Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at the new Forester Sport as I am nearing retirement. Would be used in the Phoenix desert areas along with Rim Country (Pine, Strawberry) and Greer (AKA Little Switzerland). I'm not into beating my car up over rough terrain but would be used on dirt Forest Service roads and outlying areas I like to fish. Anyone have experience on how a Subie handles AZ heat?
 

·
Registered
Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
Joined
·
2,908 Posts
I live in the Sonoran Desert near Tucson and often travel up to the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains. I put 197k trouble-free miles on my 2010 Forester before turning it over to another family member. Liked it so much I bought a 2018. I'm an avid hiker and am on dirt forest roads all the time both here in the desert and up in the high country. No problem in the triple-digit heat but you may want to get solar tint on those big windows.
 

·
Registered
2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
Joined
·
3,116 Posts
Might also want to get another set of wheels with appropriate tires too.
 

·
Registered
2016 Forester XT
Joined
·
19 Posts
Stock 2016 XT handles the desert just fine. Have only used XMODE in the trickiest of situations. You are going to have problems with clearance before issues getting stuck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do I need to be concerned with the CVT and all the talk about head gasket issues? I take care of my vehicles doing my own oil changes every 4,000 miles and new coolant every 2 yrs. A mechanic friend told me those 2 things will help you car last a long time. I'm assuming if you are running degraded coolant the car will operate above a normal temp which leads to many problems including the HG.
 

·
Registered
2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
Joined
·
963 Posts
Head gaskets haven't been an issue for years.

Previous model CVTs have a 10 yr/100,000 mile warranty - not sure about the 2019s, but relatively few CVTs fail before 100k anyway. The main issue is Subaru isn't supplying parts for them...yet...and a new/factory reconditioned one is about $8k. Perhaps consider having the fluid replaced every 50k miles, although I don't know of any verifiable evidence this actually helps.

If you're doing your own oil changes make 110% sure you know the difference between the oil and CVT fluid drain plugs. I understand they are now more clearly marked than in the past, but people are still draining CVTs by mistake. It makes for a very bad day.

On the coolant. I think every 2 years is excessive unless you're driving far more than the yearly average miles, but if it makes you happy. I'd definitely use OEM coolant.
 

·
Registered
2009 Forester
Joined
·
2 Posts
Desert

Hi, We have had 4 Fozies. Two 2009 and two 2018. One turbo in each year. We live in southern Arizona and travel through the desert all the time, idle in downtown Phoenix (horrible BTW) and have never had a problem. Cooling is fine and the AC keeps the insides at 72F. They pretty much can go anywhere in any weather.
 

·
Registered
2014 2.5i Limited CVT
Joined
·
3,182 Posts
While not the AZ desert, I'm a few hours west of you - in the Palm Springs area. I'd suggest changing out the stock tires for something with a bit more grip for "all terrain"... While the street tires are not bad, they're a bit weak for grip in sand/gravel/dirt.

If you want to spend bucks, you can go with a set of new rims and tires in different sizes - a lot of folks do that. I chose to stick with my stock wheels and tire size (225/60/17) and there are (at this point) 2 tires that fit - the Yoko Geolander something and the Continental TerrainContact. I went with the Continental - better mileage warranty and about 5 bucks less per tire.

Biggest complaint in my 2014 Foz in the desert? The AC system. But it's an issue I've had with other "from over there" vehicles. The AC systems just take a bit of time to cool down the interiors after sitting in the desert sun for a few hours.

But for those forest roads and other trails you may be riding on? The Foz is excellent. I take trips up to Big Bear and Calico/Yermo with a local group (Mtn Roo) on weekend trips and day rides and have a blast. When needed, I can turn on X-Mode and slip the gear selector into "L" and it's almost as capable as my old Dodge Raider (Mits Montero) was when I lived in Vegas - not much stopped me.

Mind you, the Foz may never be able to be a rock crawler, you can go pretty far up n down those trails and forest roads without much trouble.

Some will also suggest you get a lift kit - which may help. But for most cases, the stock 8.7-inch ground clearance is plenty.
 

·
Registered
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 Lineartronic CVT TR580
Joined
·
44 Posts
From what I have heard its best to air down the tires and keep X-mode and Traction Control OFF. Both system seek traction and might work against you in sand/mud/snow. <- This is how I see it happening. I got my Subie a week ago so I dont have any experience in sand.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top