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Changes You'd Like To See in the Subaru Forester



  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Definitely bring the STi. :) That will satisfy the sports driving enthusiast but I also think that the base model has strayed too far upscale. Subaru should bring back the unpainted bumpers and give the X a more utilitarian interior with fewer goodies standard. The color choice combinations for any particular model are also very limited. Speaking of limited, there's too many things standard on the XT Limited. Items like the moonroof and leather seats should go back to being options. Oh and the moonroof, love the overall dimensions but it should be factory tinted like every other moonroof on the market!

    Other changes I'd like to see:

    - 6-speed MT with the turbos, 5-speed with the AT
    - Stability control (if only to keep up with the competition)
    - Increase the width by about 2 inches
    - Increase rear legroom (but only if it can be done without changing the overall length)
    - Add sun visor extensions and while they're at it, add vanity lights to the sun visors
    - Reduce NVH

    Things I hope Subaru doesn't mess with:

    - Don't make any significant changes to the overall exterior dimensions (except for above mentioned width increase)
    - Don't mess with the ground clearance
    - Keep the existing turning radius
    - Don't bother with a useless 3rd row seat


    P.S. Bob, while I too would like to see Class II towing, I don't think a 3400lb Forester could safely tow more than it's own weight and I definitely don't want to see the Forester lose its agility by getting porky!
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
    Brighter display on the radio; even push/holding the volume button doesn't make it
    particularly bright
    Better quality fabric on non-leather seats - I'm putting in a leather kit on my 2006,
    because after four months it's showing wear

    All I can think of!
  • gordrgordr Posts: 3
    I would add a few things to enhance the off road side;

    -better approach and departure angles: all subie owners mention their concerns going through water-bars. Might mean changing the look a bit.

    -a low range option for North American models (technically I guess this is a double tranny). It is available for our Australian friends so it is already produced.

    -some skid plates similar to RAV4
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    I really like my 1998 S, but when I replace it, I would prefer to buy a base model because usually it will be the best value. What I want in the base model:

    Current power level
    Better gas mileage
    Unpainted bumpers
    The wider, heated mirrors
    Heated seats, as least as an option
    Cruise control
    An opt-out for the radio and the ability to install an aftermarket unit and easy-to-replace speakers (as in the '98)
    NO leather, sunroof or automatic climate control
    Fully adjustable manual driver's seat (as in '98)
    5 speed auto with full manual shift control
    Nylon velour upholstery with grip with NO little pockets to collect dirt
    Instruments similar to '98 with orange backlighted pointers and simple, readable white numbers and green backlighting
    Flat rear load floor (it seems flat enough in my '98 where I have carried heavy boxes of books/magazines and a new 18 cubic foot refrigerator among other things)
    Switchable all-wheel/front wheel drive
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A CPO '04 XS model would be pretty close to that wish list. ;)

  • As I am shopping for a replacement SUV (I accidentally rolled a 1998 Chevy Blazer - over steering from a high speed skid on an icy road)
    Add these options to the basic Foresters X line with an automatic transmission; separate these options from the Premium package; create a separate option package

    1. Add the rear limited slip differential with the auto trans option
    2. Add VDT/VDC with the automatic transmission option
    3 Add the all weather option
    4. Add the four wheel disc brakes

    In addition, create the following options.
    1. 5 speed automatic transmissions
    2. Electric hybrid option - some people are willing to pay extra for higher gas mileage and additional towing capacity; this is in contrast to these people who want more power from the XT Sport with the turbo; both add price and mechanical complexity; the electric hybrid appeals to the eco and towing markets.
    3. Brighter colors (yellows, highway orange). At least the Hummer drivers can see what they will hit.

    Keep the same
    1. 173 HP Four cylinder engine, realizing there may be differneces in an electric hybrid model (if ever made)
    2. Size and weight; this is a small SUV; keep this size;
    3. Superior AWD

  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Put the suspension back to where it was in 2004. Reduce the boost on the power steering. Stiffen the springs so it quits rolling (comparatively)and wallowing around. Put the steering back to 3.0 turns lock to lock instead of the new 3.1. Better bushings everywhere instead of those mushy ones. 18 to 20mm sway bar. Oh and bump out the lower side like it used to be in 04 so the side of my car won't get dented in parking lots!!!

    I had an 04 and these are the distinct differences I note. But I'm picky and I tow a trailer for camping.

    I'm actually putting the Subaru performance springs on (Pinks) which by the way put the height back to where it was in 2004/5 and increase spring stiffness quite a bit. What's the deal with the extra inch of height??? Oh and you can buy the suspension bushings from the Subaru performance catalog which in the words of the catalog "helps create a tighter more responsive handling experience." Well, if they do all that, why didn't you put them on in the first place...??? "They are on my list after I see how the springs do.

    I do like all the goodies on my 07 Premium and in particular the safety features brake force distribution, VDC and four wheel brakes and the fly by wire does perk things up, but they obviously "refined" the vehicle a little bit too much for my tastes. And obviously I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning...(grins) It's still a great vehicle.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm with you, by the way, but cushy sells more than sporty. I'm glad they now offer a Cross Sports model that's stiffer.

  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    Where is that to be found?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It'll be a new 07 model.

  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    I found the new Forester X Sports on the Subaru website and all I can say is that they have given a new definition to "sports." Or perhaps it is an old definition a la GM where sport once meant a badge and few pieces of trim.

    The "Sports" model has an STI style front spoiler. Sport-Y perhaps and useful maybe at speeds over 120 mph, if the Forester did not have a speed limiter.

    The "Sports" model has DRUM brakes on the rear. (As long as we are going retro: What, no 4 barrel carb?)

    It does not seem to have any changes at all in suspension or engine. ("Sports" must mean going to WATCH the auto races).

    It has automatic climate control (does a "sports" vehicle take control AWAY from the driver?)

    It has the standard STEEL wheels. (How sporty is that? Unsprung weight? Whats that?)

    It does not have the useful heated seats and mirrors.

    It adds the premium radio with 6 disk in-dash changer (in the old days, sports type drivers cherished a radio delete option)

    I has black rather than tan or gray cloth upholstery (at least they didn't put in leather)

    It has a black grille with a "Sports" badge. (I thought Subaru broke up its relationship with GM.)

    Ok, Subaru, old "sport," WHY?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, I sense some double standards on your list. Heated seats aren't "sporty" if auto climate control isn't.

    Yes, it is an appearance package, but they figured out a way to lower the price without de-tuning the engine or suspension.

    The Sports XT model makes more sense, you can now get an XT for less, and the cloth seats are gripper. Plus, it still has alloys. You do give up the AWP though.

  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Yep, on the X, it is just looks. The XT would seem to be the way to go. And for another 600 bucks you could put the STI springs on it for suspension...

    It is the only model to have oh what do you call it, variable traction control allowing it to make the safest list.
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    I agree, heated seats are not sporty, but they are practical - it's cold here (usually, anyway) and we really appreciate the built-in "bun warmers." :-)
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    The XT Sports does look like a great package. There must be a separate brochure for the Sports models because they are not in the regular Forester book.
  • The Sports XT is the way to go. Disc brakes all around, nice wheels, bun warmers, a welcome return to cloth seats...but I don't know if the suspension is any different than the "regular" 07 XT.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    so if you are looking for "sport" it just isn't there.

    No offense to forester owners who like to drive agressively, but rochcom wanting an all-out sports vehicle in the forester body, is kinda like a NASCAR Truck!

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Oh I disagree! The video from a British car magazine posted a while back that compared the Forester STi with the WRX STi shows just how "sporty" a properly configured Forester can be :D

  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    What I like about the Forester is that, properly configured, the wagon becomes a WOLF in sheeps clothing.
    You gotta' love that!
This discussion has been closed.