Last post on Oct 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
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Subaru Forester, Future Vehicle, Wagon
#3384 of 3748 Hello again.... after 9 years.
Jun 21, 2009 (7:18 am)
Yes, its been a little over 9 years of Forester ownership and probably almost as long since I have posted here. It has been so long that I don't even remember my original screen name. Its funny how life and interests change over the course of a decade. Its good to see some familiar names still kickin' it on the threads... juice, rsholland and kens. Hi fellas! I was a young man of 29 years old when I bought my '01 Forester L in the Spring of 2000. Hard to beleive all of this time has passed.
The '01 Forester is doing great at almost 89,000 miles (barely broken in in Subaru terms). Yes, I did have the head gasket issue, but Subaru fixed it at no cost to me. My electronic clock stopped working this year, but those clocks tend to go no matter what vehicle they are in (including my girlfriend's CRV). It still drives like it did 9 years ago and the cabin still feels tight and rattle free (I easily fixed two minor rattles early in its life).
Enough of my reminiscing and rambling... So why am I back? Well the redesign has piqued my interest and this is the best place I know to obtain some information regarding the Forester. There are some regular level-headed and knowledgable folks posting here. I have to say that I am a bit hesitant to give up the old Forester because it has been so good to me and is still solid and reliable. I have become somewhat attached to it. However, I think it may be time to own a vehicle with a few more creature comforts than my current ride. After almost 10 years of gainful employment I certainly have the financial means to do so
If I make the jump, its going to be an X Limited with Rugged Package or Utility Package. I really like those wheel arch moldings and splash guards, but on the fence with the body side molding. My favorite exterior color is he Steel Silver Metallic, but my favorite interior is the black. Unfortunately, I can't get the black interior with that exterior color. I don't know what it is about the platinum interior, but it doesn't appeal to me like the black does.
I have not taken a test drive yet, but I have sat in an '09 with the Platinum interior. Here are my observations so far:
Love the new body style and aluminum wheels.
The increased interior space is great and it feels like a more upscale vehicle than my current Forester.
The huge moonroof looks amazing and will help to quell my sadness over the recent sale of my convertible (okay, I'm not that broken up over it).
For the most part, I like the new interior, but I'm not crazy about those swooping hard plastic silver accents running through the dash. It looks and feels cheap to me and I'm hoping it doesn't scratch easily. A minor niggle in the grand scheme of things and perhaps there is an after market solution to the silver plastic. I'm surprised to see that a 5 speed auto has not been offered after all this time. However, it does seem that the current transmission is well mated to the rest of the drivetrain.
I plan to take my time with my purchase. The cash gained from the recent sale of my convertible is going to fund my purchase if I make the leap. I'm hoping for 0% financing in the coming months, which will allow me to hold on to my money and maybe get the kitchen remodeled. If that doesn't happen, then I'll probably just purchase it outright as there are no safe investments right now that will give me more than a 3% return. Current Subie interest rates are 2.9% for three years I beleive, and that doesn't quite do it for me.
On to a couple of questions:
1. Does anyone know who manufactures the round cross bars for the roof rack? I plan to throw bikes and kayaks up there and probably will go aftermarket for those items. I'm wondering if the Yakima system on my '01 will fit the new rails.
2. I know color preference is purely sujective, but I'd still like to get some opinions on exterior colors that can be had with the black interior. The exterior color choices are Black, Spark Silver, Red, and Gold. All of these colors are a possibility to me except for Gold. I have yet to see the Obsidian Black Pearl (sounds really interesting) and the Red in person. Any oipinions on these colors? Is the black difficult to maintain?
3. For those of you that have the Platinum interior, how is the light color holding up against dirt?
4. How is the cabin noise compared to the previous Forester?
Sorry for the long post but, afterall, it has been over 9 years.
#3385 of 3748 Re: Hello again.... after 9 years. [sd70]
Jun 21, 2009 (11:17 am)
The only question I can answer for you is the one about the light interior. I've had mine since Dec and no problems with dirt so far. I'd been pretty concerned about getting light leather, especially since I've never had leather interior before, but it hasn't been an issue. A few times I've gotten dirt marks on the seat and I just wiped it off easily with my finger or a tissue...nothing too technical! I haven't driven any old Foresters, but the cabin noise doesn't bother me at all....doesn't seem loud at all
Jun 21, 2009 (1:18 pm)
Interior paint on central console, door rests and trim near door handles is fragile. You can scratch or wear it off if you touch it with sharp objects oil/chemical covered hands.
The leather in my XT seems to be holding up well after a year.
The gray interior choice helps hide dirt (Subaru remarked that's why they removed Beige color from interior choices).
Going over speed bumps suggest the XT 's backside is weak on rebound damping - the car tends to pogo a bit after the bump, and if you go fast, you may get the rear end to bounce up enough to smack the rear suspension's lower limit stops.
On other hand, the car handles pot holes well.
Cabin noise of Forester seems similar to RAV4, Malibu Maxx, Lexus 400H, but is louder than '09 Outback. Tires have a big impact on this (my '09 quieted down a bit when I swapped Nokians for the Geolanders).
As for trips, the XT cruise control works well with the auto trans. Mileage has been around 24 - 25 on freeway and 18 - 20 in town.
The X, compared with XT, has more of a hair trigger throttle at stop lights and at low speeds, but has little passing power on the freeway.
XT Sport shift mode definitely changes shift points and prefers lower gears, so the car is a bit more responsive
XT requires Premium but __may__ schlep by on Intermediate grade gas. Regular will degrade performance and probably result in overheating or CHK ENGINE light coming on.
#3387 of 3748 Re: Hello again.... after 9 years. [sd70]
Jun 21, 2009 (9:01 pm)
The rack system is made by Yakima I believe. I bought the Yakima towers that fit the stock roof bars online, cheaper than buying thru Subaru. Then all my Yak rack parts work.... Can't remember where i bought the towers, but Google probably knows.
#3388 of 3748 Re: Automatic or Manual Tranny? [noey8]
Jun 22, 2009 (11:41 am)
Sample it to make sure you like the shifter and clutch action, but I say go for the manual.
Consumer Reports tested both, and never mind what the EPA determined inside their labs, CR got 25 mpg on actual roads in their real-world tests, vs. 22 mpg for the automatic. Plus you save nearly a grand up front in purchase cost. It's quicker, and a clutch is cheaper than a rebuild on an automatic.
Having said that, we got an auto because my wife wanted one for the heavy traffic she often gets, plus the fact that the Limited model she wanted only comes with auto.
#3389 of 3748 Re: Hello again.... after 9 years. [sd70]
Jun 22, 2009 (11:51 am)
Wow, time warp! Flash from the past. Good to see you again, buddy.
Can't blame you, I say, in fact we now have a 2009 X Limited, Newport Blue Pearl with Platinum Leather.
I like the colors. The blue is light/medium and doesn't show nearly as much dirt as my dark blue Miata, though my light blue minivan is even better at hiding dirt (yeah, 3 blue cars, I know).
Inside, the platinum leather is very nice. I love that it is perforated and heated, the perfect combo. The carpets are a tad light - the kids dirty shoes stain them. Still, I can't say I'd prefer the charcoal interior because it's just too dark for my tastes.
My van's interior is lighter (stains on the carpet are even worse) but my Miata has a black interior and it's too somber, depressing. Surprisingly it does not hide dirt well and I end up vacuuming that car most often. Anything besides black stands out a lot - leaves in fall, pollen in spring.
So basically I wish the interior carpets were a couple of shades darker, sure, but not charcoal or black.
Cabin noise is decent, there is less wind noise than my '98 had. It falls between my much-louder Miata and my silent-as-a-tomb Sienna.
For us the biggest difference is the back seat is a whole bunch roomier, and because we got a Limited model this time around we got a lot of nice extras, like the heated seats. Make sure you get those, if you want cloth just get the Premium AWP model.
#3390 of 3748 Re: Automatic or Manual Tranny? [noey8]
Jun 22, 2009 (1:10 pm)
I mostly like the manual (2008). I find the electronic throttle a little blippy at low speeds. The shifting is smooth.
On the one dirt fire-trail I drove (~2k feet rise in ~5 miles), I did a lot of shifting back and forth between first and second and it did cross my mind that an auto would probably be a lot easier for such things. I'm a novice to that sort of driving.
#3391 of 3748 Re: Hello again.... after 9 years. [ateixeira]
Jun 22, 2009 (1:42 pm)
Juice..... nice to be back.
When I bought my '01, my financial situation was much different and I went almost bare bones with the L model. If I remember correctly, the only options on the car were Auto Trans. and tweeter kit. I also liked what I considered the more rugged look of the black bumpers and side cladding over the painted versions on the S model. The interior in the L model at that time was that herringbone patterned cloth in grey. The 2001 interior has actually held up great (cloth and carpets). I really liked the Blue Ridge Pearl exterior and Grey interior combo.
If I do take the plunge, this time around I fully expect to go with the X Limited with either the Rugged Package or Utility Package. Like my current Forester, I plan to have the next one for a long time. So, I'm going to get it just the way I want it.
I'm on the fence regarding buying a new one right now. My current Forester is still running great with almost 88,000 miles (coming up on that expensive 90,000 mile scheduled maintenance). I'm sure I could easily drive this car reliably for another five years or so. I also need to update my circa 1962 kitchen so that may take priority right now. With that said, the new design is very exciting and has really got the juices flowing.
Thanks to those of you who commented regarding the interior and the rack system. I have a feeling my current Yakima system may be compatible with the rails on the new Forester.
#3392 of 3748 Re: Hello again.... after 9 years. [sd70]
Jun 23, 2009 (12:25 pm)
Same here, I was from a base 1998 L model, though it was a 5 speed, to a loaded up Limited automatic PZEV.
I miss the unpainted bumpers a bit, but I think those vanished in 2006, and I understand why. Even though they're teflon tough, they're not the most attractive.
Try this - do your kitchen first, in fact your new car may get some wear and tear carrying all the stuff. When it's done, reward yourself with the new Forester.
#3393 of 3748 Re: Hello again.... after 9 years. [ateixeira]
Jun 23, 2009 (6:54 pm)
Good advice Juice. I was leaning in that direction. The redesign of the Forester has me a bit excited and it should keep me posting here again for a while. In fact, it has created a renewed interest in the old Forester. I'm actually planning to recondition the paint a bit and repaint the old steelies to get them looking new again.