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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, 1st post!! woop woop--
WHY oh WHY did i decide to read this petpeeves thread first of all the threads on here! ( all the way through too- sigh) ??:icon_question::shrug: I had almost settled on buying a used forester...i like its looks (not driven it yet).... is there a thread with all the good points to counteract this thread? So many issues people have esp paint, seats, rattles, no good cup holders! Actually i really want good cup holders, that is kind of a must after my last car.

I am a newbie scottish lass in FL-- I want an upgrade from my 1st ever car- ford escort station wagon 97... I'm an artist who needs that boot room for lugging paintings. I had asked my BF what wagonesque type car to get next I want something not so wagonny as my ford, and prefer the forester over the outback style wise.. and he rec'd only 2~ subaru and toyota 4 runners! he is obsessed with 4 runners after just rebuilding his old one and pushed it so much, saying it is more durable etc until yesterday we finally went to visit one and i test drove it.. i felt it was too big for me, too much... do i really need such a huge car just to go back and forth to school.. but yeah he is also convinced me to look at 4-wheel, awd because he thinks this whole 2012 thing is going to be a mess and that we esp in FL need to be prepared for hurricanes and goodness knows what. So I am somewhat convinced that i might be safer in a awd/4wd esp after i got flooded and stalled in Charley 2004, in my low rider escort and once trapped on the beach with the waves coming in!! arg

So yeah i test drove this huge 4runner.. and felt it wasnt for me.. felt like a dudes car-maybe was the wood package that helped, but still - there would be no way i would have the strength to change those huge donkey tires by myself..
So back to searching for used foresters.. although there arent too many here in FL.. I have a flexible budget... could spend anything from 5000-12000.. and am looking for reinstalled confidence in buying a forester after reading that thread.. and some pointers as i have never looked for a car before, BF doesnt know much about them except they last.
After reading a bit here i have come to the conclusion i should look at 2004 onwards? because of HG? And that many like the XTs but i am not sure why yet.. for my needs i just want something that is a slight upgrade from my 97 wagon which fitted me perfectly except for the tinnyness, rattles, no electric windows, and general lowness, unsafe feeling. But any help would be appreciated or guiding to the appropriate threads.
I am also sort of browsing Rav 4, toyota highlanders and if you have any other suggestions for me to look at.
Oh another thing my BF said that i shouldnt look at anything past 06 because of worsening build quality, but my ex says not to get one older than 6 years and to get one under 60,ooo miles..
idk, i always ask the men in my life about cars since i dont have a skoobie, but they are so opinionated!

Sorry for my going on too long here...bla bla, hope you can help guide me.:banana:

I kind of like the look of this one: oops it wont let me post-- but it is a 2006 private seller on craigslist.. "Forester 2.5 X Premium,
$12,495, 54K Miles. 2.5X Premium, Champagne Gold Opal with Tan Cloth Interior. SOHC 16V, 4 cylinder engine and automatic transmission. Full Power Options, Large Sunroof, CD Player with I-Pod Connection. Just Serviced with synthetic blend Oil Change. Good gas mileage. Excellent Condition! Perfect first car for grad. lowest price of any same model on autotrader."
pics of it look really nice.
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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1) If the 2012 predictions are real (which I doubt they are), a 4x4 won't save you.

2) Worsening quality after 2006? I don't think so. Maybe he meant BEFORE 2006, but I still mostly disagree with that.

Here is what you should do. Buy the newest, lowest mileage Forester you can afford. Bonus points for the one with service records!
 

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2020 Forester 2.5 Touring CVT
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I've owned 7 Subarus, starting with a 1994, and I think you have it right that 2004 and up is what to look for. We've has a 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010, and the 2004 and 2006 are both real gems, quieter, better handling and spunkier than the 2002 -- there was a real step of evolution there. We just got the 2010, and while it is nicer than my wife's 2006, the incremental improvement is much smaller than from pre-2004 to 2004 plus.

We'ver never had XT's, and never wished for more power from 2004 on (the 2002 was another story).

Welcome aboard!
 

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Here is what you should do. Buy the newest, lowest mileage Forester you can afford. Bonus points for the one with service records!
Good advice.

The Pet Peeves thread was set up as a place to gripe. For balance, you could check the http://www.subaruforester.org/vbull...out-forester-antidote-pet-peeves-thread-7481/ thread. And regarding head gaskets, yes they were a problem up through 2002 and creeping into 2003. But since people tend to complain more often than telling us that everything is OK, head gaskets do get a lot of press here. That's why I set up a set of polls to record members' head gasket experiences, good and bad.
 

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... the incremental improvement is much smaller than from pre-2004 to 2004 plus.
Please don't lump 2003 with the previous years. The SG series ran from 2003 to 2008. Before that was the SF. The only significant differences from 2003 to 2004 were introduction of the XT and a final stabilization of the head gasket situation.
 

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I'd look at an 04-06 (maybe 07/08 too) with around 40-60,000 miles on it (or maybe more, but I'd stay lower than around 100,000 as the expensive timing belt service is at 105,000 miles). I'd probably stick to the XS or X premium versions as they're a bit nicer than the lower end 2.5X model for not much more money. Don't get the XT (they're great and incredibly quick, but not what you want!)

The only real ongoing issue with the foresters are the wheelbearings which are just a bit $$ to get replaced but not a big deal (it seems the rear wheel bearings just randomly fail after about 80,000 miles and the front wheel bearings fail due to abuse).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for that link bbottomley!! very helpful off to check it .. and funky esp thanks for your guidance there, that helps me. You are right, I dont care about extra power.. esp after being used to the escort.
 

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Keep in mind the "pet peeves" thread is written by people who still drive foresters and take the time to comment on a forester forum about them. Cup holders got better in 2002, so you should be fine there. And 2012, really?
 

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If you can get service records that's good, as it gives you insight into the amount of TLC the previous owner put into the Forester. But everything up to the timing belt at 105k miles is simply routine stuff. If the previous owner skipped some of it that's not good, but it's not especially bad as in loomingly fatal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Keep in mind the "pet peeves" thread is written by people who still drive foresters and take the time to comment on a forester forum about them. Cup holders got better in 2002, so you should be fine there. And 2012, really?
oh good about the cupholders! i had to get him to screw on one of those boat cupholders onto my escort, kinda cool.
Yeah 2012.. that is kind of coinage term for all the crap that is already hitting the fan.. but woah he has showed me so many weird things in the news and stuff that gets me worried, not to mention all the weird weather crap. No harm getting an awd in case of flooding eh? which has been happening a lot lately. He just sent me a youtube called "Toyota being pulled out by a Subaru" hilarious!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
that gold one is now sold... oh well.. there is one at a dealer --06 low miles, 19735 . says it is a2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition ... what does ll bean mean? also i just emailed for the price as it wasnt listed on CL.. what do you think would be a fair price for them to tell me? looks BN on the pics.. nice..thanks so much!!
 

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that gold one is now sold... oh well.. there is one at a dealer --06 low miles, 19735 . says it is a2.5 X L.L. Bean Edition ... what does ll bean mean? also i just emailed for the price as it wasnt listed on CL.. what do you think would be a fair price for them to tell me? looks BN on the pics.. nice..thanks so much!!
Personally, I'd skip the LL bean. Its basically an XS or X premium, but they had the self leveling rear suspension thats really just another thing to go wrong (without really providing much of a benefit).
 

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L. L. Bean is a longtime supplier of outdoor clothing and camping equipment, based in Maine but now represented by retail stores in a number of locations. For a while Subaru licensed the use of the name to create a special aura about one segment of the Forester line. Just as they had earlier with Eddie Bauer (another long established company of the same variety) Outbacks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ok, thanks so much! I am having fun reading that 'antidote to the pet peeves thread' very helpful..
is it rude to ask about comparisons to other brands here? like the toyota highlander , rav4 and the honda crv.. compared to the subaru.. kind of similar right? just not many subs here in FL.. been searching a few weeks now.. guess i could widen my search out.
 

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Nothing is rude here except being rude. Ask away!

As for Florida - I was there last week and didn't see too awfully may Subies there either. Not enough snow to attract as loyal a following as we have up north.
 

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ok, thanks so much! I am having fun reading that 'antidote to the pet peeves thread' very helpful..
is it rude to ask about comparisons to other brands here? like the toyota highlander , rav4 and the honda crv.. compared to the subaru.. kind of similar right? just not many subs here in FL.. been searching a few weeks now.. guess i could widen my search out.
AWD is great to have, even if not going to the snow/off road. It's great to help with handling, and acceleration on regular city driving.

If you'd like to compare it to the toyota/honda's, check out this youtube video.


It shows you how great subaru AWD is compared to other "AWD" cars.

I too am an artist, and use the extra room of my '04 XT all the time. If you don't go w/ the Turbo model, I guess the N/A models will do.

Also, don't go w/ the 4runner... I came from a 4runner... and they're just too much for what they're "sold as".

Hope all of that made sense. and... last but not least, g'luck w/ your search! CL is a great place to find them... you may also want to check out the other subaru forums (FL might have a local subie board). I'd stay away from a dealer unless you get a killer deal... since most of them mark their value up 3-4k$
 

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Discussion Starter #17
AWD is great to have, even if not going to the snow/off road. It's great to help with handling, and acceleration on regular city driving.

If you'd like to compare it to the toyota/honda's, check out this youtube video.



It shows you how great subaru AWD is compared to other "AWD" cars.

I too am an artist, and use the extra room of my '04 XT all the time. If you don't go w/ the Turbo model, I guess the N/A models will do.

Also, don't go w/ the 4runner... I came from a 4runner... and they're just too much for what they're "sold as".

Hope all of that made sense. and... last but not least, g'luck w/ your search! CL is a great place to find them... you may also want to check out the other subaru forums (FL might have a local subie board). I'd stay away from a dealer unless you get a killer deal... since most of them mark their value up 3-4k$
awesome link thanks!! XT has more room? mmm .. interesting.
i dont even know what these terms mean.. xtra trubo power or something..lol
I've been browing on autotrader too.. only 4 for my area by private sellers.. i am patient though, my escort wagon is running fine at 100,000, just want a nicer car.. so excited!!
 

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ok, thanks so much! I am having fun reading that 'antidote to the pet peeves thread' very helpful..
is it rude to ask about comparisons to other brands here? like the toyota highlander , rav4 and the honda crv.. compared to the subaru.. kind of similar right? just not many subs here in FL.. been searching a few weeks now.. guess i could widen my search out.
If you are near Central Florida, you may want to check out Mastro Subaru in Longwood, north of Orlando, of course they are still car salesmen but that's where I bought mine and I also get it serviced there. Mastro is well better than the average dealership in all respects as far as I'm concerned and this is not my first rodeo by a long shot.

As far as 2012 goes, yes, things could get awfully bad, especially if you are in a large city and although I don't buy into the Mayan, end of the world deal, your boyfriend may be smarter than you think because if things keep going the way they are, there are going to be a whole lot of unhappy and unemployed people and we could see something not unlike Greece and many other EU folks are dealing with now such as rioting and the like.

With regard to floods and off-road capabilities, If you are really concerned about that sort of thing, get a vehicle with more ground clearance and a snorkel for going through deep water but I don't sense that you are willing to go to that extreme so the Subaru is the best of the rest with regard to a CRV, Rav 4 and the like because it has a superior drive train with better traction capabilities overall for my money.

I faced a similar choice as you and looked at the same vehicles and although you are looking at older Foresters than the 09, I assume many of the same things hold true and as far as Turbo goes, personally I wouldn't be without it because I wanted something that could tow or haul a lot of weight well on steep grades at high altitude and the turbo is certainly much better there than the non turbo model but it sounds like you will do fine with the NA version.

Given your specifications for something that has good traction, is less like a smallish wagon and given all the other vehicles you are looking at, I would focus on the Subaru for now and although you may have a tougher time finding one, it is the best vehicle of the ones you mentioned for my money and yes, there are some pet peeves with it for me but I'm betting you aren't 6'1", 250 lbs with some back problems so I doubt they are anything for you to worry about, lol.

Here is a nice 09 at Mastro in Longwood, one owner, probably at least had the fluids changes even if they don't have service records for it is 3 grand cheaper than the 06 you are looking at, good luck. By the way, I am due for an oil change at Mastro if you want to look at that or any others they have and if you are in the area I would be happy to look it over with you.

Used 2009 Subaru Forester For Sale | Sanford FL
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
thanks so much Papa, everyone here is so nice! yes i don't have a biggness problem just a wee lass.. actually those 2 cars are kind of high in price for me.. i do have the money avail, but was kind of hoping to not pay much more than 10k.. for something .. not sure though.. but i thought if i could get a 06 perhaps with maybe 60,000 or more miles i would be well chuffed.. dont even know if that is unlikely, but i so wanted that gold one at 53,000 miles for 12,000$ was so nice but it sold quickly, something in that range and less would be great for me.. less would be even greater.
 

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A Forester is the perfect 2012 post zombie apocalypse utility vehicle.
Keep searching,you'll find one.
 
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