Last post on Oct 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Future Vehicle, Wagon
#2739 of 3748 Re: '09 XT in the Snow - first day. [Panos]
Dec 19, 2008 (11:45 am)
I believe the 50/50 is correct at full throttle.
We are getting snow now here in SE Mass. I remember the first snow with my first Forester back in 2001, so I understand your anticipation. I loved it then and still do. Neither my wife or I have ever used anything other than the usual all-season tires that come with the Foresters, except when my wife wore out her Geos and bought Michelins, and neither of us have ever had a problem. Good ground clearance and a good AWD system are hard to beat. Some of our friends get sick of us raving about the winter capability, except those that have also gone and bought Subarus, now they rave too.
Have fun, and stay safe!
#2740 of 3748 Re: '09 XT in the Snow - first day. [bigfrank3]
Dec 19, 2008 (2:10 pm)
Frank, I'm also in MA. I took the forester for a quick drive since the snow has covered the roads right now. This is my first time with dedicated winter tires. My previous SUV was a nightmare in the snow with the oem all-seasons it came with...without 4WD it was useless. So now that this is our only car and since my fiancee will be driving it too, i didn't even want to try the Geolanders in the snow.
It's pretty nasty out there. I saw a plow truck do almost a 180° going around a turn. The Forester was great! Only time it would break loose was when i would purposely push it and take sharp turns, but even then it quickly gained traction and it was very predictable. It also stopped well, only time the ABS kicked in was when i would hit the brakes hard, the ABS would come on briefly and the car would come to a stop quickly. Even going downhill i could stop with no problem. Driving normal the forester was solid and wouldn't lose traction. I tried both D and gears 1 and 2 in manual mode, and when i did a couple quick starts from a stop, i could feel the forester break loose, but AWD was quick to work and gained traction. In gear 1, when i did a quick start there was no loss of traction....I called it quits cause it's rush hour and too many cars sliding around out there! I'll go to an empty parking lot later on and do some more test between D and manual mode.
#2741 of 3748 Re: '09 XT in the Snow - first day. [Panos]
Dec 19, 2008 (2:53 pm)
My wife just got home from work and also said it is nasty. We have about 5" already, and it is very heavy. It is coming down hard. Our total is supposed to be a bit less than the rest of the state, except for the Cape, because of the moisture content, but it sure makes it hard to move around.
She said the highway hadn't been touched yet and there were cars stuck on inclines, some off the road, and some spinning out. She just drove around all that stuff without any problems. That is what we have come to expect with our Foresters. It would make a great commercial.
It is kind of cool on those occasions when you feel the front wheels start to slip a little, and you can feel the power shift to the rear and almost shoot you forward as if someone hit you in the rear.
I am sure your winter tires give you an advantage, but I have to tell you, neither of us have ever said we wished we had different tires on the vehicles. Even my 2 bottom-of-the-line Foresters with the cheap Bridgestones were never a problem. My Premium and her Bean have the Geos with the LSD and that is a help.
Are you north, and getting the light fluffy stuff? We rarely get that, too bad.
#2742 of 3748 Re: '09 XT in the Snow - first day. [bigfrank3]
Dec 19, 2008 (4:38 pm)
I'm actually about 7 miles SW of Boston and the snow is wet and very heavy over here also. Glad to hear the Geo's aren't that bad in the snow. I was hearing nothing but terrible things about the Geo's. People were saying they were good for the first 10k mile, after that they were terrible in the winter weather
The winter tires are great, i have to admit. They do give you an advantage that's for sure.
#2743 of 3748 Re: '09 XT in the Snow - first day. [Panos]
Dec 20, 2008 (9:16 am)
I live west of Boston very close to the interchange of routes 90 and 95. I hand shoveled the very lightweight snowbank this a.m. and backed the Forester out of the garage and down the driveway without a problem. There was probably only about 6" to 8" of light snow on the driveway. Took the car for a test drive, too. The performance was very good. I turned the stability control off, as recommended in forums. Starting on steep inclines very slowly, there was no perceptable uncontrolled wheel spin. I drove up a steep unpaved road with "rolling" terrain that had been plowed as best as possible given the poor condition of the road. I felt as though I perceived power being transferred "from the wheels that slipped to the wheels that gripped", but it may have been my imagination. In any case, there was some extra wheel spinning - which was fine since not a one of my previous vehicles would have negotiated that road under the same conditions. I'm not complaining about the traction - but I seem to think that my sister's '08 performed slightly better under similar road conditions. Differences that come to mind are that there were also passnengers in her car when I drove it and she has a limited slip differential. Does the addition of a limited slip differential make a significant difference in performance? We both have 'Geosqueelers.'
#2744 of 3748 Re: '09 XT in the Snow - first day. [camrytimes2]
Dec 20, 2008 (10:24 am)
The worry I have about Subaru LSD's is they seem to contribute to unstable handling in some situations, an apparant trait of many LSD's.
Nissan had to specially engineer their GT-R's LSD to eliminate trailing throttle oversteer. That feature's not in the simpler LSD's Subaru used in Forester, and continues to use in Legacy/Outback.
So far my '09 XT's been good in the snow, except if I decide to jam on the throttle (which swings the tail out), or hit a wet icy patch too fast (tires loose grip and it slides).
I don't know how the stock XT Geolanders compare to Nokians, though - I ditched the Geolanders before the storms hit Oregon.
#2745 of 3748 Stability Control turn off?
Dec 20, 2008 (1:35 pm)
Driving upstate New york has been a good experience for me with my 09 LLBean AT. The tire grip on the stock tires so far has been good. There is 8 inches down with another 5-8 expected tomorrow. Even driving in the slush and very wet roads has been secure with no evidence of tire spin or slip. Kindly review with me why the recommendation to turn off stability control. Pros and cons. Thanks in advance. Happy holidays and safe driving to all
#2746 of 3748 Re: Stability Control turn off? [birdboy]
Dec 20, 2008 (6:02 pm)
The only situation I am aware of when you should turn off VDC is when you are stuck and expect the wheels to spin alot as you free the vehicle -- possibility rocking forward and backward -- VDC traction control would cut engine power in an attempt to get traction, so, if you want to avoid this, turn VDC off.
#2747 of 3748 Close to blizzard in Portland
Dec 20, 2008 (6:08 pm)
A lot more snow today and still coming down - 4" and more. This gave the XT workout wrt keeping windows clear, as well as traction. VDC/TC was on all the time.
Good: No traction problems; XT, now christened "White Fang", just went where I pointed it. Wheels occasionally grumbled looking for traction, but no prolonged wheel spins or loss of power. ABS kicked in occasionally when braking. Rear window defogger and mirror defoggers worked fine. Front side windows stayed free of ice buildup once heater was at full temperature.
Bad: Snow tends to build up and freeze at the top of the windshield, interfering with wiper action. Every so often I had to stop and scrape it off, or try running defroster at maximum heat to minimize buildup. Snow also pours off back of car onto rear window: rear wiper gets rid of most of it, but occasionally that needs to be cleared too.
#2748 of 3748 Snow, Snow, Snow - 1st Forester Driving Experience
Dec 21, 2008 (12:28 pm)
It's been fun reading everyone's posts regarding their snow experiences with their new Foresters...now it's my turn...I live near Portland, and had tickets to the Battle in Seattle [go zags!] in Seattle on Saturday. No way I was gonna miss the game - snowstorm or not - so we made the trek (about 360 miles up & back).
We encountered quite a combination of snow (both dry and heavy/wet, with acumulations up to 9"), wind, cold (mid 20's F), freezing rain, etc. As my '09 Forester is my first Subaru, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was NOT disapointed! I don't know if it is the AWD system, the vehicle weight, ground clearance, or other factors (or a combination of?) but what people say is true....the Forester is a snow machine! I had no issues with traction or control or slideouts, etc. The Forester easily outperformed AWD vehicles I've previously owned (XL-7, Sante Fe, Murano).
[FYI - my Forester is manual xmission version].
I only managed to get the VDC to kick in once, going thru a section of super deep packed snow left by a snowplow. The sensation was a bit weird (could feel braking and throttling down occurring without my inputs), but seeing the VDC light flashing told me to just let it do it's thing...and we got thru it no problem.
The only negative I encountered (which was posted by someone else already) is that there is significant ice buildup on the wiper blades at hiway speeds. I had to run full defrost at high fan speed [and I've previously b**tched about how noisy the fan is!]. Then I had to crack open the rear windows to cool down the overheated interior!
So - my recommendation to those evaluating the Forester's capabilities in inclement weather is to consider it a superior vehicle - probably the best in it's class. But definitely get the All Weather Package option (with heated seats and windshield wiper heating).
Happy Holidays to All!