Three months ago, I sold my well worn and very reliable 2003 Toyota Corolla to a friend After much deliberation, I purchased a used 2010 Subaru Forester with only 19,000 miles. My only real complaint ...
Three months ago, I sold my well worn and very reliable 2003 Toyota Corolla to a friend After much deliberation, I purchased a used 2010 Subaru Forester with only 19,000 miles. My only real complaint with the Toyota had been that it was not a hatchback as I often haul bulky cargo.
Since then I have added more than six thousand miles of in daily driving and an extensive trip from Ohio to Montana, Colorado and back. While out west, I took Subaru far off road and through some very rugged terrain, a far cry from my very urban home. Overall, I am a bit surprised how pleased I am with the vehicle, my first Subaru. I had heard of the near cult like loyalty of Subaru owners and now I know why. On the highways, it is a comfortable and competent ride, although a little noisy. The kayak and bike rack increased the noise.
The sound system could use an upgrade but serves my bare bones needs. Off road, the Forester handled extremely well on the rugged cow trails of the Badlands or in the deep mud fording shallow streams.
In the downtown city, where I live, I was very pleased to at how easily it parallel parks, with a tight turning radius and great visibility. The five speed manual transmission was a good decision for me. It is a very forgiving shift that handles well on or off the road. I understand that some folks are not very satisfied with the four speed automatic.
The interior is simple and appealing, with an uncomplicated dash the reads and operates easily. The seats and fittings have nice clean lines. Nothing fancy, plastic dash and paneled doors that are look nice.
The hood looks like an old Saab and opens easily and will stay open on its own, without additional support.
The back seat is one of the most comfortable I have experienced in this class of vehicle. The Forester can easily carry a couple of friends, my kayak, bicycle and gear when I go camping. At home it serves just as well to secure the groceries, go to the hardware store and ride to work .
Friends and family constantly comment on how comfortable it is. I have to agree, at five foot ten inches tall, the drivers seat is well positioned for me. Older riders love the ease of access and exit. It is the first car I have owned that both my backpacking buddies and my sweet little old lady mother seem to want.
My only complaint so far is the decreased gas milage compared with my Corolla, with only 21 mpg in city driving. However with the cruise control and moving at the speed limit on the highway, I have been surprised to get more than 30 mpg, with 34 mpg at prolonged 55 mph. With more of lead foot I will get about 29 miles per gallon on highway.
The boxer engine is fairly quiet and does not strain on highway or off road. The cargo space is easy to access and spacious with lots of little fold out hooks to secure bags and gear. A plastic cargo mat is a good investment. The mirrors are very well placed giving a good rear view.
So far, so good! At this point, I have recommended the Subaru Forester to those who think it would fit their lifestyle. I had considered a Toyota Matrix but now realize that it would have been too much of a compromise given the kind of activities I usually do. I did not expect to like it this much.
A careful shopper can get a good deal on what seems to be a useful and reliable vehicle. However, I think the asking price of most Foresters is a little high. Shop for one at the end of the month or year if possible. Dealers seem more willing to bargain then.