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wildernessed
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 10:28 am 
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up.gif Mine is a 2006 Forester and most of the 87,000 miles have been to and from trailheads with 1000's of miles on forest roads in all type of terrain and weather conditions.I wear aggressive tires year around. Ask Steve about some of our mobile adventures. I will be looking for a new Subaru in the next couple years but want to get my money out of this one which I may keep as a second vehicle. I have no doubt it saved me from some very bad high mountain driving decisions.

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Foist
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 10:32 am 
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My recollection was the pricing of the Forester and CX-5 were very close (although this was 2014).  Also Mazda was offering a way better financing deal at the time, that might be true again.  Although one factor is if you're getting the CX-5, you really have to get at least the mid-level trim (the "Touring") because the base trim has a weaker engine.  But I would also go for the mid-level Forester trim because of other features, like the back-up camera.

The RAV4, as I recall, was significantly cheaper than both, and I thought it was nice to drive.  But there were two issues with that one for us: 1) lack of clearance; and 2) it flunked the new crash test they started doing last year.
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MLHSN
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What goes here?????
PostSat Jan 24, 2015 10:46 am 
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wildernessed wrote:
up.gif Mine is a 2006 Forester and most of the 87,000 miles have been to and from trailheads with 1000's of miles on forest roads in all type of terrain and weather conditions.I wear aggressive tires year around. Ask Steve about some of our mobile adventures. I will be looking for a new Subaru in the next couple years but want to get my money out of this one which I may keep as a second vehicle. I have no doubt it saved me from some very bad high mountain driving decisions.

haha, Yes Rob, I remember a few pucker factor moments involving dirt road corners and that Forester.  The fact you haven't gone flying off a cliff corner yet is testimony to the Foresters handling, lol.

Foist, I'm kind of the base-model cheapskape type of guy.  I'm use to old work trucks so comfort tends not to be an issue.  I'm looking at a new base-model Forester that is $22k but the base model CX-5 I think has the 2.0 motor instead of 2.5 and it is around $24k.  The price quote on the Rav-4 was $25k where as the Tacoma was $28k.  I'd be very curious to hear if anyone has negotiated a lower price on any of those for comparison.  The whole car haggling process is extremely wearisome for me.
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Foist
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 10:56 am 
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Re haggling, Here is what I did, based on some internet advice: I emailed the dealerships asking for their best price. When you email them, you get their dedicated online sales person. And they generally give you a pretty good price, somewhere below msrp. After doing that, the price I got from the Kirkland dealer was the lowest, but that is not a convenient location for me. So I went back to the Renton dealer and asked if they would match it and they did. So I did all my haggling by email so when I showed up at the dealer I already had the price all set. And it was a pretty good price, lower than the Costco price, which is another way to avoid haggling.
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half fast
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 11:02 am 
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MLHSN wrote:
Let me post this question for those that have been through a few Subaru's:  how many miles did you get out of it?...

I leased my two Forresters so I had a specific mileage to return them at.

My Baja, which I purchased has almost 190k and is still - knock on wood or whatever you do with a car, going strong.  Just follow the factory service recommendations and you are good!!

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It's all about the fun, oh and maybe the chocolate - half fast
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Foist
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 11:19 am 
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Foresters used to be notorious for burning oil, but supposedly that problem is fixed in recent models.
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Get Out and Go
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 11:28 am 
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Hi Mark,  I can only respond as a first time buyer.  My 2000 Xterra has passed over to my son, who has been driving it to Running Start at Wenatchee Valley College for a year and a half.  So, I bought a 2015 Forester last May.  I liked the Nissan Rogue, but felt the rear window visibility was limited.  I also considered Mazda but ultimately followed the Leavenworth/Wenatchee Valley lemmings and went with the Forester.   biggrin.gif

7 months in and I'm extremely pleased with the performance, winter handling, visibility and space.  I have absolutely no buyer's remorse.  To me it's a utilitarian vehicle that meets my needs.   smile.gif

The accelerator is a bit jumpy from 0mph.  It just took a bit of getting used to by feathering it softly pulling into the garage from a sloped driveway.

Indeed, the steering is very responsive (or touchy)... Another take on changing to a different vehicle after 15 years.

Minor observation is the documented delay from Reverse to Drive when backing out, probably put in there to protect the transmission.  Our Nissan Sentra with a CVT doesn't seem to have that issue.

I went with Internet pricing from Carter Subaru in Ballard.  It was worth the spring day drive to Seattle over the local Cascade Subaru.

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"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go."
(Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart)

"Sometimes you're happy.  Sometimes you cry.
Half of me is ocean.  Half of me is sky."
(Thanks, Tom Petty)
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MLHSN
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 12:12 pm 
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I was set on getting a manual transmission to save the extra $1k but the salesman tried telling me that the automatic has a different type of AWD, something about how the power shifts between wheels with varying traction.

Was this just salesmanship or is there some substance to what he was saying. Note:  I'm not mechanically inclined.  Changing oil and sparkplugs is the extent of my abilities.
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Foist
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 12:24 pm 
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There are other people on this site who are more mechanically inclined than me as well, but my hunch is that your salesman is full of it.  All Subarus have their unique "symmetrical AWD" systems.  Certain manual transmissions may work slightly differently, but I don't think in a bad way.
Here is Subaru's page on this issue, which tries to explain all this in plain English.

Also, if you can drive stick and enjoy it, you may hate Subaru's CVT automatic system.

My parents had a lot of trouble with the clutch on their 2005 Forester, but I'm not sure that would be relevant to a 2015.  2005 is a long time ago, it was a very different car.

If I were you, I'd ignore the guy and get the manual.
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MtnManic
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Major repairs might well vary with the specific model.

My 89 or so Legacy FWD went through a couple of CV boots;  I think that was also the car that had a bum axle (that was expensive, IMHO). 

Only reason I bought that car was my prior Mazda was totaled at 116k miles so the insurance payout was insufficient to replace with another comparable car (I could have bought Legacys with over 200k, etc. and hatchbacks were not popular in those last 5 years, either, so few on the used market - my grandparents were kind enough to give me some money so I could buy the used sedan).

That prior Mazda went thru several (name escapes me, has to do with the battery) and two clutches in over 100k miles.

My Impreza didn't have many issues that I remember - only reason I replaced it was I wanted a roomier car and I figured at pushing 80k (bought it about 35k) why pay the 80k service charge then replace it?  Especially as I happened to fall into a position where I could handle car payments whereas I could not before.

Over 5 years now on the Forester...knock on wood.

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Backpacking: limited to one pack at a time.  Cameras: limited to as many as I can carry.
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Foist
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 1:01 pm 
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Yeah Mazda went through a real rough patch reliability-wise.  It's been much better the last few years since they extricated themselves from Ford.
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Lilredexpress
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 1:13 pm 
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There is difference between the manual and AUTO's Transmission in all subaru's from what I am hearing from a die hard subaru fanatic at work. 
And that changes between models and years.  Here is a good link that
explains certain yrs and which system they have.  Its very complicated
trying to figure out which system does exactly what, and to what benefit.

http://www.awdwiki.com/en/subaru/

Also check out reviews, real world MPG is better now then in a manual.
Whether we like them or not CVT auto transmissions are getting better mpg then manual's in the real world because they use the power available to it's maximum.  Its more efficient then you shifting. 

I would visit dealers for test drives even late model used ones then
go to a dealers web site and inquire about a specific model and let them price it for you online.  I emailed them back with my acceptance and or
counter offer and never negotiated anything except warranty and accessories after that.  Getting pre approved before hand helps in my opinion.   The less you do with the dealer in person the better. 
They will email you the purchase order and you can see all the add on s from the dealer like prep and other gouging techniques.  Those are negotiable also. 

I would consider the CX5 also.  It is just as capable.


Also if you want a cheaper option this summer there is a all new model coming out from MAZDA this summer.   CX-3

The FAST LANE CAR and Everyman driver are very popular youtube car
review channels.  They drive Sub's and Mazda's on and off road.

Yes I have done tons of research on Mazda's and Subi's recently. So please let me know what you end of going with and why.
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tigermn
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 2:40 pm 
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Foist wrote:
But I would also go for the mid-level Forester trim because of other features, like the back-up camera.

For the record all 2015 Subaru's come with a backup camera now, even the Impreza.
I think it is mandatory on all vehicles by 2016.

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boot up
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PostSat Jan 24, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Lilredexpress wrote:
I would consider the CX5 also.  It is just as capable.

I doubt you would be going very far wrong with either Mazda or Subaru, and both have upped their reliability quite a bit in recent years.

But seriously ....the Mazda "just as capable", based on the video you linked?   Did you actually watch that video?

The guy gets the Mazda through a flat area puddle.  woopee.  Failed his attempt to climb a modest hill, and really gives it a mediocre review.     Just sayin'  smile.gif   And note he was test driving a $31K model, so it wasn't a stripped down Mazda.

Grabbing just one of the many videos out there comparing the Forester to the competition, it pretty much blows away the competition in off road testing, and does OK  on road.  Actually, I would argue a bit with the "no body sway" in the review I linked.   I think the factory body sway is excessive on both the 2012+ Impreza and 2014+  Forester.

If you don't like the pavement performance, an easy fix is to spend $120 for a 20mm STI Rear Sway Bar and bushings, do the easy install yourself, or pay someone $100 to install it.   Then you will be grinning on pavement too.  Of course good tires helps also.

If you want your subie to last, there are several maintenance items you must keep on top of.     Check oil level, and change the oil regularly.  And keep the battery terminals clean.     
Of course any car will do better if you do all the scheduled maintenance, but that short list is very critical.

As John mentioned, all the Subies have a backup camera now.

So, I guess if visibility, safety, off road capability and price isn't a priority, the Mazda is the clear cut winner.    wink.gif

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tigermn
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PostSun Jan 25, 2015 2:40 pm 
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One thing I will say about the Outback and the Forester as well is the great visibility. Its not bad in the Impreza either.

A lot of the new SUV's types want to have those squashed windows and pillars that create less visibility.
If visibility is a major deal for you, then the Subaru's do VERY well.

We also own a Honda CRV (2008) and it seems the newer ones are squashing the back window. Can't be helping visibility.

I can't wait (well I guess I can) to get my Outback on some more interesting roads/conditions to see how well it really does.

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