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
#679 of 3748 Re: will the '10's 5-speed be true nirvana? [p0926]
Apr 01, 2008 (11:43 am)
Fair enough, let's play...
She uses it for Costco runs, so it's easier to load those 15 packs of paper towels and seemingly 1.7 million rolls of TP. Commuting in beltway traffic. Car pooling 2-3 kids. Easy ingress/egress is critical. Must be kid friendly. Leather seats so she can wipe up spills. Automatic for the heavy traffic she gets nowadays.
She doesn't want anything too small. I have shown her smaller vehicles like the Impreza sedan, and she said it felt small. Could not even get her to sit in a Fit or Versa. Too bad.
We rented an 07 Accord in Florida late last year and while competent it just didn't make much of an impression. The trunk seemed small since she's used to a wagon.
More recently I had a Pontiac G5 coupe rental and she found that car annoyingly small. It sat too low and was annoying to get in and out of. She found it cute but otherwise hated it.
She did like a friend's Altima, the way it drove at least, but she said the seat felt too low and she couldn't see as well.
Now, why not go bigger? Because she hates having to park a large vehicle. I drive the van. She doesn't even like having to pull it out of our driveway (down hill, slight angle, bush in the way).
We prefer AWD, since it will be the only snow-bound vehicle in the fleet. The Miata is just plain dangerous in the snow. My FWD van struggles to climb my driveway with just 2" of the white stuff.
She doesn't want another wagon. Been there, done that, perhaps. To be honest the Legacy is perfectly fine. Still under the Subaru Gold warranty for another year and 40k miles. We really could wait longer, hence no rush.
Another factor: we have $1600 Subaru Bucks.
That means we can splurge for an LL Bean model at a more basic price, about $23.4k once the VIP program starts.
At the car show I tried to show her competitors. She didn't like the CR-V. Rogue: "ugly". Hey, it's her car, her perogative. She liked the RAV4 but when I pointed out the swing-gate door she called that layout "stupid" since it blocks curb side loading and requires a lot of space behind to open fully.
We want good fuel economy so that sort of narrowed it down to Rogue, CR-V, Outlander, and Forester.
I thought the Outlander was OK, but at that point she was tired of walking around the car show and wasn't even interested enough to sit inside of one.
Well, the Ford Escape is ancient. The face-lift wasn't enough. The Edge is big, heavy, inefficient (fuel and space-wise) for our purposes.
We test drove a Vue and found the seats uncomfy, plus fuel economy is poor.
Dodge Journey looks interesting but she absolutely hated the minivan interior, "yuck" I think she said, so I wonder if the Journey is any better in that regard. Plus we don't need a 3rd row, and they're asking too much for it, at least right now.
She liked the loaner Tribeca we had a while back, but I worry because it's bigger outside without being much bigger inside. The gas tank arises concerns about range, especially compared with the Forester.
She doesn't want an Outback. I showed her one back in 2005. No sale. Too much like her Legacy, perhaps? Not sure.
The funny thing is this time she's the one dismissing the competition. Last time I gave her gentle nudges towards a Subaru, this time it's her doing that.
I doesn't hurt that I have good knowledge of Subaru, know how to service and repair them, have Subaru bucks, know Subaru wholesalers for parts, etc.
Come to think of it, it was a bit of a pain to figure out a lot of stuff on our Toyota. Oil changes are a pain in the neck.
That's the scenario now.
#680 of 3748 Just thinking...
Apr 01, 2008 (12:43 pm)
outside the box, how about a Mazda 3-5.
Not that I'm arguing against the Subie, but if you want to do due diligence, I'd put that on your list since it has both utility and fantastic driving dynamics (better than the dear Forester or any of its competition).
Our Ody replaced a Chevrolet Malibu Maxx--we loved the utility and design of the vehicle but didn't love the actual vehicle. Mileage was low but it was out of warranty and starting to go south in the way that those quality GM products do. We originally shopped SUVs--Veracruz, Santa Fe, Tribeca, CX-9, Highlander...but you know what? Once you get past ego, as you know, a quality minivan is a far better vehicle for most applications than any of those--better fuel economy, driving characteristics, more room, etc.
Anyway, we currently have a sedan (my TCH) and the Ody, and I'm really liking that setup--its nice to have a useful, utilitiarian vehicle like the Ody, but its also needs to have the superior ride and comfort of my Camry every day too. I really don't think I'd want to trade it for an SUV.
#681 of 3748 Re: Just thinking... [mfletou1]
Apr 01, 2008 (1:12 pm)
One big ommision wrt the Mazda 3 in any form - no AWD.
To get that, you'd have to go with the CX-7.
One Advantage of CX-7 is its turbo can burn (but is not recomended for) regular gas.
It's a larger vehicle, though, and its interior's pretty stern (Mazda loves black ).
I did not consider Mazda as there were few dealers in Portland OR and those came up pretty bad on BBB, etc.
#682 of 3748 Re: will the '10's 5-speed be true nirvana? [ateixeira]
Apr 01, 2008 (1:45 pm)
I've got a co-worker who has an Escape Hybrid which he's happy with. Okay so it's a Ford... but you can't beat the mpg!
#683 of 3748 Re: Just got an 09 Newport Blue X Premium! [johnsora]
Apr 01, 2008 (2:04 pm)
they're trying to sell the 09s for msrp out here in long island. where did you get your forester? menehunesaol.com
#684 of 3748 Re: Just thinking... [mfletou1]
Apr 01, 2008 (7:12 pm)
The Mazda 3 is a nice small car with great mileage. Great handling. Good price. Looks better than any of it's competition. But I discovered a problem with it. Crash test results are poor for side impact and marginal for rear impact. Check out the crash test comparison for this size car:
BTW, Subara Impreza is the Top Safety Pick for this class. Matter of fact just about all Subaru models won Top Safety Pick.
The fact that the Mazda 3 had the poor rating for side impact worries me now that I know. It makes sense to me to buy a car with good crash test results. It could turn out to be one of the most important factors when buying a car.
#685 of 3748 the AWD in the '09 Forester, per Subaru
Apr 02, 2008 (7:07 am)
Wrt some traction control questions (what happens if one side's on ice, other side on pavement) I asked, here is Subaru's response:
"Turning off the VDC does turn off the Traction Control System. With the Vehicle Dynamics Control system deactivated, traction and stability enhancement offered by Vehicle Dynamics Control system is unavailable. Not all of our vehicles have the VDC feature, if 2 wheels are on ice and 2 are on dry pavement the AWD adjusts and transfers the power to the wheels on the dry pavement. "
Another way to say it:
The AWD figures out how to control side-side wheel slippage even if traction control is turned off.
Ok, given there are no limited slip diffs in the car, I'm not sure it can _do_ that with traction control turned __off__. Or am I misunderstanding something there ??
I'll just keep my Auto Socks handy.
#686 of 3748 Re: Just thinking... [mfletou1]
Apr 02, 2008 (8:22 am)
First off let me say I appreciate the feedback and suggestions. You guys are good friends and I can tell you're looking out for me.
CX7? I've test driven them. I didn't like the interior much. I felt some turbo lag, too, though the event Mazda had set up was a tight track. I felt the same way about a turbo Volvo S40 - in a tight circuit the turbo boost kick in just when you reach the braking point.
I think if I went on a 2nd test drive out on more open roads, I'd like it better. Complaints about fuel economy and reliability scare me, though. A neighbor friend has one and while he likes it, he complains that it guzzles gas.
CX7 I would compare to the Forester XT, and maybe the smallish RD-X. Mazda is the only one that allows regular (a recent change), but still, it's a turbo, I'm sure it would be happier with premium. Around me premium costs an extra 30 cents/gallon, plus you sacrifice range as well.
Nice choices, but not what we want.
Mazda5? I test drove one and considered it before I bought my minivan. It actually drives nicely, nimble and light. Comfort falls flat, though. The arm rest between the seats is too low, I don't like the 2-seat middle row, and the 3rd row is just too small to be truly useful. EPA fuel ratings are poor for the amount of power, though I hear real-world MPG is not bad.
Mazda offers a 3-seat middle row, AWD, and power sliding doors in Japan. Bring them over and I'll reconsider. Toss in armrests while you're at it.
I like the Mazda3, and showed one to my wife when I went to look at a new Miata. She dismissed it as too small immediately. I don't think she even sat inside. Too bad. I really like them. You can even get NAV on those (the Mazda5 as well).
Escape hybrid? Old design, plus high demand means pricing on one equipped like the LL Bean Forester would probably approach $30 grand. So that's $5 grand more, nearly $7 grand when I factor the Subaru Bucks.
$7 grand buys lots of gas.
Once you get past ego, as you know, a quality minivan is a far better vehicle for most applications than any of those--better fuel economy, driving characteristics, more room, etc.
I agree 100% and we did exactly that - bought a Sienna.
Now that our practical/space needs are met, we're shopping for a 2nd vehicle, keeping in mind that we have the van, too.
CX9, Tribeca, and Outlook I test drove while shopping for the van. Those are too big for my wife's needs. More expensive, hard to park, use more fuel, less visibility, etc. Overkill, basically.
Apr 02, 2008 (9:20 am)
Actually, the service tech guys I talked to at Lithia say the Forester XT can also use regular fuel "in an emergency". However, two things happen:
1. Timing is altered to prevent detonation.
2. The "Check Engine" light may go on, and may require the dealer to reset it. Once they do, they will know you have used less than Premium gas.
wrt size, I faced same problem wrt Outback. Forester proved shorter while actually having more useable passenger space than Outback.
#688 of 3748 Re: Forester fuel note [kurtamaxxxguy]
Apr 02, 2008 (9:46 am)
I have an ODBII Scanner, paid $99 IIRC. They can be had for as little as $80.
Worth it, IMHO, because dealers charge that much for a single reset, and it can happen with something as small as a loose gas cap.
I've used mine a couple of times on our cars, and to help a couple of friends.
Anyone in the DC area who wants to borrow mine is more than welcome.