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My wife and I think we have settled on the Forester XT over several other vehicles. We think it's the right car for the right price.

But maybe you owners can set my mind at ease about a few things. The reviews are very good overall but I keep seeing two things that I'm concerned about: the passenger seat and rattles.

Do 09/10 owners really notice the height of the passenger seat? Some reviews make this seem awful - and I don't recall noticing it on our test drive.

Also, I see MANY complaints about rattles. Is this something that truly drives you crazy like reviewers suggest? Rattles in cars really do bug me - alot - and I'd hate to get into a rattle battle with a dealer.

Just looking for some peace of mind before we go sign the paperwork!

Thanks!
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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Do 09/10 owners really notice the height of the passenger seat? Some reviews make this seem awful - and I don't recall noticing it on our test drive.
Shorter people will notice it more than taller folks. I'm 6-ft. even on a good day :wink: , and I did not notice this, at all, during our test drives. My wife, who is 5'4", remarked on this almost immediately.

This is somewhat further exacerbated by the windshield curvature right at the base, which creates an optical distortion of the roadway. Luckily, on the XT variants, the hood-scoop/bulge blocks the roadway from view in that area.

Also, I see MANY complaints about rattles. Is this something that truly drives you crazy like reviewers suggest? Rattles in cars really do bug me - alot - and I'd hate to get into a rattle battle with a dealer.
Yes, it does rattle a bit - and this is not helped by the fact that this vehicle is of the "wagon/SUV" configuration, which only serves to magnify such concerns.

I'm used to louder vehicles, and my wife comes from a history of compact/sub-compact econoboxes (yes, she's had an Acura Integra before, and yes, she got out of the WRX and in to the FXT, but the WRX is just an econobox on steroids!), so neither of us are really bothered much by this.

Depending on your frame-of-reference, it might be an issue for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Shorter people will notice it more than taller folks. I'm 6-ft. even on a good day :wink: , and I did not notice this, at all, during our test drives. My wife, who is 5'4", remarked on this almost immediately.

This is somewhat further exacerbated by the windshield curvature right at the base, which creates an optical distortion of the roadway. Luckily, on the XT variants, the hood-scoop/bulge blocks the roadway from view in that area.



Yes, it does rattle a bit - and this is not helped by the fact that this vehicle is of the "wagon/SUV" configuration, which only serves to magnify such concerns.

I'm used to louder vehicles, and my wife comes from a history of compact/sub-compact econoboxes (yes, she's had an Acura Integra before, and yes, she got out of the WRX and in to the FXT, but the WRX is just an econobox on steroids!), so neither of us are really bothered much by this.

Depending on your frame-of-reference, it might be an issue for you.
Thanks - I appreciate the objective comments.

I think what we need to do is drive the car for an extended time. The dealer has offered this. Maybe use it for half a day on the weekend and see if the seat and noise is bothersome.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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Its just a little nit pickin with some people.. My 09 has been rattle free and I've had no complaints about the passenger seat height either.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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Its just a little nit pickin with some people.. My 09 has been rattle free.
I agree. I do occasionally hear some minor noise from the back but I think it is coming from the cargo cover when it is not in use and it is minor. When the radio/cd/ipod/SAT is on, even at low volume.....say 10-12 I do not hear anything but music. I have owned several high end lux autos......last was a Lincoln V8 LS, which I loved, but I needed some cargo area as I bike and got tired of taking off the front wheel to put the ride in the ride. I won't use a bike rack or roof mount.......my bike is way too expensive to risk, even though I know they work well. Do you think I love my bike? The Mrs. does. Until the next one.

Regarding the pass seat. I noticed it immediately on the test drive. I questioned the salesman as to why the Limited version did not have dual power seats, all of my other vehicles did...BMW, MB. But alas it does not. There is an in-depth thread discussion here about swapping out a Euro, right hand drive seat to the US pass position. Since I was not going to do that and I hardly ever ride in the passenger seat of the FOZ I asked the wife if it mattered to her. At 5'1" it was not an issue and she loves the Fozzie too. So I would say, decide who will be sitting there, you, your wife or both and see if it really matters that much to either of you. For the occasional times when she drives, yes I allow that, I don't mind it much, but would rather have the power height adjustment......oh well. You sometimes have to give a little to get a lot. JMO. I am amazed how much I still love this vehicle. It really rides great and has plenty of get-up-and-go................anywhere. Symetrical AWD, it's what makes a Subaru a Subaru......recently changed to LOVE.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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I never understood the rattling thing. I really think it is extreme nitpicking, or people coming from higher level cars into the Forester. If you want a quieter SUV from Subaru, that's what the Outback is for.

As far as the low passenger seat, it's really not that the seat is low, it's more that the beltline on modern cars is so high compared to older cars, which makes the passengers seem to sit lower in the car. You can mostly thank pedestrian crash standards of new cars, and aerodynamics. I find that only my clients who are coming from older Subarus tend to notice this, as the older Subarus were known for having a tall greenhouse and low beltline. People coming from other cars tend to not say anything about the beltline on the new Subarus.
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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Regarding the pass seat. I noticed it immediately on the test drive. I questioned the salesman as to why the Limited version did not have dual power seats, all of my other vehicles did...BMW, MB. But alas it does not.
Well, the Forester is based on an economy compact car, even with leather and stuff, it's not on the same level as like a BMW or MB. It's in a totally different price class, and again, the power passenger seat option is one of the little things that adds up to justify the difference in price between the Forester and the Outback.

Although, in the Subarus (and in any other car I've ever been in), power passenger seat doesn't even go up and down, as you might be aware of already.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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Well, the Forester is based on an economy compact car, even with leather and stuff, it's not on the same level as like a BMW or MB. It's in a totally different price class, and again, the power passenger seat option is one of the little things that adds up to justify the difference in price between the Forester and the Outback.

Although, in the Subarus (and in any other car I've ever been in), power passenger seat doesn't even go up and down, as you might be aware of already.
These things I know and realize. My point was that in the limited trim this is an item that should be included........Limited. It is in the Outback and the Tribeca, not sure about the Imprezza but I would bet on the Legacy having it too. It just seems like the FOZ got short changed. Even if it wasn't included I would have paid for it.

Not sure which vehicles you have owned but all of my past vehicles that had a power passenger seats had a height adjustment.
 

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2009 Forester XT Ltd
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The passenger seat thing doesn't bother me, because I keep the driver's seat all the way down and back, so the passenger is no lower than I am.

I had significant rattles in the doors, but the dealer fixed them at the first oil change, with no issues since. FWIW, the rattles really are BS - I've owned everything from a Ford Fiesta to an Acura MDX, and this was the first car I've owned, new or used, that had this issue to this extent. This includes two vehicles (Mazda B2000, Jeep Grand Wagoneer) with over 200k miles on them by the time I sold them.

That said, the rattles are gone, and I'm very happy with my purchase. I drove a lot of SUVs before I made my decision, from the RAV4 to the Touareg, and I'm glad I bought my XT.
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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Thanks - I appreciate the objective comments.

I think what we need to do is drive the car for an extended time. The dealer has offered this. Maybe use it for half a day on the weekend and see if the seat and noise is bothersome.
^ I think this would be the best way to go about it - it won't eliminate unique-vehicle variances, but it should at least give you an idea of what to expect.

FWIW, I'm not complaining about the rattles/buzzes just to make a complaint. I'm a devoted Subaru lover. Quite frankly, unless Subaru's future products completely falls out of relevance with our purchase needs, we'll likely continue to be a Subaru family, until we're in the ground and rotting. Heck, our '09 FXT recently required a new longblock, from a failure that's suspected to be a part of the "'08 Stop-Sale" debacle...yet I remain devoted, steadfastly, to Subaru. Do I love our Subarus? Without a doubt. But as a career academic scientist, I also find it easier to dissociate my personal infatuation with our Winky (my LGT, the car that my infant daughter was brought home in - as a "car guy," this is a tremendously emotional one for me) and our Rocky (Sara's FXT, as-named by my then 3-year-old daughter, on the day we brought the vehicle home with us :smile:), to discuss their shortcomings.

The rattles are definitely there. My daily-daily driver is an '05 Legacy 2.5GT (with a 6/04 DOB, and yes, I've had her for nearly all that time [she was a dealer demo]), and we also come from an '05 WRX, which we've had, new-off-the-lot. Neither of those two vehicles were nearly as buzzy as the FXT, even after the 4-year mark (the point at which my wife's WRX went off-lease, which is why we got the FXT for her), and this is not something that I'm just now aware of simply because various reviews have said so - but is instead something both the wife and I remarked upon, from nearly our first days with this vehicle.

The '09 FXT just seems to either rattle more, or its huge interior volume just seem to pass along such resonance a bit more.

Does it bother me/us?

Not really. I come from a long line of louder cars - I've been a DSMer since my high-school days. My first real car was a '92 Eclipse GS DOHC - new off the lot - a gift from my parents to a very spoiled 16-year-old. I still have a moderately modified '95 TSi in storage...and dare I say it, the FXT feels/sounds as rattly as that aged car.

But does it bother me? Not the least bit.

Even though her FXT is "stock" and unmodified, I'm a wind-in-the-hair kind of guy, and I usually have all the windows cranked down, and that gorgeous bit of open-air moonroof all the way open towards the rear. :rock: I don't use the radio much, but the wind and road noise pretty much kills the rattles. :icon_razz:

My wifey?

Like Hot09XT, she favors listening to radio programs when driving. Even at moderately low volumes - our toddler is currently in the stage where, as with many toddler girls, they are somewhat sensitive to louder noises, so she asks us to keep the volume down - it conceals all but the worst of the reverbs. Pair that with her frame-of-reference (as cited above), and it's easy to see why she hasn't complained, either.

We've recently logged quite some miles on the FXT, and even though these events were both longer highway jaunts, we never felt, at all, overwhelmed by NVH. I'd actually say that with the exception of wind buffeting - which is something that I'm not used to, yet, given the profiles of the vehicles we've owned, up-to-date, of which the '09 FXT is the sole exception - the FXT has been an exemplary long-distance road-trip companion.

I really feel that this concern - NVH - truly depends on your unique frame-of-reference, and what you would consider as acceptable versus not.

Is it there?

Definitely.

But will you notice it?

That's a question that only the end-owner can say.

As a car-guy, my core belief is that no car is "perfect."

However, the FXT was - and remains - perfect for *our* unique needs, *our* unique wants. :smile:
 

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Yea, more rattles in the cold temps than in the warm temps. Most of the rattles come from a few spots. Mine originated from the baffles in the front doors (fixed) and from the vents below the c-pillar in the cargo area (also fixed). My sunroof is sound free. Anyways, when I turn up the music, you can't hear any rattles.

Didn't notice any problems with the passenger seat. It would be nice if it was powered, but still, it's fine. My wife who is 5'5" doesn't complain and when I sit there it feels normal.

Hope that helped.
 

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We have a 2010 Premium X and as I was running some wires and coax for antennas and radio stuff, I did notice that some of the trim around the pillars is looser than on my past Hondas. I was wondering if this might be due to the mass of airbags in the cars. That could certainly contribute to some rattling and buzzing especially when it contracts from cold.
 

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I have two of the 09 Subie XT's. I do not care for the front seats overall. They are not a quality seat as compared to other makes, and for that matter, as compared to the car itself which is a remarkable machine.

Rattles yes! But not so bad that you will end up in a white coat singing Barry Manilow songs. The rear seats recline and the locking of those seats (latch) gives a bit which I have noticed causes noise. Have not taken it to the dealer as a simple piece of foam corrected it.

Subaru in future models MUST upgrade the interior of the Forester to equal the rest of the car and other makes. I have seen great imporvements in the new Outback. Don't let the rattles that can be addressed stop your purchase. Put it into the contract with the dealer that is in addition to the warranty.
 

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My wife or son who usually occupy the passenger seat don't complain about the height. Or about anything, really. The rattles that I had were all from my stuff in the glovebox, sunglasses compartment, or something in the back. There is a vibration in the front doors now when it's cold in the car that disappears after it gets warm inside.
 
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