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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I hear that the Forester drives more like a car than a SUV. I've never owned an SUV before and have had 4 cyl sedans my whole life. When someone says they like the Forester because it 'drives like a car' over an SUV, what exactly does that mean? Lower to the ground, handles better?

I hope the question isn't stupid.. but when you're buying a car you need to take in all feedback in the decision making process, correct? :shrug:

Thanks all,

LS
 

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2008 Forester AE
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SUV used to be big bulky things, like suburban/exploder/4runner and were based on a truck with more seating and room inside. this made them heavy with a high center of gravity. the newer ones are getting smaller and smaller but some still have the 'truck' feeling.

When stock the Forester is based on the impreza platform (<>SH:biggrin:), and lifted and extended to give it more room.. saying the forester handles like a car is a bit of a stretch; a taller, longer, higher car maybe. you're not going to mistake driving in it for a miata or anything. but for most enthusiasts it is at least aproaching it the right way..
 

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2015 Outback Limited
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1,542 Posts
I tend to think of it was a very capable wagon. Drives more like a car, but has the ground clearance and awd to get you where a regular sedan won't. I like the fact that no matter what road surface I am on, I can have fun. Unless it's rush hour. :(
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,100 Posts
My sister-inlaw has a 2000 Kia Sportage which is fairly similar in size to my 05 Forester, but they could not drive any more different. The Kia is built like a truck with a solid rear axle and body on Frame construction (like a pickup truck or large SUV). It rides rough and handles very poorly compared the Forester. The Forester has unibody construction (like a passenger car) and independent suspension on all 4 corners.

The Forester rides and handles more like a Camry or Accord, where as the Sportage brings back memories of renting a UHaul.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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+1. SUV rides like a truck because it is a truck. It is build on a truck chassis, it just has seats where the bed would be. The new-type smaller SUVs aren't real trucks (or SUVs to me), but the sitting position is higher and they are heavier than a passenger car, so they may feel bigger a and boatier -- maybe that's what you mean?

My '07 FXT never really felt like an SUV to me, although with the stock suspension it had alot more travel than a passenger car, so it felt different. It feels like a regular car now though. The '09 FXT I drove felt alot less like a passenger car than my '07 did when it was stock.

Only way to know is to drive them. Smaller, lower to the ground, handles better would all apply to a Forester vs. other small-ish SUV. Have fun.

Stan
 

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TANSTAAFL
2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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481 Posts
When someone says they like the Forester because it 'drives like a car' over an SUV, what exactly does that mean?
For me, it means I can take corners smoothly in my Forester at speeds that would have left my Expedition heeled over like a schooner in a force-10 gale.
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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If you're used to cars, you'll like the Forester. All the things that you find desirable in a truck based SUV without the endless list of negatives. Unless you're going to tow something decidedly heavy, you don't need a truck based SUV.

The Forester has great ground clearance and can go pretty much anywhere those 'real' SUVs can go. You'll find yourself laughing at the SUV commercials where they drive on gravel roads...any car can do that. A Foz can go through impressively deep snow or mud, provided it is shod with the proper tires for the task.

Some of us don't care for the high seating and tippy feeling you can get from even the Forester, so we will lower them to stock car ride height. Pretty easy to do with standard Subaru parts should the mood strike. They are plenty stable in stock form; you can always add an aftermarket sway bar if the handling isn't quite what you want. Coming from a race car background, I decided to lower ours to WRX height as it never really ventures off road. One of the many great things about Subarus...you can mold them to what you want with simple parts interchanges.
 

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2009 Forester X 4 A/T
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I tend to think of it was a very capable wagon. Drives more like a car, but has the ground clearance and awd to get you where a regular sedan won't. I like the fact that no matter what road surface I am on, I can have fun. Unless it's rush hour. :(
Well said.

My previous SUV, a Honda Element EX AWD also handled quite car like until it was windy. A big box on wheels gets blown around. The Forester is much better in this area. The Element was also lacking ground clearance- less than six inches vs. eight plus for the Foz. Makes a huge difference when the going gets rough.
 

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For me I saw the difference when I test drove the Forester and the Equinox back to back. Within like 30 mins of each other. I'm coming from always driving cars, Pontiac 6000, Buick Century, Chevy Malibu. When I got in the Forester it was like ok this is sorta what I'm used to, not too much body roll, decent acceleration (no turbo) and I could see well out of it. When I went to the Equinox I felt like I was removed from the road in a big box that was moving along and I found it harder to see out of.
 

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The Forester manages to straddle that line well. It has capabilities one would find in a truck-based small ute (surpassing everything in its price range), and has excellent ground clearance, yet the engineers have used the boxer motor and other tricks to help keep the center of gravity reasonably low. I'd classify it as similar to a car in that it makes for a reasonable comfy cruiser, but the soft-road capable suspension gives it a bit of body roll that you'll normally find in a truck or very softly suspended car. I don't find that trait particularly bothersome unless really hustling it through the corners, and even then it's just part of the character. As others have said, the body roll is curable.

Shop around, and try to get in some real test drives instead of the "four right turns" most dealers want you to do.
 

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2004 2.5X
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For me, it means I can take corners smoothly in my Forester at speeds that would have left my Expedition heeled over like a schooner in a force-10 gale.
Well said!

As others mentioned, it has higher ground clearance and a bit higher center of gravity then a sedan. Having said that, it drives more like a car in the sense that you don't have to be concerned about it rolling when you have to take a sudden, quick, turn to avoid an obstacle.

I used to have an Impreza, it was about 5 years ago. Last year I got my current Forester. Well...I have taken every corner just as fast as I used to in my Impreza (It was an outback impreza wagon, so maybe that is closer to a forester then a wrx, but still). To me that was the "benchmark" for how a "car" drives as opposed to an SUV.

Point being: I can still do 60mph on a certain changing radius turn that has 25mph yellow warning signs all over it! :biggrin:
 

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2010 Forester 2.5x Tour
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Coming from owning two Jeep Cherokees ('92 and '99 2 door 4.0 litre 5 spd manuals), I can tell you that on tight corners at highway speeds, I had to take a line that allowed me to drift slightly toward the outside of my turn whereas with my '10 Forester I can take AND HOLD my line going into corners with slightly less body roll (my Jeeps' bodies sat pretty low for being Jeeps) AND I have VERY similar ground clearance at the lowest point. Oh, and getting 30% better fuel economy is a plus although I do find that the boxer engine likes to be revved up higher to produce adequate hill holding power compared to the 4.0 inline 6.
 

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2007 Forester
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I'm new to Foresters, and traded my' 98 CR-v in for it. The Forster (2007 L. L. Bean with 40k) is even better than the CR-V. The quality, fit, finish, handling, off-road capability (nothing extreme so far), are amazing. The price was fantastic. I was going to buy another, newer, CRV but it would have cost me about $2,000 more for the same year and mileage. No brainer.

I checked with Consumer Reports and did a lot of research online. Forester is a winner in every catagory I was interested in.

Safety? Forget about it. It's as safe as the best cars on the road. Handling? This thing can corner like a rat in a snake hole. And I've owned sports cars and more recently a BMW 318ti. The low-profile boxer engine keeps the center of gravity much lower than a V-6/8. It's flat like a VW Beetle engine. No pesty transfer cases, either, and all-time AWD gives superior traction. It's a WonderCar to me.

If you test drive a Forester you will be impressed. And in the PNW it'll take you places other cars just can't.

Obviously you've done some research since you ended up on this forum. That's what I did, and I'm elated with my purchase.

And my wife loves it tons!

Good luck,
Rick
 

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2009 Impreza OutbackSport 4EAT
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SUV used to be big bulky things, like suburban/exploder/4runner and were based on a truck with more seating and room inside. this made them heavy with a high center of gravity. the newer ones are getting smaller and smaller but some still have the 'truck' feeling.

When stock the Forester is based on the impreza platform (<>SH:biggrin:), and lifted and extended to give it more room.. saying the forester handles like a car is a bit of a stretch; a taller, longer, higher car maybe. you're not going to mistake driving in it for a miata or anything. but for most enthusiasts it is at least aproaching it the right way..
Actually the interior room in the Forester is not necessarily stretched vs the Impreza. It is a taller vehicle, but the leg room inside, and hip/shoulder room is the same as the Impreza.

After looking seriously at the 09 Forester, I then considered the Outback Sport (a higher prepped Impreza hatchback) and ended up buying one. I prefer the carlike handling over the taller, more prone to tipping over feeling Forester (I realize the VDC will prevent it from tipping over in most situations). I liked the Forester but decided the smaller Outback Sport was more of my liking. And it has a lot of room in the back with the seats down as well.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x
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The Foz drives like a car in that my wife, who for years has driven 4cyl sedans, can hop in the Forester and drive wherever she needs to go w/out any struggle at all. Also she enjoys the high drivers seating. Kind of gives her a break from the Corolla. She doesn't like driving in snow, and she won't venture off the asphalt, so she's not going to push the Forester into its SUV persona.
Steve
09 2.5X AT
 

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2004 2.5X
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Today I took some decreasing radius turns with my foz as fast as I could....

I drifted sideways at some points, but all while having full control of the car. Just a touch of the throttle to control over/understeer and that thing flew through the corners!

Make the front end dive in until the apex, then floor it and induce some understeer. Slightly let go of the throttle just to correct your line as you try to not make the car go too wide and as soon as it's pointed towards the exit of the turn, floor it and shift up to the next gear. Beautiful!
 
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