Last post on Feb 04, 2012 at 3:32 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon, SUV
#349 of 1436 Re: Manual vs. Automatic Forrester [bruzee]
Jan 16, 2006 (9:36 am)
I can't speak to the '05 or '06, but I can offer you some insight into my own Subaru test drives. We have a 2001 Forester and a 2003 Outback, both with the 5 speed manual transmission and the 2.5 engine (non-turbo). We test drove the manual and automatic versions of both vehicles before buying them. In both cases, the manual transmission versions were noticeably more responsive. We have no regrets on having bought the 5 speed versions. However, it may be an apples-to-oranges comparison with the models you are looking at, since the 2.5 engine now has a bit more horsepower.
Regarding the AWD systems, I can only tell you that the system used on the 5 speed version works extremely well, and is unnoticeable to the driver. It's always "on" and it always works! I have no experience with the various systems(s) used on the automatic transmission versions, other than having test-driven them.
I would definitely recommend test driving a 5 speed manual before making a decision, even if you have to travel some distance to another dealer who has one in stock.
I hope this helps.
#350 of 1436 Re: Manual vs. Automatic Forrester [leo2633]
Jan 16, 2006 (10:10 am)
Thank you for the info. I am driving an 18 year old 4 cylinder, 2-WD, compact Toyota sedan with 5-speed, and it may sound comical but I imagine it to have more pick-up than the brand new 4-cylinder automatics in the same class. It must just be the ability to control the acceleration more closely. Checked the local inventory and it seems dealers stock mostly is automatics with some base model 2.5X in manual which would at least suffice for a test drive.
#351 of 1436 06 Rav-4 vs 06 Forester
Jan 16, 2006 (10:44 am)
The exterior of the RAV4 is great if you can get over the huge spare tire on the back door. Not ever owning a SUV, I would like to know if it makes a great deal of difference to have the tire off the back hatch and have a swing up hatch door or to use a side swing door like the RAV4? The RAV4 has stability control and traction control standard and normally is 2WD unless slippage detected. There is a manual switch to lock the center differential to set a 55/45 torque split to front and rear wheels, however it automatically disengages itself at speeds over 25 MPH or if you hit the brakes. Does that seem to really place a limited use on the AWD set-up? How functional is that system compared to the Subaru AWD on the manual 2.5X w/premium package which has the normal 50-50 torque split between front and back wheels and also has a limited slip rear differential. Note: The RAV4 also has traction control and stability control standard which is not available on Subarus. Anybody a mechanical wizard here and can answer? I am playing the baffled old woman card here and would appreciate knowing more. In the looks department, the RAV4 definitly had the more comfy front and back seat interior with back headrests that could be folded down out of obstructing rear view without removal, and rear levers by the hatch door that would flip the back seats down flat. The cargo area is also larger without the side obstructions as was on the Forester.
#352 of 1436 Re: 06 Rav-4 vs 06 Forester [bruzee]
Jan 16, 2006 (9:16 pm)
The FULL-TIME AWD, along with its boxer engine and low center of gravity, 4-channel ABS and the third best safety ratings from IIHS (only behind Volvo and Saab), is the bread and butter for Subaru.
Any AWD system of Toyota is NO match whatsoever for Subaru's legendary AWD.
Subaru offers traction and stability control only for high-end models like the Outback 3.0 VDC and the B9 Tribeca.
But, because of its low center of gravity and full-time AWD, the Forester is much better than any small SUVs without the two control systems. That means low rollover risks.
And that's why the CR-V and RAV4 with their higher center of gravity and part-time AWD have to add them to compensate for their shortcomings.
Still, I hope Subaru will add those two control features on the Forester as well (2008?, who knows).
I'm waiting for a new Forester with six standard airbags. My kids are big enough to deserve some head injury protection in the rear seat.
#353 of 1436 Re: Curtain Airbags [era174]
Jan 16, 2006 (10:37 pm)
This is not relate to the RAV4 vs Forester discussion, but...
I read a newspaper article reporting about a rollover accident involving a Volvo XC90. Thanks to its rollover sensing system and curtain airbags covering all the three rows, no one was seriously injured, just a few scratches.
Had it not been for the curtain airbags, their heads might have been injured.
If you usually have more than three people in your vehicle, it's always better to have extra head protection.
#354 of 1436 Re: Spare Tire well [bayview6]
Jan 17, 2006 (8:38 pm)
bayview6- When I had my second flat I splurged and ordered a set of 4 tires and wheels from TireRack. Meanwhile, I probably drove at least a couple hundred miles commuting over several days until the new set of shoes arrived.
#355 of 1436 Re: Manual vs. Automatic Forrester [bruzee]
Jan 17, 2006 (8:53 pm)
In most models where it's offered, the manual transmission does indeed provide a little more oomph when accelerating. (car magazines routinely get better 0-60 times with MT models). Manuals also usually get 1-2 mpg better than their auto equipped siblings. However, as you've discovered dealers are reluctant to stock manuals due to their reputation for being less desirable. Subaru actually is one of the better brands for stocking manuals but Americans in general tend to prefer the convenience of an automatic. I guess it's easier to talk on the phone, eat french fries and read the paper when you don't have to be distracted by the act of shifting
IRT AWD systems, Subaruís full-time systems beat the RAV4ís part-time setup hands down. As to the differences between Subaruís MT and AT versions, both do an excellent job but go about it differently. The AT system is more sophisticated but the MT one provides a constant 50/50 split and is a study in simplicity (less to go wrong).
#356 of 1436 Re: Manual vs. Automatic Forrester [p0926]
Jan 17, 2006 (10:54 pm)
Sometimes the "convenience" of the automatic is a lot less sinister. I've had to drive quite frequently in places with stop-and-go traffic [such as entries to military bases]. During that time I grew very, very tired of using a manual transmission. When the time came for me to replace my vehicle with one that better suited my needs, I had the choice -- more responsive manual transmission or the easier automatic.
So, my XT is an automatic. Do I miss the power and control of the manual transmission? Sure, but I also appreciate the ease of the automatic.
#357 of 1436 Re: Manual vs. Automatic Forrester [kev_xt_owner]
Jan 18, 2006 (6:09 am)
Kevin- I didn't mean to insult anyone. Of course there are a number of perfectly valid reasons why it would make more sense for somone to drive an automatic but you have to admit that many Americans are extremely disinterested in the actual act of driving.
#358 of 1436 Re: Manual vs. Automatic Forrester [p0926]
Jan 18, 2006 (6:11 pm)
I didn't mean for it to sound like I was insulted. Subaru drivers seem to put a lot more thought into cars (from selection of vehicle to driving to maintenance). I happened to choose my transmission preference based on solving a significant displeasure associated with driving the manual transmission.
I wholeheartedly agree that a great many people subject driving to a secondary or tertiary priority with respect to other activities like talking on a cell phone or watching their in-car video. I've also seen a great many considerate drivers who purposefully avoid those distractions until they've stopped their vehicles. It may only be that the disinterested drivers are more obvious, but there are certainly enough of them to notice.