One Year with the 2015 Forester

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sfhogman

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 18, 2002
Messages
1,743
Well, it's been a year since I drove the little guy home from the dealership, and here's what we've found found so far:
The good stuff:
This car is really easy to service. Oil filter is located on top of the engine right next to the oil filler.
The caps for all the liquid are on top and easy to get to. Oil drain is also easily accessible, but I put a Fumoto valve on it so I would no longer have to fish for the oil plug. So far all I've replaced is filters and it's easy-peasy.
Love the all wheel drive: all four wheels are engaged all the time and you can feel it on a twisty road. Great in mud, ice and snow of course.
Visibility is great. Seat height is great. Doors open out to ninety degrees; nice for 92 year old mother-in-law. All she has to do is plump her little butt down on the seat and rotate an quarter turn and she's in or out.
Steering is well weighted and brakes feel fine.
Gas economy easily matches or exceeds my Corolla.
You have to get used to the CVT. I works very well, but needs a second to "hitch up" from a fast start. Watching the tach is a hoot- the engine, CVT and ECU are constantly matching speeds and discussing the matter...

Not so good:
The interior feels cheap, though there are no rattles. Lots of hard surfaces, and the cloth seems cheap, especially the carpeting, headliner and visors. Seem to be wearing well, though.
Sound system is just okay- I'm going to upgrade the tweeters.
The engine - normally aspirated 2.5 liter - is up to the job but little more. Cooks right along on the freeway, passing easily. Acceleration from a dead stop is lazy until you remember to floor it, which tells the CVT chain to hurry up and hook up.

So that's it. It's extremely easy to live with, the bluetooth is nice and it's well built. Had I to do it again, I'd look at the Outback a little more carefully. Unlike the Outback, the car feels like it is built to a price.

For what I paid I'm glad I got it.

Jeff
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,554
Interesting . . . . .

As it turns out, yesterday I was thinking that my '15 Forester is doing
very well also. Enough that I am VERY happy I traded in the '14 (manual
6 speed) and got the '15 with the CVT. The '14 you spent most of your
time shifting shifting shifting shifting. The CVT makes it very nice, is
quite smooth, and gets 3mpg better mileage than the '14.

Mileage is approaching GREAT! With 75% in town driving, I'm getting
an overall of 30mpg, and when I get out on the road (nothing really long,
so far) it is in the high 30s! For something that large and heavy, and full
time four wheel drive, I'M IMPRESSED! 8)

The back-up camera is a plus that I saw no need for, but is still handy to
have for that "once in a while" situation.

Got mine in early February and put studded snow tires on. Turns it into
a tank for snow and ice. Clearly exceptional. I have a second set of rims
so I can run highway tires during the Summer. Well worth it!

I also thought about the Outback, but the extra, almost, $3K kept me in
the Forester (that's the low end pricing - High end Outback is almost
$10K more than the Forester).

If you want/need a smooth ride, look closer at the Outback. :D
 

Mtneer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
180
Ale-8(1) said:
Glad to hear this.

For what it's worth, my 2001 For'str is still perking right along. May be the last car I own.

:)
Me too - "Glad to hear this."

Our 2009 Forester at over 100,000 miles is "still perking right along too." Our 1999 Forester, with about 250,000 miles on it was still running okay too when we traded in on the 2009. The wife and I are both sort of retired now, but when we were working in town, even though we drove back and forth to work together, we put 65 miles per day, 5 days per week, on our car. One Subaru or another has filled the "long-lasting dependability requirement" for us since 1979. However, the second 1979 Subaru we had (I don't remember the model) had an 3-speed automatic transmission that was geared way too low for 70mph driving on the freeway, and we ruined its engine fairly quickly. The other 1979 Subaru we had, the same model (whatever it was) had a 5-speed manual transmission, and it went over 250,000 miles before we traded it off.

Gas mileage for the 1979, 5-speed manual transmission model was over 40 on the highway, back and forth to work. Both of our Foresters have had 5-speed manual transmissions too, but they only run 24 to 26 miles per gallon on the highway. But that all-wheel drive they've had is sure enough nice in the wintertime here in SE Idaho. Especially when we were driving over 30 miles, 5 days per week, just to get to work in the mornings. :D
 

vito

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
2,677
Back in 2011 I looked at the Forester, but one feature turned me off (which may not be relevant in the newer models). The non-adjustable passenger seat seemed so low relative to the dashboard that my wife (who is 5'5") felt she would always be straining her neck to look out at the road. So we ended up with the 6-cylinder Outback. The Outback has been outstanding, and virtually without any issues and now has over 120,000 miles on it. I also bought an Impreza the following year, and if I had it to do over I would have spent the extra bucks and bought a second Outback instead. The Impreza is just not the car that the Outback is, not the least of it is the barely adequate 4-cylinder enginer compared to the more powerful 6-cylinder available with the Outback. My 2011 Outback was my first Subaru but it made a believer of me in this brand. If I move up to a bigger vehicle it will only be to have more towing capacity than the 3,000 lb. limit with the Outback.
 

Mtneer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
180
vito said:
Back in 2011 I looked at the Forester, but one feature turned me off (which may not be relevant in the newer models). The non-adjustable passenger seat seemed so low relative to the dashboard that my wife (who is 5'5") felt she would always be straining her neck to look out at the road. So we ended up with the 6-cylinder Outback. The Outback has been outstanding, and virtually without any issues and now has over 120,000 miles on it. I also bought an Impreza the following year, and if I had it to do over I would have spent the extra bucks and bought a second Outback instead. The Impreza is just not the car that the Outback is, not the least of it is the barely adequate 4-cylinder enginer compared to the more powerful 6-cylinder available with the Outback. My 2011 Outback was my first Subaru but it made a believer of me in this brand. If I move up to a bigger vehicle it will only be to have more towing capacity than the 3,000 lb. limit with the Outback.

Ha! That's too funny Vito. My wife is 5'1&1/2" - and "Don't forget the half!" she always says.

You're absolutely right about Foresters - just like your wife, my wife can't see over their dashes very well. I guess I just got so use to transferring the cushion my wife sits on over to the other seat whenever I got into one of the Subaru's we've owned, I forgot about it. My wife doesn't need her "booster seat" in our Tundra though, nor in our old F-150.
 

sfhogman

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 18, 2002
Messages
1,743
Oops! Didn't think of that.
Now I'm gonna have to ask my 5'2" sweetie what she thinks. She might be getting a few years worth of neck rubs....

Jeff
 

Mtneer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 15, 2015
Messages
180
john guedry said:
No use in us even thinking about one. My wife's 4'9''.

Vito, it sounds like you and I, or at least our wives, might have helped Subaru not sell a couple of Foresters. Oops! :lol:
 

vito

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
2,677
One of my sons just bought a new Forester and loves it. He's 5'11" and his wife is 5'6" and they never noticed the "high" dashboard. The Forester gets the #1 rating from Consumer Reports for Small SUV's so I doubt that Subaru will have any trouble selling lots of them. If they offered the Forester with the 6-cylinder and offered a power passenger seat I would have no trouble buying one myself. For now I will stick with the Outback.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,074
It's interesting that Subaru has introduced a new model, the Crosstrek, which is essentially the same size as my early-generation For'str. This is a car that is pretty much based on the smaller Impreza platform as is my For'str, and retains the smaller 2.0 engine. Mine is similar in size, but uses the 2.5 engine from the larger Legacy platform . . . mine being essentially an Impreza with a Legacy powertrain. I gave some thought to a Crosstrek, but decided that I'd be gaining nothing of consequence, and no more space, and less engine, so I could see no real benefit for my purposes . . . particularly in view of the fact that I'd be looking at essentially the same price for the 'Trek that I faced with my For'str.

The new For'strs are darn close to the Outbacks in size and equippage, so I'd have to think real hard about desired features vs price to decide between the two. The six-cylinder engine is attractive in the Outback, but I really don't NEED it.

My only complaint about my For'str is the total lack of footroom in the back seat, but the new ones seem to have resolved that situation . . . and not a moment too soon.

:)
 

ProfessorWes

Buckeye
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
1,515
Regarding the stereo upgrade: Why only replace the tweeters? My 2012 Hyundai Elantra had a decent base audio system from the factory - six speakers, 172 watts peak power - but a set of Infinity speakers really enhanced the sound. Crystal-clear highs and better (IMHO) midrange than the OEM speakers, plus nice, tight bass with enough thump for anybody this side of Tech-N9ne.

If your Forester takes 6 1/2" or 6 3/4" diameter speakers, I highly recommend the Infinity model 6030CS and 6032 speakers, which is what I went with for my stereo upgrade. The 6030CS is a component system with seperate tweeters and woofers (which replaced the similar OEM setup in the Elantra's front doors), and the two-way 6032s replaced the full-range factory speakers in back. They work excellently with the OEM head unit, with no need for a seperate amp (which some aftermarket speakers require, to get the best sound quality out of them).

Infinity also offers a similar setup in a 5 1/4" size, also in component and two-way versions. If it's highs you want, it's hard to beat Infinity. Yes, I'm a fan.

I believe that Infinity also sells the crossover and low-profile, one-inch tweeters from the 6030CS seperately, if a tweeter upgrade is all you want.
 

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