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We find ourselves in need of a second car. With my scooter out of commission and winter around the corner we need a second car for my wife (and a new scooter which is in the works).

My wife is in love with the Subaru Forester. Unlike our current GMC Terrain they handle well on snow/ice and have a good safety record.

Questions:
1. What are your experiences with Subaru vehicles? Pros and cons. Would you recommend something else?

2. In today's automobile market with chip shortages and used cars selling for close to new car prices on some models would you purchase new? I've never been a fan of buying new cars because of the immediate depreciation but things are different now.
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Personally I'd be cautious about buying a car made in the last year.
The chip shortage has caused some auto manufacturers to remove chips.
Whether in ways to reduce fuel economy or remove optional features, either way I don't care for it.
If I was in the market for a vehicle now, I'd buy local used.
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Madison Sully wrote:
Personally I'd be cautious about buying a car made in the last year.
The chip shortage has caused some auto manufacturers to remove chips.
Whether in ways to reduce fuel economy or remove optional features, either way I don't care for it.
If I was in the market for a vehicle now, I'd buy local used.
Good point. I hadn't thought of that angle. So maybe 2019 and earlier?
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We've had our 1999 Subaru SUS for a dozen years. 230K miles and it's still a fantastic car. I would highly recommend.

It's honestly the most fun I've had in the snow since I sold my Jeep.
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UTC quote
stickyfrog wrote:
Good point. I hadn't thought of that angle. So maybe 2019 and earlier?
Yup.
Plus all the caveats about flood damage....
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Mom's got a 2016 Subaru Outback that she got used a couple of years ago. It's pretty awesome and has been trouble free (other than she can't figure out the dashboard...but she's 90, so there's that). Hoping I can inherit it when she gives up the keys.....
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https://www.fiat.it/panda/panda-cross/interni

Fiat Panda Cross 4 x 4
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Attila wrote:
Fiat Panda Cross 4 x 4
The 500X is the only one you can get here in the US.
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Dooglas wrote:
The 500X is the only one you can get here in the US.
The Fiat is supposed to be the worst car in America. Most new car issues of all brands.
O.S.
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You're not going all electric? Now's the time to jump in, with incentives still around.
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My son just got one of these after his previous car was hit and totaled while parked.

https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/vehicles/kona-electric
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UTC quote
A Subaru with snow tires is a go anywhere/anytime vehicle.

Each generation of Subie's has their own particular issues. We're on our second. (A 2008 with 160k miles.) Mostly they're very reliable. Gas mileage isn't great though, so you have to decide if the AWD is really what you need.
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jimc wrote:
You're not going all electric? Now's the time to jump in, with incentives still around.
I would love to but not practical for what I need right now. Once I retire I will definitely look at them as a replacement for the GMC. Electric scooters as well.
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I've never owned or driven a Subaru, but I've known more than a few people who have. They all say they "love" the car. Very emotional attachments for a car. They all keep them for many years and miles and most buy another one when the time comes. The only similar response I can think of is for VW Beetles. They both have flat "boxer" engines. The 4wd gets good reports.
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Tor2ga wrote:
I've never owned or driven a Subaru, but I've known more than a few people who have. They all say they "love" the car. Very emotional attachments for a car. They all keep them for many years and miles and most buy another one when the time comes. The only similar response I can think of is for VW Beetles. They both have flat "boxer" engines. The 4wd gets good reports.
Interesting. My wife must be attracted to "cult vehicles." She owned three VW Beetles before the GMC and now is looking for a new cult I think. Laughing emoticon
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UTC quote
pmatulew wrote:
A Subaru with snow tires is a go anywhere/anytime vehicle.

Each generation of Subie's has their own particular issues. We're on our second. (A 2008 with 160k miles.) Mostly they're very reliable. Gas mileage isn't great though, so you have to decide if the AWD is really what you need.
Yeah. Last year I spent three hours in a CVS parking lot waiting for a plow because my Terrain could not get up our hill with only a couple of inches of snow on it. My neighbor, who owns an Outback, said she had no problems and when she tried it there was more snow.

I'd like to have at least one vehicle that I can rely on in winter weather so I guess the trade off is worth it.
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stickyfrog wrote:
...

Questions:
1. What are your experiences with Subaru vehicles? Pros and cons. Would you recommend something else?

2. In today's automobile market with chip shortages and used cars selling for close to new car prices on some models would you purchase new? I've never been a fan of buying new cars because of the immediate depreciation but things are different now.
My wife and I have owned 5 Subarus over the last 12 years.
2005 Forester
2013 BRZ
2016 WRX STI
2017 Forester XT (turbo)
2018 WRX STI TypeRA

They have all been very reliable vehicles. The 2005 Forester was our first and purchased for my stepson who abused it and drove it hard for 6 years. It was still running strong w/ 185K miles when he moved on to a different car.

My wife loves her 2017 Forester XT. Unfortunately they don't make the Forester with the turbo engine option anymore. It really gets up and goes.

My 2018 WRX STI TypeRA is modified and makes 400whp (increased 114whp from stock). Even with the extra power and aggressive driving it has been very reliable.

On snow and ice, the Subarus do extremely well. Especially if you use snow and ice tires. Don't try to drive on snow and ice w/ summer performance tires.

Regarding the chip shortage... with used car prices so high, I'd probably opt to buy new. I would probably not buy a car at all in this market unless I had to. It sounds like you don't really have a choice. The chip shortage isn't going to last forever, so if you can wait, you will probably be able to get a better deal whether it's new or used.

-Craig

For fans of motorsports, here is a Subaru WRX STI setting the Mount Washington auto road hill climb record just last weekend. A lot of people don't realize the potential in these cars

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⚠️ Last edited by caschnd1 on UTC; edited 1 time
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caschnd1 wrote:
My wife and I have owned 5 Subarus over the last 12 years.
2005 Forester
2013 BRZ
2016 WRX STI
2017 Forester XT (turbo)
2018 WRX STI TypeRA

They have all been very reliable vehicles. The 2005 Forester was our first and purchased for my stepson who abused it and drove it hard for 6 years. It was still running strong w/ 185K miles when he moved on to a different car.

My wife loves her 2017 Forester XT. Unfortunately they don't make the Forester with the turbo engine option anymore. It really gets up and goes.

My 2018 WRX STI TypeRA is modified and makes 400whp (increased 114whp from stock). Even with the extra power and aggressive driving it has been very reliable.

On snow and ice, the Subarus do extremely well. Especially if you use snow and ice tires. Don't try to drive on snow and ice w/ summer performance tires.

Regarding the chip shortage... with used car prices so high, I'd probably opt to buy new. I would probably not buy a car at all in this market unless I had to. It sounds like you don't really have a choice. The chip shortage isn't going to last forever, so if you can wait, you will probably be able to get a better deal whether it's new or used.

-Craig
Great info. Thanks. I know snow tires are best but how about all weather?
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stickyfrog wrote:
Great info. Thanks. I know snow tires are best but how about all weather?
I now have All Season tires on my wife's Forester. They are not as good in the snow and ice as dedicated winter tires, but they are still very good. I have dedicated winter tires for my WRX STI because the soft compound summer performance tires are terrible in the snow. We don't get any snow here at home, but we travel to Lake Tahoe and Colorado often in the winter months to visit family and go skiing. I've driven both the Forester and the WRX STI in snow as deep as 20". The clearance on the WRX STI is a bit low for that and you end up plowing, but if it's not wet heavy snow, it's no problem.

-Craig
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Wife purchased a new Crosstrek, 2018. I recall the sales guy trying to push an extended warranty on her saying the car had crappy computers that are prone to problems. She declined the extended warranty. But that car lived up to its supposed reputation and she sold it after she retired. Never again on a Subaru. Note that we have a 2005 Baja that's been a flat out tank.
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sc00ter wrote:
Wife purchased a new Crosstrek, 2018. I recall the sales guy trying to push an extended warranty on her saying the car had crappy computers that are prone to problems. She declined the extended warranty. But that car lived up to its supposed reputation and she sold it after she retired. Never again on a Subaru. Note that we have a 2005 Baja that's been a flat out tank.
Thanks. Yeah I have been reading that some of the recent year Subarus were having more issues than they traditionally did. Forester and Outback have recently fallen out of the list for Best Cars After 200k miles. There are many factors not related to quality like an increase is leasing over buying but numerous recalls is also a factor.
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the "state car" of VT where I grew up. If you live in deep snow and dirt road country and don't want a larger SUV, Subarus are great. We had some for many years and loved them. It's dated experience for me, though - been all scooter and the wife has a VW for a long time now. But my older experience was very positive
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My at-the-time GF bought a 1979 Subaru GF. 165,000 miles later I traded it in on a '94 Ranger. Got $80 for trade in. It was totaled twice, I never changed the oil; I'd just wait for the oil light, then buy 2 Qts of Grocery store oil. CV joints were going, so I never took turns under power. I loved that car! I have read acceleration is not great in the new models, but we are looking at Foresters too.
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Syd wrote:
My at-the-time GF bought a 1979 Subaru GF. 165,000 miles later I traded it in on a '94 Ranger. Got $80 for trade in. It was totaled twice, I never changed the oil; I'd just wait for the oil light, then buy 2 Qts of Grocery store oil. CV joints were going, so I never took turns under power. I loved that car! I have read acceleration is not great in the new models, but we are looking at Foresters too.
Yeah, the current Forester is a bit under powered. It's a real shame they stopped offering the turbo option.
If you want a turbo, you have to look at the Outback or the Acent.

-Craig
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We had two. A 2018 "Outback" and a 2018 "Crosstrek". We loved both of them. The "Crosstrek" was a little "tinny" for my taste but the "Outback" is solid. Ours now has over 45K miles on it and we have had it for close to 4 years. We traded in the "Crosstrek" for me to get a different SUV. My wife took the "Outback".

The long and short of it is that Suburu is a quality vehicle. Plus the dealers always seem to have 0% financing if one has to finance the car. Not sure if they do now given the supply and demand issues.
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Bought a 2015 Forester new for my wife (who liked it) for just a little more than a 2 year old CPO one.

I hate that damn car. There is a slight delay for any input to the electronics, so that if you push the button to change the radio station or some other thing you wonder if it is working. When the time changes, I need to to go to YouTube to go thru the machinations on doing something simple as changing the clock.

There is like 5 positions on the headlight switch. Cant tell you how many times we have had to get out of the car to see if the headlights are actually on, just the DRL's, if the knob gets accidentally gets bumped out of "auto".

The electric tailgate is absolutely maddening. Push the button for too long, it doesn't work, don't listen for the correct series of beeps when using the remote it doesn't work, the dash button is oddly placed below the button to set the lift height. Probably the tailgate has caused me to threaten to rid ourselves of this car more than anything else.

So far mechanically it has been OK - only the regular recalls. The CVT trans could be better tuned, weird starts and operates a low rpm in city traffic. Interior materials and finish are not of the best quality.

TLDR - I kick myself for buying this instead of the RAV4. But my wife likes it.
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Stay away from Fiat . Regularly at the bottom of the JD Power survey next to Ranger Rover, Jaguar and Tesla.

Nissan are throwing cars away right now if you want to pick up a faceless bargin. Avoid anything from them with a CVT if you can.
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Bill Dog wrote:
Stay away from Fiat . Regularly at the bottom of the JD Power survey next to Ranger Rover, Jaguar and Tesla.

Nissan are throwing cars away right now if you want to pick up a faceless bargin. Avoid anything from them with a CVT if you can.
Which car brand do you like that is reliable?
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I don't really have advice but I had an interesting experience this week.

My daily driver is a four door, automatic Civic. Hardly very exciting. I'm looking for something a little more sporty and I saw a two door Civic with a manual and V-Tech on CL for a decent price. Sounds good so far.

It was at a used car lot and the guy tried to get me to test drive it in the parking lot. No, I'll drive it a few miles. He went with me. At first it seemed fine so I made him an offer and he accepted but before we made it back to the lot I reved it up and it had a serious misfire above 3,000 rpm. I told him that if he got that fixed he should call me. My offer still stands.

He never called me back and it is still listed on CL so I am pretty sure he didn't fix it and is trying to sell it as it is.

Buying a used car comes with some risk but I have never bought a new car and I probably never will. I have never been seriously burned but they often come with a surprise or two. Luckily, I can fix most things on cars, especially the older ones that I usually have.
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6 time subaru here.

my wife current one is the 2015 outback limited. I have tried the last 3 years to get her to trade it in on a new one and she just WON'T give it up.

I actually cut a deal and put a deposit on a new 2022 outback touring. And again she aint giving hers up. So I had to go back to the dealer with head hanging low and ask for the deposit back. No biggie as they have a list of folks waiting in line for them. They are selling off the factory order list as they can't keep any new ones on the lot.

The new ones you can get a turbo in them but its not really needed IMO. the trade off is 5 MPG less than standard.

their used subies are selling just as fast as well.

as far as all weather with all weather tires, I find them very capable. I have no worries of my wife on the road in bad conditions.
Subarus have very high safety marks and ratings. some of the best.

For your typical conditions in middle Indiana it would be most excellent.

there is a reason for so many in the mountains whether its here in the smokies or out in the Rockies.

here is something as well. where is the largest concentration of subaru dealers? Denver. kinda makes you go Hmmmmm.

Bottom line is highly recommended.
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oh and the new Subarus financing is currently 1.9%
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Lexus. Accept no substitutes.
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old as dirt wrote:
6 time subaru here.

my wife current one is the 2015 outback limited. I have tried the last 3 years to get her to trade it in on a new one and she just WON'T give it up.

I actually cut a deal and put a deposit on a new 2022 outback touring. And again she aint giving hers up. So I had to go back to the dealer with head hanging low and ask for the deposit back. No biggie as they have a list of folks waiting in line for them. They are selling off the factory order list as they can't keep any new ones on the lot.

The new ones you can get a turbo in them but its not really needed IMO. the trade off is 5 MPG less than standard.

their used subies are selling just as fast as well.

as far as all weather with all weather tires, I find them very capable. I have no worries of my wife on the road in bad conditions.
Subarus have very high safety marks and ratings. some of the best.

For your typical conditions in middle Indiana it would be most excellent.

there is a reason for so many in the mountains whether its here in the smokies or out in the Rockies.

here is something as well. where is the largest concentration of subaru dealers? Denver. kinda makes you go Hmmmmm.

Bottom line is highly recommended.
Thanks OAD. Was hoping you would weigh in.
@old_as_dirt avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 GTS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22534
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@old_as_dirt avatar
2007 GTS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22534
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
UTC quote
Sticky you have my phone number if you have any questions give me a shout.
OP
@stickyfrog avatar
UTC

Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22659
Location: Nashville, Indiana
 
Moderatus Rana
@stickyfrog avatar
MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22659
Location: Nashville, Indiana
UTC quote
old as dirt wrote:
Sticky you have my phone number if you have any questions give me a shout.
will do
@wleuthold avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125: 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Big Ugly), 2023 Vespa GTS300 (Ghost)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5228
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@wleuthold avatar
2006 Vespa GT (Rocket): 2007 Vespa GT (Vanessa): 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125: 2018 Yamaha Xmax (Big Ugly), 2023 Vespa GTS300 (Ghost)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5228
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
UTC quote
John,

My wife has a 2018 Outback.

It is a fine car, holding up well after almost 4 years and 40,000+ miles (I know that is nothing after knowing plenty of owners with over 200,000 miles.

My only complaints are probably similar to all new cars these days.

Too much automation. Too many conveniences.

Every time you start the car, the radio comes on. Never will understand why this is good.

And picking someone up in the drive up at the airport is always interesting. The electric rear hatch will only open after a series of commands that make no logical sense. Nothing like grabbing the rear handle from the outside and lifting the hatch manually. So much better.

I might just be getting old, but I prefer my older, mostly manual everything cars.

The bones of the Subaru are very good and it appears to be ready to spend a lot more time with us. I recommend it but wish they would leave a few things the way they used to be.

Bill
UTC

Hooked
2020 Piaggio Liberty S 150, 2016 Vespa GTV300ie, 2009 Yamaha C3
Joined: UTC
Posts: 161
Location: USA
 
Hooked
2020 Piaggio Liberty S 150, 2016 Vespa GTV300ie, 2009 Yamaha C3
Joined: UTC
Posts: 161
Location: USA
UTC quote
I'm not sure which I love more, my Vespa or my (2018) Crosstrek.

I've had AWDs before, but the Subaru is another creature entirely. I've taken it seriously offroad a few times, on washed-out mountain logging roads really only passable with Jeeps; the Crosstrek climbs and descends those roads like it's on hiking boots rather than wheels. I have TRIED to get it stuck-- no luck. The car can handle way more than my courage is willing to navigate, lol!!

The only thing I don't like about the car is the Android Auto thing gets very wonky occasionally... But I have no idea if that's a Subaru issue, or a phone issue, or an Android issue.
OP
@stickyfrog avatar
UTC

Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22659
Location: Nashville, Indiana
 
Moderatus Rana
@stickyfrog avatar
MP3 250 and 2 MP3 500s
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22659
Location: Nashville, Indiana
UTC quote
WLeuthold wrote:
John,

My wife has a 2018 Outback.

It is a fine car, holding up well after almost 4 years and 40,000+ miles (I know that is nothing after knowing plenty of owners with over 200,000 miles.

My only complaints are probably similar to all new cars these days.

Too much automation. Too many conveniences.

Every time you start the car, the radio comes on. Never will understand why this is good.

And picking someone up in the drive up at the airport is always interesting. The electric rear hatch will only open after a series of commands that make no logical sense. Nothing like grabbing the rear handle from the outside and lifting the hatch manually. So much better.

I might just be getting old, but I prefer my older, mostly manual everything cars.

The bones of the Subaru are very good and it appears to be ready to spend a lot more time with us. I recommend it but wish they would leave a few things the way they used to be.

Bill
I hear ya. I still cannot get used to the back up sensors on our GMC. Every time I back out of the garage the alarm goes off and I cannot look into the back up camera after looking in the review. Throws me off.
@kayemtee avatar
UTC

Addicted
two Vespa GTSs (Dragon Red and Black). Primavera- Kymco Yager 200i
Joined: UTC
Posts: 622
Location: Saratoga Springs, New York
 
Addicted
@kayemtee avatar
two Vespa GTSs (Dragon Red and Black). Primavera- Kymco Yager 200i
Joined: UTC
Posts: 622
Location: Saratoga Springs, New York
UTC quote
Oddly enough, friends just visited with a new 2021 Forester. They traded a 2017 basic model because the dealer contacted them trying to buy their car. For $10,000 in total payments over five years, they were able to upgrade one trim level (more safety features, big sunroof, alloy wheels, heated seats), get the newer car redesigned since their old car was made, and have a brand new car with warranty. While they extended their payments three years they lowered it to under $200 a month. The dealer really wanted that basic four year old Forester.
We went out to dinner in the new one. I was impressed with the rear seat legroom and the cargo space. Seems well put together. Reasonably quiet. I would characterize the acceleration as just adequate; it wasn't slow, but there are quicker cars out there in the class. Most manufacturers are turning to CVTs, which is fine in my Vespa, but I would prefer a traditional automatic.
The problem is not having a car to trade in. Prices are high. We would like a new car but don't need one. I will wait, if I can, for things to normalize, hopefully next year.
I don't think you can go wrong in the Forester, unless quick acceleration is important to you.
@xantufrog avatar
UTC

Moderibbit
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8892
Location: Atlanta, GA
 
Moderibbit
@xantufrog avatar
1980 P200E - "Old Rusty", 1976 ET3 Primavera
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8892
Location: Atlanta, GA
UTC quote
Kayemtee wrote:
I'm curious about this experience - why would the dealer contact someone wanting to buy their car? And why would they be so motivated to swap a 4-yo Forrester on their lot for a new one?
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