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Old 02-20-2010, 06:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What year is the next model change for the Forester?

Well now I've got 199,000 miles on my 2004 2.5XT and as you may remember if you read my previous posts, I was asking about whether/when the Forester would be available with the CVT. Lots of you weighed in on this topic. For now, since my car's running GREAT, I decided to get a tune up, keep up the oil changes and see how many miles I can get out of it...at least, that's the plan for now.

But, while I was shopping around and looking at the new Foresters before I came to this decision, I asked several different dealers about what they knew about the possibility of putting the CVT into the Forester and when it might happen. Nobody new ANYTHING!!! But one salesman was nice enough to offer to look into it for me and let me know if he heard anything. Well, he called me today and said that - and I don't know where this info came from - if Subaru was planning to put the CVT into the Forester, they would most likely wait until the next model change, or whatever its called, because there would likely have to be some redesigning to change the transmission... and he said this wouldn't be for another 5 years or so.

Now, while it makes sense to me that Subaru would wait until the next major Forester change, it's surely due before 5 years from now because isn't this design/model in its 3rd year? How many years do they go between changes? Anyway, only half of what he said made sense to me and it sounded like some dealer just gave him this information to pass along to me in the hopes that I would buy a car this year. I hate that!!!

So, HELP!!! Can you straighten me out?

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Old 02-20-2010, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I belive that the current model is only in its 2nd year (2009 and 2010), and is only really due for "freshening" at this point, with a major re-do in maybe another 3-4 years? That would be a 5-6 year cycle, which sounds about right.

But really only Subaru knows for sure, no matter what we say here!
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I read a car mag article saying there will be a refresh for the MY11 model. I'd love to know what changes will occur and whether Subaru will screw up any body work design.
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Old 02-20-2010, 08:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I seriously doubt any dealer would know. You'd probably have to go to Japan and find the right person at Subaru or FHI and ask them. The people working on it probably don't even know for sure when, and that's if there even are engineers and/or designers working on it. From a lot of posts I've read on here SOA is pretty much good for nothing, so they'd have no clue. Maybe just check back in 2018!
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I read a car mag article saying there will be a refresh for the MY11 model. I'd love to know what changes will occur and whether Subaru will screw up any body work design.
Refresh is pretty much what it means. Maybe some styling changes to the body panels, some interior tweaks and that's about it. If you look at the SF platform it was around for 5 years, pretty much got a few grille changes some paint options, interior trim changes and that's about it. The SG was around for 5 years, pretty much the same treatment as the SF, 06 -08 got some mechanical tweaks, mostly styling changes on the same platform, body panels, lights, grille, etc. The SH has only been around for 2 years so the likelyhood of a large scale revamp are slim, possibly in a year you might see the same treatment applied to the Forester, they may address the issues owners of 09-10 models have had, but it will be subtle, no manufacturer wants to have to make major changes a year after the car is introduced, that is admitting failure to some degree.

The Japanese auto makers are moving towards longer platform runs of models (cost effective) and more use of world market models (cost effective again), so we are probably going to see only minor cosmetic and mechanical changes only in the length of time between changeovers to new designs.

As far as the CVT goes, I can probably guess right that the SH Forester was designed to have the CVT transmission fit, just as they designed the diesel, knowing it would fit their current lineup. It's been said that new car design starts four years before the actual release, pretty much the same for mechanical changes. According to my mechanic, Subaru, two years ago had a few CVT test mules running around in the last generation Outback, one out west in the Rockies and one in metropolitan Toronto, studying the reliability and drivability, to the eye, they looked just like any other Outback. I'm sure other markets had the same testing going on.

It's a gamble for an auto maker to return to technology that hasn't been widely accepted and previously (Subaru had a CVT in the Justy) was not well received or refined as it is today, it's most likely the way manufactures will go as they recently shown, sometimes with negative results (Mini's CVT).

I don't think we can look into any crystal ball to tell us what the outcome will be, but I think the future is looking good for more introductions of the CVT across Subarus models. There's very few sale's people that are dedicated to one specific brand to have any form of knowledge about what comes next from the manufacturer. I liken asking a sales person a question about future model to p***ing in the wind, you don't really know what might happen.
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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no manufacturer wants to have to make major changes a year after the car is introduced, that is admitting failure to some degree.
Subaru recently did it with the Impreza WRX. Why not the Forester? I see this as a positive rather than a negative. It shows they are listening. The 4 speed is clearly outdated and fuel economy is clearly lacking in the Forester (Motor Trend comparison anyone?). I'm no Japanese mind reader but I wouldn't completely rule out significant changes to the Forester in the next few years. At the least, expect them to add a roof rack to the base model.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Subaru seems to be running on a 5 year cycle. So the first significant changes to the Forester should be 2014. Just me guess.
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Old 02-21-2010, 06:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If the changes you are talking about to the WRX include more horsepower and suspension improvements, you are still talking evolution of an existing platform introduced in 08. That was in response to Mitsubishi's new Evo which came out after the WRX and had more horsepower and handled better if you use the magazines comments. So Subaru adds a larger turbo and exhaust = increased horsepower, firms up the suspension, borrowing design from the STI and they're back to being competitive with the Evo. Simple evolutionary changes to an existing model to remain competitive. The North American standard for model changeover used to be every 6-7 years, the Japanese brought that down to 4-5 years, if those models remain competitive, the payback is greater over a longer term, the "refreshing" is just part cosmetic surgery and refinement.

Well Subaru has already responded with another new level of trim with the Forester, the Special Edition, which adds the roof rails and 16" alloys for about 400 bucks, I expect that model to stay within the Forester lineup between the X and Touring models for some time. Silke had posted somewhere in one of the transmission threads that development had ended for the Subaru automatics and development of the CVT was the priority. The Forester has never had the aerodynamics to produce great fuel economy, but the SH models are certainly getting better than previous incarnations A.K.A. the Flying Brick, the Bread Box etc, if the CVT will improve fuel economy as it claims, then we will see it in all models eventually.

Subaru has become package/option oriented, many standard features like the heated seats used to come on all model above the X, if you lived in a warm climate it still came with it you just didn't use it simple.
Building a car at the factory is not an option these days, a lot of the accessories are installed at the dealer level if they can be, or you source aftermarket. The cars become profit driven, you buy the model that they have selected with the options they have selected and then you add your own personal choices at the dealer level if they can be added at all.

Unless some other manufacturer comes out with a model that just blows the doors off Subaru's sales of their existing model, I don't think you will see the total revamp of the existing product. And Subaru is enjoying the greatest growth they have ever had with the existing Forester and Outback models that they provide.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
If the changes you are talking about to the WRX include more horsepower and suspension improvements, you are still talking evolution of an existing platform introduced in 08.
Would adding a CVT to the existing Forester platform not be "evolutionary"?

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The Forester has never had the aerodynamics to produce great fuel economy
That is true but its competition (GMC Terrain, CRV, RAV 4, etc.) have 5 or 6 speed automatics and get close the 30 mpg hwy so comparatively it doesn't produce great fuel economy.

I mean, it's all speculative. Who knows? I just don't see Subaru keeping a 4 speed automatic through 2014 when right now they are significantly lagging the competition in performance and fuel economy. It takes a while for sales to catch up with the products on the market unless you are Toyota and your cars go shooting off cliffs for no apparent reason. To be honest, I think a lot of Subaru's record sales are due to the popularity and reputation of the last model years not the current ones. I don't know how you'd prove that, though.

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Old 02-21-2010, 08:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I feel that in 2011 or 2012 we'll see at least a facelift and probably some driveline changes. I'd bet we'll see the 4eat replaced with the CVT at that point. We'll probably see changes similar to the impreza. I'm hoping the turbo models get a 5eat and nonturbo models get the CVT. 6 speed MT across the board maybe.

I also feel tht in 2014 or so we'll see a minor redesign similar to the SF->SG change rather than the major SG->SH change. Keep the platform but a redesigned body shape possibly. Maybe they'll do a 3.6R forester -finally-.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I love these threads.

Everybody has the answers. 5 years. 2 years. 3 1/2 years. Minor changes. Total redesign. 5 speed. CVT. 5 speed. etc, etc.

Bottom line? Nobody knows. Nobody here anyway. NOBODY. But it's fun to read.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I feel that in 2011 or 2012 we'll see at least a facelift and probably some driveline changes. I'd bet we'll see the 4eat replaced with the CVT at that point. We'll probably see changes similar to the impreza. I'm hoping the turbo models get a 5eat and nonturbo models get the CVT. 6 speed MT across the board maybe.

I also feel tht in 2014 or so we'll see a minor redesign similar to the SF->SG change rather than the major SG->SH change. Keep the platform but a redesigned body shape possibly. Maybe they'll do a 3.6R forester -finally-.
Praying for the WRX turbo in hopes of 265HP. Not holding my breath though.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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ok... call me crazy, but the SF lasted 5 years... with a facelift for the 4th year.
The SG lasted for 6 years with a facelift for the 4th year... not 5 years like mentioned above.

I suspect that there will be an SH facelift for 2012, and no major changes until 2014 or 2015.

The GD chassis Impreza went for 6 years with 3 facelifts and gradual evolution throughout the model years.
And I hate CVT's but you'll probably see one for 2011 or 12 as the alternative to a 5-speed in the base models. It'd be nice to see the 5EAT make its way into a Forester though... and a friggin' diesel would be nice in North America.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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... if Subaru was planning to put the CVT into the Forester, they would most likely wait until the next model change, or whatever its called, because there would likely have to be some redesigning to change the transmission...
Several manufacturer's offer manuals, automatics and CVTs in the same car -- like Nissan and Subaru. There is no need to redesign the car for a CVT, and no reason why Subaru cannot put a CVT in the present Forester. Subaru.com already shows the Lineartronic CVT as a $1000 option on the present 2010 Legacy and Outback.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks everybody - and Vintage42 - what you said makes sense to me. I'll wait at least until the 2011 Forester comes out in the spring or summer to see whether the CVT is offered. If its not, I'll take my chances and see how long my 2004 lasts. Like my mechanic told me, Subarus last a long time but nothing lasts forever...I'm trying to do my homework now so that I don't have to do all the research last minute when I really need to get a new car. It's definitely going to be a Subaru...but if the CVT isn't offered when my car finally goes "kerplunk" I just might have to get the Legacy (which I really don't like on the outside) or the Outback (not as nice as the Forester) to save on gas. I've said this all before...sorry for repeating myself. Again, thanks for all the input!
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