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2015 Subaru Forester Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by Ericerau

Ericerau

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Introduction

I purchased this vehicle after having a 2009 Escape XLT V6 AWD. Feel free to contact me if you want specific comparisions.

Reviewed: 2015 Subaru Forester

4dr SUV 170-horsepower 2.5L H4 CVT AWD

Why the 2015 Subaru Forester?

Fuel economy

I drive mainly around town and average 26 overall. On a highway drive, I get around 33. My previous vehicle was a 2009 Escape V6 AWD, this is a definite improvement on fuel economy. I could rarely get 30 on the highway. Typically around 27.

Front seat room

I'm 6'3" and often don't fit comfortable in vehicles. I found this had a very nice amount of front seat room. The center console tends to stay out of the way as well, some newer designs have the center stack moving into where my right knee would be. It's a very noticeable improvement over my previous 2009 Escape. I actually found the Forester more comfortable for me than the Outback. I was expecting the opposite.

Rear seat room & comfort

After looking at Explorer's, I was surprised how much more room the Forester had in the back seat. Granted it doesn't have a third row, but if you don't need a 3rd row, the Forester is hard to beat in this segment for rear seat room. We can put a forward facing child seat in the back, move the front seat up a about 2 inches from all the way back and there's still plenty of front passenger room and my 1.5 year old son can't kick the back of the seat.

Powertrain performance

When shopping for a new SUV, I was adament I didn't want a CVT. However many manufacturers are starting to use them.I really liked the Forester and decided I would "deal" with a CVT. After having it for a few months, don't even notice it anymore except when rapidly accelerating to get on the highway. Honestly if they offered a 6speed traditional automatic transmission, I would probably take the CVT because of MPG gain. We also have a Nissan Altima with a CVT, the Subaru's is superior. It is able to make a surprisingly amount of torque at low RPM considering the engine size versus vehicle size. If you hate CVTs, give this a try, you might be content with it. Don't expect sports car performance, but the power is adequate.

Price or payments

I got .9% financing for 48 months, the loan (little under $20k -> had a trade in) costs me about $400 in interest total, not even worth paying off early. In terms of what you get for the money, it's hard to beat the Forester. It's nice to know that I have a vehicle that legitimately tackle pretty much any on road environment I'll encounter in northern Ohio. Features that surprised me for the price: Heated cloth seats Auto dimming rearview and side mirrors Backup camera (although screen is tiny) Huge moonroof Major options I purchased the Intelligent Eye system for about $1500 (can't remember exact price). It includes auto breaking for collision advoidance, lane sway warning, and auto adjusting cruise. I won't go into details about the system, their site does a better job than I can do, but it's pretty great. It does what they claim, although I haven't had the guts to point my vehicle at building a 30MPH and see what happens (should have done it on the test drive). If your on the fence about it, and you like to use cruise control, buy it just for the adaptive cruise control. I really love the feature, it really changes how you can drive on the highway. On top of that, it may save you from an accident.

Why Not the 2015 Subaru Forester?

Color choices

Why can't I get the famous Subaru Blue on a their most popular model? In general, their color choices are too safe. There aren't any that are offensive or interesting. I ended up with going with a the dark gray and I like it.

Audio & nav systems

I don't have the nav system, but the audio system is barely adequate. It doesn't sound all that great and the power is weak. If you want to drive with the windows down and listen to the radio, it needs to go about 2/3 the way up. The speakers sound fair. I'm not expecting amazing audiophile sound, but I would have been happy to pay another $150 not to have such a crappy/weak stereo. I would give this a much harsher review, but my parents a had a Nissan Rogue, now that stereo was horrible. I didn't think new cars had audio system so bad, but that Rogue did.

Quietness

I have noticed slight rattles that come and go. Normally wouldn't bother me, but when things are brand new, you tend to over notice these type of things.

Cargo capacity

The remote doesn't open the rear tailgate, it just unlocks it. Pain when your carrying a ladder or something and you have put it down and open the tailgate. Seats don't fold 100% flat and there is a gap between the folded seat and the front seats. Things that can roll around seem to find their way into those gaps. Rear tailgate glass doesn't open. My 2009 escape allowed me to open the rear glass which as awesome. I was able to carry a roll of linoleum by opening the glass. The storage under the back area looks better than it really is. It's jus a couple of foam cutouts that hold stuff above the spare tire. When I was shopping I thought that would be really helpful. In reality, the cutouts don't do much good. And if you store stuff in there like metal tools, you'll hear them every time you stop. The storage area needs to be about 6 inches deeper to be truly useful. I was able to fit a small first aid kit in there, that's about it.

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Response from Ericerau

11:59 am August 12, 2015

I've had this vehicle through an Ohio summer (not the harshest in the country ). One thing that I found annoying is the front window tint. When the sun comes in, it's gets real hot. The black plastic heats up and the AC struggles to keep up. If it's above 77, pretty much have to use recycled air setting all the time, even on the highway. The car takes forever to cool down too. The plastic absorbs heat and just doesn't cool down. I have a 45 minute commute, if the car was in the sun outside all day, it never cools down the whole drive home - the air cools down, but everything you touch is warm/hot. The sun coming in while driving keeps everything very warm to the touch. If it's above 90, plan using using a max (setting 4) AC setting utnil the car gets comfortable, then 3 or 4 to keep it there. I'd rate the AC as good enough, if you live somewhere with harsh summers it may not be. Test drive one one that's been parked in the sun a few hours on a hot sunny afternoon.

Back windows are much better.

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Response from LMCRM

12:30 pm January 11, 2016

I agree with the assessment of the AC with the darker interior colors and sunny summery days.
I test drove a 2015 XT Turbo when I was shopping and found that it took at least 5 minutes for the air to begin to feel cooler and at least 10 to make the interior comfortable... I never touched the door panels or dash top... but truly agree that the AC system is less than able to take on the interior's heat build up...

My 2015 2.5 Limited has the light silver/gray interior and I don't have the issues at all with the cooling.

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