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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
AARRGGHHHH, This forum just lost almost my entire post. I hit "preview" and it went to a blank page. No amount of refreshing helped. When I went back almost the entire post was missing.

So, like the title says, I'm kinda stuck deciding on a new car. I've been going round and round this problem for a few months and have pretty much settled on two cars; a 2010 or 2011 Forester XT, or a 2008 Infiniti EX35. I realize that they're two very different cars, and somewhat hard to compare. The Forester new is slightly more expensive than it would cost to buy a 2008 Infiniti with under 15,000 miles.

I mountain bike, ski, and backpack, so I'm looking for something that maintains some level of utility, but as little as I can get away with. I like smaller vehicles, I like the feel, the look, etc... and I absolutely despise large SUV's (not that they don't have a place, just not one in my life). I'm staying away from Audi because of the reliability and repair costs. I also value performance; I don't want anything that performs worse than my current '05 FXT (STI RSB and STI Pinks). Playing around in the snow is one of my favorite things to do, but I really get the chance around 10 days a year.

If I went with a Subaru, I'd continue to cool my heels until May 4th, which is when I will have hit 6 months being a member of the IMBA and qualify for Subaru's VIP program. I'm also hoping to see them come out with the announcements for the 2011 Forester so I can see what's changing. (Direct injection, the WRX's powerplant, and the 5EAT Please!) (Yes, I realize that's mostly a pipe dream)

Both cars are larger than I'd like, but not by much. In a perfect world I'd have a much nicer interior and more refined version of my 2005 XT. Same size, etc... But that just doesn't really exist in anything that would be remotely fun to drive. I know this is a biased crowd, but what are people's thoughts?

2010 or 2011 Subaru Forester XT.
PRO'S
  • This would be my fourth Subaru, third Forester, second turbo.
  • It's got, IMO, the best AWD system out there in anything close to a realistic price range
  • I love the massive sunroof
  • More hauling capacity as well as rated for towing (although I have yet to ever actually tow anything)
  • Brand new car
  • Great Visibility
  • Better gas mileage than the Infiniti (19/24 for the XT vs. 16/23 for the EX)
  • Large rear seat
  • Reclining rear seats
  • I know how to work on it already
  • Pretty light
  • More headroom

CON'S
  • Terrible stereo
  • Worthless navigation system, and required in order to get the HID headlights ($2300 is a lot for headlights alone)
  • Sloppy suspension, which can be corrected
  • Crappy tires
  • Quite a bit slower than the Infiniti.
  • A fair bit MORE expensive to insure than the Infiniti (still can't figure this one out)
  • Cheap interior and many fewer options
  • Requires Premium fuel. Which adds up to ~$1000 over a 120,000 mile life.
  • Bland, boring, and uninspired exterior styling.
  • Timing belt
  • 4EAT
  • No rear-seat vents


2008 Infiniti EX35 AWD
PRO'S
  • Fast! 0.5 seconds faster in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile (297hp 253 ft pounds of torque)
  • An absolute hoot to drive since, unless it's slipping, it drops into RWD
  • Great interior appointments.
  • Much more upscale feeling and more comfortable interior.
  • Aggressive exterior styling, which I like. I like car's that don't look "normal" (i.e. '05 FXT, '92 SVX)
  • Doesn't require premium
  • Very solid and well tested motor.
  • Better reliability across the board than a turbo Subaru.
  • Better warranty (4/60k bumper to bumper, 6/70k powertrain)
  • Options include adaptive HID headlights (something I would really like), Lane Departure Prevention, Adaptive cruise control, pre-crash detection, a pretty good nav system, wonderful stereo, full iPod integration, Rear/Around view camera system (also a con), and Bluetooth.
  • Lots of gadgets
  • Smaller than the Forester
  • Cheaper to insure than the Forester
  • Timing chain
  • Memory everything (mirrors, seat, steering column)

CON'S
  • Reactive, RWD biased AWD system
  • Not rated for any kind of towing.
  • Tiny rear seat. (I do sometimes have people back there, but rarely)
  • Limited cargo space with the seat up
  • Less cargo space even with the rear seats down than the Forester
  • Tiny sunroof
  • Lots of gadgets/more to break
  • Worse gas mileage
  • Aggressive styling leads to mediocre visibility, making the camera's almost required.
  • Aggressive styling cuts in on interior space.
  • 610 pounds heavier than the Forester



PICTURES:

EX35


(I would go for the dark gray/black interior, not this color)





Forester XT




 

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Registered
2007 Sports XT 4EAT (former)
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2,485 Posts
My father in law drives an EX35. He loves it. It's quick, luxurious, unique, and it is definitely laden with gadgets. I think you've hit on all of the pros and cons of each vehicle fairly well (although some are a wash, like the premium fuel requirement vs. worse gas mileage, and several of the Forester's cons can be corrected post-purchase, as you know).

For me, the only dealbreaker for an EX35 vs. a Forester would be the size of the cargo area. The EX35's cargo area, seats up or seats down, is noticeably smaller than the nice tall boxy Forester cargo hold. My in laws are empty nesters and they don't really do things like go camping with us any more, plus they have a Mazda5 for carting the grandkids around, so it doesn't bother them, but it would likely bother me. Since you're into outdoor activities this could get frustrating at times.
Heck, you might try loading up your current Forester as if you were going skiing or backpacking and see what happens when you try to fit everything into the EX. Maybe it won't be a problem... if it's not, then go for it!
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Take a look at the STIs.
I forgot to mention that I have to have an auto for my daily driver. I've got bad shoulders, and will be having more surgeries. Not sure when, but 6 months in a sling doesn't work with a stick.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,591 Posts
The Subaru does have over 3" more ground clearance.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,827 Posts
Does the new Outback tickle your fancy? Side by side they are very close in side and from what I've read on Subaru Outback.org they seem to have better quality than what has appeared on the Forester. Just saying it's worth a look, you might be able to find a dealerships demo at a great price. And no I don't think an Outback demo gets driven the same way as an Impreza demo.
 

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Premium Member
'09 STI
Joined
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4,128 Posts
I forgot to mention that I have to have an auto for my daily driver. I've got bad shoulders, and will be having more surgeries. Not sure when, but 6 months in a sling doesn't work with a stick.

I'd wait then.:biggrin: My needs changed for my daily driver and I couldn't be happier. With the hatch there's a surprising amount of room with the seats down.

Think of all the money you'll save not modding. In the beginning at least.
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd wait then.:biggrin: My needs changed for my daily driver and I couldn't be happier. With the hatch there's a surprising amount of room with the seats down.

Think of all the money you'll save not modding. In the beginning at least.

I should have been more clear. I've had five shoulder reconstructions (3 left, 2 right) and it's not a matter of if I have another, it's when. The problem is that with current procedures they'll never be "fixed." A stick is great as a fun car, but it's simply not an option for a daily driver, nor will it be unless things really change.
 

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Super Member
2010 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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1,118 Posts
Stereos and navigation systems are something that is always better in the aftermarket. Why anyone would want a crappy nav system that's so insanely overpriced compared to an aftermarket unit that is updatable, portable, and just plain better all around is beyond me.:crazy:

I think the EX35 looks like a G35 coupe that ate to much. :banana:
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Stereos and navigation systems are something that is always better in the aftermarket. Why anyone would want a crappy nav system that's so insanely overpriced compared to an aftermarket unit that is updatable, portable, and just plain better all around is beyond me.:crazy:

I think the EX35 looks like a G35 coupe that ate to much. :banana:

Having used the Infiniti nav system, it's actually pretty good. A few gripes, but between the lane guidance, XM Nav Traffic, iPod integration, etc... it's a very strong unit.

But I've been building these for the last six years or so:

(The camera makes little nicks, etc... look much worse than they do in person)










 

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Registered
2001 Forester S, auto
Joined
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444 Posts
OMG I am a total car guy and never even heard of the EX35, I have no idea how that happened. Weird.

I mean, I have literally never seen on on the road, or read a review (I have subscriptions to like 4 car mags and read AutoBlog and Jalopnik all day at work), and that confounds me.

Back to the subject: If it's based on the G35, and you don't need the cargo or ground clearance, I would totally get the Infiniti.

I think the engine note from that VQ35HR alone is worth the price of admission.

On a side note, I'm slightly bummed that Americans are so anti-wagon, as a G35 wagon would have been awesome, so I went to Nissan's Japanese website, and apparently, this IS the wagon, it's called the Skyline Crossover. Here I thought they woulda had a proper wagon like the Stagea, but apparently the Stagea was replaced by this EX35.
 

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8,844 Posts
So wait, why do you want a new car in the first place? It sounds like what you want is exactly what you already have in your 05 XT?

I'd look at an 08 XT, outback XT (or 3.6R) impreza GT. But theres really not much on the market thats great, most of the higher end brands are really just bloated with useless gadgets. I found the ex35 to not really be worth the money at all, it feels -tiny- when you sit in it. Our family ended up sticking with the (old style) cadillac SRX as the competition was pretty poor and it ended up being the cheaper even than a toyota!
 

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Registered
2010 Forester X Premium
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931 Posts
No brainer Infinity is such a nice car. Engine is bullet proof. If it would be me I would most likely get Infinity, on a sight note brakes are bad in infinity be prepared to changem quite often, they over heat like nothing else out there. If I would be you, and a lot of things that you do is exactly what I do:

Love playing in the snow,
camping,
hiking,
biking,
snowboarding.

In my opinion for all these type of activities Forester or Outback (I think Outback is just better) are just perfect cars. So if this is w hat you enjoy this is what should you stick to, rather than Infinity, infinity is much more upscale care, for people that do not do much.

I am dog and outdoor person: so subaru happens to meet all my needs 100%, if I would be more home, hotel, movies type of car Infinity would be ago, for any type of outdoor people subaru is just way better rounded car. If I could spend a bit more I would go with Outback 3.6R
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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837 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've looked seriously at the Outback 3.6R, but it just gets outside of my price range. Prior to the refresh three's something about the cockpit that bothers my left knee in the Legacys and the Outbacks. Also, the SH forester already doesn't feel nearly as sporty as my SG, and the Outback feels even less so. Driving it around the extra length is very noticeable, especially going around turns. It's a nice car, but it just feel much longer and blahzay than even the new Foresters.

And I'm looking for a new car because mine is coming up on 120k and has been having problems about every two-three months consistently over the last year. I can still get about $8000 for it on trade (it was in a decent size crash... damn kid rear-ended me) and I'd like to move on before it's not worth anything.


I've also been giving some thought to getting the Forester, saving up for an old Porsche 928 or 944 and replacing the SVX with one of those as the "fun" and/or project car.


As for the Impreza GT, I've looked around but none of the four dealers in the area have ever even actually seen one in wagon guise, and only one has seen a sedan. They all told me it would have to be a special order, and even though it's very similar to others, I'm simply not willing to buy a car that I can't test drive, or test drive the exact same model.
 
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