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Old 07-14-2003, 08:53 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 39880
Join Date: Jul 2003
Question Subie Newbie?

Happened to find this forum in my search for info on the Subaru Forester.. Im in the market for a new vehicle.. My 94 Ford Ranger is about to bite the dust... Ive been researching and test driving vehicles for about 3 weeks now and I just started looking into Subaru's. To tell ya the truth up until 2 days ago I didnt even give them a thought.. Now Im having an even harder time deciding on what new vehicle I should get.... I have been looking at primarily Mid sized SUV's and all kinds of trucks...I usually keep my vehicles well after they are paid off, so Im concerned about picking the wrong vehicle and being stuck with it for 10 years or so... Im looking for a 4 wheel drive vehicle and Im wondering if the Subie will do what I want it to.. Im not going to go rock climbing or anything but I plan on taking it offroad a bit.. I do alot of A.T.V. riding and some of the places I go I see alot of mud, slick grass and gravel roads... Im wonderin how the awd thing will work for me.. I seem to think it is better to be able to actually shift into 4x4 when ya need it.. Im concerned the awd wont kick in until its too late.. Im also going to be towing a light trailer and 2 atvs each weighing about 400 lbs a piece... Wonderin if the little 4 cylinder will be up for the task or will I kill it... Dont know much about boxer engines......
Im also looking for a fun to drive vehicle for everyday use.. I do a bit of highway driving to and from work...
Ive test drove the forester Xt with leather and sunroof.. Think its the the premium package or somethin like that.. All I have to say is wow.. I love the get up and go this thing seems to have..The turbo is awesome.. I think this what is helping me make my decision... The only thing im hung up on is in the back of my mind I keep thinking its a souped up station wagon my folks used to drive.. Im only 32 and Im not ready to own a darn station wagon.... Although gotta admit its fun to drive.. Anyway... How is the durability and quality of the subaru? Ive always purchased American auto's but to tell the truth not to crazy about their quality... I heard the engine and xmission is made in Japan and the rest is built in U.S.?
I get the feeling theres more to this Subaru thing than meets the eye seems to be a loyal following and a sort of Club... I notice there are alot of hop ups for it to.. That really interests me.. If I get one Im gonna put some headers and a catback on it.. Still learning all about that too.. I'd like to hear what that sounds like(anyone have an audio clip) Also what kinda H.P. gains can I expect.. Anyway.. I could ramble on forever so Ill just leave it at that for now.. Any info or owner experiences would be greatly appreciated.. Oh one more thing.. What is it about Scooby? Is that a cute nickname for a Subaru or is it some Subaru expert.... That ones got me puzzled.. Also any other sites I can get info on the forester would be a great help... Thx..
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:30 PM   #2
Mike Wevrick
RIP 1/19/64 - 7/23/11
Scooby Guru
Member#: 24654
Join Date: Sep 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: saraseager.com
1957 Taggart Comet


Welcome! A few comments in no particular order:

The Subaru AWD system is not as good as a locking 4wd, but it's great for snow/gravel/mud. For what you describe it should be fine.

Towing capacity on Subies is 2000-2400 lbs, depending on model. The Forester XT has loads of torque and should pull your ATVs no problem.

Durability and quality of Subarus is topnotch; some minor problems but overall way better than American cars. Imprezas and Foresters are made in Japan; Legacys and Outbacks in Indiana, but they all get good reliability ratings.

Scooby is a nickname for Subaru (also Suby)

If you don't like the station wagon look, try a turbo Baja--basically a car-based 4-seat pickup with a short bed. (edit: the turbo is not out yet but should be soon)

Baja forum:

Last edited by Mike Wevrick; 07-14-2003 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 07-14-2003, 11:44 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 20325
Join Date: Jun 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
08 Yamaha WR250R
07 Suzuki DL650


Off road: Forget it. No low-range. No locking differentials. Not-so-hot approach and departure angles, though a lift-kit would help here. Park before the mud and drive the 4-wheeler from there.

Not-quite-a-road: Seems to work fine. I've been over some pretty rough skidder trails, log bridges and up and down some steep gravel logging road hills. All on passenger car all-season tires.

AWD: Remember that it's always on. On the auto it doesn't "kick in" like you might think. The only time I've ever noticed the AWD "working" was crawling up a steep gravel hill. I felt/heard the front wheels slip about a 1/4 turn, and then the car just continued on up the hill, no fuss, no muss, and no spinning wheels. Bear in mind that it's only 3-wheel drive. (2 wheel on an X trim level). You get a viscous LSD in the back and electronicly controlled center diff in the automatic, or another viscous in the manual. The X model doesn't get the viscous in the rear, so it's possible to spin 1 front and 1 rear wheel and not actually go anywhere...

Towing: I towed a minivan on a dolly for 600 miles, including through Maine's western mountains. That's over 1000lbs more than the max tow weight stamped on the door sill. Temperatures stayed dead normal. The brakes got a workout though. Bear in mind that's the non-turbo version with 70lb-ft less of torque.

Quality: Pretty good, though my GF's '99 seems to be a lemon. Subaru has replaced the engine under warranty, it's had a rear wheel bearing go (common on the Foresters), and now it has a universal joint clicking. My '01 has required just a wheel bearing in 70,000 miles aside from normal wear items (Just tires, to date. Brakes soon though..)

Fun factor: Once your stock tires wear out, put some performance rubber under it. Totally different vehicle.

Subaru, Scooby Doo... Rhyming slang?

Oh, and it is a wagon. But didn't you hear? Wagons are the new SUV...

Okay, how about: Getting older is cool. Everyone is doing it.

Finally: Foresters are 100% built in Japan. The Legacy and Outback are assembled in the US (and have better build quality than Japanese Legacies!)

Last edited by Chromer; 07-14-2003 at 11:51 PM.
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