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My wife is looking at the Subaru Forester Limited with the 8" screen upgrade and popular package to replace her 2007 Toyota Highlander, and today we took one out for a test drive. We had the car for about 90 mins and I noticed a few things.
  • I thought the steering was pretty numb, and the car wandered a lot on the freeway- just didn't feel tight and not a lot of road feel, not even compared to my Honda Odyssey with 150K on it. Also, I could feel intermittent " pulses" thru the steering wheel, as if the electric steering was adjusting. Wife thought it felt fine.
  • This was a brand new car off the truck and we were the first to drive it, and there were a number loose plastic trim pieces, most notably the cover over the front seat rails were rolling around in the back footwell.
  • Disappointed that the second highest trim level still has a manual passenger seat. For that $$, I would expect a power seat for both front passengers. Also, the passenger seat cushion felt ever so slanted forward and I found myself bracing my feet more firmly against the floor. Anyone notice this??
  • We considered the Touring , but both of us hated the chrome trim and the "satin" mirrors. Just fluff that we dont need. Also it seems to have more chrome accents on the dash which just cause more reflections.
My wife really wants one, and Im ok with it knowing I won't be the primary driver. Anyone else notice the vague steering?? Thats my biggest gripe.
Thanks!
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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My wife has the same steering complaint with her new 2019 Crosstrek, and I've noticed it too. Perhaps the pulses you are feeling is Eyesight performing lane keep assist.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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Welcome, @[U]Kernelpanic ![/U]

I don't think the steering is that great in my wire's 2015, but when it really seemed vague, it was because the dealer had overinflated the tires. Seemed like the vehicle was floating, and it was very noticeable.

Mike
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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933 Posts
I thought the steering was pretty numb, and the car wandered a lot on the freeway

....This was a brand new car off the truck and we were the first to drive it
The second sentence may explain the first. Subaru ships their cars with very high tyre pressures, typically around 45 psi. If they forgot to reduce them during the prep, which seems to happen a lot going by posts here, then it would account for the wandering. Maybe test drive it again after checking the pressures. They should be around 33 psi.

I second ForesterBill on the lane keeping assist maybe being responsible for the steering pulses. It is a work in progress.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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My 18 Forester and 19 Crosstrek are rock Solid. I dint have eyesight. Could be over inflated pressure. If you don't need the best AND system....look at something else
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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191 Posts
I'm fairly confident the pulses for the steering you're experiencing is the Lane Keep Assist function. I feel like with my driving style, it can feel like you're fighting sometimes. Luckily you can turn it off and it will stay off. It will still warn you with a visual/audio chime when you're drifting which is nice.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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Could be tire pressure - could also be the stock tires. I had a new Kia a few years back that felt like the steering wheel was connected via rubber bands.. In windy conditions - Downright scary.
Replaced the tires and got an amazing difference in handling.
My 2012 Foz came with crappy Firestones that were not all that great either.
Discount tire gave me a good deal on trade in value, and it made a big difference upgrading.
Any car will be limited by the capability of where the rubber meets the road. It could just be the rubber.
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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2 Posts
Welcome, @[U]Kernelpanic ![/U]

I don't think the steering is that great in my wire's 2015, but when it really seemed vague, it was because the dealer had overinflated the tires. Seemed like the vehicle was floating, and it was very noticeable.

Mike
My 2014 Forester felt like it floated when I brought it home on the freeway. Yes, the Dealer had not reduced the shipping high tire pressure but it was more than that. On my 2004 Forester the Ford dealer said that Subaru set alignment at "straight ahead"--no toe in and no toe out. He set it with a little Toe in and my 2004 ran like it should. I checked and it was the same for the 2014. I had the alignment set within Sub specs with a little toe in and it solved the float problem. I have made several trips from Florida to British Columbia (and the Kansas speed limit is 80) and it tracks like it should. I am still on my first tires at 60,000 without any unusual wear. In addition to getting tire pressure right, if your Subaru does not track well check the alignment.
 

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For a minute, I thought I wrote the original post :) We also hated the touring exterior, so we bought the 2019 limited and we do miss the memory seats. The car does not wander, the steering wheel does not pulse (and if it's the lane keep, you can easily turn that off)....I drive a Porsche, my wife drives the Subaru (she's just under 5' and it's one of the very few cars she can comfortably drive). Occasionally, I'll drive the Subaru and have never even noticed a difference in steering....every car is a little different. My only dislike is the CV transmission...step on the gas and the engine speeds up but the car doesn't react quickly....it's certainly not a Porsche.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Thankfully, it’s not priced like a Porsche, either!
 
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