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Old 03-05-2013, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Whittier, CA
494 posts, read 1,529,367 times
Reputation: 450

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I am trying to figure out if this is a good choice for my next vehicle. I have an outdoor lifestyle - hobbies that I am regularly involved in are snowboarding (during winter I visit Southern and Central California ski resorts - 4wd is a HUGE asset), hiking (some of the trailheads are located in areas where cars do not do well - I have a truck now and that works great!), motorcycling (I intend to buy a bike and cart it to the racetrack occasionally), SCUBA (an SUV makes carting tanks and scuba gear much easier), bicycling (carting 2 bicycles is easier in an SUV with fold-down seats).

Pros:
Great gas mileage for a 250hp engine

Lots of value for $35k fully loaded (eyesight, navi etc.). This is the absolute top of my budget as I will be paying full cash for the vehicle and that is all I want to spend.

Reliability - from what I've read Subarus are quite reliable

Legendary 4WD system

Cons:
Average looks (not particularly exciting but acceptable)

Extremely low towing capacity - 1500 lbs is very borderline to tow a trailer with my motorcycle on it, if I have to put a friends motorcycle it make not be enough at all (trailer weight 400 lbs + 2 motorcycles 900 lbs = 1300 lbs is borderline!). I just cannot understand why this vehicle cannot tow at least 2000 lbs when the previous version of the Forester was rated at 2400lbs. A huge error by Subaru. This IS an outdoor SUV after all. For instance the Lexus RX350 which is much less rugged than the Subaru and whose demographic is MUCH less likely to tow is rated at 3500 lbs.

What is the competition I should be also looking at?
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:20 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,904,207 times
Reputation: 2738
Why don't you look at a used Subaru? Get the better towing capacity and save money? Subarus are very reliable and I'd have no issues buying a used one.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:20 PM
 
Location: NJ
22,610 posts, read 28,478,239 times
Reputation: 14539
this makes me think of a question ive had, is it worth buying a car that has a base of 20k fully loaded for 35k or buy a car that has a base of 35k? for example, if im going to make a forester that expensive, maybe ill just get a murano or an edge (or some other 30-35k car).
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:39 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,349 posts, read 16,466,269 times
Reputation: 19638
None of the compact SUV/CUV are going to tow much more than 1550 lbs. The Ford Escape can tow up to 3500 lbs and the Mazda CX5 can do 2000 lbs but neither one will be as quick nor will their AWD system will be on par with Subaru if that's super important to you.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:48 PM
 
774 posts, read 1,978,203 times
Reputation: 729
We have an 09 Forester and it's been a great car. The first snow storm after buying the car we took it to an unplowed lot and let the GF play. It was her first AWD car and I wanted her to learn safely. I followed in my truck with a strap just in case.

After messing around for 20 mins we buried it in a snow drift. I sat and watched as the computer did it's thing pulsing the brakes on the spinning wheel etc until it was unstuck. I was shocked. We too have a pretty outdoors type life style and have had the Forester off the beaten path more times than I care to mention. With a slightly better set of tires and some real skid plates it would be almost as capable as my truck.

I don't know that much about the 2014 model but our 09 has been flawless. If you buy it I would look at skid plates and good tires. Otherwise it's a great car..
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
3,133 posts, read 9,084,422 times
Reputation: 2463
It's currently being discussed here: 2014 tow rating - Page 2 - Subaru Forester Owners Forum

Last post makes a good point about it being 1500kg (3300lb) on the Australia website. Could SOA have interpreted it wrong?

If I was you, I'd get a fully loaded Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for under $35k. A Wrangler is the #1 vehicle in resale value (http://www.kbb.com/new-cars/best-res...e-top-10-cars/ ... 55% after 5 years lol) You will sacrifice fuel economy but at least it doesn't require premium. But having a convertible in California is well worth it. If you have never driven a Jeep with the top off, you must do it. It's amazing how much fun a slow car can be. It can tow 3500lb.

A Wrangler will go where a Subaru could only dream


Last edited by PokerMunkee; 03-05-2013 at 04:13 PM..
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:06 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,021 posts, read 39,024,419 times
Reputation: 40402
Can't speak for towing but one thing I've noticed in Mrs. NBP's 2010 Forester is the cargo compartment is fairly small with the rear seatbacks up.

Looks are looks, I can't tell the difference between most of the CUVs in that class.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:20 PM
 
7,282 posts, read 8,356,326 times
Reputation: 11407
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducviloxi View Post
I am trying to figure out if this is a good choice for my next vehicle. I have an outdoor lifestyle - hobbies that I am regularly involved in are snowboarding (during winter I visit Southern and Central California ski resorts - 4wd is a HUGE asset), hiking (some of the trailheads are located in areas where cars do not do well - I have a truck now and that works great!), motorcycling (I intend to buy a bike and cart it to the racetrack occasionally), SCUBA (an SUV makes carting tanks and scuba gear much easier), bicycling (carting 2 bicycles is easier in an SUV with fold-down seats).

Pros:
Great gas mileage for a 250hp engine

Lots of value for $35k fully loaded (eyesight, navi etc.). This is the absolute top of my budget as I will be paying full cash for the vehicle and that is all I want to spend.

Reliability - from what I've read Subarus are quite reliable

Legendary 4WD system

Cons:
Average looks (not particularly exciting but acceptable)

Extremely low towing capacity - 1500 lbs is very borderline to tow a trailer with my motorcycle on it, if I have to put a friends motorcycle it make not be enough at all (trailer weight 400 lbs + 2 motorcycles 900 lbs = 1300 lbs is borderline!). I just cannot understand why this vehicle cannot tow at least 2000 lbs when the previous version of the Forester was rated at 2400lbs. A huge error by Subaru. This IS an outdoor SUV after all. For instance the Lexus RX350 which is much less rugged than the Subaru and whose demographic is MUCH less likely to tow is rated at 3500 lbs.

What is the competition I should be also looking at?
If you need 4x4 for more than snow or mud on an improved dirt road, I'd really consider the need to tow a trailer over that terrain carry anything.

A Subaru (and I really like them) is not a standard SUV and even an SUV isn't going to compare to a 4x4 truck, no matter what the towing capacity is. The Lexus, Audi, Volvo and all the upscale models/brands are nothing more than glorified station wagons that have some pseudo 4 wheel drive system.

Subarus do not have much ground clearance either when compared to trucks. There is a lot more to it than what is advertised. Check out what hits first when it hits.

Most modern SUVs belong on freeways and the occassional spin to the mountains to get you through snowy or muddy roads but not off-road, that is for TV ads.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
3,133 posts, read 9,084,422 times
Reputation: 2463
Forester ground clearance is pretty good.

2013 Forester = 8.7"
2013 F-150 4X4 = 8.8"
2013 Silverado 4X4 = 9"
2013 Wrangler Rubicon = 10.2"
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:59 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 10,904,207 times
Reputation: 2738
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerMunkee View Post
A Wrangler will go where a Subaru could only dream
Except 100 mph...
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