Last post on Oct 15, 2012 at 3:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Future Vehicle, Wagon
#1491 of 3747 Re: 09 2.5x llb Camellla Red, 1000mi [redrose1]
Jun 01, 2008 (1:18 pm)
we just bought a 2.5x with the premium package. we researched and drove the rav-4, the cr-v, and the outlander. here are our impressions vis a vis the forester:
the forester has the best interior in the class, hands-down. and the panoramic moonroof cannot be beat. the rav-4 was second with nothing particularly nice or ugly about it, though the plastics seem much cheaper. the outlander was nice except for two things: a massive front-dash area with a lot of unusable space between the windscreen and the front; and the auxillary jack for mp3 players is in an impossible to get to location. the crv is just ugly on the inside, and the driver's arm-rest is uncomfortable. in the same general price-range the forester feels like it belongs in a price class above. and it has much better visibility than the rav-4 and the crv. the outlander is pretty good in this area as well.
in terms of exteriors, the outlander is probably the sharpest looking. we placed the forester 2nd. the rav-4 lost points for the ugly spare tire placement and the side-hinge rear door. the cr-v is boring on the outside.
we have two 50 pound dogs and so this was a major consideration for us. the outlander probably has the largest usable dog space with the forester a close-second. i say "usable" because the rav-4 has 3 cubic feet more, but a lot of horizontal space is chewed up by the cup-holders etc. for the optional third row seats. not a big deal if you don't have dogs, but if you have two that have to be in there together, losing 7 inches of horizontal space is big.
i had some trepidation because of the reviews of the 4-speed automatic, but i have to say i was pleasantly surprised. it doesn't have the power of the rav-4 v6 obviously, or the outlander v6, but the feel was comparable to the 5 and 6 speed v4 rav4 and i4 outlander models.
on the whole, the forester gave us the most bang for the buck. we paid $23,412 for the automatic 2.5x with the premium package. this was about the same for the basic rav4 v4 but with a whole lot more features. the outlander probably compares most favourably at the price but the things the outlander was marginally better for (cargo, 6 speed shift) did not outweigh the things the forester is clearly far better for (the interior--especially that moonroof!). and the outlander has lower rated mileage, and probably lower resale value down the road.
overall, i would rank the class as follows, adjusted for price:
if you want more power and a 5 or 6 speed shift, the rav-4 and outlander v6's might appeal more; but we are not amateur rally drivers and the forester seemed more than adequate for our needs, and a huge jump in power over our 2000 camry. and while it might be nice to occasionally have more power to pass grandma and grandpa on the freeway, it is always nice to be in such a nice interior.
finally, we bought our car from a local fixed price dealership (walser subaru in burnsville, mn). i can't tell you how much of a pleasure it is dealing with fixed-price dealerships compared to regular commission-based places. we might have paid a few hundred more, but it was worth it for the lack of smarm, scam and sleaze.
hope this is helpful to someone else looking.
#1492 of 3747 Re: 09 2.5x llb Camellla Red, 1000mi [birdboy]
Jun 01, 2008 (3:23 pm)
"The radio face seems a bit clouded in bright light and is harder to read."
I know we already asked if it had the film still on it, but here's another silly question: is the brightness all the way up? It should have a little bit more difficult "click" on the dial than the rest to reach the brightest setting in the range.
#1493 of 3747 clouded faceplate
Jun 01, 2008 (3:33 pm)
I did check to see if it had protective film on it, it did not. Will check the light brightness adjustment in the morning. Redrose..I would not even the RAV for these two reasons..1. The tire mounted and side swing cargo door. It is very difficult if you are parked between cars. Also , I do not think the Rav offers a sport drive trans. which I like .
#1494 of 3747 Re: 09 2.5x llb Camellla Red, 1000mi [birdboy]
Jun 01, 2008 (11:19 pm)
Birdboy - I agree 100% with your assessment of the 2009 Forester.We have a new one with the Premium package. The interior is designed well but the materials are cheap IMO. Mileage is 4 mpg better than the EPA rating for us. Getting 24 city and 30 hwy and sometimes better. The drivers side outside mirror jiggled and was super annoying and the dealer replaced it under warranty - much better now. The panoramic moonroof is great - love it but it could be tinted darker.Yes.. the radio face is junk scratchy looking plastic but it works. The center console is designed ">well but it's also cheaply made. Exterior is sharp looking in the Gray Metallic and we get a lot of compliments. The '09 handles like sports car compared to other small SUV's. Ground clearance is good and it handles our rough gravel and dirt roads well. I love everything about the '09 Forester except the cheap materials of the interior. I liked it so well during the test drive I didn't stop to look closely enough at the interior materials. The faster I drive it the more I like it - it's fun.
#1495 of 3747 Re: 09 2.5x llb Camellla Red, 1000mi [orc]
Jun 02, 2008 (5:28 am)
In retrospect, because you are disappointed with the Forester's interior, would you still have purchased it or looked elsewhere? Did you ever consider the Outback?
In other words, is the poor interior enough reason not to buy a Forester? I presently own a V6 Outback and we Have to trade it in - we like the exterior pf the Forester but haven't seen the interior - we like the fact that it is a remodellled design whereas our 2005 Outback won't be redesigned until 2010.
Your thoughts are much appreciated! Thanks!
#1496 of 3747 Does anybody have the subwoofer?
Jun 02, 2008 (6:39 am)
I've heard that the iPod interface for the premium audio system is supposed to be available this summer, and when I get that installed my intention is to get the under-seat subwoofer put in also. Does anybody have it? Is it worth it? Audio system is ok, but not great.
Also, for all those looking for recommendations of the Forester vs. CRV, Outback, RAV4, etc., read my previous posts on that--I looked at them all. If you get the XT Limited, it leaves all of the others for dead in performance, comfort and utility (only the RAV4 V6 comparably quick, but it doesn't handle as well and I don't fit in it). If you're scared of the premium fuel requirement, do the math--according to fueleconomy.gov (the government's official site), at 10,000 miles per year the fuel cost difference between the base Forester and the XT is $281. I don't know about you, but I think that's a pretty cheap price of entry to make a practical, comfortable, useful vehicle a load of fun to drive as well. (July Car & Driver: 0-60 6.2 seconds)
Jun 02, 2008 (7:25 am)
'09 Forester interior is better than before, but there's fair bit of hard plastic inside.
Be careful with sharp objects around the shift console as that surface scratches pretty easily. The headliner's fragile (but so are lower end RAV4's and a bunch of others).
Wrt radio/DC display, mine's slightly cloudy but that appears to be a surface treatment designed to minimize sun glare. I've had no trouble reading the Subie display when sunny (uMalibu Maxx's display was unreadable when sun was anywhere near it)
Wrt fuel economy, given huge hike in gas prices, $ difference between reg and premium is about 5%. Depending on octane in area you may be able to mix premium with plus (Turbo requires 91 octane but will run on lower grades for short time - too low and "check engine" light may come on).
#1498 of 3747 Re: 09 2.5x llb Camellla Red, 1000mi [arnabc]
Jun 02, 2008 (7:45 am)
What options did you get?
I am contemplating getting the side door protection but I look around these days and see that when people open doors they have a point to them (most apparent on the rear doors because of the wheel well cut) and that if they did open their door into yours the side door protection wouldn't even be hit.
So far very satisfied with my 09 Sage Green Forester Premium and it just got it's first wash yesterday. Still at low miles...750
#1499 of 3747 Re: 09 2.5x llb Camellla Red, 1000mi [redrose1]
Jun 02, 2008 (7:50 am)
The interior materials don't bother me. We evaluated the '09 against the '08 and the '09 is an improvement. I don't go touching the surfaces all the time, so I don't feel things I don't like. I like the looks. I can't speak to the durability of the finishes, so time will tell. I hope they don't wind up scratched, dull, etc., but the plastics in other cars I've driven in the last decade or more have held up OK. Now back in the '70s-'80s, the interior plastics were truly junk, and they wore out quickly in the Texas sun.
I do not agree that the console is cheap-feeling, and I like the design.
Overall, I got about what I expect in a car at this class. We are pleased with the leather trim in our LL Bean. The square cupholders are just plain bizarre, and I wish the sun visors had extenders. The radio controls are a bit small. The front passenger seat rides too low relative to the dash -- makes you feel like you're sitting in a hole, at least compared to the '08. In fact, our main reason for getting the LL Bean was for the power driver seat: We could not raise the manually adjusted driver seat high enough for my wife's comfort in the '09 Premium; the power seat goes higher. I wish they had kept the higher seating position.
I'd like a power liftgate like our van has. Didn't like having to order side moldings (they should be standard), but I just found out they have finally arrived at the dealer, and I'm getting a good discount on them through my sales rep.
Nevertheless, we really enjoy this car. It had fewer drawbacks than the others we looked at.
#1500 of 3747 Re: Does anybody have the subwoofer? [redherring1]
Jun 02, 2008 (7:57 am)
I had the audio with just the addon tweeters for a week or so until I had installed the subwoofer. I would say that the subwoofer made a big difference in overall sound enjoyment. Definitely recommend it.
Take note though that subwoofer installation requires that you remove the center dash cover and that the paint on that surface scratches very easily. Make sure to use a plastic tool to pry it off.