Last post on Aug 30, 2010 at 8:00 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon
#60 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability
Nov 14, 2009 (8:14 am)
I had the original 1998 Forester for 8 years and loved it however, the paint faded fast on the hood, I had to replace the right front brake caliper 3 times, the heat shield constantly loosened up & vibrated annoyingly, and I hated the ugly giraffe cloth seat pattern. BUT, it was fantastic in the snow which is why I mainly bought it. I live in New England with hilly, winding, un-plowed streets. The Forrester never slid, got stuck, or disappointed me one bit. I was going to trade it in for another Subie, but the price was higher by 2005, and many things I wanted were additional add-ons but standard features on other brands. So, I went for a CR-V. Love it except for the handling in snow. It's worthless.
I test-drove the new 2010 Forester a few weeks ago and I have to say I was not impressed. How disappointed I was. My Honda is like a Cadillac compared to the new Forester with it's cheap plastic chrome looking interior, it's cramped interior, and it's harsh ride. The moon-roof is awesome though. Love the new exterior styling over my 1998 Forester. Why does Subaru continue to have lousy stereo systems? I would have to downgrade from my current 6 CD, Cassette, 6 speaker standard stereo for a chintzy 4 speaker, 1 cd system? If I went from a 1998 Forester right to a 2010 Forester, i'd be in love. But taking a walk on the "other side" and going back is a let-down. Also after reading so many reviews here on the forums, i'd have to say the reliability has gone down-hill with Subaru. I am sad to say I may not ever buy another one even though their AWD is 2nd to none.
#61 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [bvf925]
Nov 15, 2009 (6:31 pm)
Try an Outback - the interior is a bit nicer.
I'm sort of puzzled when CR-V owners say that - I looked closely at one, and all the plastics are hard, the headliner is peach-fuzz on cardboard, the carpets are thin, and the door grab handles are painted silver and will wear prematurely (to be fair Honda fixes that last one for 2010).
I think the interior styling is more subdued so perhaps it doesn't stand out as much as the Forester's, but if you look closely, materials are basically on par with the Forester, and well beneath the Outback's (check out the fabric, padded headliner and matching texture on the pillars).
#62 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [ateixeira]
Nov 16, 2009 (4:19 am)
You are right, ateixeira - I did sit in an Outback and liked the interior better, and the seat was higher and more comfy too.
My CR-V is the square body style, not the new rounded, ladybug/VW Bug style. Mine has zero fake chrome on the inside. The interior is subdued and basic monotone which is probably why I find the new Forester interior kinda' space-like and shockingly ugly (for lack of better definition).
We'll see what happens, but I will take an Outback out for a ride when I decide to make the change. Thanks for your input!
#63 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [bvf925]
Nov 16, 2009 (7:43 am)
Aaaah, that explains it.
The class actually went through some cost cutting. Back in 2006 I remember the Forester had the Tribeca's fabric, padded headliner, and nicer cloth seats, too. I'm sure the CR-V did, also.
Both have cut costs. The headliner is that cheap paperboard, with what feels like dryer lint glued on. It probably also saves weight.
The RAV4 is no better, so this is par for the price class.
I'd be happy with unpainted, matte black plastic trim, but painted fake aluminum is all the rage these days, in just about everything.
#64 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [ateixeira]
Nov 16, 2009 (10:58 am)
Interesting complaints. I guess when comparing to the prior generation, most things are a marked improvement. For example, space is absolutely incredible and well-portioned. Controls are well-placed and visually appealing, to me anyway, but that is one of those "to each his own" things. The ride is stiff, which is fantastic, but a little harsh with the 17" rims and Geolandar tires. I put 16" rims from a 2007 Forester on mine and, along with the studless winter tires, the harshness was gone while leaving the pleasant stiffness. This car is fantastic in off-road/semi-road situations; it is tight as a drum and very capable, though I really do wish the manual transmission included a low-range (as an option, at least).
The two things on this car that strike me as cheap are thus: 1. The sun visors - cheap by any standard, and 2. Interior rattles. I have also never been a fan of the matte, hard dash materials (I much prefer the materials used in the late '90s), but if I actually touched the dash on a regular basis I might care a little more.
I have never driven or been inside a CR-V; its second-class AWD system ensures that to continue.
#65 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [xwesx]
Nov 16, 2009 (11:09 am)
Interior styling is subjective, I happen to like the Forester's interior, but I didn't comment because to each his/her own.
I will say this - the blue LED lighting is neat, and you may not even notice if you didn't test drive it at night. Also, the lights fade in and out, no sudden on/off. Those are nice little touches that add to the ambience.
The sun visors are cheap, but they're durable, and if you look at competitors, they're actually probably above average.
#66 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [ateixeira]
Nov 16, 2009 (1:18 pm)
Also, the lights fade in and out, no sudden on/off
I noticed that about everything in this car, the first time I drove it. I like that and agree that it does "add to the ambiance." I especially appreciate the stereo's fade in/out with the mute and on/off functions.
I have never been a car stereo connoisseur, but I like that the 6-disc and extra-speaker setup is not standard (it would increase the price!); it should, however, be optional. Given that the stereos are double-din and not built into the head unit (ala last generation's Outback/Legacy), one can put whatever is preferred in there, and at least that is a nice convenience. I rarely, if ever, even use the CD player.
#67 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [xwesx]
Nov 16, 2009 (1:22 pm)
Yep, mute also, good point.
Pop the hood, note the nice struts that hold it up. Walk around the back, note the twin mufflers, with a nice symmetry.
#68 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [bvf925]
Nov 16, 2009 (9:22 pm)
First, the interior is only cramped if you're 6'6" and have a family of wolves. I'm 6'2" and this vehicle is far from cramped. Fits 4 very comfortably. I think you're reviewing the wrong vehicle. Lousy stereo is not in the XT version, which has an excellent sound system with 7 speakers and had better stereo than my previous acura. Harsh ride??? The new forester has a fantastic smoothe ride and handles great. I'm speaking about the XT version. If you selected a CRV over a new forester, I'm wondering what reviews you've been reading? I'm a long term Honda person, but there is no comparison with the CRV and Forester. The ride, handling, awd system where far above the CRV for me.
#69 of 110 RE: Subaru Reliability [gdoc]
Nov 17, 2009 (5:35 am)
The old one may have felt cramped to some folks, but the 2009+ offers 107 cubic feet of space for the first 2 rows.
That is nothing short of incredible in a car shorter than a Chevy Cobalt coupe.