Last post on Oct 15, 2012 at 3:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
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Subaru Forester, Future Vehicle, Wagon
#3432 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [bikerguy3]
Jul 14, 2009 (12:30 pm)
I'll have to say that I am not happy with the interior quality of my 2009 Forester LL Bean (yes, we bought one of the last of those designations in April 2008). At first, I didn't think the posts regarding the rattles and flimsiness of materials were valid. Now, having seen how easily scratched the "metallic" portions of the armrests are, and how easily scuff marks appear in places where you don't even think of things scuffing, like the dash, and the intermittent rattles in various places, and how the little cover on the gas cap release keeps falling off (after having been replaced once at the dealer), and how the rear seat recline buttons keep popping out (after having been replaced by the dealer), and how easily the leather seats show marks ... Not really happy. And it is mostly my wife and I using this car, kids are not allowed to drive it unattended, we don't carry junk, we don't have a dog, and so forth. We treat it pretty gently overall. The materials and interior quality just don't hold up. And the paint job -- very weak. It really does scratch easily. Oh well. We made the mistake of buying a redesign in its first year, but we were banking on Subaru's reputation. Won't make that mistake again.
#3433 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [pgb0517]
Jul 14, 2009 (12:43 pm)
Subaru's not the only one.
I took a look at a $55,000 Lexus RX450H. Many of the interior materials are just as flimsy as anything in the Forester. The door arm rests are covered in very thin vinyl like material that will easily tear. There are a number of hard, shiny surfaces that will scratch.
Some of the BMW's I've seen are similar, and Edmunds reported how banged up one of their expensive BMW's consoles became during a user test run.
Wrt Forester, I don't know of any user applyable finish that will protect the interior painted areas, and neither did my generally knowledgeable dealer.
#3434 of 3747 Re: windshield distortion [robert142]
Jul 14, 2009 (4:38 pm)
Following up on my own message re: windshield distortion. Finally checked it out at the dealer's and it turns out that all of the 09 Foresters have the same distortion along the lower one half inch or so of glass. The service rep. said it felt like he was looking through bifocals, and said it should be replaced until we checked the other Foresters and they all seem to have it. Most noticable from the passenger seat where it is lower and the bottom lip of the windshield is about at eye level.
#3435 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [kurtamaxxxguy]
Jul 14, 2009 (5:26 pm)
Removing the interior door panel on the Forester was similar to other vehicles I have owned. It's not all that difficult and fairly intuitive. I will try & remember the process:
- using small screwdriver, pry up the small plastic screw-head covers and then remove 2 screws (1 by the door-latch & 1 in the armrest).
- gently pry up the armrest plastic piece (with the door/window control buttons) and seperate from the door panel. I think there is an electrical cable to disconnect from this piece (note this connector has a tab-lock). Remove the 2 (or was it 3?) screws you will then see that fasten the door panel to the door.
- starting at the bottom of the door panel, using 1 or 2 thin flat pry-bar tools, "pop" the door panel away from the door. Try to apply pressure as close to the plastic
"snap-fasteners" as possible.
- after all door panel snap-fasteners have been "popped", swing bottom of panel out and push panel up to disengage the top ridge from along the window line.
- the door panel will still have the door latch cable attached, but even with this connected, you will adequate access to fix the white plastic "rattling baffle".
Reverse this process for re-installation.
One important thing when snapping/unsnapping pieces etc is try not to scratch or dig up the plastic pieces with your tools.
Hopefully, this helps (and I haven't forgotten any steps above!)...
#3436 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [bikerguy3]
Jul 14, 2009 (7:58 pm)
thanks...when I have decent pry tools, I will give it a try.
#3437 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [kurtamaxxxguy]
Jul 14, 2009 (8:56 pm)
I am afraid that quality is going to continue to go out the window to achieve the MPG mandates coming down, reduce cost and weight, and so forth. But the MPG requirements will probably be the biggest factor. We will all be driving junk in a few years.
#3438 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [pgb0517]
Jul 15, 2009 (7:11 am)
But the MPG requirements will probably be the biggest factor. We will all be driving junk in a few years.
No, it won't be junk at all. But it probably will be considerably more expensive, necessitating a longer ownership period for new cars. Increased mpg in the same size vehicle means more costly materials like high strength steel, aluminum and magnesium, composites and new designs for heavy components like seats. brake master cylinders and discs, wheels, tires, and glass. The old way is to get strength from material thickness; the new way is to improve the design.
Some of these new designs pose problems for reconstruction after a crash: That may raise insurance cost. In short.....expect to spend more and keep your car longer.
#3439 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [saedave]
Jul 16, 2009 (11:41 am)
You make valid points, but when I say junk, I mean that the trend toward junky, flimsy interior and exterior finishes and trim will continue to get worse, as it has for a while. That's where manufacturers have been and will continue to be shaving costs and weight. We should demand cars that run well and wear well.
#3440 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [pgb0517]
Jul 16, 2009 (11:56 am)
flimsy interior and exterior finishes and trim will continue to get worse, as it has for a while.
Worse includes not having standard protective cladding and door bump strips on the Forester as compared to the Outback; there is a reason for the lower price besides reduced overall length. At least you can order many of these at extra cost.
#3441 of 3747 Re: 2009 Forester reliability in CR- why just average? [bikerguy3]
Jul 16, 2009 (6:52 pm)
Thanks. I came across a really good picture of what you are referring to on the Subaru Forester Owners Forum (www.subaruforester.org). You have to register (it is free) and type "2009 Subaru Forester door rattle" in the search field. The pictures are pretty good. I tried to cut-and-paste them in this reply but it will not work. Hope this helps others.