually buying enough oil that every 4th or 5th change you won't have to buy any at all.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • Hi thanks, $169 wasn't just the oil change - it included the other "stuff" that gets done during a 7500 mile check up or is that only an oil change. I noticed he did remove a tire to check on the brakes, or so it said on the inspection paper.

    He said add $25 for the synthetic oil vs normal oil, I knew that was a rip off but since I wanted synthetic I paid and my next oil change should be free at this place I hope it includes the same type of oil they charged me for. It supposed to be every other oil change is free, granted if they charge you double for the one you pay you are not getting anything free.

    I can't change the oil, I will change a cabin filter, air filter maybe even a battery depending on the car but oil changes are not something I think I would do, not something for a girl to do. But I can buy the oil and have them use that next time, though it's supposed to be free.

    Thanks. Silvia
  • joybell1joybell1 Posts: 1
    I've had a lot of problems with my Forester 2003 purchased new -many, many trips to the dealer which is now in Montreal (local dealership closed). They even had to change the engine (rebore the block). So when it came to finding a car for my kids to go to drive to college, I searched for an earlier, used model. The only problem the earlier Foresters had were head gaskets, right? That seems a minor problem to me now, after my Forester 2003 experience. I found a 2002 Forester Premium, fully loaded, just south of border in upper NY state, with 131,000 miles on it. Paid US$ 7500. Right now we are waiting for the paperwork to finish in order to bring it back across the border to Canada. Then it needs to be federally and provincially inspected before we can license it.

    Anything I should know about this model as far as what are the usual problems? Hopefully it was made in "one of the good years"!!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    If you live in a warm climate and recently bought a Subaru, a reporter wants to interview you. Please email no later than Wednesday, March 9, 2011 and provide your daytime contact information and a few words about your decision.


    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications


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