Buying New Subaru Forester, Is There Any Reason I Shouldn't?

Hey guys,

This is my first post here. Go easy.
I am doing my research on medium suv for last couple of months and based on reviews and looks I have decided to pull trigger on Subaru Forester 2.5i AWD(base model due to budget constraints :) ) . Unfortunately due to lockdown I could not take a test drive yet.

When you were looking for a car, was there any specific reason you avoided buying a Subaru? Concerns like service cost, resale value and maintenance?

EDIT: I am not buying one without test drive.


  • +1

    Take a test drive and see if you still like it. They aren’t known for engine power, but handle pretty well AFAIK.

    Being full time awd they can be a bit harder on tyres. It is recommended to replace 4 tyres at once so they are all the same rolling diameter to reduce load on the centre diff.

    AWD will also be a bit heavier so will use a little more fuel than a comparable 2wd.

    Otherwise servicing shouldn’t be a lot different to any other vehicle.

    • +1

      I've owned 3 Subarus. They were really easy on tyres because the power was shared over all 4 wheels. I got 110,000km out of the michelins on the Liberty. Both Outbacks were only half worn when the vehicles were sold at 40k.

      Agree about fuel usage. They like a drink. It was a fairly consistent 12l/100km average for us.

      • Good point. However, if your alignment goes out and you prematurely wear s couple you really up for a set.

        I didn’t have my Forester long enough to need to replace a set, except the set when I bought it, but I did need to replace the centre diff. It had over 200k on it and when I bought it the rear alignment was out of whack due to a bent tie rod or something. I knew the tyres were nearly done and factored that into the purchase price, but didn’t pick up the alignment issue until I got new tyres. .

        Good maintenance will prevent problems.

      • +1

        We have 2 foresters at home, a 2013 and a 2017.

        I average 8.6l/100km around Melbourne, 7.2 doing country driving. But it obviously depends on your driving. We've had 4 of them total over the years through our family with no real issues.

        The oldest one we had was a 2003 that I got rid of maybe 4 years ago with nearly 300,000km on the clock. Slight leak on the heads but that was the only real issue. Still drove well.

        Agree with the tires lasting.

        Definitely worth a test drive. They're not super fast or powerful, just a good common sense car.

  • +1

    You should always take a test drive of the vehicles you intend to purchase. I understand with covid lockdown it makes it difficult but until you compare drive experience between vehicles, your only going my looks and stats. you may not like how the CVT performs compared to a normal auto.
    you also didnt mention what model, 2.5i? hybrid?
    plenty of car sites (caradvice/motoring) that you can compare medium SUV

    • Thanks for your reply. I updated the thread. I am looking at base model 2.5i AWD. HYBRID is definitely a good option but it is out of my budget. I somehow want to keep it at ~40k.

      • +4

        The hybrid option reviews very poorly so don't worry about missing out on that. I definitely agree you should test drive one as they're not for everyone. I've been thinking of getting an XV, possibly a Forester though I think it's bigger than I need, but I haven't been able to as there hasn't been any stock of what I want. I believe a Subaru shipment arrived last week but MY21 models are due next month I believe so keep that in mind.

        • Test drive is must for me too. As I have never driven a Subaru before. On size, it is bit on bigger side for me too. But as family grows you need bigger boot space. Thats the only reason I chose Forester over XV. I know I may struggle parking it in the city but shall get used to it soon.
          Thanks heaps for the stock details.

          • @sampmel: You will not struggle to park a forester.

            • +2

              @brendanm: You should not struggle to park a forester.

              FTFY. I’ve seen people that look like they struggle to drive forwards.

  • +2

    I have the Forester 2.5i-S AWD for nearly 10 months now. Just buy it and you will not look back. Easily one of the best SUV on the market.

  • +1

    I have an Outback that is a few years old now, but is the current shape. Its been great and well worth it.
    per another comment, tyres need to be close in wear, so do alignments and rotate - dont stagger the replacements as the wear will be greatly different and long term use may damage the system. My only issue the the brand new less 5k spare in the boot..
    We changed the original set at 60,000.

    The 2.5 is ok, but certainly wont put your world on fire.. I do about a 60klm round trip, with a lot of 80k and some 100k speed zones.
    im on about 8l to 8.7 l/100, the cars estimate is generally at about 7.6 to 8 l/100, but with more city type dining, it will run upto 9 to 9.5 l/100

    • Thanks for the details on fuel economy, I missed it in the post. I was wondering how much does it cost to replace 4 tyre?

      • +1

        I've got an Outback of the current gen too.
        Changed my tyres last month at Bob Jane (priced matched to Tempe Tyres) for $880. This is for what would arguably be at the top end of road-focussed SUV tyres (Bridgestone Alenza A001, commonly OEM tyres on BMW X5's and top of the line RAV4's). Whilst you could get replacement sets of LingLong's or other sub-par brands at the 500-600 mark, I'd budget at least $750+ for a set, and more like $900 if you want a premium offering that is near identical to the OEM Bridgestone Dueler's you get on these.

        Price Matching is a good way of getting a lot of the Premium/OEM replacements down to a reasonable price. These Alenza's retail at $304 a corner ($1216 a set) so I saved myself $336 by shopping around. Likewise if you want a direct OEM replacement (which is a more balanced road & light off-roading tyre) then Dueler HP Sport come in in at $319 a corner OEM and can be price-matched currently to $250.

        • Wow, pretty impressed with these details. I will keep the price match in mind. :)

    • If you have a full size spare, it should get rotated onto the car.

      • Lol who on earth negged that? What is the world coming to.

        • When they started giving you 4 alloys and a steel spare that went out the window. People of today … sheesh

          • @Euphemistic: Hence the comment "if you have a full size spare".

            • @brendanm: “People of today… sheesh” wasn’t directed at you, it was directed at the negger.

              If you have a full size tyre, but steel vs alloy rim it is a lot harder to rotate 5 wheels unless you don’t mind having a non matching rim.

              I’ve got two 4wds with a full size tyre on a steel rim. Both just hang around under the car getting muddy they won’t get rotated into use.

  • +1

    I've never owned the SUV but owned a few Subaru liberties over the years and Subaru AWD is one of the best in the market today.

    Even my old 90s liberty handled better than my friends VY VZ :)

    If you enjoy spirited driving or going through the hills AWD is very good.

    • +1

      I do enjoy hill drives. Thanks :)

      • +2

        Just wondering why you need SUV when the liberty is a family size car :) and depending on your budget you may be able to get a GT which is TURBO

        • -1

          I am more inclined towards SUV always as it offers more boot space with folded back seats. It's easy to carry kids' bikes and other stuff (is that the case with Liberty as well?). Also, I fancy a higher driving position, although Forester does not have as high clearance as other SUVs but still better than the sedans.

          • @sampmel: Okay your decision mate either way Subaru are pretty good

          • +2

            @sampmel: Generally speaking, an SUV has less boot space than a wagon from the same platform due to less rear overhang. If SUV floats your boat then go for it.

            There will always be a taller / bigger vehicle than you on the road unless you drive a prime mover.

            Subaru lost it for me when they went CVT. They drive OK but the longevity is a big ????

            • +1

              @brad1-8tsi: I recently got a forester after my liberty gt 09 was written off. Personally the CVT feels very vanilla (could also be the lack of turbo lol)

              • +1

                @charzy: I'm sure it does feel vanilla. My GFs 20 year old Mazda drives OK. My 200k 13 year old Octavia drives OK.

                eg: OK = acceptable, generally good enough, not nearly as crap as a Nissan CVT with 40,000km on it.

                The majority of motorists seem to be happy with OK, which is why they buy Toyotas and Jeeps

            • @brad1-8tsi: hmm. Do you reckon CVT may cause issues beyond the warranty? If so, are we talking about some ~$3-5k cost to repair that? Of course we can not predict that beforehand but just wondering have you heard of such cases?

              • +1

                @sampmel: I honestly don't know.
                I've had several company cars with CVT (Odyssey, Outlander, Corolla, Outback and others) and they all felt pretty tired when handed back at 40,000km.

                They can't be showing a trend to failure or there would be law suits and recalls (eg: VW DQ200 7 speed dry clutch DCT)

                I'm not a fan of CVTs in general but I'll admit our cars cop a pounding. I much prefer torque converter auto with proper gears and am happy to get worse economy and performance due to the inefficiencies of a slushbox.

              • @sampmel: Nissan has the worst CVT and they pioneered the modern day version?! Always so many issues. Subaru actually has the best with the least amount of problems for any company

  • +1

    You should still testdrive the car befoer you commit esp for such a large purchase. That is the only way you can decide (as well as with your research and questions into the car's features) whether it is a good fit for purpose for you and your family. Compare the way it drives, the cabin ergonomics, comfort, vision front and rear ideally with another of same class if you are set on SUV.

    We bought a new 2.5i base model start of the year and it has been fantastic so far. We drove both this and the honda CRV and despite both being similar size and feeling when driving, the forester seems to be much better finish and looked nicer from the inside cabin (subjective) as well as having so much more included safety features evn on base model. I'm averaging 10L/100km on 91 unleaded for mostly suburb driving and some motorway for work.

    negotiate to get some free servicing e.g. i I got 2 yrs free servicing during a promo they had. But tbh their sceduled servicing doesnt seem too bad cost wise.

    we negotiated about 11% off the recommended driveaway price on their website but had to go and sit down chat with 2 different dealers as first one would not budge, a little bit of patience and hard work can go a long way. I believe you can get away with $35k driveaway but you could do better too :) good luck.

    • Thanks for those exact figures, negotiation, and the price was another thing I was looking for. The fuel average is a bit of concern but not a deal-breaker for me as I stay in the city and will be driving mostly on highways.
      I will ask for 2 years of free servicing and 10% off on the website price too, with the limited stock that they have atm, it will be interesting to see if they will agree.

      And did you get any accessories along with that?

      • +2

        Hi sampmel,
        I ended up getting carpet floor mats only and drove away for $34,500 with the 2 yrs free servicing. Go hard with the negotiating - no shame and nothing to lose! start with 15% off the advertised price and you may eventually get something between 10-15%. (demos are perfectly ok as well IMO and few thousand more KMs just means more haggling !).

        bootmat you could just get aftermarket like me from ebay for about $40 which does the job practically but will not looks as "nice" as the rubber boot inlay that factory charges but thats how they squeeze more money from you. 1 extra is prob okay if you are negotiating for lowest price as being your main goal. For other extras you will have to work harder as you 'can' get a discount but ultimately still be paying a bit more for the total price

        Also, I do not believe that the CVT transmission issue is a thing that current users are experiencing. I am part of a Aussie forester 5th gen FB group and the guys they have not reported any issues with the transmission in MY19 and MY20 foresters. There may have been issue with prev gens of the car but seems largerly stable now.

        • wow, that's the lowest price I have seen so far. You did a pretty good job there.
          I am relieved to read about the CVT above. Thank you! 😊

  • Also from accessories point of view, what all shall I ask/buy for a new/demo car (other than the below ones)?

    1. Rubber floor mats.
    2. Cargo mat
    3. Dash cam I will buy from OZB deals. :)
    4. Anything else would you like to suggest?
    • +1

      I purchased mine a month ago 2.5-s model my20. $43.5k with rubber mats, cargo net, cargo tray, side sills, rear protection plate.

    • Be careful on aftermarket dash cams. Check it won’t affect your warranty if it has to be wired in. I’ve heard it can do that.

  • +1

    I bought a 2020 2.5i base model in June.

    Make sure you negotiate, we got ours for $35,500 drive away.

    • That's a good price! Did you get any accessories with that?

      • Just floor mats

        • +1


  • +1

    I’ve had mine for over a week now. I’ve had some really nice cars over the years euros and luxury Japanese and to be honest this is one of the best cars I’ve driven and owned. Very few complaints and mostly due to personal preference not drivability and practicality. Piece of mind that you also don’t have to pay an extra 2K~+ in maintenance and insurance a year also compared to some others.

  • +1

    With accessories. Leave it till last and when they are asking… if I could do xx will you buy it while you are here.. type of thing, that's when you could lay out the 'sure if you do that and include carpet mats, boot mat and tint the windows etc..

  • +2

    Test drove the 2020 Forester 2.5i AWD. Forester was my dream car since I learnt about its full time 4WD and it's unparalleled off-roading capability. The interior was much nicer than Honda CRV AWD and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Felt much more spacious too. It was the surprising lack of power and the high pitched engine noise that steered me to the RAV4 but then again I would have went with the Forrester if I did not test drive the RAV4. I still want to own a Forrester someday most likely the third gen with the sports auto. The other main reason I went with the RAV4 was that the Toyota dealership offered me a deal I could not refuse on the trade-in. If had to buy a non-hybrid SUV I would probably pick the Forester since nearly all popular SUVs come with CVTs I think except for Mazda CX5 and the RAV4 Edge which comes with Sports Auto. A quick google search revealed that an AWD 2020 CX5 Maxx is around $40,000 also. I guess it comes down to how much trail/off-roading you will do. Maybe give Forester and CX5 a test drive and decide for yourself. But yea Forester is where my heart is at despite my head telling me no. Its so quirky and rugged. Sorry my input does not help at all now I read it hahaha.

    • +1

      Also worthy to note is that the Australian Foresters are made in Japan. The ones with problems tend to be the ones that are made else where.

      • Thanks, @blah88 for sharing your experience, really appreciate it.
        When you say lack of power means do you had to stand on the accelerator? Lol. The reason for asking this is, during my last trip, I hired Mitsubishi Outlander, and trust me it is so underpowered I was literally sometimes pressing the accelerator till it reaches the floor and then in some time car will pick up with a lot of engine noise. Was it this bad? I reckon it should not be with a 2.5L engine.

        Also, Forester has better back seat space compared to CX5 and RAV4- For these cars, the back seat does not accommodate 2 people and a child seat with ease, so no go for me. And in the case of Honda CRV, I am a bit concerned, will it go the Holden way? I mean their announcement in March made many raise eyebrows about their existence in Australia in the longer term.

        However, I am gonna test drive all of them once lockdown is over, but you know my heart is with Forester already. :D


        • +1

          You need to test drive it as different people will expect/prefer different things. IMO the Subaru boxer has always lacked torque, at least in the naturally aspirated engines. They're not lively but then a Forester, and mots of their range, isn't supposed to be a sports car. They're OK for their intended purpose but they're not going to excite anyone.

        • +1

          If your deciding factor includes space then Forester is the way to go. The new Honda CRV with the turbo 1.5 L seems to have little oil dilution problem at least in the US. The Honda CRV is really roomy though. Visibility was top notch for Forester and coming from 4th gen CRV the interior felt bigger for some reason. As for RAV4 the interior felt cramped both front and back seats. I went for it purely for fuel savings, extra power and good trade-in price. Everything else the Forester triumphed.

          I don't think the Forester is weak. When I floored it I did get a boost but that CVT was being reeeally efficient so the torque delivery was a bit slow. I am sure that you would get more torque at higher rpm. The fuel savings are quite significant for a full time all wheel drive at 9.4L urban driving. All other SUVs are similar anyways. They are all 4 cylinder 2 to 2.5 litre engine with CVT but the Forester is a bit better in all aspects if your main concern is space and ruggedness. I wish they paired the Forester Hybrid with a stronger electric motor with a larger battery then I would have definitely went with the Forester Hybrid.

          I still think about the Forester sometimes. One day I would get it.

  • +1

    Nothing wrong with a Subbie. My parents have had the outback, 2 imprezza hatch and sedan with the hatch only about a year old fully loaded. They like it and I think it is good for the safety features. The only thing I didnt like with the Imprezza was the infotainment had an issue with early new release of the current range. It drove fine. Yeah test drive, but personally if you have the time test as many cars as you can. Lots of choice.

  • +2

    I had the Forester on my list when shopping for a new car… until I drove one - ugh. I didn't like the CVT, the interior looked and felt a bit cheap, the handling felt a bit vague to me and the power was fairly poor. I've also noticed that Subaru's tend to look old very quickly.

    Cars we drove that we felt were much better:
    - Mazda CX5 GT/Akera (with the turbo petrol engine)
    - Skoda Karoq (great car! even the standard version, Sportline would be even better)
    - VW Tiguan (can be pricey, but would rather a used Tiguan than new Forester)

    For reference we currently have a VW Golf GTI MK7, which is why the preference for DSG and something with a bit of guts/handling.

    • +1
      • Skoda Karoq (great car! even the standard version, Sportline would be even better)

      Seems to be worth taking a test drive, fits in my budget too.

  • Have a 10 year old Subaru Forester, never missed a beat. First set of tyres lasted 80000kms (rotated every 5k).
    It doesn't break land speed records, but thats not what i bought it for, just a very practical easy to drive car.
    On occasion it tows a small boat.
    My kids keep nagging me to upgrade however its such a great car i dont want to part with it. Its a Diesel manual and very hard to get that combo now in an SUV and Subaru are no longer making Diesel cars.
    To be honest i bought my first Subaru in 1999 and have had 4 in that time, currently own 2, the Forester and a late model Liberty.
    Usually turn them over every 10 years

  • +3

    Great car, no real issues.

    I would suggest you save a bit more and get the next model up, or buy a demo / late model used one of a higher trim.

    Why spend $30-40k on something you'll spend a lot of time in and still get the poverty pack?

  • -1

    This question is so ambiguous.
    Everyone's needs, tastes and preferneces are different.

    As they say:
    "One mans trash is anothers treasure"

    If you want a Subaru Forester then go out and buy one.

    As far as I know there are plenty of happy Forester owners out there. But personally I hate them and id never buy one!
    So whose opinion are you going to accept?


    • +1

      Look my question is very specific When you were looking for a car, was there any specific reason you avoided buying a Subaru? Concerns like service cost, resale value, and maintenance?.

      It's good to know people's experience with the car as per their needs, taste, and preferences.

      So whose opinion are you going to accept?

      Maybe someone who provides details on why they hate it.

  • +1

    Once youve had a drive see what you think, our work car is a 2019 model. I find the lane departure, when it feels like it stop start motor that you also have to turn off every freaking time annd hand brake to be annoying. Hand brake takes a lot more then any other car ive driven to turn off so i turn it off manually each time. Oh oh oh and the stereo, sets off where it was last left, but it takes a good 30 seconds to a minute from start up before the stereo responds so turning the volume down for example can be rather irritating. Oh oh and try changing the clock, just a example of the “oh okay” about the tech in a subaru.

    Other then that its good on fuel, the engine is much better then any other car ive driven in its class, the seats and steering wheel are very nice too.

    • Those issues are quite annoying for sure, I will check them out during my test drive in 2020 model to see if they still exist.
      Good point. Thanks!

  • +1

    I have had a WRX and had no issues with it mechanically. I have four friends from work who drive foresters and love them. Two are new, two are the older perhaps 5-7 years old. I would recommend you don’t buy brand new if you want to save a bit of money. Try finding a demo or one up to 12 months old with a couple of kilometres and you’ll save much more than you could negotiate.

    I know it’s a different ball park, but one of my previous cars, an Audi RS3 I bought as a demo. Retail new was $95,000 or there about back in 2016 with its options and I picked it up for $79,000 with 1200km.

    • Yes @joshtammi, demo ones are definitely on my mind. Thanks for that!

  • +1

    Forester boot is a little small compared to the rest of the aspirations of the vehicle. Seems big on paper but I know several people who have bought them when they had 1 kid and loved the the car. But when number 2 and 3 arrived, needed to upgrade to an Outback or other larger/ wider vehicle…
    And with the CVT, you just get used to it… It also keeps the engine spinning at a speed it is happily making the most of the engine/exhaust design limited torque.

    • Wow, I didn't expect that at least in pictures and youtube videos it looks good. I will take a good look during the test drive. Thanks for that!

    • We choose a Forester in 2013 over a CX5 as, despite being better equipped, the latter was smaller inside, with a smaller rear window.

      However, its boot is far, far smaller than the Mazda 6 hatch it replaced, that one had a huge boot.

  • -3

    Basically avoid any vehicle that isn't electric. Test drive a Kona EV, Tesla, or just wait. ICE vehicles are out dated and will be basically worthless in just a few years.

    • Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • +1

    Hi sampmel,

    As an owner of 2 Foresters here are my thoughts.
    Both Foresters were owned from band new.
    1st MY16 2.0D Sport (Top of the range Diesel one, last generation) sold in 2019.
    2nd currently drive, MY20 2.5i-S (Top of the range current generation model).

    The current models/ generation are bigger and nicer than the last one.
    My main reasons for going with the Forester is the ride height or ground clearance which one of, if not, the highest of these type of medium SUVs.
    Full size spare tyre and the the 4wd/ AWD system.
    For me there is just no other SUV that have these 3 attributes which I feel are important to me.

    I do go to farms or rural areas time to time and these attributes are what I consider a must have.
    I've had a RAV 4 2001 model and the traction and height was not ideal.

    Fuel wise it does not seem to make much a difference to me.
    My current Forester uses around 8.2- 8.5L per 100 km on E10 petrol.
    I do drive it conservatively.
    Currently at around 6500km Odo.
    I'm starting to notice better fuel consumption lately since around 5500km, maybe the engine is getting worn in.
    Please note there are some differences with the MY19 and MY20 models.
    They look the same but I believe the diff has been upgraded to a WRX type diff on the MY20 models a better stronger diff as it were.
    That was why I choose to pat slightly more for the MY20 model instead of the MY19.
    Purchased late Feb this year.
    Also on MY20's the inclusion of the heated front seats you can identify this with the heater seat buttons near the drive selector.

    Also I note the price of the Foresters are pretty good compared to the its competition for what you get. You have to compare what is included in the car so to speak.
    Compare stuff that is included not all base models are like for like. You need to compare the inclusions.
    I would aim for at least 5% to 11% off the RRP/ drive away cost. These 'discounts' depends on the timing, if the dealer needs to clear stock or the parent company can help the dealer as such.

    On the not so good side would be Subaru Dealers servicing cost are a bit higher.
    I'm intending to go to a private mechanic to get this done as Subaru servicing cost are pretty high.
    I also note that dealers then to up sell you stuff like wipers and steering alignment etc which the charge pretty high for.

    Well those are my 2 cents worth.
    Any questions feel free to ask.
    I got the Forester because it suits me I guess.

    • Thanks mate for this detailed writeup!

      I am open to demo modals. However, I am still struggling to understand the difference between the 2019 and 2020 2.5i AWD models.
      Their brochures are identical, from some online portals, all I could gather is the Eyesight tech has improved and some back seat legroom is improved by 1.5 inches. But that's all I know atm.

      The 2019 2.5i-L AWD (7k km on the odometer) is cheaper than the 2020 2.5i AWD (1k km on the odometer), this kind of comparison I want to do, but could not find much online. Hopefully, the dealer will be able to assist me in this.

      Sorry, I did not get this, could you please put more details on this.

      They look the same but I believe the diff has been upgraded to a WRX type diff on the MY20 models a better stronger diff as it were.

      • +1

        Hi sampmel,

        If the car looks the same its the new model type, which is bigger that the MY18 (last gen models) the latest models (gens) are MY19 and MY20 I believe.
        These later models run on a new platform is and is alot better that the MY18s inside and out. Also servicing becomes 12 months instead of 6 months with these new gen models.

        As far as I can tell there is not much difference between the 2 (MY19 and MY20) just the build date and the dealer will not know or won't tell you.
        And of course the dealer wants to get rid of 2019 stock. My advise is do not trust the dealer do your own research. However I note every thing has a price as such. :) If its cheap enough yeah I guess you can go for the MY19 models are they are similar.
        I think they currently offering free 2 year service (which is 2 servicing) and their standard 5 year warranty.
        If going for a 'real' demo model, I would at least push for 15 to 20% off the RRP/ drive away price noting that rego and warranty is already running.
        However I note one of the 'tricks' the dealers use is that the turn the car into a demo even though it is brand new so that they can give extra discounts as demo cars are 'helped' by the Subaru parent company as such.

        The difference as far as I know are 2 things.
        The MY20 models on the higher grades have heated front seats for the Australian market.
        And apparently for the MY20 models, a larger-diameter rear differential is fitted across the range. Similar to the type used in the WRX which is more robust or stronger as it were so that is a nice upgrade.

        Oh and on this current gen models no manual to be had, across the range all of them are auto CVTs and 2.5L 4 Cyl engines.

        In summary fuel wise seems very similar to other comparable models and the CVT I find is quite good.
        Please also note so far I've only had these Foresters as pretty new cars hence cannot comment on when they get older or longevity as it were. The last one I only has for 3 plus years at the most.
        The Subaru dealerships are also pretty good at customer support unlike other dealers but you do pay abit more. Just have to know their tricks as it were.
        Nothing more important than after sales service as one doesn't need the extra stress/ aggravation/ disappointment in life (Here's looking at you Jeep).

        Well hope that helps and hopefully I've addressed some of your concerns. Any more questions feel free to ask.
        Cheers!!! :)

        • If going for a 'real' demo model, I would at least push for 15 to 20% off the RRP/ drive away price noting that rego and warranty is already running.

          Noted. Thanks again for your valuable advice, much appreciated.

          • @sampmel: Hi sampmel,

            Out of curiosity, where abouts are you located which state or city I guess?
            Also I noticed your post that the demos you are looking at are like below 10km? Those are brand new cars I think just called demo so the dealer can get 'financial assistance' from parent Subaru Aus HQ and pass on some savings.
            If that is the case just double when the rego and warranty started.
            Both the cars I bought, I heard the dealer calling them demos but they were band new the log book had my name on them and warranty started on day of when I paid.
            'Real' demos generally should have a higher mileage, the log book usually won't have your name on it might be the dealers or some other company's name depending where it was transferred from and mileage usually more than at least 500km IMO. Rego usually has 6 months or less left. Not always the case but these are indications they are 'true' demos.

            With your type of demo from my experience usually push for at least 8 to 13% off from Full RRP/ Drive away price. Like prices from the internet/ brochures. Again my 3 cents worth. Ha ha. Have a good weekend. Feel free to ask me more. I seem to have an unhealthy obsession with car dealers and the last few years unlucky Subaru. Honestly not to bad to deal with. Cheers.

            • @Gcquest: Hi Gcquest,

              I am living in Melbourne city (The only city which is in lockdown atm :D). The 2019 demo cars have high odometer numbers, 11,000km, and 9000km. I am a bit concerned about the high numbers and I am sure it will have wear and tear on the interior. It would be interesting to see it's left rego and warranty. Here are a few that will take a look:

              Demo - 2019 2.5i -L AWD
              Demo - 2020 2.5i -L AWD
              New - 2020 2.5i AWD

              All available at docklands dealer

              • @sampmel: Hi sampmel,

                I'm in Brisbane currently and have bought my 1st Forester here and this current one was bought in Adelaide, SA and drove it here after I left my job. Unfortunately no experience in Melbourne. I think I'm familiar with the dealers because I'm 'sick' I spent months pestering them talking to them etc. Was kind of a 'hobby' for a while, I would go down and pester them drink free coffee to see how they are like. Talk to them throw them low ball offers and walk away, keep pressing them and you will get the answer or sort of a feel anyways. Most people cannot remember what they told you if it was not true if the answer was constant you know its true. Ha ha. Yes I'm special and took it as a challenge. I guess I was thinking dealers can do this to customers why not turn the tables on them as such. After all its my money.

                Had a quick look and it seems that their demo prices are pretty high. Oh also some dealers use this 'trick' look for the build date of the car as that is usually what the value the trade in price is based on. Sure the MY19 and MY20 does make a difference but when you are selling people tend to use the build date as that is the oldest to their advantage I guess. I think also on the accounts of the dealers not much difference between the 2 year models and they would have depreciated them accordingly sure the dealer might say this is a newer model or lower mileage. Anything to sell to get the higher price in reality their base prices are nearly the same.

                If you do get these 'true' demos I would make sure they do a servicing and its record in the log book before you hand over the money. Or state it in the contract. Just push as hard as you can wear them down. Prepared to walk away and if possible go to 3 dealerships and tell them exactly what you want. Show confidence and that you mean business if the price is right here is the cash as such.

                I like tormenting dealers I guess. :). Anyways not sure if you can PM on this thing. But if you like drop me a message. Might take this out the public space, I think. I may have already said to much here. :). Cheers.

              • @sampmel: Hey not sure if you have made your decision to buy but I was looking at getting a mid-sized SUV and had my eye on the forester. I was looking at the MY21 Premium and the best price I could get to was 42,400. The CVT kind of put me off( based on past experiences with cvt).

                I am in melbourne too which meant I couldnt risk buying one without a test drive.

                The MY21 gets higher towing capacity and also auto locking doors ( I was surprised to hear that it didnt have it so far)

                I ended up getting a cx-5 touring spec for 38.2k. Heart still with the subie but unable to look past the cvt :(

  • +1

    Unless you have a specific requirement for the extra ground clearance or generally being higher up, you might as well go for the Impreza Hatchback. You'll get better fuel economy for what is essentially an equivalent car in terms of technology. I road tested both and for my liking the Impreza gave a better ride comfort than an equivalent Forester.

    Subaru cars are reasonably good combo of quality, design, engineering and price. I looked at Euro cars and walked away as they represent poor value proposition. Volkswagen certainly managed to ruin the reputation of many brands.

    • They mentioned they wanted the bigger boot for growing family. The Impreza is a fair bit smaller. That aside I think the Forester will hold it's value better as more people want that style of vehicle than a regular hatch. Could go Liberty but that's a discontinued model now which will also have lower resale.

  • Hi - I'm also in Melbourne and looking at Forester. Hoping to test drive it after lockdown is over. I was initially planning for CRV but Forester seems good from reviews.

  • Hi there,

    I'm also looking for Subaru Forester Premium range. I was quoted $45.5k but they said they can throw in towbar, carpet mat, cargo tray, 6 month rego (no free service but it's capped at $2400 for 5 years). It seems so much higher than you all. Just wondering those of you here that bought theirs this year and mentioned the driveaway price, is any of you are from WA? Thanks.

    • Thank you for the link. Found another below.

      Do we know if engines fitted to new/recent Subarus still suffer from premature gasket failures + potential premature engine failures with a timing chain driven water pump design, at least for the 6-cylinder versions?

      • The EJ series hasn't been used for a while and the FB that replaced it supposedly fixes all the issues. As the for the timing chain and water pump, IMO it's a non issue. The timing chain has a life of about 150,000 km as does the water pump. Even if you have a car with a timing belt it still needs to be replaced (at 100,000km IIRC) and the water pump will also need to be replaced but probably more like at 150,000km. They're maintenance items either way. Yes the chain costs more but it lasts longer and obviously when you do the chain do the water pump at the same time.

  • +2

    Update: So as soon as the lockdown was over I went to the dealer in Melbourne and bought Forester. I used all the OZB suggestions while negotiating and trust me it worked.

    Got 10% off the website price with carpet mats, window tainting and 6 years road side assistance program.

    Drove it home on Friday and loving every bit of it.

    Liked the AVH and auto start stop.

    Thanks to each one of you who commented above. You guys helped me making the right decision.


    • 😁😄👍

    • Nice one. I just did a test drive of forester today. Would you be OK to share dealer you went to and which trim level you got and final price ?

      • MY2020 - June registered Demo 2.5i AWD model for 35.5k

        • Thanks. They did not have the color I wanted in demo model so likely to go for 2021 registered models. I'll see if I can bring it down to 35.5 price. Congrats on your new car.

    • window tainting

      I hope you didn't pay extra for this…

      Seriously though, congrats on the Foz. Hope it serves you well :)

      • Not even a penny. 😂

  • Another one here bought the fancy looking 'Sport' model instead? Quite like the full black grille and wheels, plus the orange highlights

    • I'm considering it as I do like the look, though not so crazy about the orange interior highlights. Still leaning towards the XV as that's large enough for my needs but if I go with the Forester it'll likely be the Sport. Got to get my act together and buy something, it just hasn't been a priority.

      • That's still the overseas model right? We don't get the highlights in AU yet?

        Bit late to the thread, owned a few Suubys (Liberty, Foresters) have the latest Forester (MY19 - first gen of the new gen) and love it, it's a bit underpowered compared to the previous generations.

        But with my 2.5i-S MY19
        + Great visibility, probably the most out of any car I've driven
        + Great fuel mileage
        + Great space within the car
        + I like the interior, dislike the Mazda/Toyota "modern" interfaces, I like the built in dash, but others may not
        + Love the sunroof (must have for me) BUT unlike the Liberty I was used to, it's either open or close, no half open or tilt.
        + Android Auto is superb, no issues with latency, slugginess for me (Pixel 2XL)
        + X-Mode is awesome on the snow and mud, got me out of some sticky situations!

        • The eyesight does get a bit annoying at times, the auto-braking does get triggered quite a bit with going around a bend with a car or signs.
        • Auto-start/stop is something to get used to if you've not driven with it before
        • +1

          No, the Sport arrived in AU this month. Drove the Forester the other day. Line ball between it and the XV. I can tell the Forester has more under the bonnet but it's larger and heavier so a lot of the benefit is cancelled out. If we got the 2.5 in the XV like the US it'd be a no brainer. Planning on looking at the RAV4 tomorrow.

          EDIT: the stop start thing I thought was a bit annoying. The day I drove it was 38deg and you could tell AC performance immediately dropped to the point the car restarted after about 30secs despite still being stationary.

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