Last post on Mar 22, 2010 at 2:28 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon
Jan 28, 2009 (12:21 pm)
You state: "An interesting note that we hear so many complaints about "only" a four speed in the 2009 Forester. But the 2009 RAV4, 2.5L, also has a reworked transmission that Toyota chose to leave a four speed. You don't hear much about that. "
This transmission issue is one thing that has bugged me for a couple of years now. I consider it to be sheer bloody-minded thinking on the part of some makers to only use 4 speed automatics on their 4 cylinder models, the ones that could really use more gears, but stick 5-or-6 speeds in their V6 engined versions, the ones that really could get by with only 3 speeds with their bags of HP and torque.
I have finally driven the 40 miles to my nearest Subaru dealer to see the new Forester and it looks nice and drives nice on the limited test loop available (no highway near the dealer) but the jump in revs and noise when the tranny downshifts to 3rd is still too great for my liking. And I would like to see the engine revs down around 2500 or so when cruising at 70 on a flat highway.
Still, the seats are much more comfortable than those in my 2005 Forester XS - no more of that sitting on a concrete camp stool feeling in my nether region..
Another thing... has anyone else noticed a problem reading the instruments when wearing polarized sunglasses on a bright day? I had that problem with my 2005 Forester and this new layout, while more colorful, is no better. There's a lot not to like about my current 2005 Chrysler T&C, but good old black numbers on a white background still can't be beat for easy reading - and the electroluminescent panel lighting of the T&C is also the best for night driving, in my opinion.
But at least the tinted rear glass in the new Forester doesn't create that irritating pattern when viewed through the aforementioned sunglasses that I got with my 2005. It was somewhat like the pattern one gets when scanning a halftone newspaper photo and not using the smoothing feature of Photoshop.
One last little nit - I consider the 17 inch alloy wheels to be just shy of butt-ugly! Not as bad as those on the XT models or the 19 inchers on the new Toyota Venza, but still bad enough. Five spokes just aren't enough on a bigger wheel; the 10-spoke wheels of my 2005 Forester XS were - along with the 9 spoke satin finish alloy wheels on my 2005 T&C - to be the best looking alloy wheels I have yet seen on any car.
Jan 28, 2009 (3:42 pm)
I'm disappointed to hear that those in the know don't expect much in the way of updates for 2010. As I search for a replacement for my 2002 L, I am frustrated by the decision of Subaru (and seemingly every competitor) to package any upgrade above base with a moonroof. I want some nice features in a car that I can actually fit in, and a moonroof just takes too much headroom (unless you pop up to something like a BMW X3, that I guess is simply designed better). And comfort requires the good (and definitely heated) seats, so just building up the X doesn't seem like a viable option. Although the 2009 size expansion does help driver comfort, especially around the legs.
Other things I'd like to see:
Improved interior materials; the 2009 simply seems chintzy.
A cup holder I'd feel comfortable putting hot coffee in.
A cargo cover that actually covers the cargo area (it seems that the salesman was right on this - that can only happen if the rear seats are reclined, again, see the moonroof).
Winter package w/o the moonroof.
I guess some things, like a bumper cover, could be added, but all in all, I was sort of waiting to see what improvements 2010 brought. Not happy with the competition, either, so maybe I'll hold on the 2002 a while longer (although really wanted to get some head and side air bags).
Jan 28, 2009 (4:07 pm)
I'm sure there will be a few minor upgrades for 2010. They've always done a few upgrades every year in the past, but usually it's really small stuff; I expect that game plan to continue.
I would expect more significant changes to occur in the 2012 model year, as that's when the mid-life refresh is expected to happen. That's when I expect to see the CVT, and perhaps a new H4 engine as well.
#19 of 70 Re: [boba6]
Jan 28, 2009 (5:33 pm)
No worries about headroom in the '09 Forester with the moonroof. I'm 6'5", and even with the moonroof I have plenty of room up top. A little more length in the legroom would be nice, though.
Jan 28, 2009 (6:31 pm)
I second that, I'm 6'4" and I have more headroom with the moonroof than I did in my moonroof-less Xterra!
#21 of 70 Re: 2010 Subaru Forester Changes [xwesx]
Jan 30, 2009 (10:11 am)
I agree with Wes on the backup camera issue. I'll go along with the fact that it's a nice "convenience" feature but not necessary for most. Certainly on many other SUVs it's more of an issue due to their extremely poor rearward visibility (Murano for example). Still, I don't have a problem with making a backup camera a stand-alone option. Just don't force me to get one as part of a popular option bundle.
#22 of 70 Re: 2010 Subaru Forester Changes [p0926]
Jan 30, 2009 (10:31 am)
I don't have a problem with making a backup camera a stand-alone option. Just don't force me to get one as part of a popular option bundle.
That is my stance as well, after reading the arguments presented by Bob and Mike. Along this line, I noticed just two days ago that my local Sam's Club is selling backup camera systems. I was in a hurry so I did not inspect them, but I wonder how well they would do in terms of integrating with the vehicle versus being a bulky, strap-on gadget.
My father's past few motorhomes have had backup cameras, and they were barely noticeable - tucked away into the body. The cameras are really nice on those beasts (~40'), but I have parallel-parked the 36' motorhome he once had that did not have a backup camera. I had about 12" of clearance on each end.
#23 of 70 Re: [tinycadon]
Jan 30, 2009 (10:43 am)
I must sit upright or have a long torso or something, or maybe just want more room, because I've heard the same sort of thing from other 6'4" types about other cars. But, at 6'2", seated to drive, wearing a baseball cap flush on my head, (head gets cold these days), it rubs, even without any real bump. Even without a cap, I can't pass my hand over my head.
#25 of 70 Re: More on backup cameras [rsholland]
Jan 31, 2009 (11:45 am)
Okay but just think how many lives could be saved by not driving at all!
-Frank (also playing devil's advocate)