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Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I've got a big choice to make today. It seems like this site is a good resource, so I thought I'd throw this out to you folks. Thanks for any help!

I drive 100 miles per day, 5 days per week. [Truckee to Reno and back, up and down a big mountain.] Just moved to town, into a very high, snowy part. Can't miss work for weather or car problems... really need reliability.

I'm debating between a 2004 Forester XT Sports [96k] vs. a 2006 Forester Sports Premium [89k]. The Turbo is the big unknown. Both cars have been well-serviced, but I'm nervous to drive a high-mileage Turbo so intensely. It would be nice for getting up those big hills, but seems riskier and more expensive to maintain [lower mpg and requiring Premium - about $50 more in gas per month with my schedule, and a whole bundle if it breaks and needs repair].

They're essentially the same mileage [7k = a 2 month driving difference for me] and same price [2004 a little lower, but 105k service around the corner]. Despite those similarities, the 2006 is obviously newer, a nice benefit in safety advancements and less [presumed] wear & tear.

The 2004 is sleek and "city" looking with leather that I love the ambiance of. The 2006 is beautiful outside but rather worn cloth inside, although it has a moonroof I really enjoy. Many other features the same, like heated seats.

I think it comes down to the Turbo. Risky with the mileage / my commute? Worth it for snowy altitude?
I just have no idea how to weigh this, being new to Subaru and mountain living.

Either one will surely make me happy... kind of a battle of heart vs. head.

Thoughts??
Thanks again - much appreciated.
 

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2009 Forester XT
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299 Posts
I think it comes down to the Turbo. Risky with the mileage / my commute? Worth it for snowy altitude?[/B] I just have no idea how to weigh this, being new to Subaru and mountain living.

Either one will surely make me happy... kind of a battle of heart vs. head.

Thoughts??
Thanks again - much appreciated.
Its not an audi, AFAIK the turbo's Subaru uses are pretty reliable and are not a big deal to repair.... Turbos dont usually just explode and die, they slowly show signs of age (over the course of 10k miles) and eventually start burning all of your oil, your exhaust turns to blue smoke, and you realize you need to get it swapped out.

Sounds like you do a LOT of driving, go for the one with leather and a turbo and ENJOY your driving experience!
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
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2,008 Posts
I'd definitely go with the turbo. You can get replacement stock turbos for $100-$300 off this and other sites. I just picked up an upgrade for $400 shipped, must have more power!
You will make many of us jealous with that XT on your daily commute. Me for example, just a 20 mile shot up I-5...
Good luck with your purchase and glad you found us!
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,887 Posts
Sounds like the '04 XT is a manual, is the '06 manual too? Any preference there?

Obviously, gas cost will be higher with the turbo model -- you'll need premium fuel. But, you are up in the mountains and the turbo will help with that alot.

For me it would be a no-brainer -- manual XT all the way, nothing else. If you like to drive, you will enjoy the turbo model. Safety features will be about the same on '04 and '06, I don't think there were any advancements made in the later cars.

Also, I think '06 X may have drum brakes in the rear, where all the XTs (turbo models) have disks all around. Safety feature there.

Stan
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,105 Posts
You will definitely thank yourself for going with a turbo model if you're driving over mountain passes daily. The difference vs. a normally aspirated vehicle is night and day.

I have a significantly modified 04 XT with 135k that has not been babied in its lifetime, and still shows no signs of slowing down. The 04 turbo models have an excellent reliability record.
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,101 Posts
I'd say go with the one you find more comfortable.
You'll love the turbo when you get into the mountains, but you may like the cloth interior better, since you'll be doing ~26,000 miles annually.
The mileage is too close for that to be a real factor though, and I'd guess the XT would be a better option since it might not have been driven as long or often as the X (16k /year VS. 22¼k /year)
 

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none none
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What model is the 06 actually? There was no sport model at all in 06. If its a premium it has rear disk brakes.

So basically the only major difference is the turbo. Honestly I have more confidence in the reliability of the 2.5 turbo engine than the nonturbo models.
 

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Forester
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Discussion Starter #11
Ohhhh man. I missed the "you have one post response and potentially more" email from this site in my deluged inbox, and so thought no one had advice to share in time! Note to new users - you do not get an email notification for each reply on your thread. Just the first one. So keep an eye out.

You can imagine my sinking stomach as I scrolled down seeing turbo lover after turbo lover... after having gone with the non-turbo. Just going to have to remind myself of my 2006's benefits every time I get smoked on the highway by an XT. A friend brought me a leather-scented car freshener today at work just to tease me about what I'll be missing. Doesn't seem as funny now ;)

If any of you want the gorgeous 2004 XT I sadly let go:
2004 Subaru Forester XT (One Owner)
Super nice and trustworthy salesman Ilya ("Eli") at Affordable Auto Sales who really went above and beyond (I made him brownies to say thanks). I've already paid for the pre-purchase inspection separately through Shingle Springs Subaru, who gave it a clean bill of health (except missing a turbo heath shield, which Ilya was going to replace before handing the car over to me). It is truly a lovely car.

Thanks to everyone for the helpful thoughts and I'm glad to know this will be a good resource should I ever have questions on my new Forester.

[Notes to stan_t & funkymonkey1002: I was told the 2006 was a Sports Premium. Looks like it's just an X Premium as you pointed out, and according to cars101.com, has rear disc brakes. Good to know. Thanks!]
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,121 Posts
You'll be happy in the N/A version, their still good cars. Their just missing a little top end power not really a big deal. What matter's is you've gotten yourself an excellent form of all weather transportation, just enjoy it :biggrin:
 

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2003 Nissan
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I may also be purchasing a 2005 Forester XT this weekend. Did I read that correctly... you must put premium gas in the turbo's?

My company pays for my gas but they won't pay for premium. Will I ruin the Forester XT if I put 87 octane in it?
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,050 Posts
I have done that drive many times.
My sister lives in Verdi. Go for the turbo. Great for high altitude passing and driving.
Just be aware, turbo means fun and can cost you at the pump. That being said, you can always drive and not use the turbo in a XT but you can't add a turbo to a X.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,105 Posts
My company pays for my gas but they won't pay for premium. Will I ruin the Forester XT if I put 87 octane in it?
You have nothing to gain from putting 87 in an XT. You'll get worse mileage (possibly bad enough to negate the "savings" at the pump), you'll possibly burn holes in your pistons, and the ECU will pull enough timing that you'll essentially cheat yourself out of the performance gains the XT has over the N/A models.
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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I may also be purchasing a 2005 Forester XT this weekend. Did I read that correctly... you must put premium gas in the turbo's?

My company pays for my gas but they won't pay for premium. Will I ruin the Forester XT if I put 87 octane in it?
If you can work something out with your company (having them reimburse you the cost of gas minus the 20 cents per gallon for the surcharge) where you can use premium, do that.

Otherwise, if the company buys all your gas, I would NEVER buy a turbo car with a plan to basically abuse it from day one. It's like saying "we're planning a baby but can't afford upkeep so can we feed it dog food?"
 

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Premium Member
2008 FSXT 4EAT
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4,160 Posts
I traded-in my '07 X Premium for an '08 FSXT, after I realized I wanted (not needed) the extra power. The X has great torque for around town driving, but lacks the oomph for highway passing, especially on mountain roads, which can be dangerous. They're both great cars that fill different needs. My '07 X was my daily driving, ski hauling, always covered in dried mud, camping mobile, whereas my '08 FSXT is more like a weekend pleasure vehicle.
 

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NA No more! :(
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8,529 Posts
I used to drive to Tahoe a lot (80 through Truckee to Reno, 267 down to Kings Beach, or 5 to the 50 up to Kirkwood area) with my XS (non-turbo).



Hated it the second our altitude changed and the NA began to struggle to keep speed. X_X
 
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