subaru foresters . hora – talk to me !

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  • subaru foresters . hora – talk to me !
  • trail_rat
    Member

    looking for a new car to replace the crashed frontera – long story and insurance are still being pursued.

    looking at a few subarus to replace the “4×4” with a more car like vehicle but still with the ability/robustness to get out of my road and not get trashed by the road all year round and the winter snow also. . – Not having 4×4 is not an option i dont care how godlike your driving is.

    got my eye on a couple of foresters which appeal due to their more utilitarian running gear when compared with the legacy’s which seem to have all the electric gubbins at the same age and be lower ground clearance

    looking at 2006 ish 2.0 GS models with between 120-140000 miles on the clock. Generally looking for single or 2 owner vehicles with good service history – would prefer an auto but not fussed either way got a couple of both on my hitlist.

    what i need to know is what to look out for on a test drive of a flat 4 – are there any telltales of expensive repairs coming up handling quirks or drivetrain noises/clunks – outside of those found on normal cars , are there any horrible jobs on a subaru?

    finally to those that have lived with em what are parts prices like – wheel bearings , suspension , electrical service items , cam belt changes , exhausts.

    (ps i know 2.5s are cheaper but the tax on them is 475 a year)

    hora
    Member

    120-140000 is quite leggy. Why not widen your geographics -I drove 200miles each way for my last Subaru (Legacy). It’ll also give you access to better quality/looked after cars in what is a very limited number for sale.

    Things to look out for:

    The clutch should not be firm.
    Look under the car- if it looks rusty or tufts of old earth- avoid.
    Check the coolant quality/level carefully and get the car upto temperature fully on a test drive.
    Dont buy a Forester thats had an engine steam clean.

    From memory cambelt on a 2.0 is every 60,000.

    Check for whines and also – look under the car again at the rear diff – (I think check for signs of leaks).

    All from memory.

    One thing I would suggest is buying with a full main dealer history to as late as possible. The main dealers really do fleece the original owner (IMO)…but at least it’ll show a good car.

    Avoid one with a towbar (IMO)- not a biggy but if you check underneath for a sign of one fitted.

    Amazing fun cars. Great in snow and okish on rough tracks but NOT a proper off roader- so any signs underneath of earth/tufts/etc should be avoided (IMO)

    If you see any you like local to me I’ll check it out. I’ve driven a few and can tell a worn one.

    Why not go for a 5door Imprezza 2.0R? GOOD cars and a better version of the N/A 2.0.

    The Forester is a fantastic car though. I will be having another as soon as a decent one comes up (1 owner/full history <80,000miles)

    wrightyson
    Member

    I miss the sound of that impreza engine!
    Cam belt on those is a **** to do, cost 500 at a specialist and was at 60k.
    Miss it every day!

    trail_rat
    Member

    that is national as it happens im going to look a few on my door step AND i seem to have a few garages with quite a selection of them on forecourts locally .

    however i dont buy cars i cant afford to replace if it dropped its guts tomorrow. – most of the 70/80k models are about 5k-7k – i get alot less miles for my money if i go to a 2.5 though but the tax galls.

    i buy at the bottom end of market and hope to get a year out of it – anything else is a bonus so the tax might not be that big a deal but id have to factor it in.

    imprezza wagons are tiny – needs totake 2 bikes inside with minimal disassembly – i had a 1.6 imprezza wagon in nz and bikes in were both wheels off deal.

    i have no issue with a towbar ill be honest , its a plus point for me

    hora
    Member

    Test drive a few and don’t be afraid to use the hi-lo.

    I used to use mine as a sort of ‘overdrive’ on my NA Forester 😀

    IF you went down the 2.5 route you’d get more usability but also- if the car was being sold with tax still on it’d help/take the sting out?

    Why not consider 2.0XT’s? I’d look at circa 2004/2005 XT’s too.

    Another option is the Legacy Sportswagon???

    On the towbar- I ‘fear’ them as towing a horsebox puts wear in the rear diff for some reason on a Subaru.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    trail_rat, I know it’s probably not a cheap place (and I don’t know what they’re like) but local-ish garage seem to do Subarus – Glenburgie Cars.

    http://www.glenburgiecars.co.uk/CARS_UsedCars.htm
    2 Foresters and 1 Outback on their list.

    I can check them out if you’re interested though maybe out of budget.

    trail_rat
    Member

    XTs hurt in that the mrs has a un decided claim against her atm and zero no claims.

    Im restricted to n/a for insurance purposes . sticking her in a 220bhp pocket rocket would CRIPPLE me.

    tbh im undecided if a subaru is the right thing – i keep hearing bomb proof – but in my head i couple bombproof with expensive to fix then they go wrong.

    i THINK id rather cheap and easy to fix on my drive than bomb proof and having to throw it at a specialist every time i needs a plug changing.

    BUT yes I WANT that one too hora.

    cbmotorsport
    Member

    Cool cars. The MIL has a late diesel one, which is a good cruiser and excellent tower, with more than enough off road ability to cope with the odd byway, field crossing and British winter.

    One negative thing I will say is that they’re really not very big inside. Not as big as a large estate car, the boot is realitvely small compared to a 5 series or similar sized car.

    hora
    Member

    Sorry I got carried away. I picked up my current car from Ayr (I’m in Manchester). For a moment of madness I considered offering my car as a PX and driving back upto Scotland….hmm sleep on it.

    trail_rat
    Member

    drive train has to go somewhere.

    a bmw is about as much use as a fart in a spacesuit on the road to my house. a 2cv would be best for my road TBH.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    ha! my first car, Citroen GSA, had the jack-up hydraulic suspension, could raise it several notches to drive along rutted tracks, was ace (didn’t even break down on me..)

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac
    Subscriber

    likes this thread…(feels even safer in that £5 bet)

    Are you going to see the very local one?

    I had the model hora linked to for three years,after 2 previous n/a 2.0s,it was an absolute riot,and I’d have another in a second,if family finances permitted.They are basically a sound and sorted car,it helps if you have a local garage that likes them,but as hora says,service stamps are money,especially if someone else has paid for them.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    It’s not that big a car, the Forester, deceptively big looking til you get in… You might have that covered already though. I’ve still got a jones for an Outback, even though it’s just a legacy with cuban heels.

    hora
    Member

    Oh but what nice Cuban heels 😀

    mcmoonter
    Member

    Terry, Colin Gordon 4×4 are Subaru specialists near Cupar. He’s got a couple in stock. I got my Legacy from him and my neighbour is on his fourth Subaru from him.

    http://www.crgordon4x4.co.uk/car-sales/?ID=10

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    Love mine, but could be better for bike transport. Had it about 5 years, one lady owner, it’s about 10 years old and just coming up to 100K (but had two cambelt changes due to age, not mileage).
    Nothing else has gone wrong, I’ve done about 40K in it. I use it off road, about 2 miles of muddy track and it’s been fine. Mines a 2 litre, so I have the low ratio which (I don’t think) is fitted to the turbos.

    sproot
    Member

    If you get one registered before 23/3/2006 the tax will be 280, not 475 (assuming it’s below 255g/km, which most of them seem to be).

    I’ve had an impreza wagon for ~8 years now, never needed anything except servicing and never broken down. I’d have another in a heartbeat.

    Never mind the cam belt changes. It ain’t the cam belt that goes; it’s the tensioner or idler bearings, and they’re the pricey buggers. £2-300 for parts and a couple of hours labour.
    Aside from that there’s nothing of great expense that goes wrong except rear wheelbearings. I’ve had two; an S turbo for 9 years and a GLS for 8. Both have had wheel bearings replaced, and the turbo had a Lambda sensor go at £300 odd.
    Aside from filters, oil and rubber, that’s it.
    They’re not big cars but the load space is high and useable.
    If there’s a track, however rough, a Forester is sufficient. If there’s no track you’re better off with a Landy.
    I’ve also had an outback and it wasn’t nearly as well thought out.

    hora
    Member

    Whats everyones thoughts on the 2.5XT?

    Or should I try a WRX 5dr Impreza next?

    jonjones262
    Member

    Rubbish boot size in foresters.

    2.0 engines aren’t worth the low performance compared to cost of fuel.

    Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    MOT wise the main cause of failures on these are anti rollbar drop links and the front suspension arms, the bushes at the back get very soft and tear apart.

    The belt isn’t a bad job to do, some get put off by the presence of four cam pulleys, just take time and mark it out well.

    Premier Icon AD
    Subscriber

    My S turbo doesn’t seem that slow…

    trail_rat
    Member

    Nothing helpful to add then jon – what do you suggest for an alternative.although i will admit real world my 2.2 dti frontera does more mpg than forresters mixed book mpg….

    Premier Icon AD
    Subscriber

    My 51 plate S turbo does around 25mpg (30 on a long run). Not much different to my Cooper S in fact. If you drop the wheels off, you can get two bikes in the boot easily enough and if you drop the seats you don’t need to take the wheels off.
    If I was in the market for another car I’d definitely look at one in the link Hora posted – they’re great cars.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I have long had a hankering for one. Mebbe one day.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    Cam belt on those is a **** to do, cost 500 at a specialist and was at 60k

    190 at my local subaru specialist.

    My 2004 2.0 legacy sport wagon with 114,000 miles has cost significantly less over the years to maintain than my other half’s 1.0 Nissan micra with 80,000 miles on it.

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    Just needed an excuse for a picture of a Forester in a forest (well, large wood actually).

    rusty90
    Member

    Whats everyones thoughts on the 2.5XT?

    We’ve got one (had a 2.0 GS before) and it’s pretty fast and very sure on cornering. Mrs Rusty is happy with it and she drives everywhere like a WRC special stage.
    Can get two bikes in the back with the seats down, or two dogs with the seats up.

    Dai
    Member

    I’ve got a 55 plate (2006 model but lower tax) 2.5 XT with a few mods. The 2.5 has a reputation for engine failures (piston ring lands and head gaskets going) that does seem to be deserved unfortunately. 06 models on have a secondary air system that fails (mine has) and is expensive to renew or remove. If I was buying again I’d go for a pre 2006 2.0 turbo and remove the up pipe cat (can disintegrate and take out the turbo). Saying that though mine is great and with the mods and a remap it’s great fun.

    Lots of parts share with imprezas so they’re easily available and upgrades are cheap.

    Subaruforester.org is a good resource, come and say hi in the Europe section. Scoobynet good for general info and parts, if you can ignore the *****.

    HTH

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    2005 2.5 X here small on the inside compared to what it looks, thirsty, not that quick (especially compared to how much it drinks) and a very small fuel take (compared to it’s thirst – so much so we have had a few close calls out here in Tassie with being too far from a garage) permanent 4×4 so no option to turn it off.

    On the plus side it’s been reliable (touch wood) but has a FSH.

    The missus bought it in haste when she got to Oz where here in Tassie it’s as common as a mondeo.

    Will be swapping for a van asap.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Going off the idea – so much that the mega cheapcitroen c1 my mates offered me looks tempting as a stop gap for building up jaynes ncb again and waiting for the right shogun lwb 2.8td to show up.

    jonjones262
    Member

    Right then, I’m off my phone and on the laptop.

    I had a 2.0 turbo Forester. The boot size was pretty rubbish for the size of the car. I had a legacy outback before that which had a MASSIVE boot.

    The MPG comment was that 2.0 Forester/Legacy’s have pretty bad MPG compared to the performance. Which is why I went for a Turbo. About the same out of a tank but goes like stink when needed.

    Although weirdly after all the above the Forester was the car I regret selling the most… 🙁

    I was looking at them recently but the 2.0T’s are getting too old now and are all pretty much over 100K miles.

    Bought myself a Turbo’d Octavia Estate instead 🙂

    Maybe try looking at Octavia Scouts?

    hora
    Member

    ‘Going off the idea’

    And in the process put me on the path to my third Subaru 😆

    (9yrs NCD discount here though)

    wrightyson
    Member

    Not £190 with idlers and tensioners but I did forget to mention that.

    Hora I test drove the 5 door 330s.
    It was a spirited drive as the dealer knew me as an original scoob driver so was “encouraging” me.
    I never liked the shape, boot was small but the handling was solid in that, had a nice little step out at a roundabout but you knew it was coming where as in my old wrx300 that wasn’t the case.
    Just a bit boring tho.
    Rb320 is where its at…

    trail_rat
    Member

    Bought a thread file instead……maybe ill get the frontera back on the road.

    Think i should spend my hard earned on a much newer and slightly bigger van.

    Thats what we really need instead of a 5 grand forester.

    tom200
    Member

    My old man had a forester 2.0xt for four yeas and it was faultless and pretty rapid, I had a spec b legacy estate that was epic! Fuel consumption is the only downside of both. Legacys are dirt cheap at the moment.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Think i should spend my hard earned on a much newer and slightly bigger van.

    Thats what we really need instead of a 5 grand forester.
    The final straw for me is realising the transit had better economy and the Octavia more space.

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