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Old 12-18-2014, 10:55 PM   #1
Iwantabikesobad OP
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Location: Bakersfield Ca. USA
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Subaru Forrester owners??good/bad

Hi all, Last week our car was totaled in a wreck, We are all ok but need a new car soon. My wife is very interested in a new Forrester with a manual transmission. Looking for good/bad advice. We drove most all the midsize SUV/wagons on the market and keep coming back to the Forrester.
Any advice would really be appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2014, 03:40 AM   #2
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My wife went through this last year.
She's a hardcore manual driver herself.

She found the Forrester in the touring trim a bit numb to drive. She actually loved the XT, but it was automatic only. In the end, she bought a manual VW Tiguan FWD.
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Old 12-19-2014, 05:02 AM   #3
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Reading,Pa
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value for money

Here , in Pa. snow , bad roads and the woods , Forester most car for the money .

Seamless, reliable awd . Numb ? no, tear the tires off every corner exit ,no .

Resale very good .Parts prices seem fair .

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Old 12-19-2014, 07:39 AM   #4
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>" My wife is very interested in a new Forrester with a manual transmission."

I have always been a 'manual' man.

Last year I drove the new Subarus with the manual 6 speed transmission.
Was looking forward to it... pretty disappointed. It had very clumsy shifting.
IMHO: No good. Make sure you drive one before buying.

However, the new auto trans is pretty good, I would opt for that in a new Subaru.

I didn't like the electric steering in the new Forester... was a bit of oddness.
However, the new Outback model was pretty good... excellent vehicle.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:56 AM   #5
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We've got a 2015 with the CVT. Nice car. Drove River Road through Big Bend National Park a few weeks ago and it performed admirably. Mileage runs in the high 20's if you're trying to get there, but I've gotten as much as 40 mpg taking it easy. Very impressed.

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Old 12-19-2014, 10:28 AM   #6
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We have a 2001 Forester, 168K on it.
It is getting long in the tooth, the interior is starting to get ratty.

Mechanically it is still sound, little valve cover leakage, typical with boxers. Auto transmission is getting a little slippy when it gets hot, (like getting off the freeway to surface street) but not anything worth fixing.

But I would take a look at the GMC Terrain if you haven't. We bought one to fit the family better and now I drive the Forester.

You get a lot of car for the money, and it rides a lot better than the Forester, with MUCH better stopping power. Seats are superb, I can drive it from Sacramento to LA without a break if I want to, my back feels better after 5 hours in the seat. YMMV, seats are very personal. Acceleration is just as good once the v6 gets going, but of course the boxer is grunty right off the line.

28K on it, not a single issue. Gets 18 around town, 25 on the HWY.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:36 AM   #7
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Location: NJ
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2015 Forester 6 speed manual. Right around 8000 miles.

To me you get a quite a bit of features for a fair price.
For the 2015's with a 6 speed manual you get a huge (almost too big) sunroof and heated seats, no charge.

Rides well, comfortable, minimal noise on the highway, decent MPG for an AWD car, quite a bit of room.

I don't like the radio/phone pairing/etc. Confusing to use and poor sound quality.
Shifter feel is ok but the gear ratios must have been selected via a dart board. 4-5-6th are oddly spaced.
I changed the oil at 3500, than at ~7000. I noticed it's using about a 1/2 qt. between. It's an odd oil 0W-20 only available in full synthetic $$.

I neat thing is the hill-holder feature.
Now I've been driving a stick for +30 years but this is interesting.
Early in ownership sitting on a steep hill waiting for traffic I lift off the brake quickly move over to the gas and pull out but notice the car just hangs there. Later I had a chance to test it w/o traffic it's really amazing. Not sure how it's linked up but brake pressure some how get's checked and remains until you ease off the clutch. Where it gently releases the brakes.

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:04 AM   #8
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Location: Between the water, LI
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2015 Limited touring, wife's car. Unbelievable steering radius although I drive a CX-9 in comparison... I cannot drive this car for any distance,
the seats are very uncomfortable IMHO. No heat for the back seat passengers ? I agree with the phone pairing I gave up pairing mine,
every time I got in the car I would have to pair the phone.

Took a while to get used to the CVT tranny but liking it now, when you hit the power range it really kicks in.
Plenty of room inside with the backseats down and the biggest sunroof I've seen. I expected better gas mileage with the 2.5l.
Heated seats are great in comparison (again).
The 'better" rider waves first...

She says I never listen, or something like that...

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Old 12-19-2014, 11:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FJrider1 View Post
I agree with the phone pairing I gave up pairing mine,
every time I got in the car I would have to pair the phone.
I have a 2012 Impreza. Phone pairing was a problem for me too. A little Googling reveals that by pairing manually (with the radio controls and not by voice control) solves the problem. No problems with pairing now.
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
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2014 model here. I wanted the 6-speed with the sunroof but for some reason that combination wasn't available in the US at the time. I really wanted the sunroof so I ended up with the CVT. I'm pretty glad now because Subaru got the CVT right. In comparison, the Altima with CVT is awful, I hated it.

The audio system, especially FM quality is bad. Make sure you can live with it or plan on an upgrade. I wasn't happy with the seats at first because the seat bottom seemed too short. There is a mod you can do to relax the lumbar support more, which puts you back in the seat a little farther and is now much more comfortable. Paint is kinda weak on the front and back bumpers.

Other than those things, the Forester's hard to fault. Good cargo space, fairly quiet, boxer engine, and 25-26 MPG around town.
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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I bought the 2015 XT and very happy so far. It has the CVT and don't know why anyone would bother with a stick in comparison particularly on an SUV (WRX is a different question).
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:30 PM   #12
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I hate our 2002 Subaru Forester. 2.5L boxer, auto, leather, etc.

It leaks oil, and has for years, but it keeps chugging along, not dying. It runs the same with 160k miles as it did with 60k. We've had to put a few dollars into it, but not many. It's easy to work on, cheap to have it worked on, and is generally easy to deal with.

Why do I hate it? Because I'm proper man sized, and it's built for Japanese soccer moms. With me, my wife and a 2 and 4 year old kid, it's pretty full. I'm squishing the legs of whoever I sit in front of, and I don't have room.

But we'll have it for another couple years because, frankly, it won't die, and it's reliable and safe for my wife.
when I get too far from home, I go and find me a back road
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:16 PM   #13
John Nash
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: New Market,MD.
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2014 Forester CVT premium

Bought this car 13 months ago. Now have 21,000 miles with no issues. Average 31-34 mpg. We have owned 3 Foresters and like this the best.
First one went 183,000 Second 165,000 both developed head leaks later in life. Cant beat this awd for the price and reliability.
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Old 12-19-2014, 05:40 PM   #14
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We have an 2003 Forester that we bought in 2006. It is primarily my wife's ride.

It is getting pretty long in the tooth now and is starting to leak (mostly power steering fluid from the rack and pinion) and rattle, and have some minor things break, but has had no major issues. Ours seems to go through tires quickly and won't hold an alignment. My biggest complaint is that the cabin is LOUD with road noise and especially wind noise.

My wife wants AWD, but I think I'd try an Outback next time for a quieter interior.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:24 PM   #15
Rob Farmer
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I had a 2002 xt sport. It was a great car but had lots of issues after 3 years it started to rust badly so I sold it on taking a huge hit on depreciation. It made me very wary of buying another Subaru.

I think the biggest frustration was the Subaru dealership themselves they seemed incapable of diagnosing anything other than run of the mill obvious faults. If you have a decent dealership or Indy you will have a better time of it than I did. Unfortunately because of the warranty I had to go through the main dealer network

I've had two subarus. They have a great feel to them but the interiors don't last well and they are prone to corrosion. 10 years ago in the UK subarus were everywhere but you seldom see them now. Makes you wonder what happened to them all and why the owners didn't replace them with other subarus.

The latest forester looks great as a suv.

Some interesting data from the UK governments website showing the number of registered foresters falling rapidly after 10 years so realistically if your buying used its going to be scrap at 10 years!tax

Rob Farmer screwed with this post 12-19-2014 at 09:32 PM
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