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06 2.5XT Manual
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Sorry to probably be another one of those guys, but I'm sort of fishing for info really.

I test drove a Forester at a garage the other day and really enjoyed it, but it was above price range at the moment, so it was more for scoping them out than anything else.

I'm interested in becoming a Forester owner, but I don't really know if there are any typical gremlins I should be looking out for? or better or worse models? Auto manual? I know about a few other cars and some typical problems, Fords struggle with DMF's etc, Auto BMW X5's have "gearboxs' for life" that have a tendency to die at 90k miles (or at least you've got an "any minute now" from then on) etc etc, but no idea on Foresters.. I'm also struggling to find many Foresters for sale in the UK, of course there are a few, but most other makes seem to have pages and pages, but not too many Foresters, is that because people keep hold of them? or do they vaporise after a certain amount of time? :grin2:

Found a manual 2.5XT 55reg for £3.5k, it has got 110k miles on the clock... not sure if that's decent or no..

I'm just keen to get some knowledge really, at the moment I'm totally blind.

Thanks guys - hope to join up for real in the future :)
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Kevin, thanks for the welcome.

It's quite strange to search gumtree/autotrader etc here in the UK and find 'not that many' for sale. I put parameters of make/model, any distance and £5500 (no other parameters) and there are only 52 for sale....

Change that for BMW, Ford, or even another Japanese car Nissan and you'd be lucky to be constrained to 520! Do you have an Auto or a manual?
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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2,330 Posts
Welcome to the forum from another UK member.

Once people get a Turbo forester, they generally keep them as it's pretty tough to find a suitable replacement....... Forester STIs are even worse, just ask Stiggy (A member who keeps promising to sell for the last 3 years)

There are a few "problems" with the 2.5 turbo engine but nothing that will leave you stranded at the side of the road (When was the last time you saw a Forester broken down on the side of the road? ;) )
The rear suspension is Self Levelling with mechanisms inside the shock. They can sag with age and genuine replancements are very expensive. So it is very common to replace the rear shocks and springs with non self levelling type for around £300 from memory in parts and you're good for life.

The driver's side window motors can seize up from rust..... Throw another motor in or unseize your original and you're good.

The 2.5 litre engine can blow head gaskets - This seems to happen from 100K miles onwards. Once you've done that repair, you're usually good for a while then. The engine can generally be driven as long as you monitor and top up the oil and coolant.

The radiator can crack between the plastiic and aluminum welds. This seems to happen around 100K miles or 10 years. Once replaced, again you're good - If you don't and the engine overheats, you'll be looking at potential head gasket problems

Nothing else really springs to mind off the top of my head - My sunroof motor mechanism isn't 100% so the glass doesn't retract properly but to fix involves removing the headlining and it just doesn't bother me enough yet.

Subaru mpg prices were very honest and the 25mpg combined quoted is pretty realistic - Mine is averaging 26.2mpg over the very many years I've had her for.

I personally change my timing belts out at around 50K miles ish and life is good. Changing the sparkplugs is not a simple job like most 4 cylinder engines.

Edit - There is a ton of aftermarket support for parts, so you're not stuck going to the Subaru dealer. Lots of parts are common with the Impreza and since those tend to find ditches and trees more than Foresters, there's lots of parts available from breakers around.

Have you tried running an insurance quote on a 2.5XT yet ? They are generally very fairly priced compared to the Impreza turbo. I don't think I've paid more than 400 since ever owning the car, including modifications.
 

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2006 Forester XTE 5 speed manual
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284 Posts
Auto as it's better for offroading.
+1 for that...(and that applies to just about any 4x4).

However, if you are using a Forester XT on the roads in the UK, the manual is far superior to the auto and significantly quicker.

Have a look on autotrader - there was a pretty nice looking one owner XT manual with low miles for around £4k. Southampton I think.
 

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2006 Forester XTE 5 speed manual
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284 Posts
Hey Kevin,

Not sure where in the forum this thread is, but I only tripped over it by chance. If it’s not in the Europe section, it might help Ian get some more replies if it moved there (??).

Just a thought...
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi everyone, thanks for the info, really helpful stuff, gotta say if we go down the forester route this will definitely be a great place to peruse.

As for insurance I did a cheeky quick compare the market very loosely and it came.out with approx £315, obviously I didn't include a pending claim against me which is supposedly going to be rejected due to insurance fraud (not sure if I have to mention that in the future!!)

I tend to insure with Adrian Flux more often than not.. I don't drive anything particularly modded (vivaro van and a Ford focus lol), but they have always been competitive.
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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Discussion Starter #9
So it seems like they're a pretty good gem to get hold of. Autotrader owner reviews seem pretty good as well. I'd probably prefer an auto (or at least i know the wife would!). I know a manual would be quicker, but I've owned manuals for my driving life, so might be nice to have a break..
 

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2006 Forester XTE 5 speed manual
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284 Posts
So it seems like they're a pretty good gem to get hold of. Autotrader owner reviews seem pretty good as well. I'd probably prefer an auto (or at least i know the wife would!). I know a manual would be quicker, but I've owned manuals for my driving life, so might be nice to have a break..
That’s good, from a few perspectives:
The XT manual on autotrader appears to be gone already (not surprised at that price)
There are a lot more autos than manuals available.
Autos are slower sellers, so you can take your time going to look.

Just one other thing worth mentioning - if you are bothered about how much vehicle tax you pay, best to avoid XTs registered after 23rd March 2006. The rate for those is £540. Prior years are around £315.

Happy hunting.
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That’s good, from a few perspectives:
The XT manual on autotrader appears to be gone already (not surprised at that price)
There are a lot more autos than manuals available.
Autos are slower sellers, so you can take your time going to look.

Just one other thing worth mentioning - if you are bothered about how much vehicle tax you pay, best to avoid XTs registered after 23rd March 2006. The rate for those is £540. Prior years are around £315.

Happy hunting.
Thanks again for your info/help.

I quite like the post 2006 models if I'm honest, and obviously not having to pay £540 a year would be a lovely bonus! So will definitely hunt for an earlier model.

Tax will be more than I pay at the moment, but it's a diesel and I'm just not getting the use out of it to benefit the pros of having a diesel
 

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2006 Forester XTE 5 speed manual
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284 Posts
If you want a post 2006 [facelift] model, it is possible. There is a very narrow window though - some were sold in late 2005 (mine is November) so there is roughly a 4 month window until March 23. The extra grunt if the later model may suit the auto better.
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Sorry, I meant pre (I even double thought to make sure I was writing the correct blooming word). Haha

I think the 2.5 I mentioned above is actually an early 2006 model so still in the lower tax bracket, but I prob do prefer the PRE 06 models... doh
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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2,330 Posts
The Facelift Forester (MY06+) has different and arguably more complicated emissions equipment compared to a Pre-Facelift (-MY05)

Pre Facelift has 3 catalytic convertors. The one between the exhaust manifold and the turbo can be deleted and a "de-cat Up Pipe" pipe fitted in place with no need to remap the car. People generally delete this one as if the cat material breaks up, it's going straight to your turbo and then your engine's intake - not good. I fitted a De-Cat Up pipe with no remap and no ill effect - The turbo spools up very slightly faster but not hugely noticable, it is more preventative maintenance than anything

The Facelift doesn't have a catted up pipe, instead if has a Secondary Air Injection system which, if you have problems with and need to remove, generally does require a remap so you don't have any engine warning lights showing.

Remapping isn't a big deal generally but I have no idea how it works in regards to automatics as they have a second transmission ecu too.....
 

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Premium Member
2004 forester sti
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1,878 Posts
Have you tried running an insurance quote on a 2.5XT yet ? They are generally very fairly priced compared to the Impreza turbo. I don't think I've paid more than 400 since ever owning the car, including modifications.
insurance pahaaa I pay much more !
 

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2005 Forester STI Manual
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140 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

Pretty much everything to say has been covered above. The same rules of thumb apply to Foresters as almost all other models; apart from the standard used car checks:-

Ensure that maintenance has been carried out and is documented in the service history. Look after them, and they'll look after you, and all that.
Take it for a test drive to make double sure. Usually Subarus are quite vocal in their faults and you'll be able to tell whilst driving that something isn't right.
Do not allow the seller to pre-warm up the engine before you arrive to view it.
Blue tinted smoke from the exhaust is a sign of turbo issues, either present or imminent. Whitish/clear smoke that dispels after a minute or so is fine.

If you're really unsure or unfamiliar with Subarus, perhaps let us know what part of Blighty you're from; a member local to you would possibly be kind enough to go with you to a viewing, or show you round their own car so you can learn what to look out for.

Before that, have a look around the technical area of the forum - I've learnt a lot about Foresters that way, and I haven't taken delivery of mine yet.

L
 

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06 2.5XT Manual
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Welcome to the forum.
Hey there,

Thanks for the additional info!

Are you getting a new forester? It's mad how few older ones there are for sale.. there are a few awesome looking JDM(?) ones for sale in Wales, but they're above my price range at the moment, they're about £7k, but generally I've found so few... even when I crank the search budget up to £9.5k just for a look at anything that's near by there seems to be few. Some brand newish ones around the closer to 20k mark...

I guess one will just pop up one day... worrying thing is everyone else is probably waiting for it too hahaha.
 

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2006 STI
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6,945 Posts
Once people get a Turbo forester, they generally keep them as it's pretty tough to find a suitable replacement....... Forester STIs are even worse, just ask Stiggy (A member who keeps promising to sell for the last 3 years)
True.

Celebrated eight years of ownership yesterday.

You're being generous with the three years... I think I've been planning to sell for much longer! :lol:
 
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