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2013 and earlier-Subaru Forester Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • I got offered a 2012 Forester Premium automatic with AWP and auto dimming mirror/compass, splash guard kit, rear bumper cover, cargo tray, luggage compartment cover and all weather floor mats for $25,370 OTD yesterday. We have 8.25% sales tax here in Texas so this seemed like a much better deal for a 2012 than a 2011. I think I am going to take it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Considering how short supply is right now, I'd agree. Go for it, before they sell it out from under you...
  • Didn't realize the sales tax is higher in the DFW area for cars as the sales tax for vehicles in San Antonio is 6.25%, everything else is 8.25%. As for the price it looks to be a good price.
  • Have to tried Ron Amper at Roger Beasley Subaru in George Town. We purchased our 2011 Limited from him and he delivered it to San Antonio personally & he gave us the best price from the five dealers that replied to our quote request by over $1000!
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    edited November 2011
    Have you tried the SA area? Gillman Subaru in Schertz (right off I-35) is offering $3K off remaining 2011s. Not sure how many they have left but you can check on their web site.

    NOTE: Just checked - showing 8 '11 Foresters starting at $22053 before the $3K comes off.
  • dave87120dave87120 New MexicoPosts: 6
    Wow. 3K off is a lot. By the way, i just joined the forum 15 minutes ago and am looking in to buying a '11 or '12 Forester Premium.
  • dave87120dave87120 New MexicoPosts: 6
    The 2012 has the adjustable passenger seat height, so that def is a worth the wait for me. I have about a 6 month wait until I will look for financing to buy.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,895
    I am not sure if they added the adjustable head rest to the 2012 Forester features, but the 2012 Impreza has this and I know that my wife would love to have both this and the adjustable height passenger seat on our 2010.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • dave87120dave87120 New MexicoPosts: 6
    Seems these manufacturers try as hard as they can to not make standard the features they know most drivers want. Looks like I'll be ordering the 2.5x Premium forester and buy the native 120vac service outlet and fog lights separately. ( and maybe the aero bars)
  • dalondalon Posts: 12
    I was going to buy a 2011 Nissan Rogue but one dealership had false advertising and when I called them out on it to get a below the truecar quote price, they fast talked me and that was the end of that. The other dealership, with rebates, discounts, and going $400 below the truecar quote, I had them $3000 below invoice. I guess they really needed to get rid of it. But, we canceled the deal b/c of miscommunication and a feeling that we were being led astray and were being screwed around with. I tried to start renegotiations but now they were only willing to go $500 below invoice(despite a guarantee of going at least $2650 below invoice from truecar)

    So, I went to test out the 2012 Subaru Forester, really liked the smooth ride and good visibility(good mirrors, fewer blind spot issues) compared to the 2011 Rogue(major visibility issue probably due to the design of the SUV).

    Truecar quote was 20,953(Invoice of 21,355, so $402 below invoice) in my area but that doesn't include the alloy wheel package, which adds on another $348, this is not posted on truecar.

    Basically, I was told all 2012 Foresters in this dealership come with the Alloy Wheel Package, so I didn't really argue over this extra $348. MSRP is 23680, Invoice is 22156. I got it down to $686 below invoice. Salesperson was extremely nice also, so I felt like although I could've gotten it probably $900 below invoice, I wanted him to get some commission because he treated us exceptionally well, went through all the buttons in the vehicle, and never pressured us at all.

    I also purchased the V2000 Rust/Interior/Exterior Protection for $800. Unsure if this was necessary but I live in the Midwest and we did feel that the paint was rough, so this might be necessary b/c I would hope to have this car for the next decade, although many say it is a waste. Didn't get the extended warranty b/c I don't know what will happen tomorroww much less 5 yrs. from now.

    OTD price before the rust protection was 22800, in other words, $686 below invoice. I'm wondering if this is a fair deal for myself? I basically didn't haggle as hard as I did for the Rogue due to wanting to leave a little something for the salesperson. Did I leave too much on the table or would you guys say I should be satisfied with the purchase price? So, the truecar had it 402 below invoice and I got it to nearly 700 below invoice. I tried but didn't haggle too much.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,895
    edited December 2011
    You paid a good price for the car. The protection package, as others have said, is likely questionable, but if you're satisfied with it, then it was money well spent.

    It sounds to me like it is time to put the purchase behind you and enjoy the ownership! Congrats! ;)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • As a general rule, shoot for $1000 under Invoice. I bought my 2011 Forester for $1300 under Factory Invoice.
  • dalondalon Posts: 12
    Yea, I could've shot for more but I heard from a Nissan dealership that they would give me $500 below invoice and that the sales guy would only make $75 commission.

    So, I figured, I wouldn't haggle my sales guy with Subaru too much b/c I felt like he deserved to get some commission. At a certain point, haggling over an extra $100-$250 is somewhat unnecessary if you're trying to squeeze every little cent you can. At some point, it is like when you pay tips to your waiter/waitress. I felt like the guy deserved some kind of commission out of it, so I didn't push the issue. I could've easily gotten it to $900 below invoice but I got some of that money back by getting a lower price on the protection package, and I'll only have to pay less than $500 for 6-month car insurance and I'm 23 and a male.
  • HI,
    I'm looking at a 2012 forester Touring up here in Canada. invoice for us is: 28067.00. The dealers here are loath to go below msrp, and even when you go in with invoice, they are saying they "have to make something". How do you get below invoice pricing? We have to pay to get the invoice details and also lists of rebate programs and such. The company I do that through has prenegotiated rates which are invoice plus 3 %. Because Subies are in demand up here, it's hard to get them to budge on prices at all. Other than simply asking for below invoice, any strategies for getting under it? How do you then figure on the sales guy's commission? I mean they should make something to be fair.
    We don't have the options here for 'winter packages and such' they come with that installed for Canada. So there aren't many options other than the touring, or limited package for example.
    I appreciate your ideas and strategies for getting a good deal.
  • dalondalon Posts: 12
    The Forester, and I mean in general, has very few issues. You cannot bring up recalls or any real issues with the car itself. I don't know about the Touring model of the Forester, but for the 2.5X model, the only real issues are:
    1. No new features from 2011 model. Due to the tsnumais in Japan, they stopped manufacturing 2011 Foresters and thus, the 2012 model is basically the same as the 2011. You can use the arguement that there are no new features in the 2012 model as a way to drop the price down a little bit.

    2. The Forester does have an outdated transmission system. I didn't use this in my arguements but this is a slight issue with the Forester. I'm sure it is also the case with the Touring model although don't quote me on it.

    3. Go to, it is a site where you can get car quotes from dealerships in your area, and those quotes are usually well below invoice. You take that quote to those specific dealerships, and they have to match the quote. Also, you can shop around for dealerships near your area and ask if they are willing to come close or match the quote. I'm not sure if this works in Canada, so if not, then that sucks. But, this would be a good gauge for you to determine what type of price you would want to pay if it is available for you to use in Canada.

    The problem is that Subaru doesn't have any discounts or rebates or manufacturer-to-dealer discounts that a consumer can take advantage of with Nissan or Toyota or other dealers. If you can afford 0% APR and pay the car off sooner, that is another option to consider b/c I believe that Subaru just came out with the option of doing 0% APR according to what my salesperson said.

    Good luck with it and hopefully you can get it below invoice. Dealerships still make money even if you go below invoice, just depends how much you want to go.
  • thanks for the advice.
    Interest rates for Subs are 2.9, 3.9,4.9 for leasing depending on the term, 2 years, 3, 4, respectively. They sell well here, and the banks aren't in the same situation as there, so they just don't move much on interest here, at least not for 2012 models.
    I'll see if truecar works up here. and what they offer.
    I'll let you know what happens. I've got two dealers I can try.
  • I contacted every Subaru dealer within an hour/hour and a half driving distance, got their quotes, then argued them down using quotes from other dealers going back and forth, slowly working down to the few dealerships who would go down the most and would work with me. Ultimately, I got them $1150 below invoice before I even stepped on their lot.

    Good luck!
  • The $800 protection package was useless to you but high profit for them. Don't worry about going below invoice. You treated them well and everybody is happy. It was a fair deal.
  • I have paid twice in last year for head gasket replacement. Then my engine became cracked. There is something wrong with these engines.
  • dalondalon Posts: 12
    Yes, I also heard that other Subarus have had head gasket issues, usually after 80,000-100,000 miles. What year is your Forester? Must be a 2002 or something.

    I mighta f'ed up on the protection package but since I live in Illinois and we can have harsh winters, it was a necessary evil b/c I'm not going to keep up with spraying that rust stuff every year.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,895
    Don't worry about it, Dalon! If you're happy with the car and the price, it was money well spent.

    The "mid-west" and east can be brutal on cars. I remember looking at several sales of late '90s Outback wagons a few years ago when I lost my '96 and was considering replacing it with a similar model/year. Every one of them had all sorts of surface rust in the engine bay (so what does that say about the rest of the car?)!

    These were cars with 100-120K miles. Mine had 220,000 at the time, and there wasn't a hint of rust anywhere on it.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • "... the protection package... since I live in Illinois and we can have harsh winters, it was a necessary evil b/c I'm not going to keep up with spraying that rust stuff every year."

    The annual spraying of "rust proofing" is another service like the "protection package". Paraffin wax sprays and bituminous undercoatings served a purpose decades ago when car bodies were made of plain steel which was bare inside the door and body panels, and the undercarriage and wheel wells were only painted.

    However now bodies are made of galvanized steel dipped in primers, with electrostatic paint that reaches every side and crevice. Undercarriages and fender wells receive tough elastomeric coatings, and fender wells have plastic liners to protect against stones.

    Spraying of "rust proofing" on modern cars makes the owner feel good but does nothing for the car as there is no bare metal left for it to benefit.
  • "I have paid twice in last year for head gasket replacement. Then my engine became cracked. There is something wrong with these engines."

    The naturally-aspirated (non-turbo) engines up to 2011 were of an open cylinder deck design that stressed the head gaskets. The problem peaked in 2003, was band-aided with improved gaskets and the required addition of a sealant to fresh coolant every 30,000 miles. That almost ended the occurrence of head gasket leaks in recent years.

    After the warranty was up, Subaru often paid part of the cost of head gasket repairs, particularly for an original owner who had the car serviced and repaired at a dealer.

    Your second head gasket failure within a year was likely due to a poor repair of the first head gasket failure. It was probably not done by a dealer.

    The first time, the coolant could have gone low enough to cause overheating, which warped the heads. If the heads were not removed, checked and milled flat, the warpage would cause the new head gaskets to leak soon.

    Evidently enough coolant was lost the second time that severe overheating happened again and cracked a head.

    Forester owners must use the Subaru Conditioner (sealant), change coolant every 30K, and watch for signs of leaks such as low coolant, bubbles in the coolant, or moisture around the heads. Coolant must not be allowed to go low and cause destructive overheating.

    The design of the engine was completely changed in 2011 so that head gaskets are not stressed and leaks cannot occur for the same reason as before.
  • I bought Wednesday, 12/21. Seattle area. 2012 Forrester 2.5X Premium AT, PZEV, Ice Silver Metallic. All-Weather Package, Auto Dim Mirror/Compass W/Homelink, Cargo Tray, All Weather Floor Mats, and Luggage Compartment Cover.
    $24,796. Doc Fee $150. Wa State License fee $211.50. And the BIG ONE; Wa State Sales Tax = $2,430.01!!!
    I had a trade in, but I called a family member during the middle of the deal, and they really, really, wanted my '08 Civic LX. It had 93,000 miles already, but was in absolute tip-top condition. Super little car. Dealer was offering KBB. I sold to the family for less, on payments, with a handshake (phoneshake?), and ate the $600 sales tax savings the trade would have brought.
    So I certainly didn't steal it, and the State of Washington will still claim the end is near, but I sure as heck contributed my part.
    I got a couple books I read in the bathroom about day hiking around here. Now I can get off the pot and get to the trailhead. Wouldn't do that with the Civic, sprung too tight, didn't want to ruin it anyway. Maybe when I was younger. We used to take our full size domestics on logging roads all the time, way up into the hills, but that was 30-35 years ago!
  • Congrats bearcrkrd for the new car! I am in WA too. Did you buy from Mike Scraff? Good experience?
  • Yes I did. No hassle at all, just pick the color you want, and take a quick test drive. It's just a question of do you want to spend the money at this time or not. Very painless. If you go all out and solicit multiple dealers over a period of time, from multiple web sites, etc., you may be able to do better. I just thought there wasn't enough daylight to go for a scenic drive in the Civic on my day off, so stopped by Scarff. I should have purchased the 2011 year end close out. Would have save almost $3,000. I drove the same car I just ended up buying, but thought the seat comfort was terrible. It was fine two days ago. Must have exercised, ate right, and rested this time around. Live and learn. :)
  • hiker89hiker89 Posts: 3
    edited December 2011
    I don't know how you all get your below invoice prices quoted but I'm not able to. I'm shopping for 2012 Subaru Forester in Asheville,NC. I want a basic automatic 25X PZEV but with alloy wheels package and with a popular package (only because I need to have an auto dimming mirror). MSRP price came to 23,691. The best price I got is from a dealer about 60 miles away and it is $100 ABOVE the invoice price of $22,109. I don't have any trade-in. In your opinion, is it possible to negotiate? I would prefer to buy a car in Asheville but how do I negotiate? I don't mind paying a decent price but don't want to overpay
  • dalondalon Posts: 12
    Get car quotes from It will give you nice quotes below invoice that only certain dealerships will honor. Then, if those dealerships are far away, maybe call one closer to your hometown to see if they would match or come close to matching the farther dealership. That's what I did and I got mine about 700 below invoice. I could've probably gotten it to 900 but my salesguy was very nice and I wanted him to get some commission, although it probably wasn't much.

    That's the only thing you can use. No rebates, no manufacturer to dealer discount for Foresters, so you gotta get creative. The Foresters come standard with an option package that increases the price like $500 more than you see in the quotes. My salesperson gave me the flexibility of basically discounting the options that I didn't care for on my car, even though those options would still be on my car no matter what. Using that, I got it discounted another $275. Not sure if your salesperson will be willing to do that but give it a shot.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,895
    Also, if you really want to get the best price on your car, make sure you're willing to travel to get it, taking into consideration the cost of that travel. Otherwise, all you're really doing is bluffing on the price, and the local dealer(s) may just call your bluff. If that happens, you're left with either buying the car at a price higher than you'd prefer, or not buying the car at all.

    Depending on the market, the local dealer(s) might just tell you to take a hike, but that seems unlikely in an area like North Carolina where a myriad of dealerships are within a day's drive in (nearly) any direction.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Thank you both. I got three quotes from and they all are above the invoice price. Well, I guess I have to pay more than I would pay in other areas of the country. On the other hand a tax on cars in NC is 3%.
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