Author Topic: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester  (Read 11365 times)

Grammymissy

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Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« on: June 10, 2012, 04:35:10 AM »
I have finally convinced my husband that the GMC Acadia 7 passenger is a tad big for just the two of us  :)
We are retiring at the end of the year, and I would like a used, newer, awd vehicle that we will both use, we live in an area of NE PA that is very rural with roads in terrible conditon and cannot bike safetly.
Does anyone have any experience with the reliability of the subura forester?  We are looking to swap the 2008 acadia for a low mileage 2010 forester.
Thanks!

atelierk

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 05:08:42 AM »
I have finally convinced my husband that the GMC Acadia 7 passenger is a tad big for just the two of us  :)
We are retiring at the end of the year, and I would like a used, newer, awd vehicle that we will both use, we live in an area of NE PA that is very rural with roads in terrible conditon and cannot bike safetly.
Does anyone have any experience with the reliability of the subura forester?  We are looking to swap the 2008 acadia for a low mileage 2010 forester.
Thanks!

I have a 2010 Forester and so far, I haven't had any problems with it at all. And yes, I bought it new [have punched self in face already] but I don't owe anything on it.  I researched quite extensively on Consumer's Reports website and they rated the Subarus (at least the two I was considering, the Forester and the Outback) at or very near the top of their lists. The Forester was their top-rated small SUV.

I replaced an aging minivan that was having reliability issues and was known for transmission problems, with the Forester. I needed a vehicle that could carry two large dog crates, stacks of paintings (laid flat), and that could tow a 4' x 8' utility trailer loaded with compost. I got all that plus reliability - at the expense of fuel efficiency. The EPA estimates are 20 and 26, which is about what I'm getting despite all my efforts to drive efficiently. (Oddly, it's most efficient between 40 and 50 mph, at highway speeds my mpg's actually decrease.) My Forester is getting better mpg's than my minivan at least. And, even with commuting I only drove about 7000 miles per year, now that I've retired I expect that to decrease by about 1900 miles per year.

Grammymissy

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 05:22:39 PM »
Great news, hopefully our forester will be as reliable as yours.  Thank you for responding.  :)

scantee

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 07:27:08 AM »
I have 2009 Forrester and it's been great. What I love most about it is that it's got room for my kids' enormous car seats, room in the front for my 6'5" spouse, and lots of room in the back, but it still drives like a small car. The handling is excellent. My only complaint is the headrest. I find them a bit uncomfortable because it tips your head forward. This seems to be a common complaint among Forrester owners but I'm not sure there's much to be done about it; The design is intentional because it's apparently safer in an accident so all headrests will be designed like that soon, if they're not already.

grantmeaname

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 08:00:58 AM »
A 2008 car is still extremely new! Why not swap the 2008 Acadia for a 2007 or 2008 Forester? Is there anything about the 2010 car that you really need, especially if you won't be using the car that much?

Grammymissy

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 09:29:50 AM »
Scantee, thank you for your response, all sounds good (even the headrest - safety first).  My spouse is 5 10 so if 6 5 is comfortable, that is great!


Grantmeaname, the reason for the 2010, is that is the one the spouse found that he likes best  :)  He has always bought brand new, this is his first used purchase, so he is hesitant to buy any older  :)  I am just happy the 7 passenger gas guzzler is leaving the garage  :)

Thanks!

James

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 11:03:53 AM »
Sounds like he met you in the middle ground between a mustachian vehicle and buying a big new vehicle off the lot, so in that light it's not bad.  We really like our 2008 outback we picked up last year, it has 110,000 miles on it and is running well.


Do you need the AWD?  Could you talk him into trying some vehicles with better fuel efficiency?  Like I said, it's not a bad compromise, but it still sounds a bit large and they certainly aren't known for great fuel efficiency.

Jamesqf

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 11:49:03 AM »
Oddly, it's most efficient between 40 and 50 mph, at highway speeds my mpg's actually decrease.

Not odd at all.  That's exactly what you would expect when driving at a steady speed, mostly because air resistance increases dramatically the faster you go.  The reason city mpg is usually less than highway is because of all the stop & go, and the time spent idling.

Grammymissy

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 12:50:30 PM »
James,  unfortunately we live in NE PA, where roads are not maintained.....Not just no plowing or salt, roads are in terrible condition.   We have a Blue Stone quarry down the road and probably 50 dumptrucks run Blue Stone up the road every day.  Also, now with the gas drillers, we have all the water, chemical trucks and drillers driving on these roads.    I agree with my husband that we do need AWD for safety reasons.   I also should confess I currently drive AWD and can't see myself driving anything else, I love the security of the AWD.   I am selling my awd car after I retire, since we will not need it.   

Happy to hear your outback has 110,000 miles, and is running well!  Hopefully ours will last as long or longer!

James

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 01:38:44 PM »
Given you need the AWD, the subaru is an excellent choice. 

I also see great mpg between 30-50mph, and then a big drop off above that.  Much more so than any other vehicle I've watched the mpg, though that isn't many.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 02:04:30 PM by James »

WageSlave

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 11:14:53 AM »
I don't need a car right now, but I enjoy looking at them online.  Subaru's AWD system is generally highly regarded.  The Outback seems to have a cult-like following, and the same ground clearance as the Forester.

Their latest Impreza hatchback with automatic transmission boasts the best fuel efficiency of any AWD vehicle.  Note this is the "pedestrian" version of the Impreza, not the juiced-up WRX or STI models.

Subaru is also releasing a version of the Impreza hatchback with higher ground clearance (same as the Outback I believe) and some other minor cosmetic tweaks.  They are calling it the "Crosstrek XV".  Since its a new model, you're forced to buy brand-new.

Just throwing out ideas.  :)

smedleyb

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 11:58:39 AM »
James,  unfortunately we live in NE PA, where roads are not maintained.....Not just no plowing or salt, roads are in terrible condition.   We have a Blue Stone quarry down the road and probably 50 dumptrucks run Blue Stone up the road every day.  Also, now with the gas drillers, we have all the water, chemical trucks and drillers driving on these roads.    I agree with my husband that we do need AWD for safety reasons.   I also should confess I currently drive AWD and can't see myself driving anything else, I love the security of the AWD.   I am selling my awd car after I retire, since we will not need it.   

Happy to hear your outback has 110,000 miles, and is running well!  Hopefully ours will last as long or longer!

Grammy, we're like neighbors! (I'm two hours north of Scranton).  I hear ya about the AWD.  I'm just curious as to why you don't keep your current AWD auto (what kind is it anyway?) and just sell off the Acadia ( I assume you want to downsize to one car since you're retiring).  Also, I find Subies to be way too popular in my area -- and thus way too expensive -- for me to even consider.   I wonder if that's your experience as well (the too expensive part)?

Also keep in mind, there is no substitute for snow tires, not even AWD.

Grammymissy

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 01:30:32 PM »
Matt, thanks for your comments, all information appreciated :)

Smedleyb, okay time to confess, the awd i have is a Audi S4, fun to play with, not cheap to run, she is starting to need the more expensive services, she is a 2000, purchased in 1999.  So between the Acadia and S4, we are giving the gas man too much cash!  I hear ya on snow tires, I put them on the awd audi, just for the extra control  :)  thanks!

paddedhat

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 06:19:03 PM »
Hey neighbor, I'm a bit south of you, in the Poconos, and have a bit of semi-useful advice to offer........ The Subaru situation is a bit more complicated than it first appears. Subaru has developed a nasty reputation for two expensive issues, leaking head gaskets, and continually failing wheel bearings. Now some may claim that these issues are resolved in more recent models, but it's a risk I'm not willing to take. The heads seem to run at least $2000 to repair and the wheel bearings are $600 to $1000. I follow another forum where an independent garage owner in VT. commented on the Subaru  situation. Subaru wagons are wildly popular there and he has a ton of customers that own them. They are very loyal, and in his experience seem quite willing to spend the EXTRA $4-5K in repairs it takes to keep them on the road for the life of the car. Repairs that, as he noted, are pretty unhead of with a lot of other brands.  We have a Honda CRV for our family car ,and I would really hope you would at least give it a thought as a worth competitor. Somehow Honda seems to have done a great job of building stone reliable "appliances", not passionate, exciting cars, just rock solid transportation appliances.  This one is a 2010, it does nothing exceptionally well, or poorly, it gets the same MPGs as every other similar sized suv out there, but it's one of the most reliable vehicles on the planet and the wife loves it, so it will be here for at least another decade or two. 
As for the Audi, wow you may be playing with fire there. I have the Passat, (which is the same car without AWD).  We are going to dump it as soon as it has the decency to run for a whole week without lighting the check engine light. Seriously, I do a lot of my own work, and have a great friend who is a world class independent mechanic, to tackle what I can't handle. We both agree that these are about the most frustrating cars out there. They are overengineered, underbuilt, and exceptionally complex. I have dropped about $3k into repairs and maintenance in this car in the last year. Some of the issues are enough to make me want to fly to Germany, just to choke a VW/Audi engineer. The flywheel self destructed, as it's an incredibly complex device full of moving parts, designed to make the car idle a tiny bit smoother. A typical flywheel is a solid disc of steel that should last forever, and costs about $200. This one self destructed at 90K miles and costs $777. The entire front of the car needs to be removed to change a timing belt!  The dipstick tube just self destructed the other day. A dipstick tube is typically metal, and lasts forever without a second thought. This piece of crap is plastic, and deteriorates into a crumbly mess with the structural integrity of a potato chip, as the car ages. Bottom line with any older German car like these is that yours might run for the next five years with only oil changes and tires, or it might develop a $4000 problem tommorow.  Hope it all works out well for you, but my humble advice would be to lose that Audi ASAP and then make your next move. Good luck, keep us up to date on your choices.

Grammymissy

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 06:40:26 PM »
Padded hat, a lot of information,sorry to hear such depressing news.  Thanks for the infor, will definitely be looking into this. 

smedleyb

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 09:26:52 PM »
Matt, thanks for your comments, all information appreciated :)

Smedleyb, okay time to confess, the awd i have is a Audi S4, fun to play with, not cheap to run, she is starting to need the more expensive services, she is a 2000, purchased in 1999.  So between the Acadia and S4, we are giving the gas man too much cash!  I hear ya on snow tires, I put them on the awd audi, just for the extra control  :)  thanks!

About 4 months ago, when my wife's 2009 Audi was 2000 miles from cracking the 40K mark, I started to stress hard about how our Audi was an expensive machine, and soon the 4 year, 40K warranty would expire leaving us holding the bag should an expensive repair rear it's ugly head.  And I mean I was stressing out for two days.  It was all I could talk about to my wife, who was like "okay, I get it; now shut the fuck up for a couple hours about the car."

Well, no less than two days after my stress level subsided, our check engine light went on.  Two weeks later, we got our Audi back from the shop -- seems like that little check engine light lead to one thing or another which lead to "Mr. Smedley, we just decided to replace the whole goddamn engine." 

So yeah, I get the idea of dumping the Audi.  Personally I love the that machine; it's an amazing drive and the quattro system with snow tires makes it a tank in the snow -- and we get tons of snow where I live.  Damn, I even got a new engine! But as paddlehat makes abundantly clear, Audi/VW has some major issues and as much as I love that car it's a goner in the fall.  Oh, and my warranty is actually good til 50K so I got a little time.  Which is cool because something seems a bit off with the tranny lately.  lol!

(ps, put me down with puddlehat as a bit sour on Subies too; overpriced and under engineered in my estimation, especially the newer iterations of Legacy and Forrester). 


Grammymissy

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2012, 05:50:47 AM »
Smedleyb, so sorry about your audi, I actually have been pretty lucky with mine, only maint stuff, unfortunately maint stuff, and stuff ageing and failing,  is expensive.  :(          If I was going to continue to work, I would probably not sell her, can't beat the handling of an S4, and she has been paid for 10 years.       

What will you replace your audi awd with?  Or are you not going with awd again?

thanks!

apple_ya

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2012, 09:52:45 AM »
my dream car

bdub

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2012, 12:47:51 PM »
My wife drives a 2010 Outback.  It is a tank in the snow but it has been in the shop more times than any car either of us has ever owned.  Nothing that has left us on the side of the road, but a lot of nagging issues (clunking sound when turning,  rattling from exhaust manifold,  squeak in rear strut, seat stains, liftgate arms leaking).  Note:  this car has 19K miles on it.

I had a 2003 WRX that was pretty solid until about 40K miles.  At this point, the 2-3rd gear shifting was getting difficult and a little research told me I was probably going to be replacing the transmission in the next 6-12 months. 

Overall, not happy with the Subaru build quality.  It is hard to get a honest assessment from most Subaru owners since they are nearly as cult'ish as Apple iProduct folks.

IMHO:  Stick with Honda or Toyota.  In your case, I would look at a RAV4 or CR-V (which is the car my wife wishes we had bought in 2010).

Grammymissy

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Re: Downsizing to a Subaru Forester
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2012, 10:03:01 AM »
Apple_ya  How old is your dream car?

Bdub   Sorry to hear how your Subaru is causing financial pain, with only 19K miles, that is terrible.  i have noticed there is a cult thing about Subaru, when we told our daughter in England, she told us there are Scooby Doo clubs there, it is a affectionate name for Subaru's  lol.    Thanks for the infor, will look into these issues.
Thanks!