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2018 Forester Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! My name is Gail and I split my time between NYC and the Catskills. I just traded in my 2007 Honda CR-V and bought a certified used 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium, but ... well, I don’t handle change well. I would like to say I’m thrilled but I’m not.

Even though the ride is smooth and the cabin quiet - two thing important to me - I am having a hard time adjusting to the seat and gas pedal. I guess it will take some time.

I am also very disappointed in StarLink and its integration with an iPhone. I’m already looking into a swapping out with a JVC KW-7660 with Apple Car Play. My question is this: if I trade in the Subaru in the next year or two will it be advantageous to have the original StarLink system or the upgrade to JVC and Apple Car Play?
 

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2001 Forester
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2,176 Posts
I can't speak to the Starlink feature at all. But I would swap the head unit out for anything that supports Apple Car Play or Android Auto.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,218 Posts
As for the trade in value, there may not be much difference in value between the stock unit and the aftermarket. Dealers often don't care much about what is in that space, just as long as it works. It could matter more with a private party sale, as the increased value of the additional features are a bonus.

Starlink only becomes important if you use the features of the app. I don't have Starlink, but I know that there are features that are a part of the app. So you may lose some of those features. You still have access to the MySubaru app and website but with Starlink, doesn't it have thinks like remote unlock/lock and such?

Remember that you also have the tilt and telescoping steering column - so you can adjust for the up and down and also move the wheel in our out to better find a fit for you. Does the premium also include the power driver seat?

What is the main complaint about the seating? And what's wrong with the gas pedal? or is that a part of the seating issue?
 

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2018 Forester Premium
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Excellent point about dealer vs private sale. I’m sure that is true.

As for the seat, I’m just not comfortable. I’ve adjusted everything. Mind you after decades of manual seat adjustment, a power seat is a learning curve. I may have yet to find what works for me in the infinite positions possible, but also the seat is hard. (Which I know had been discussed on many threads here in the past.) I had a quick overnight trip to the Adirondacks and my first night home, having driven almost 7 hours in a 24 hour period, I awoke with coccyx pain in the middle of the night. That never happened in the CRV.

I bought a gel pad at an auto store so maybe that will help, but I deeply resent having to buy it all.
 

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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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1,182 Posts
You had 13 years to mold that Honda seat to your anatomy. Give the Subaru a little time. But seats are different, bodies are different, and no match is guaranteed.

I would replace the head unit if you are keeping the car. Replace the speakers too, if you are a music lover. Be sure to use an installer with explicit Subaru experience, and expect to spend north of $1200 to replace the whole system, but it will leave you with a whole new car.

But not if you expect to sell soon. You will get none of your money back.
 

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2017 Forester Touring CVT
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1,300 Posts
I dont buy used but if I was Id prefer it in OEM form or “unmolested” as I like to advertise my motorcycles when I sell them.
But thats me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Excellent point about dealer vs private sale. I’m sure that is true.

As for the seat, I’m just not comfortable. I’ve adjusted everything. Mind you after decades of manual seat adjustment, a power seat is a learning curve. I may have yet to find what works for me in the infinite positions possible, but also the seat is hard. (Which I know had been discussed on many threads here in the past.) I had a quick overnight trip to the Adirondacks and my first night home, having driven almost 7 hours in a 24 hour period, I awoke with coccyx pain in the middle of the night. That never happened in the CRV.

I bought a gel pad at an auto store so maybe that will help, but I deeply resent having to buy it all.
Speaking as a woman who has had an over 40 year "affair" with Hondas, most recent being also an '07 CR-V, I thought I'd chime in with my experience. I'm only 5'3" & have a hard time finding a comfortable seating position in most other cars, but Hondas have always "fit" me.

I thought I had the seat all set before I left the lot & it was fine on the 30 mile drive home. But the next time I drove my '20 Forester Limited (leather seat), it just wasn't quite right. Steering wheel position was great, but I felt like the seat was tipping me back & I had to stretch to reach the pedals. It took me a few days of driving, to figure out that the problem was with the tilt of the seat bottom. All it took was a very tiny tweak of the "tilt" button, to change the angle of the seat very slightly & made all the difference in the world.

Sorry I can't help you with the Apple CarPlay / StarLink issue . . . I'm just happy that I can listen to Spotify & see what's playing on the StarLink screen & control it.

Now if I could only find a way to solve the lack of a rest for my right arm . . . 🤔

Norah
 

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OP; If you're already that "unhappy" w/your experience I would suggest that you bail on the subie now.
No point in being "that" unhappy.
Life is short.
If you think that you made a mistake you probably did.

I agree that the seats need some attention.
If I could've taken the seats out of my 1992 camry and put them in subie I would have too.

For the head unit, I'd replace it.
As ruru said I listen to spotify and it interfaces with my "android" perfectly.
 

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2018 Forester Premium
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
It took me a few days of driving, to figure out that the problem was with the tilt of the seat bottom. All it took was a very tiny tweak of the "tilt" button, to change the angle of the seat very slightly & made all the difference in the world.

Sorry I can't help you with the Apple CarPlay / StarLink issue . . . I'm just happy that I can listen to Spotify & see what's playing on the StarLink screen & control it.

Now if I could only find a way to solve the lack of a rest for my right arm . . . 🤔

Norah
Nora, you are my CAR SOUL MATE. The upward angle of the seat may indeed be the issue. At the end of my 3.5 hour ride I was literally crying in the car and saying out loud to no one “what have I done?!” But I finally adjusted the upward seat angle and it seemed to put less pressure on my coccyx, but that only happened in the last half hour. PLUS I think I was overdoing it with the lumbar support. And don’t get me started on the headrest! I had to switch the driver headrest with one from the back seat. In my CRV I always turned the headrest around because otherwise it pushed my head forward too much and I already have documented problems with my C5 And “forward head position.” Dear lord, I am still fighting the rising “what have I done” panic.

OH, and the lack of an arm rest! I really can’t believe it. Plus the gas pedal feels like it is at a weird angle. I am 5’ 1” so I am even shorter than you. My husband is not for me trading in so fast. We would lose at least 2K-3K.

I still can’t sync my contacts. All I want is to be able to make hands free phone calls without looking at my phone mounted on the dash and Spotify and Podcasts. Is that so much?
 

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2018 Forester Premium
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Discussion Starter #10
Finally!! I figured out how to do a factory reset of the whole system and my contacts finally synced! That only took a week. 🤷‍♀️
 

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2003 XS 4EAT
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I noticed the title of this post states "Just bought my second Forester after a long love affair with a CR-V". So I have to ask the question, "Did you have any problems with your first one?"

I have 2 different model Honda's and a Subaru. Yes, the Subaru seat is harder than the Honda seats. I actually wish my Honda seats were firmer like the Subaru's.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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And don’t get me started on the headrest! I had to switch the driver headrest with one from the back seat.
Why? Subarus have superior front seat headrests because you can adjust them backward and forward in addition to up and down. To adjust backward and forward pull the headrest all the way forward and then adjust the pitch to your liking.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am very small framed and the headrest pushes my head forward too much right at my C5. Head rests, or head restraints rather, are designed for the average American body shape and I’m afraid that’s not me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I gave it five weeks. I could never get comfortable in the Forester. I never drove anywhere - whether it was a three hour trek to the Adirondacks or the grocery store - where I wasn’t aware of the hard seat and my uncomfortableness in it. I was constantly fidgeting and adjusting and adjusting and fidgeting. In the end I traded it in for a 2017 Toyota RAV4. It fits me like a glove and by the second day I had achieved that state of being I could never reach with the Forester - where I simply AM and I’m not thinking about the car and how uncomfortable I am in it.

There was so much to love about the Forester. Smooth, quiet, powerful ... but the ergonomics never worked for me. Maybe some day that will change, but my month plus of ownership surely showed me that I am NOT the only person who hates the seats. Since I bought it used to begin with the loss when I traded it in was minimal - luckily my local Toyota dealer also owns a Subaru dealership - so it was the best I could hope for.

Thank you all for your input - it was all part of the decision making process.
 

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2018 Forester Limited
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My wife insisted on a high end power recliner couch that's beautiful to look at, but gives me terrible back ache every night. I pine daily for the old ugly manual recliner we used to have in the family room! Net, we are all built differently, and you've got to buy what works for you!

Just to tie this in: Hi from the Hudson Valley! With family ties to NYC and Massapequa, along with Monticello, Woodridge, Livingston Manor and surrounding towns. We lost our beloved 2013 Honda CR-V to a bad accident last month, and today became the new owners of a 2018 Forester Limited. Oh, and my eldest daughter moved to her own place 10 days ago, but for the last 1.5 years this has been the home of her 2018 Toyota RAV4 XLE. There's a lot to love (and occasionally dislike) in all three of these close competitors. Only YOU can determine which fits you (sometimes literally...) best.
 

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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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CR-V, RAV-4, Forester... more similarities than differences, in the big picture, and no question personal comfort matters more than any of those differences. Or that you gave all three cars a fair chance. I could never fault anyone for choosing a Toyota; we’ve owned a couple ourselves.

Good luck!
 

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2020 Forester Limited
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54 Posts
You have to do what's best for you. It doesn't matter how nice something is if you're not comfortable with it. My mom was barely 5'2", so I imagine she'd have similar issues as you have. Luckily, I'm 5'9" and haven't had any problems.

Good luck with your RAV4
 

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2004 Forester XS 5MT
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954 Posts
Try the Crosstrek, nice seating in our 2015. Telescoping wheel and good adjustment ranges for manual seats.
 
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