Last post on Nov 05, 2008 at 3:00 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, SUV
#247 of 617 The 2001 Forester
Apr 10, 2006 (8:16 pm)
After I've been really researching (and driving) new Outbacks and Foresters -- and getting good advice here, a friend of mine is now selling a 2001 Forester for his brother in law that seems to be in very good shape with low miles (53000) and has been well serviced. So I'm thinking of maybe buying this now instead of a new car, for two main reasons: for one thing, what I'd *really* want is a hybrid Subaru, and I'm thinking that this used Forester might nicely tide me over until 2009 or so when Subaru might do something really new. My second reason for maybe buying this 2001 Forester is that since I negotiate a two-mile dirt road every week that is in bad condition sometimes during the winter I wasn't relishing banging/dirtying up a brand new car so quickly.
So now I have this question: was the 2001 Forester a good vintage? This car's more or less dropped right in front of me in good condition with these low miles. Of course, the price compared to new is very desirable. My friend was asking $12,500 for it, but I could probably get it for something less than that. What do you think?
#248 of 617 Re: The 2001 Forester [chrisl22]
Apr 11, 2006 (5:05 pm)
I have a 2001 Forester S with the 5 speed manual transmission. They had some clutch problems that Subaru fixed under warranty, as well as a leaking headgasket. I also had one bad rear wheel bearing. These were somewhat common problems with the 2001, as well as a few other years. I also had to replace a coil pack and catalytic converter. With all that, you'd think I'd hate my car, but I really do love it. I currently have 133,000 miles on mine. I'd probably replace it with another 5 speed Forester if I were buying a new car tomorrow, but I anticipate having this car for several more years, and into the 200K mile range.
Hope this helps.
Apr 13, 2006 (9:57 am)
Not bad, but I'd recommend 2003 or later. They wheel bearings got a new design and have been more robust. In 2002 the gasket material was revised and those have also been better.
Your 2001 would be covered under the 8/100 gasket warranty as long as it has the coolant conditioner (which is free at the dealer), so that's OK.
So the only trouble spot would be the wheel bearings.
#250 of 617 Re: The 2001 Forester [chrisl22]
Apr 14, 2006 (5:54 am)
Sheesh! You guys make the 2001s sound like real lemons. Yes SOME 2001 Foresters had wheel bearing, clutch or head gasket issues but by no means did they all have problems. In fact, I'm pretty sure that CR lists the 2001s as a good used car buy.
P.S. That price seems a little high
#251 of 617 Re: The 2001 Forester [p0926]
Apr 14, 2006 (6:11 am)
Good point, Frank, we just wanted to be thorough.
Actually CR lists the Forester as a used car Best Bet, meaning any model from any year is recommended by them.
Same for the RAV4.
#252 of 617 Re: Rav4 vs. Subaru Forester [muzikg]
Apr 14, 2006 (6:33 pm)
I'm shocked you found the road noise higher with the RAV4 over the Forester. I found the Forester to be very quiet when compared to the RAV4. I will concede that maybe road noise is better but to be honest the 4c engine on the RAV4 was so loud I couldn't tell anything about the road noise. I punched both on the highway to test what it would be like to try and pass someone and the RAV4 just appeared to scream at me.
I'm still on the fence as to which to get but I thought the noise was less of an issue with the Forester.
#253 of 617 Forester v RAV4 - I'm leaning Forester
Apr 14, 2006 (6:55 pm)
After lurking for a while someone pointed tme to this thread (wish I had seen it early). Since I need some therapy right now I thought I'd post some ramblings.
After reviewing a few SUVs to replace my 96 2d Explorer, I narrowed it down to the RAV4 and Forester. Right now I think I'm going to go with the Forester.
It's a very hard decision though because I think the "smarter" choice is the RAV4. Here in Texas, Subaru isn't that popular. In fact, it's hard to spot any on the road. From what I read the Subaru line is good quality but they just don't sell well here. Toyota on the other hand, well it's just about as universal as Honda. So from a stand point of going with the car that has more support (dealerships and repairs and familiarity) and popularity any Toyota will beat a Subaru.
But my driving experience, while good for both, was just too much fun with the Forester. Everytime I drove it I laughed at how fast it accelerated and how well it cornered. And this is with the non-turbo mind you. The 4c RAV4 was plenty fast too, and it handled very well, but it was more truck like and the Forester was more car like, which is kind of to be expected.
Price isn't so much an issue for me since I can get both for a fixed amount over invoice from the fleet department's arrangement with my credit union. I much prefer the interior of the RAV4 (the stereo on the base RAV4 was amazing) but it's hard to get past that experience of laughing with the Forester. Plus I tell myself that I can buy an aftermarket stereo and get the windows tinted and be just fine. I do worry that I won't have the space I'm used to and from now on I will have to think before I buy something to make sure it does fit in my car.
I will probably change my mind again but I really need to make a decision this month since both my registration and inspection are due. No real point to this post, just wanted to see what came out when I started to write my thoughts and see how they looked.
#254 of 617 Re: Forester v RAV4 - I'm leaning Forester [pretzelb]
Apr 14, 2006 (8:46 pm)
I was in EXACTLY the same boat as you a few months ago. Drove a truck-based SUV for 11 years (Mazda Navaho - same car as the Explorer Sport). My former cars had all been sports cars, so I was ready to get rid of the truck that I hated from the day I bought it! (Got it for the doggies - car-based SUV's weren't available when I bought my truck.)
Test drove the RAV-4 (4 cyl only - the 6 wasn't out yet), Honda CRV, Mitsubishi small SUV (forgot what it's called) and the BMW X3. Like the RAV-4 and Forester the best ---- THEN drove the Forester XT and it completely blew me away! The RAV is a very nice car, but it didn't corner as well as the Forester (lower center of gravity) and I personally hated the busy double-decker dashboard. The RAV only came with a standard sunroof and the Forester's sunroof is GIGANTIC - like driving a convertible. The Forester also has a rear hatch that opens "UP", not sideways, like a door. This came in mighty handy when I was unloading heavy cases of water curbside for my mother. If I had bought the RAV, I would have had to close the door each time, or walk completely around the car several times to unload. I can't imagine trying to get in the rear of the RAV if someone parks on top of you at the rear!! I also test-drove the 4 and 6 cylinder Toyota Highlanders and thought the 6 cylinder was a VERY nice ride (and had a hatch which opens upward). They had several that were available as "certified" used cars with full warranties - very clean and nice - perhaps another option for you if you need the cargo space and want to continue to ride high, like in the Explorer.
I LOVE my Forester turbo! Plus, Subaru appears to be more negotiable than Toyota on their prices (got mine for more than $2000 under invoice), but you must consider the proximity of the dealership to your home. In my neck of the woods, Subaru and Toyota are located within a few blocks of each other. I would have also checked out KIA, Hyundai and Saturn, but the dealerships were far away from my home. Also, by the time you add on all the goodies to Toyota that Subaru includes in their Premium package or XT turbo model, the Toyota costs a lot more than you would think. Get all the brochures and go over them at home, marking the things you like/need. It made my choice much easier. The web-based programs on the car sites are not really accurate at this, so I had to do it the old-fashioned way.
Hope this helps!
#255 of 617 Re: Forester v RAV4 - I'm leaning Forester [kumari]
Apr 15, 2006 (8:03 am)
I am probably the only Subaru shopper who has not driven a turbo. Part of me is afraid I'll like it too much but since I find the base engine fast I'm not sure I even need it. It actually works in my favor since I know I'd be happy with either the base Forester or the base 4c RAV4 and I can avoid a lot of features and price creep with adding things here and there. After this is all over I may try to test drive a turbo just to see what the fuss is about.
I have at least committed to the best apples to apples I can with these two and limited myself to the base Forester and a base 4c 4wd RAV4. Pricing comes out close with my credit union deal (though I begin to wonder if I could beat that with some haggling at Subaru) but the RAV4 seems a bit ahead on base looks and features.
Thinking about during a morning jog I keep coming back to this being an unfair comparison. It's almost like trying to compare a pickup to a 4d sedan - they are almost totally different vehicles. Both are great but the main difference is all size related. The RAV4 has more passenger and cargo room and a better view of the road. The Forester handles better mostly because of what it gives up in inside room and elevation.
In the end the thought that the Subaru dealers are not close by (yet - one might be coming near me) almost tips the scales. This is about as silly as letting the stereo tip the scales since you really shouldn't expect either car to require a lot of time in the shop. This is how I drive myself crazy and why I only buy cars every 10 years!!
#256 of 617 Re: Forester v RAV4 - I'm leaning Forester [pretzelb]
Apr 15, 2006 (9:37 pm)
I have no doubt you'll get a better price on a base Forester than on the RAV-4, but only if you deal quickly. Subaru is giving promo prices on the Forester all over the country. You may even be able to get one for under $19,000. Check out Fitzmall.com and then use those prices to negotiate a price in your area. I find that I'm not really missing the extra large cargo space of the Explorer and I love having a great-handling car. I guess it depends how often you really need to schlep that much stuff around! Also, since you're used to a top opening rear door, I don't think you're gonna like the RAV-4's side opening rear door.
I know what you're going through and commiserate - I, too, only get cars every 10-15 years or so! I love my Subaru, but I'm sure the Toyota is a great car as well - especially if you need more cargo space. Don't rule out the Highlander - it has a rear door which opens up and is more like what you are used to AND has more cargo room than the RAV.
P.S. probably not a good idea for you to drive the Turbo - I got hooked!