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Old 04-10-2004, 11:45 PM   #1
SCutchins
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Member#: 59209
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Centreville, VA
Vehicle:
2004 Forester XT
Cayenne Red Pearl

Default Introducing myself

Hello everyone!

The new guy on the list, wanted to say hello. In the market for a replacement for my 2000 Dodge Dakota and I'm thinking a Forester XT might be fun. Could you guys maybe give me some help in deciding, please?

My criteria is: able to carry 2 people and a bunch of stuff (air compressor, miter saw, luggage, etc) or 4 people in relative comfort, and I need to be able to tow a ~1500lb trailer. I don't care about sportscar handling, I have a motorcycle (Suzuki SV1000S) to get my go-fast rocks off on, but I do want good brakes, good (okay, preferrably GREAT) acceleration, and safety for the wife and future kids. Good in the snow is a must since I'm getting rid of the truck and I want one car that can always get me where I need to go, no matter the weather.

What is the real 0-60 time for the XT? I hear 5.3, 6.4, 6.8... anyone know for manual and auto?

I want leather but seems like thats only in the manual. Is the manual "okay" or is cloth with a 5sp the way to go? Too bad it doesn't have sportshift.

How is the mileage? Truck averages 14.3 so can't be that bad.

Do you have to run premium gas (or mid 89 octane) and if so, is it okay burning 87 or does it knock?

List fully loaded is about $28,500, is everyone paying list?

Sorry if this and many more newbie questions are buried in the archives. I looked for a while but mostly found go-fast stuff which might be fun but that can come later. Honestly I am more of the brush guard type than the lower-it type, but I'm sure we can all get along nicely.

Thanks for the help!!

Steve
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:22 AM   #2
DaMax
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Member#: 54788
Join Date: Feb 2004
Vehicle:
2004 Forester XT
Java Black

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I bought an FXT with the Premium Leather package. The car replaced a '97 Dodge Grand Caravan ( what a piece of junk).
The Premium Packagae comes with leather, auto and the biggest sun roof you can imagine. I have not timed mine but numbers like 6.3 and 6.4 are tossed around for the auto and 5.3 for the
5 speed in a 0 to 60 mph acceleration. All I can tell you is the auto is plenty fast. As for mileage, I am getting about 19; others have reported a little more like 20 to 21. If you have horses
you have to feed them and they like Premium. I tried both the
manual and the auto and went with the Premium Package
because I liked the leather and the sunroof. It is all a personnal preferrance. The car is very stable and handles very well. I had an accident avoidance thrill recently where a woman just decided she wanted my lane and I had to quickly steer around her. At 70+ mph the car handled superbly. As for price, I bought mine in December for $500 under invoice. I don't know what your market is like but in Chicago the dealers have a lot of cars and I found two willing to deal for less than invoice. As for towing the auto is certified for 2000 lbs. and the manual will handle 2500 lbs. At any rate I am pleased with mine and would recommend it. One final note if you watch the Subaru ads they will tell you that the 'Forester received the Insurance Safety Institutes highest rating for any SUV in its class. It is also Car and Driver's small SUV of the year. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:31 PM   #3
Caddy Daddy
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Location: Wisconsin
Vehicle:
2004 SG9, '77 R100/7
'00 Ducati ST2

Default

Quote:
Originally posted by SCutchins
My criteria is: able to carry 2 people and a bunch of stuff (air compressor, miter saw, luggage, etc) or 4 people in relative comfort, and I need to be able to tow a ~1500lb trailer.
..... but I do want good brakes, good (okay, preferrably GREAT) acceleration, and safety for the wife and future kids. Good in the snow is a must since I'm getting rid of the truck and I want one car that can always get me where I need to go, no matter the weather.
to me it sounds like the fxt is NOT a solution for you. 4 adults in comfort....just bring along 3 buddies to a test drive and youll see yourself. you want GREAT acceleration? dont look at 4 cyl. the FXT is quick when only driver is in the car, but as soon as you start adding weight or passangers say good bye to zippy performance. you need to be able to tow a trailer and supplies and people and still have it semi quick? most definetly not going to happen.
premium gas is a must, most owners avg between 19-21 in the city and slightly higher on the highway.

dont get me wrong, the FXT is a great vehicle for what it is, but it doesnt seem to me at least, that it matches your criteria. go testdriving and see for yourself though. hope that helps somewhat.
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Old 04-11-2004, 04:58 PM   #4
randolph-rs
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Member#: 3371
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Asheboro, NC Zoo country
Vehicle:
2004 Forester XT
Java Black

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Don't listen to that crap. Don't let anyone make the decision for you before you actually go for a drive. If I had listened to everyone that had a negative opinion about a car I would never have bought a Subaru. Don't get me wrong, they may not be the right car for everyone but that should be a choice made only by you. However, caddy daddy is correct, if you are looking for a work horse you need to stick with the trucks or something with a V8 in it. Now off with ya, go for a test drive.
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:53 AM   #5
Bobshere
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Member#: 49835
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Near San Francisco
Vehicle:
2004 Forester 2.5 XT
White

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I had heard some comments about tight seating in the rear. Yeah, FXT is no Caddy. I adjusted my driver seat to where I like it and then got into the rear behind the driver's seat and found I had plenty of room. Just do this with all the seats in the car and make "mental" adjustments for who might be sitting where. I didn't buy FXT so it will suit my new NBL friends, should I ever meet some I also didn't look for seating for some weekend guests that I'll never have.

FXT was "Towcar of the Year" in UK. It will be plenty fast unless you are towing. If you mod the tires/wheels size and do a rear swaybar you WILL get astounding handling (you've got a motorcycle; I've got a Miata) and I do know you'd like that in a car.

You should get list or under if you shop. Even though I drive a MT Miata I found the AT in FXT to be so astounding that I didn't bother with MT, and I LOVE that big sunroof and wanted leather (which you cannot get in a MT FXT).

You'll get 18-26 mpg in FXT, depending. In any event it will be much better than what you get now, or what you'd get in most SUV's. You do need to run Premium (at least during the warranty period ).

Cheers,

Bob


http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/foresterxt/
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:40 AM   #6
SCutchins
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Member#: 59209
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Centreville, VA
Vehicle:
2004 Forester XT
Cayenne Red Pearl

Default Thanks a ton!!

Quote:
Originally posted by Bobshere
If you mod the tires/wheels size and do a rear swaybar you WILL get astounding handling...
Do you opt for bigger wheels/tires when you buy the car, or do you go aftermarket and sell the stock ones on eBay? I know some people do it, but I really don't want to have a winter set and a summer set of tires. In other words, no super low profile rubber.

How much is a rear swaybar? I am very handy with a wrench so I can install myself. Any other must-do's like air filters (I'm a fan of stock filters, K&N's just don't filter well enough although there are some cotton ones out now that are supposed to do better), airbox mods, springs, etc?

And thanks for the posts, great info!! THIS BOARD IS ONE OF THE REASONS THE XT IS SO APPEALING - INFO IS PRICELESS. I am very heavily leaning towards an FXT (see, I'm already learning the lingo) now, almost to the point where I just need to decide on the color.

So, what color?? I haven't seen one in person yet, but the silver and gold seem to look nice in pictures. Most people have black it seems, with the black leather interior is that the way to go? I know, I know, color is 100% subjective
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:11 PM   #7
Prod
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1967 M35A2
duh, winning

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The rear legroom is not a problem. I went into the showroom, sat in the driver's seat and adjusted it for me. (I'm 6'3") Then I went and sat in the back seat behind the driver's seat. No problem.

As for color, I thought silver looked cool.

I'm looking at buying one of these as well, for me it is merely a question of wait a year or get it now. Currently I'm driving a MY01 Outback.
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:18 PM   #8
jimqpublic
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Member#: 38155
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: California USA
Vehicle:
2004 ForesterXT Auto
Silver

Default

For your needs also consider a Baja Turbo. Dirty tools carried daily will eventually get the interior dirty no matter how careful you are. Baja Turbo does have Sportshift plus the VTD center differential. It only seats four, but the Forester doesn't seat three big people in back comfortably anyway.

On either vehicle carrying 8' lumber or 4x sheets means using a roof rack. If you will be using it as a daily work vehicle I suggest getting a utility trailer to carry supplies in.

Towing 1500 pounds is no problem with either, although the lighter weight and shorter rear overhang on the Forester probably make it better. We've already towed our ~2200 pound camping trailer about 1500 miles and never wanted for more power. The XT towing accelerates faster than our '96 Outback does unladen!
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:33 PM   #9
SCutchins
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 59209
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Centreville, VA
Vehicle:
2004 Forester XT
Cayenne Red Pearl

Default Baja

The Baja is worthless for my needs, can't carry a chord of wood or a motorcycle and my tools would still get wet in the back, I would just keep the V8 Dakota club cab. I'm sure it would at least get more than 14.3mpg average though!

About those roof racks - can you carry plywood/drywall on them? I am probably going to have to get a trailer for motorcycles but being able to pick up a few sheets of plywood or some 8' studs without a trailer would be nice.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:54 PM   #10
Bobshere
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Member#: 49835
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Near San Francisco
Vehicle:
2004 Forester 2.5 XT
White

Default

I doubt a dealer will give you as good a deal as you'll get on your own for new tires/wheels. The swaybar install is very easy and costs about $100. If you sold your OEM wheels/tires and didn't buy anything too extravagant you could make the switch for $500. If you can't find FXT for invoice or under you're not looking. Some have gotten $500 under invoice.

Sure, there are folks looking at other mods. But if you're thinking of an RX-8 you'll want to do the wheels/tires/swaybar so you make the FXT more like a WRX. The FXT with these mods is going to produce more smiles than the RX-8 -- but it isn't a chick magnet. It is TOTALLY stealth.

Bob
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:04 PM   #11
Prod
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1967 M35A2
duh, winning

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That's what I like about the Forester. It's a sleeper. And it's not just any sleeper; it's a wagon sleeper.
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:37 PM   #12
Caddy Daddy
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'00 Ducati ST2

Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Prod
And it's not just any sleeper; it's a wagon sleeper.
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