Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here in the UK the Miata is known as an MX5...

I currently own a MX5 and although I love to drive it as a car, I am finding it to be impractical as a car due to it's limited payload, I like the performance and the handling of the Mazda and have on many occations popped out for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread and ended up 100miles from home... smiles per mile - the MX5 delivers.

However, I need a more practical car, and I have been thinking about the Forester Turbo as a replacement, due to it's WRC rally based genetics and the Subaru legendry reliability reputation.

Is there anyone out there who has gone from an MX5/Miata to a Forester who can give me their opinion on the Subaru???

My Criteria is really a practical car that on the odd day of spirited driving lifts that smile to my face...

Oh and economy too... how does it compare to a Miata..?

In fact, any information as to why I should chop in my MX5 for a Forester would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance...I'm almost sold...!!!
 

·
Premium Member
2004 Forester XT PP
Joined
·
10,113 Posts
While I don't own a MX5, I have driven one MANY times. I have a good friend who has one. That car is DEFINITELY a blast to drive in the twisties.
However, it is nowhere close to as quick as the XT. Not by a long shot. If you are looking for fun to drive, look no further than the forester.
However, coming from a MX5, you are going to NEED to make some suspension changes on your Forester XT. Bigger rear sway bar for one...better rubber and brakes...some stiffer springs...
etc.
The Forester can be made to handle ALMOST as well as the MX5 with the right mods.

Good luck in your decision!
 

·
Registered
'99 S-turbo
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
The Forester is a blast to drive.... provided you get a stiffer rear anti roll bar. 20mm whiteline should do it. It totally transforms the car. With stock power , the brakes are OK , if dead feeling. Plenty of mods available if you feel the need, but it's already a pretty quick van/ towcar/mudplugger/family estate. It's safe too, airbags everywhere,and more solid than a volvo.
Insurance is pricey,as is servicing. Fuel economy- Whats that?
 

·
The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
Joined
·
8,054 Posts
I've driven the Miata and even a Miata-R (no power steering or power brakes) and I have to say it was one of the best handling cars I've ever drove. I'm not sure if it is possible to get a forester to handle as well as one no matter how much money you throw at the Forester. That said the Miata has only one purpose driving, don't expect to carry anything much at all. We took my fiends to a store to return a DVD player and I think we had to take the spare out to get the box in the trunk. There is no room behind the seat either. It's not practical in any way, shape or form. It's a really good second car though. If you want lots of fun and practicality, the forester is very hard to beat. Also, I'd rather be in a Forester in the event of an accident. With a Miata rather than an airbag they should give you a can opener :)
 

·
Registered
2010 FXT Limited 4EAT Sport Shift
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
Hmmm, anybody able to Photochop a Forester "convertible"?
 

·
Recovering Modaholic
Joined
·
1,304 Posts
mmmmm battenburg! :D If I still lived in the UK I would weigh 500lbs...plus I would def be driving a Forester STi! you cant go wrong with the forester. If its utility and performance you're looking for, the foz cant be beat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Guys... thanks for all your posts.

I must admit that I am almost sold on the Subaru, In fact I did a test drive on one on monday but it was the normally aspirated one. It had a bit of grunt but nothing really punchy. I asked the sales man if i could throw it into a few corners and thrash it about a bit to which he agreed, I felt a little understeer on one corner but I put this down to the stock tyres which on that model are probably more suited to a farmers drive than a 90 degree bend in second gear!

Anyway, I havent had a chance to drive the Turbo version as all of the ones for sale in my area are private sales and I'd hate to turn up at someones house just to thrash thier ride for half an hour without any intention of buying it.

So more questions for you...

Is the turbo version much quicker than the the normal one, and is this extra power worth the extra money in the running costs?

I dont drive everyware like a bat out of hell all the time, so on the occasions when your just going about town does the turbo show any signs of fuel economy? Remember here in the UK we have to second mortgage our house to fill up..!! £0.90 a litre!!!!

Am I right about the tyres on the test drive... or is there a tendancy for understeer on these models. Is there any difference in the suspension geometry on the Turbo model

Has anyone ever used the transfer box to get low ratio gears for a proper off road assualt?? do these cars really handle the rough stuff?? or are they a compromise.

I really appreciate your all your replies...thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
859 Posts
I went from a highly modified Miata to a now highly modified Forester. My FXT has an STI suspension with Pilot 235-45-17. My Miata had KYB AGX with 215-40-16. Even a stock suspensioned Miata (without dead shocks) on good tires with a swaybar upgrade will outhandle the FXT with an STI suspension on good tires. It's simply no contest. My FXT is faster in straight line by a bit but then again, my Miata had 220 whp (FXT has 335 whp).

For fun to drive, the Miata won hands down. It's simply one of the 5 best driver cars on the road.

The FXT obviously beats it in utility, is better as a year round car when weather isn't 60+ and dry, and will beat it in a straight line.

You really can't compare the two as they are worlds apart as far as their purpose.

That said, I'll probably have another highly modified Miata as a fun/weekend car in the next year or two. They're just that much fun.

As for gas mileage, the Miata was better. And for safety, the Miata was much easier to avoid accidents with, as the handling was better. I did get into a major accident in the Miata. An 18 wheeler ran over the front of my car going 60 mph when he ran a stop sign. My car spun 3 times and the hood (aluminum) and front fender were peeled off like a sardine can top. I waled away with 8 stiches in my head. Had the truck T-boned me, I would have been dead in either car.

Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Frank, sorry to hear about your accident but glad you got away with only a few stitches...

I've know for a while this time was gonna come... Within a few months of driving the Mazda I knew that it's impractibility as a daily car would eventually catch up with me along with what car could I possibly replace it with.... when the time comes???

I am now at that crossroads, and it pains me to have to think about getting rid of my mazda, in favour of a more practical car. The forester is the only car I can think of that fits the practicality side of enjoyable and spirited driving!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I have both! I've had the Miata since '92 and it's used primarly as an autocross car (Gymkana in the UK, since autocross there is our rallycross I believe), the Forester as a daily driver, family hauler and support vehicle for a friend's Mini S that I'll be co-driving this season.

If you need a vehicle with some utility (the Miata has none), but still offers some driving rewards you can't beat the Forester XT. I don't beileve for a minute that you can make the XT behave like a properly set up Miata, you can make it take after it's cousin the STi. Not too shabby.

I'd be hard pressed to give up my Miata though. It is just a very happy car, well balanced, no bad manners, enough power and torque to have fun, but not too much to make trouble for the inattentive, easy to tune and modify...
 

·
Registered
'99 S-turbo
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
I am now at that crossroads, and it pains me to have to think about getting rid of my mazda, in favour of a more practical car. The forester is the only car I can think of that fits the practicality side of enjoyable and spirited driving!![/QUOTE]


Tis true! What else would you get? For that matter, why did you think of a Forester? Was it a "what the ..... is THAT" type experience?
The understeer is a result of the rubbish tyres and not enough stiffness in the rear. Fit a 20mm rear ARB and some decent tyres ( toyo proxes T1r work well) and it really is chalk and cheese. I was very disappointed with the handling when i got my Fo,coming from a citoen zx( think conker on a string), but now I'm happy as a pig in s..t. After 18 months I still smile every time I start her up,
Yes, the turbo is completely different to the NA.Take one for a drive, you'll be sold

It's the only car you'll ever need
 
D

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I agree with peaty the miata handles like a champ the only other car that I've driven that handled as wella s the miata is my 89 nissan 240 sx and I hooked up the suspension on that. I think that it would cost way to much to get a forester to even come close to the handling, if not impossible to do it. Buy a forester.
 

·
Premium Member
06 FXT
Joined
·
2,262 Posts
nixxon said:
It's the only car you'll ever need
That sums it up nicely, providing you don't have a large family. I have a family of 3 so it fits our need perfectly. We love it for its reliability, power (my favorite), and safety. You just can't beat that combination, especially reliability as nothing's worse than dealing with unreliable transportation.

Comparing the Miata to the FXT is really tough as both are completely different beast. The raw power of the FXT will win you over, but the handling will never be as crisp as the Miata. But if you want a do-it-all vehicle and can only own one, the FXT is hard to beat. I'm going to assume you've considered other Mazda alternatives; Mazda3 & Mazda6 (including the wagon) before looking into the Suby. But coming from a rear wheel drive, I wouldn't recommend going with FWD vehicles, although the Mazda3 is quite a nimble machine with some usable space.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester XT Touring HTCVT
Joined
·
943 Posts
How much more space/practicality are you looking for? As much as I love my FXT, a WRX wagon may be an easier transition for you...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I really think I am sold, the only other machine I would even contemplate is an RX8, but I would be compromising on the payload space of the Subaru... not smiles per miles!!

Bryan S - you are absolutley spot on in the way you describe the Mazda, It's a fantastic little car.... but 'Little' it is!!!

My work is dictating I carry about more and more kit on a daily basis, so practibility is paramount for me now.

I would never try to do a direct comarison with the Mazda against the Forester as they are quite diffferent cars in many ways, however if I gave my Mazda a 'Smiles per Mile' rating it would rate at about 92%... the other 8% being made up of what the weather was like that day ( I am in England! ) how twisty the road was and whether or not there was anything in front of me and of course what was on the stereo!!!

If a scooby rates between 85-95% on this scale then it's good enough for me!
 

·
Premium Member
06 FXT
Joined
·
2,262 Posts
Doug have brought up a good point - the WRX Wagon might be something you should also look into. It handles [much] better than the FXT, looks more agressive & stylish, but a bit smaller in the cargo department.
 

·
Registered
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Joined
·
313 Posts
SKSTI said:
That sums it up nicely, providing you don't have a large family. I have a family of 3 so it fits our need perfectly.
Well, I have a family of seven and since there isn't a fun car around that will carry seven people (at least not in a safe and PC way), my wife (who doesn't care as long as its practical and safe) has a people carrier and I get to have the fun cars - check my alias :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Doug said:
How much more space/practicality are you looking for? As much as I love my FXT, a WRX wagon may be an easier transition for you...
That's exactly what I was thinking. I really love my Forester (I can go nearly everywhere and still have fun on twisties :drive:), but if you're not going to need the extra ground clearance, maybe a WRX Wagon would be a nice choice.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top