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Discussion Starter #1
Today, I had the first service completed for my Premium with Option Pack 15. While it was getting serviced, I managed to speak to some of the senior advisers regarding the hot topic on the table: carbon buildup. Since the FB25DI is new to the 2019 Foz, I asked if they'd had done any type of carbon-cleaning procedures from some of the other DI(T) engines, like the FA20DIT on the WRX and former Fozzy XT as well as the new Ascent's FA24DIT. They have not had any type of issues in their shop that required the use of carbon or upper-engine based cleaners, and also suggested that the Foz and Ascent's engines are too new to have any type of "real" longevity test in it regarding it, but did again stress they haven't seen any FA20DIT related carbon cleaning issues come up.

After 6000 miles, my front brakes are still 10/10mm thickness, the rears are 9/10mm, the tires are all 10/16" thickness, and everything's running great.

One thing I'd like to point out is that my commute is mixed with about 1-2 miles of suburban driving: stop signs, red lights, 25-35mph areas. Then, I jump onto about 5 miles of highway (55) driving, and then get into about 5 miles of heavy urban city driving, with a posted speed of 35 mph but reality is that you can barely hit 30 before you have to stop for traffic or a light.

The FB25DI in the Foz seems adequate, even for highway driving. On occasion I'll take a toll highway with 65mph posted speed limits, in which case the engine keeps up just fine. I feel like the tuning in the Fozzy is much more responsive and less "CVT"-like than my 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5 which it replaced.

Even if they offered a Foz XT trim right now, I'm not sure the practical side of me would go for it, as the FB25DI is adequate for me. Sport Mode helps me feel a little more aggressive on the highway at times, since it keeps your rev's a little higher so you have a faster access to more power, but generally I just stay in "i" mode.

The only time I think I would possibly want more power is if I was doing 1. heavy hill or mountain driving regularly or 2. carrying a full car of adults/kids all the time which would add another ~600+ pounds to the car.

Auto Stop Start is second nature to me now. In fact, I get upset when it doesn't activate! It's saved me over 13 hours of idling fuel and nearly 7 gallons of fuel. It's become smoother as time goes on.

Miles Per Gallon is somewhere in the lower 20's, which is mainly from my city driving. When I get on the toll highways, even at 65+, I'm still pushing 35 mpg, which is not bad for an SUV and all that wind resistance.

No problems anywhere on the car, everything works. I did scare myself once with the memory latch feature enabled, which I quickly corrected.

I switched from a 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited earlier this year, and I've kind of missed these features:
1. Dual Zone Climate System
2. HomeLink enabled mirror - did not add this as an option
3. Leather
4. Fog Lights not standard on the Premium!

Wish list going forward:
1. Dual Zone or Tri Zone Climate System that lets me control the actually fan speed - not just temperature - of my rear seats.
2. Leather - Kids are messier than I thought. Nothing worse than crushed up goldfish crackers in the fabric* (*not true, the "up-the-backers" in a car seat are the worst.)
3. Konoji Style DRL's. Didn't realize that only the Limited and Touring have it.
4. Turn-Signal Side Mirrors.
5. More lighting in the Cargo Area (Sport trims have a rear flood LED)
6. Paddle Shifters, since all I can do is put myself into "L"
7. HYBRID MODEL FOR THE FORESTER!!!!

Things I'm really, especially happy with:
1. Infotainment works great. CarPlay is literally a life-changer. I don't like driving cars without it anymore.
2. Cruise Control Characteristics can be altered to Eco/Comfort/Standard/Dynamic level for automatic zoom zoom.
3. MAX AC Air setting is phenomenal.
4. 6000 mile service interval - much more convenient than the 3750 from my Outback!
5. EyeSight works fantastically, even in urban settings.
6. Has a really tight driving feel compared to my Outback. Feels like I'm driving my old Legacy.
7. Hill Decent Control works like a champ.

Things that I think can be improved:

1. My only criticism of the Infotainment system is that if I'm looking at a map like Waze in CarPlay, and I hit the "Radio" hard shortcut button on the console, I have to press "Apps" and then tap the CarPlay icon to get back into it. I would like a "CarPlay" or "Android Auto" physical button to tap to get back into it faster, instead of having to do the extra tap.
2. Anytime I turn on the master Cruise Control button, it changes my top multifunction to the graphic with the Fozzy and the "target" in front of me. I have to hit Info again to make it go away. Would like this to be customizable.
3. Can't figure out how to delete a single radio station preference, just change them to something else.
4. Would like independent control of the EyeSight related alert volumes, rather than just a grouping of them. For instance, I disabled the "front vehicle alert" chime, but I'd like to make "Obstacle Detected" super loud but keep things like "Lane Departure" on their softest setting.

Subaru got a lot of things right with this 2019 Forester. I'm really looking forward to what's in store for when my lease is up.


Thanks for the read.

Pilot
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And now we're passing the 12-month-mark for my 2019 Forester.

I still love this car. It was a great upgrade from my 2011 Outback, and I am enjoying the slightly "higher" seating and excellent visibility compared to Outback - even the newer ones. I was recently in for service and had the chance to check out the new Outback XT as well as the Crosstrek.

Favorite Things, 12 months later:
  • The panoramic moonroof is great. I do have a little worry long-term regarding the seals and leaks, and would have preferred a "Fixed" or "Stationary" moonroof like some other manufacturers have, but this is great. Times I've opened the moonroof except to just make sure it worked when I got the car: 0. :p
  • Excellent acceleration for in-town and city driving in "i" mode.
  • EyeSight driver assist features are fantastic and have really reduced the mental workload while driving, especially in traffic.
  • CarPlay is amazing and one of my favorite features. Aside from 2 or 3 glitches that required a restart of the infotainment system, it's been working perfectly.
  • Great cargo space for a "compact" utility vehicle. Feels more agile than my Outback ever was, even though I'm not driving "hard"
  • Had Power Rear Gate control module replaced through TSB after intermittent failures in opening or closing (about twice a month)
Things that I would like improved/added/etc in the future:
  • The city fuel economy is lousy. I understand that this is an all-time AWD car, and my third Subaru, so I wasn't expecting anything great. On highway it is awesome, as we took it to a trip from the NYC Metro Area to Boston and I was close to 35 mpg combined for the tank which included a day of driving around downtown Boston.
  • I have been disabled AutoStartStop every time I get in the car. It is pretty rough and jolting which appears to be related to the design of the Boxer engine and not that Subaru did anything "wrong" with it. Just the nature of the car. I did have one situation where I was trying to "shoot the gap" turning left but the AutoStartStop activation jerked the wheel out of my hands (and I just mashed the brake pedal and waited), and I had another situation saying that I had a malfunction and to check my owner's manual which referred me to contacting Service. Service couldn't "duplicate" or "find a problem." Check.
  • I am a little concerned long-term about DI engines and buildup, but every manufacturer is doing this now so we'll see what happens.
  • I am also a little concerned about long-term CVT/CVT Fluid issues. My 2011 had a torque converter failure and had an extended CVT-related warranty, and from what I understand these transmissions are fundamentally the same as the 2011 model and have no fluid change interval.
  • Brakes appear to be wearing significantly faster in the rear. This could be due to technician error in measurement, but I am apparently using 2 mm pad per 6000 mile service interval, which means they'd need replacement before 3y/36k is up. (Covered under warranty, but still, my last 2 Subarus didn't need brakes until 4-5 years and the commute and driving style is largely the same.)
  • Disappointed that the 2020's got "Auto Lane Centering" and there's no way to add or activate it for my 2019. That means I'd have to drop another 30k on a Forester for this feature when my lease is up.
Things that still bother me or bother me more/less than I thought they would:
  • I don't mind the "Konoji" C-Lights not being a part of the LED Headlights as much anymore.
  • Still frustrated about the lack of the Homelink button which would require me to spend $300 on the Homelink Auto Dimming Mirror.
  • No Footwell Lighting
  • No Fog Lights (and, no OEM LED option Fogs)
  • No Heated Steering Wheel option
  • Have to press "INFO" button on wheel any time I turn on Cruise Control since that brings up the EyeSight multifunction screen
  • Highway acceleration is a little lackluster. I know it's not a speedy car, but the Forester seems to struggle a bit during higher rev's when going from, say, 30 to 60 for example, or 40 to 70 for a highway passing maneuver. This is more pronounced with a car full of people from the added weight.
All in all, the Forester is an excellent car and I'm pleased with it. I think I am becoming more and more of a candidate for a PHEV or EV when this lease is up due to my short (20 mile round trip) commute, but the Crosstrek is smaller than my preference. I'm closely watching the Toyota RAV4 Prime launch this summer as well as the Tesla Model Y launch next month. Hopefully Subaru will have some other options as well - like the Forester e-Boxer that's offered in other global markets - because I can't buy what's not available.

I think if I had originally purchased or leased a "Limited" trim Forester, I would just be happy enough and buy that out at the end, but I do miss a few of those Limited+ trim options that I can't even option on this Premium. Lesson learned for the future, don't be too stingy. In the end I was trying to save a few thousand dollars by staying in the Premium trim group, and instead basically am locking in the lease payments as a loss longer-term. If they offer a PHEV version of the Forester in MY2022 when my lease is up, that would become my top choice for a long-term vehicle, as my biggest annoyances - if you want to even call them that as petty as they are - are simply city fuel economy as well as brake pad wear at this point.

Happy Subaruing,
 

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@Pilot1226 -
Thanks for your reports.
I'm trying to decide on whether or not to replace my Foz with another or go to a different brand.
As far as features, I found it interesting that you went from:
"Auto Stop Start is second nature to me now. In fact, I get upset when it doesn't activate!
It's saved me over 13 hours of idling fuel and nearly 7 gallons of fuel.
It's become smoother as time goes on."
To:
"I have been disabled AutoStartStop every time I get in the car."
Was it primarily discomfort:
"It is pretty rough and jolting which appears to be related to the design of the Boxer engine and not that Subaru did anything "wrong" with it.
Just the nature of the car."
Or the safety issue :
"I did have one situation where I was trying to "shoot the gap" turning left but the AutoStartStop activation jerked the wheel out of my hands..."
Maybe both...
Since you have a lease, I guess it isn't significant to you, but starting and stopping the engine to get the other benefits has an engine wear downside.
I'm thinking this could affect resale.
Anyway, from what I understand, this feature can be avoided as it doesn't have to be installed, and it just doesn't make sense to pay for an option you have to kill every time you get in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You're right, @DragonSubie7 there are probably other things at play beyond my short-term lease. But, since the 2019 was the first year with this, I would venture a guess that we just don't know the long-term effects of AutoStartStop on long-term engine longevity.

Now, most of the wear and tear on an engine occurs when it's cold, and in my personal experience, the car won't remain in AutoStartStop for more than maybe 90 seconds before it reactivates (remaining in "HOLD" if in ACC or AVH enabled, or keeping your foot on the brake.)

Since the engine is warm at this point, the wear effect should be close to negligible as the oil hasn't really dripped all the way down to the drain pan and is "cold" again. One of the parameters for AutoStartStop to activate is the engine oil temperature, probably for this reason with the temperature and resulting viscosity.

Regarding the shuddering, the result is when you're stationary and the system decides you need to restart the engine, there is a considerable jerk/shudder the way you'd feel if you were driving a stick shift and close to stalling because of your left foot finesse. I've now driven a few other family members' cars including an Acura ILX, Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Highlander and even another Subaru Crosstrek PHEV* (2020) and I didn't notice the shuddering. My opinion about the Crosstrek is probably because it's running in "EV" Mode at that point and the engine isn't turning over anyway at that point.

I agree the fuel economy savings is minimal but I do like the idea of a "drop of water in a large pond" approach - if everyone has this technology, it does make a difference in the long-term... if EVERYONE's car saved them around 14 gallons of fuel per year, that's a free tank of gas for the most part and more importantly, reduced emissions with zero impact or input required from the driver. It just needs to be done correctly.

Also just to clarify my 12 month statements, the disappointment with AutoStartStop is only happening when the system decides to turn on the engine while you are stationary, through AVH, manually holding the brake pedal, or in "HOLD" through ACC mode. If you are actively moving by tapping the gas pedal or hitting "RES" on your ACC controls, it is hardly noticeable, which is an important differentiation here.

Regarding the "shoot the gap" comment, this situation could have largely been avoided with me just being a little more patient behind the wheel. I typically drive very relaxed and in this situation I left late for an appointment and have nobody to blame but myself on this one. I don't necessarily blame the car for this one.

There's something called "creeping featurism" I learned about years ago which essentially was more towards smartphones but could apply here: you're getting the features whether you want to or not. I've never used X-Mode, but it's there. I never use half of the infotainment screens, but they're there. I never use half the things my car can do, but they're there and they're "included" in the price. It's cheaper for a manufacturer to include a feature for 100,000 cars instead of making, say, 75,000 with it and 25,000 with not so you don't have to change the factory lines and instructions.

Again, this is a great car! It's just not "perfect" yet - and no car will be. ;)

If you'd like to message me, I'm happy to talk about the pros and cons of Subaru versus any of the competition you're considering. You seem like you know your way around cars and tech, but sometimes it helps to just talk out your concerns or needs from a vehicle and get some relatively unbiased feedback and opinion going forward.
 

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@Pilot1226 -
Anyway, from what I understand, this feature can be avoided as it doesn't have to be installed, and it just doesn't make sense to pay for an option you have to kill every time you get in the car.
New Foresters come with this as standard equip. The only way to disable it, is to push a button, after you start the engine, each time you drive .

People have come up with wiring hacks to automatically push the button.
 

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@Pilot1226 -
Anyway, from what I understand, this feature can be avoided as it doesn't have to be installed, and it just doesn't make sense to pay for an option you have to kill every time you get in the car.
AS/S is not an option, but if it was would anybody pay for it?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Personally, no. I would pay to permanently disable it. That would be interesting.
 

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@Pilot1226 stated:

”But, since the 2019 was the first year with this, I would venture a guess that we just don't know the long-term effects of AutoStartStop on long-term engine longevity.”

2019 was the first year model with start/stop in the US, but it’s been in Subaru’s in other countries for several years now... I suspect Subaru has a fairly good idea of its long-term effects on engine/starter life at this point...
 

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@Pilot1226 Thanks for the very comprehensive reports! A lot to read, good stuff :)

I agree of the available power. Forester goes surprisingly well. Hybrid I am driving is rated 11.8 second from 0 to 60. In practise it feels much quicker. Maybe because of torque? But I have similar feelings than you. This is just enough and probably would not go for Turbo. Even if there was one available.
 

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@xtn - Yes, I'd also venture that the smaller 2.0 liter engine with the Atkinson cycle (which favors efficiency/fuel economy over power like the Otto cycle) would have less acceleration, but I would also suggest that the people buying the e-Boxer aren't necessarily looking for the fastest thing out there.

While I have no first-hand experience in an e-Boxer, I will say the 2.5 liter in the US version is quite capable until you get up to highway speeds. I generally don't need to apply more than 15-25% of throttle in any non-highway type of situation, there's just no point in accelerating at full speed into a red light or stop-and-go traffic.

Getting the fuel economy for Fuelly is difficult as I don't see the e-Boxer engine listed to filter out the non-hybrid data. Some UK websites suggest this number is around 40 mpg.

Again the biggest fuel-economy criticism for any non-electric car is the loss in efficiency at highway speeds where you're constantly accelerating and decelerating, and the electrics can recover some of this kinetic energy with regenerative braking to help. If there's truth to the 40 mpg number listed above for city driving, and somewhere around the mid 30's for highway driving, the Forester e-Boxer should prove to be quite the capable machine. I hope that at some point in the future this expands into a plug-in hybrid or even fully electric version as well.

And also, looking at the car today, I really do like the Forester. I wish that it had Auto Lane Centering which would make for much easier road trips. This was a good experience even though I would have been happier with the Limited or Touring trim options, and lesson learned for the future: now I know which features or conveniences really "mean something" to me going forward.

As someone that previously drove a Legacy and an Outback, I realize that I really just need a six car driveway/garage for my mood. There are times I would love to drive the Legacy again, and there are times where I needed the "extra length" the Outback cargo area provided, and there are times where "taller" objects fit easily in my Forester.

There are a few reasons I'd consider the Forester when my lease is up: Panoramic moonroof is beautiful, great electronics on the interior, good cargo space and good highway efficiency; there are a few reasons I'd go back to the Outback: The OB has more features compared to other models in the fleet, is a little more smoother but at the expense of being slightly less agile, and more of a traditional car-driving feel compared to the higher position of the Forester.

Both cars are excellent options. I just have to figure out if I want to go hybrid, electric, or not. If I don't go electric, I foresee myself wanting the extra power of the XT and would probably end up getting into an OB Touring XT; if there's a Forester hybrid or PHEV in the US market when my lease is up, I'd probably prioritize that, and failing both those two options or a reasonable price of the OB Touring XT, I'd probably just go for a Tesla Model Y which really isn't that far off from a fully loaded OB Touring XT at that point.

However, I have ruled out the RAV4 Prime/Hybrid going forward after watching some videos of them in the snow/ice. eAWD is simply just not that capable, but I think it could be the way it's programmed. The Tesla Model 3 videos I've seen in the snow/ice have been comparable or even better than Subaru - even in all seasons.
 

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@Pilot1226 Just a quick comment.
e-Boxer is not that efficient in the city driving. Consumption there is less than 30mpg. 40+mpg is possible to achieve in more optimal speeds. If you are interested, check my blog for consumption data. There is few posts related to this topic. Also long term consumption tracker, which is updated monthly. Though only January available as of now but more is to come.

Link to the blog: Adventure Forester
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for your post.
This is what I have over 53 fill ups which I do routinely on Fridays out of convenience and it gets me through the week:

529974
 

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535014


May 2020 Update; have been letting auto start activate. It seems smoother, but it could be observer error. I'm also using AVH when I'm driving so any vibration that comes through the brake pedal is not transferred to me. It's also warmer out, so maybe the engine is starting back up with less effort compared to the winter months...
 

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Personally, no. I would pay to permanently disable it. That would be interesting.

Me too ! But it starts and stops much better then my 2019 GLI did, that we gave to our son to drive to school.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So, for what it's worth and to bring this story to an end:

I have decided to purchase a 2021 Outback Onyx XT and return my lease (without penalty)... The cargo space/layout is more usable for our family adventures, among some other things that got to me.

It would have not been a financially smart decision to de-chrome the grille, upgrade the audio, add a hitch, amongst other things. I will absolutely miss the gorgeous sunroof and sport mode.

I did invest in an AutoStop Eliminator for the Forester which also works in the Outback and will be coming with me.

Best of luck to all going forward, this is a nice community!
 
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