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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, everyone!

I'm in the market for a Forester so I've started the initial stages of research into the wagon. I've never owned a Subaru, and aside from drooling over WRX's and STI's I don't know much about them.

However, this Forester isn't for me (I drive a 2008 Tundra). No, this Forester will be for my mom. So, I need to buy her something that is safe and reliable. The vehicle would also have to fit my mom better than her 2002 Nissan Maxima: she is one of those high-energy always-on-the-go 61 year-old tiny asian ladies (maybe 5' tall, maybe 100 lbs).

I haven't had a chance to really read through the forums yet, and I'm off to my son's soccer game after this post, but I found a nice looking 2006 Forester X at a dealer that I will probably go look at after his game.

So, any of you want to help this Subura newb get a head start on figuring out if a 2006 Forester X will work out just fine for my mother? Her wishes are that she can "sit up higher to see better" and that the door openings are large enough that her elderly patients (she's an at-home care nurse) can easily enter and exit the car, with her assistance of course. She does not want an SUV (even the small ones) because of the high ingress for her patients.

Also, The X does NOT have a turbo, correct? She doesn't even know what a turbo is, so I'm positive she won't miss it.

I plan on hitting the boards hard tonight, and if the X over at the dealer strikes my fancy and if you guys can help me determine if this vehicle is a match for my mother, I may be able to surprise my mom with a very nice Turkey Day surprise!

Thanks!

Daniel

*** UPDATE ***

Sunday, 01/31/2010: I'm editing this post so that I don't resurrect a dead thread. I am heading down to the dealership tomorrow, 02/01/2010, to pickup my mother's new(er) car - a 2006 Mazda5 wagon. In the end, it came down to a Saturn Vue (too low of a seating position), a Rav4 (not enough pep in the engine), and the Mazda5.
 

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2004 Forester 2.5X 5 speed manual
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Welcome to the forum. :biggrin: Interesting post. When you get the chance, post your location in your user info.

The X is not turbo. Turbo would be the XT.

I found the following comment interesting:
"Her wishes are that she can "sit up higher to see better" and that the door openings are large enough that her elderly patients (she's an at-home care nurse) can easily enter and exit the car, with her assistance of course. She does not want an SUV (even the small ones) because of the high ingress for her patients."

There appear to be two competing issues here that likely will not be reconciled in one vehicle: 1) she wants a vehicle that sits up high for better visibility vs. 2) she wants something a bit lower with larger doors for easier entry/exit or frail and impaired individuals.

No Forester model that I'm aware of exactly fits this requirement.

The 2008 and earlier Foresters sit lower to the ground making entry/exit safer, but they have smaller back doors (difficult for a second person to assist with entry/exit or to manoeuvre walkers/canes), and the requirement to "sit up higher to see better" is largely negated by the lower suspension.

On the other hand, the current model of Forester (2009 and 2010 model years) sit higher with better visibility and appear to have bigger back doors, but the extra height on the suspension can make entry/exit for frail or disabled individuals difficult or outright dangerous (greater fall risk), negating the gains of the wider doors.

Tough spot.

My opinion somewhat professionally, but mostly from personal experience: this really may not be the best vehicle for your mother's current situation. Oddly, based on her profession, I would have recommended either the very vehicle she currently drives (or a similar sized sedan) or a minivan. But if you decide that the Forester is the best vehicle, consider the 2008 or earlier Foresters if the vehicle is going to be used regularly to transport frail and impaired individuals. The step height on the 2008 and earlier Foresters seems to be comfortable for most folks. My grandmother (very bad osteoporosis) could get into and out of my 2004 Forester fairly easily and found it to be comfortable, even with crushed vertebrae. Other vehicles were too low (fall into) or to high (fall out of). The small back seat doors were a nuisance, but that annoyance was a minor issue since the fall risk was greatly reduced. The only concern I might have about the back seats on the 2008 and earlier Foresters would be someone with frail bones having to make such a tight turn in a small area, getting in a hurry and breaking a bone. But this can be mitigated if the individual doesn't get in a hurry and takes their time moving.

While you have good intentions to surprise her with a gift, I think she needs to test drive the vehicles and, if possible, try some out (maybe rent the vehicle type for a day or two) in the real world with her clients to see just how they really will work.

My $.02, for what it's worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Patrick, I did not know that the Forester's have different ground clearances (looks like it is 7.6" v. 8.1") so I will make sure she looks at the newer generation of Foresters, as well. Thanks! I forgot last night was Halloween so I didn't get a chance to read the forums or make it down to the dealer to look at that 06 Forester X.

My mother is actually the one who asked for my advice about the Forester. In fact, she was going to buy one a few years ago. In regards to transporting elderly patients, I may have overstated the case. She wouldn't be transporting any patients that may have physical issues or concerns. It's more along the lines of driving someone who is physically healthy, but unable to drive (no license or no car) to the pharmacy or to the post office or to the grocery store.

Her and I have already agreed that I will buy her a car to use instead of her Maxima (which is still going with 230,000 miles), which she will then give to me to use as a daily driver. She gave me a list of the cars she is interested in, among which is the Forester. I mentioned a minivan but she said no because it would make her feel old.

While she will be fully vested in the decision of which car to purchase and drive, I kinda told her that I would not be able to buy the car until after the holidays but we will look at all the cars on her list before then, eventhough I am planning on giving her the vehicle as a holiday gift (hence the Turkey Day suprise).
 

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2004 Forester 2.5X 5 speed manual
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My mother is actually the one who asked for my advice about the Forester. In fact, she was going to buy one a few years ago. In regards to transporting elderly patients, I may have overstated the case. She wouldn't be transporting any patients that may have physical issues or concerns. It's more along the lines of driving someone who is physically healthy, but unable to drive (no license or no car) to the pharmacy or to the post office or to the grocery store.
Ah, in that case pretty much any model year of the Foresters will likely do well since the individuals she works with will be generally physically capable and cognitively intact.

Happy car shopping. :biggrin:

FYI: I'm a gerontologist and oversee several programs for frail elders and individuals with dementia.
 

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2006 Forester
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Love my '06 but not likely Mom's ideal car

I love my 06 Forester X - however, I used it for camping so the back seat was always folded down for cargo... it's really hard for my elderly parents to sit in the back seat - the height and the door openings are fine, but the foot/legroom is not. She won't have a problem ( 5' and 100 lbs) and would love the ability to see the road and very little in the way of blind spots - I think. But disabled people in the rear seat might be an issue.



Hey, everyone!

I'm in the market for a Forester so I've started the initial stages of research into the wagon. I've never owned a Subaru, and aside from drooling over WRX's and STI's I don't know much about them.

However, this Forester isn't for me (I drive a 2008 Tundra). No, this Forester will be for my mom. So, I need to buy her something that is safe and reliable. The vehicle would also have to fit my mom better than her 2002 Nissan Maxima: she is one of those high-energy always-on-the-go 61 year-old tiny asian ladies (maybe 5' tall, maybe 100 lbs).

I haven't had a chance to really read through the forums yet, and I'm off to my son's soccer game after this post, but I found a nice looking 2006 Forester X at a dealer that I will probably go look at after his game.

So, any of you want to help this Subura newb get a head start on figuring out if a 2006 Forester X will work out just fine for my mother? Her wishes are that she can "sit up higher to see better" and that the door openings are large enough that her elderly patients (she's an at-home care nurse) can easily enter and exit the car, with her assistance of course. She does not want an SUV (even the small ones) because of the high ingress for her patients.

Also, The X does NOT have a turbo, correct? She doesn't even know what a turbo is, so I'm positive she won't miss it.

I plan on hitting the boards hard tonight, and if the X over at the dealer strikes my fancy and if you guys can help me determine if this vehicle is a match for my mother, I may be able to surprise my mom with a very nice Turkey Day surprise!

Thanks!

Daniel
 

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If she wants to sit up higher, I suggest you find one with power seats. Standard X seats won't fit that requirement well. I would let your mom try mine (I'm in Irvine), but I just swapped them out.

Correct, no turbo. If the price difference isn't huge for you, I would suggest getting the turbo. At our highway speeds and local speeds (at least in Irvine), I get the same mileage as the turbo guys with less than half the power. It's nice to have emergency power when you need it. And since it runs around 70-75mph in the right most lane here, you're bound to be around only 20-22 mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll check that link out.

Ah, in that case pretty much any model year of the Foresters will likely do well since the individuals she works with will be generally physically capable and cognitively intact.
That's good news since it allows for a greater range of vehicle choice. I don't think she'll miss 0.5" of ground clearance especially if she has power seats, as neoshi suggested.

She won't have a problem ( 5' and 100 lbs) and would love the ability to see the road and very little in the way of blind spots - I think. But disabled people in the rear seat might be an issue.
I have yet to sit in one but it does look like the Foresters have a great greenhouse (i.e. better visibility). Luckily, there will not be any elderly people riding in the rear seats, nor will she be transporting any disabled people with the car.

If she wants to sit up higher, I suggest you find one with power seats. Standard X seats won't fit that requirement well. I would let your mom try mine (I'm in Irvine), but I just swapped them out.

Correct, no turbo. If the price difference isn't huge for you, I would suggest getting the turbo. At our highway speeds and local speeds (at least in Irvine), I get the same mileage as the turbo guys with less than half the power. It's nice to have emergency power when you need it.
Good point about the power seats and the X. I'd prefer to not get a turbo model since it will be only my mother who will be driving the car but I'm open to the idea of having her test-drive one around. Currently, she's driving into and out of Corona Del Mar during rush hours on the 55 freeway so I would need to see how she handles driving a turbo. Last thing I would want is for her to mistake turbo lag for the car not getting enough gas and having her push the accelerator down even more.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
 

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all i have to say is i rocked a mini-van at 17 and loved it!!!!!!!! high up, pretty easy to get in and out of, and......some of them can get up and go
 
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