Last post on Nov 02, 2006 at 7:19 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
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Subaru Forester, Wagon
#7124 of 18028 I GOT ONE!!!
Jun 24, 2002 (6:13 am)
Well, I am excited to say that I have joined the ranks of the lucky 2003 Forester owners! I beat up several Subaru dealers until one gave me the trade-in value for my '99 Forester L that I thought I deserved. And then I negotiated the price on the new one for only $500 over invoice.
I got the loaded-to-the-hilt XS Premium with leather, with packages 1, 2, and 3 plus premium sound package 2, for a total sticker of $27,310 and I paid only $25,097! They had one on the lot with 1.4 miles with every feature I wanted in the color I wanted - Platinum Silver Metallic (looks great with the dark gray bar across the trunk, C pillar, and mirrors). After all that, I even got them to throw in a side cargo net and wheel locks, too!
Let me just say for all you lurkers out there, this is a wonderful car. Having driven a '99 Forester for the last 3 1/2 years, the improvements are obvious. Nothing inside or outside the car hasn't been tweaked in some way, whether functional or cosmetic. Despite being the same powertrain, it still felt smoother, peppier, and quieter.
I can list only 2 minor complaints for things I liked better in my '99:
1. The coin tray is now smaller and is too narrow to fit my coin dispenser. (Boo hoo. The armrest extension is now much larger, and it fit fine inside there. I actually like it better there!)
2. The tub that fits inside the spare tire that is handy for filling with ice and such is now divided into two halfs, so you can't fit anything large in it. I had stored a small air compressor in that space, and now it doesn't fit. (Solution - I never used the tub anyway, so I took it out. Problem solved.)
That's it. Those are the worst complaints I could come up with. I LOVE this car.
For those of you that are interested, below is a list of differences/improvements between my 1999 L and my new loaded 2003 XS Premium. In case you're wondering, I didn't type this list in just for your reading enjoyment, rather this is the list I made to quantify the vast number of changes so I could convince me wife to let me trade in my '99 for it!! It worked, so might I suggest you use this as a template to do the same to your significant others?
1999 L vs. loaded 2003 XS Premium; in no particular order:
1. Heated seats
2. Heated mirrors and wiper defroster
3. 6 disc changer; Weather band radio, 12 FM presets on radio
4. Improved audio quality (speakers are better)
5. Automatic climate control
6. Cupholders in center console
7. Interval rear wiper; Variable interval on front wipers
8. Seatback map pockets
9. Improved drag coefficient (better fuel economy; less wind noise)
10. Larger front brakes; Rear disc brakes (improved stopping and feel; less fade)
11. Increased seat travel, height adjustment, bolstering and lateral support
12. Seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters; active headrest anti-whiplash system
13. Dual mode trip odometer (A & B settings); trip and lifetime odometer both visible
14. Larger back seat with much more toe room
15. Center 3-point seat belt and headrest
16. Leather seats
17. Slightly larger cargo capacity & greater clearance under cargo cover
18. LATCH/ ISO-FIX anchors for front-facing child seats
19. Vanity mirrors in both visors
20. HUGE sunroof
21. Antennae built into window
22. No annoying slats and ripples in roof (MUCH easier to wash and wax)
23. Side head and chest airbags; front 2nd generation dual-stage airbags
24. Stiffer, lighter hydroformed chassis (better crashworthyness & fuel economy)
25. Illuminated ignition key socket
26. Illuminated power window controls in all 4 seats
27. Daytime running lights
28. Oversized side mirrors
29. Security system pleasant beep instead of loud chirp; all doors open with double-click
30. Quieter tires and improved sound isolation
31. Upgraded aluminum wheels
32. Leather-trimmed steering wheel - soft and comfortable to hold
33. Padded armrests on doors
34. Increased leg room in front seats
35. Air filtration system
36. Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD) - shorter, safer stops
37. Rear limited slip differential - improved AWD performance
38. Remote fuel filler door
- - Elliot
#7125 of 18028 automatic climate control on 2003 Forester
Jun 24, 2002 (6:26 am)
I noticed that when using ACC on Outback LL Bean, it always forced the "intake" vs "recirc" mode on A/C. I hate the "intake" mode. In Bay Area traffic, it always sucks in exhaust fumes from other cars. I always run A/C on "recirc". I wonder if ACC on 2003 Forester XS also switches to "intake" no matter what.
#7126 of 18028 Re: Subaru States
Jun 24, 2002 (6:28 am)
I gotta agree with YetAnotherDave, New England in general and Vermont in particular are swarming with Subarus so my vote is for Vermont to take the per capita title. In addition to the states already listed, other places where you will find lots of Subarus include the Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest and in the Appalachians on the East Coast.
Jun 24, 2002 (6:31 am)
I saw my first Subarus in the Rocky Mountains - there seemed to be a cult following of them in the 70's in the eastern front out of Denver (Evergreen, etc. - those guys probably went yuppie and all commute in big SUVs now).
SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
#7128 of 18028 Door lock/unlock on ignition
Jun 24, 2002 (6:31 am)
In my '99 Forester L, I had enabled a nifty hidden feature in the keyless entry module that I would like to replicate on my new 2003 Forester XS.
I don't remember the details, or even where I got the information, but by changing a few DIP switches, I enabled a feature that locks your doors when you turn the car on and unlocks them when you turn it off.
I believe the OEM keyless entry for Subaru is still Code-Alarm/Chapman, but the system has likely changed since '99 and I don't want to tinker around with it unless I actually get some documentation.
Anyone have any ideas if this can be done? (I believe this is the same system in the 2001 and newer Foresters.)
#7129 of 18028 Re: 99 vs 03 Comparo
Jun 24, 2002 (6:31 am)
Elliot- Congrats and Wow, you really did your homework! I can see where that list would come in handy when convincing a spouse that you need to trade-in a perfectly good vehicle for a new model.
#7130 of 18028 Re: automatic climate control on 2003 Forester
Jun 24, 2002 (6:37 am)
Kate- Are you sure about the AC on the Outback LL Bean? It's been my experience (various rentals mostly) that the AC default is usually "Recirc". Which makes sense since the AC cools faster on that setting.
#7131 of 18028 RE: Kate5000 Auto Climate Control
Jun 24, 2002 (6:40 am)
In the three days I've been driving my Forester XS, here's what I've observed with the Auto Climate Control:
In order to get the temp down quickly, it starts off in recirc mode and really blows like crazy. As the temp comes down, first it lowers the fan speed, and then if it thinks it can maintain the temperature, it will disengage the recirc mode.
Yesterday, it was 87 outside, and it never turned off out of recirc, but this morning (75 degrees, it did.)
If that's a problem to you, don't worrry - you can use every feature of the climate control in manual mode as easily as a regular climate control. So if you're stuck in traffic and need it in recirc, simply turn on recirc. But then you will need to manage the fan speed and temperature yourself, of course.
Jun 24, 2002 (6:55 am)
Frank: yes, I'm pretty sure it forced "intake" on me all the time. It was rental LL Bean.
Elliot: yes, I know I can switch to manual mode but then I wonder why to pay for a feature I don't use?
You see, I'm already mulling over whether to get X or XS version of 200X Forester, when my baby Silvius hits 100K mi...
Jun 24, 2002 (7:05 am)
Congrats Elliot! That's quite a comprehensive list of upgrades, now I'm jealous!
Like Frank, I copied your list to show the wife when it comes time to justify the upgrade.