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Old 05-14-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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2014 Subaru Forester vs Crosstrek

Has anybody used a 2014 Forester for a TOAD ? Where did you get the baseplate?

I am looking at a 2014 Forester or possibly a Crosstrek----any experience with either? Opinions?

Thanks
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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I know the 2014 Forester is on Roadmaster's "Vehicles Wanted" list. They will give you a free bracket if you arrange with them to bring your vehicle to their factory in Vancouver Washington.

They do have a bracket for the 2013 Crosstrek. Not sure if the 2013 brackets will fit the 2014 as I haven't yet compared the difference. I'm thinking it will carryover but you'll have to check.

Subarus make great Toads in our opinion. We've towed an older Forester and now tow a 2006 Outback.

-harry
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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tvolk, I just noticed that the newly redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester was the only one of 13 crossovers/SUVs recently tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to get the highest rating in the front crash test which is now even more severe than it has been in past years. It also was the first vehicle of 47 tested to date to receive Good ratings in structure integrity, for how well the driver dummy is restrained, and for potential injuries to the dummy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/au...test.html?_r=0


Both the Honda CRV and Jeep Wrangler were rated marginal. I know this test doesn't mean much to a lot of people but in a smaller vehicle, personally, I want good protection in a frontal crash.

Note what the article says about the Jeep Patriot in the last paragraph.

Again, not only is the new Forester approved for recreational towing by Subaru in the manual transmission configuration but is an extremely reliable car.

Our 2006 Outback has had nothing go wrong nor has it been to any shop for repairs other than routine maintenance (the Forester even has higher reliability and dependability ratings than the Outback). It's a seven year old car that drives like it's brand new. In fact, whenever we have people in the car, they always comment that it still smells like a brand new car inside ...just about everybody we've had in the car comments on that for some strange reason.

-harry
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:23 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input!

I test drove a 2013 outback manual yesterday. The dealer is selling the new forester at sticker, and the outback gets discounted --- plus , the outback appears to have a few more features as standard. In any case, I was impressed with the car overall.

Downside is no leather seating available with manual trans. Also ,I was not overly impressed with the clutch/trans /shifting. Guess I am just used to German manual transmissions!

Today, I am going to test drive a crv. I highly value safety, so the forester still looks good from that point. FYI-- blue ox will have a baseplate for the forester in about 5 weeks.

I will probably end up waiting to find a good used toad vs buying new since I am in no rush. The Subaru is definitely on the short list.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input!

Downside is no leather seating available with manual trans. Also ,I was not overly impressed with the clutch/trans /shifting. Guess I am just used to German manual transmissions!
I think I remember reading (somewhere - brochure?) that Subaru has an optional shifter for the Forester that is supposed to be slicker/shorter shift pattern. Won't fix the clutch/trans part, but sometimes one new link in a chain makes the whole chain seem better???
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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I think I remember reading (somewhere - brochure?) that Subaru has an optional shifter for the Forester that is supposed to be slicker/shorter shift pattern. Won't fix the clutch/trans part, but sometimes one new link in a chain makes the whole chain seem better???
Yes! Good suggestion, Stik. Short-throw shifters have been available for Subarus for at least ten years in both OEM and aftermarket versions. I think they mainly were marketed toward the WRX but came a commonplace choice amongst all model Subies in the late 1990s. I installed one on our old Forester but haven't put one on the Outback as I am satisfied with the feel of the shifter in this car.

So yes, tvolk, a short-throw kit will definitely help with the "feel" of the shifter and if you research the issue on some of the Subaru forums on the internet, you can somewhat replicate (not totally, obviously) the feel of a European shifter with an aftermarket short-throw shift kit rather than going with the OEM kit. However, I understand what you are talking about as we are VAG enthusiast always have had at least one VW or Audi in our garage before we decided to go full-time and do agree the feel of the VW/Audi shifters are superior to a Subaru OEM. BMW shifters are even better.

Again, pertaining to leather seats, if you research the forums, many have gone with aftermarket leather seats which they claim are far better than the OEM leather.

I'm getting excited discussing this stuff --I may have to go and look at that new Forester myself!

-harry
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:43 PM   #7
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This is off topic and strictly anecdotal and we won't be offended if the moderator deletes this post. And I know that most any modern car would have probably weathered the circumstnaces similarly but since we're currently in Washington state, we are following the news on the I-5 bridge collapse. Also, since we currently tow a Subaru 4-down and have towed another one in the past, this caught our eye.

Of the three vehicles that went off the bridge, one was a new Subaru Crosstrek, the other was a newer Dodge Ram pickup towing a travel trailer. The Solo driver in the Crosstrek and a couple in the Ram all survived with little or minor injuries.

The driver of the Crosstrek said all the airbags went off when the car hit the water and after unsuccessfully trying to kick the windshield out, he was able to exit the car through the passenger side door and crawl to the roof until rescuers reached him over a half hour later. The Crosstrek and the Ram truck look in decent condition but the travel trailer sure doesn't! *lol*

Photo of Crosstrek being pulled out

Photo of Dodge Ram being pulled out

Photo of TT being pulled out


We love Subarus!

~~amanda
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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We are on Subaru #14 a 2012 3.6L H6 Outback which is our tow vehicle for a large teardrop trailer. #11 finally died at over 300,000 miles. Yes we love then too. # 15 will be a Crosstreck.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:25 AM   #9
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Bought a 2014 Forester in May. Have not found brackets yet but we are on the waiting list with Roadmaster. As far as the Forester we are impressed with the design & capabilities. We bought the Premium trim & added a few things. The 2.5 Boxer engine delivers enough acceleration to get out into traffic & zippy enough for us. The front doors are wide and easy to get into. I have knee issues and I can easily slide into the drivers seat, very comfortable. The ride is smooth, a little more road noise than some other vehicles but within tolerance. The Forester drives, handles and feels like a much heavier vehicle. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by gbennett92b View Post
Bought a 2014 Forester in May. Have not found brackets yet but we are on the waiting list with Roadmaster. As far as the Forester we are impressed with the design & capabilities. We bought the Premium trim & added a few things. The 2.5 Boxer engine delivers enough acceleration to get out into traffic & zippy enough for us. The front doors are wide and easy to get into. I have knee issues and I can easily slide into the drivers seat, very comfortable. The ride is smooth, a little more road noise than some other vehicles but within tolerance. The Forester drives, handles and feels like a much heavier vehicle. Hope this helps.
Good review, Gary. We have to believe that if Subarus were towable with a automatic that they'd be one of the most popular toads; right up there with the CRV.

One thing that's deceives many is that the Forester in particular has quite a bit of ground clearance. Both the Forester and Outback have 8.7" of clearance compared with the CRV's 6.3" and the Jeep Patriot's 8.1"

We were surprised at some of the back roads we could maneuver with our old Forester because of its AWD, short wheelbase, and relatively high ground clearance even though it didn't have 4WD low. We did just fine in mild off-road condtions with a manual transmission and the Forester's AWD. Our present Outback has too long a wheelbase to try getting too far back into the wilderness.

Because of their AWD, great reliability, excellent crash test ratings, good fit and finish, relatively good MPG, good size and weight, and no restrictions at all pertaining to towing, we think Subarus can't be beat if one doesn't mind a manual transmission. We prefer a manual so it's an excellent choice for us.

-harry



eta: a few years ago, there was a rumor that Subaru would make the diesel Forester available in North America. They evidently decided not to do it. If a diesel Forester was available, we'd be first in line to buy one.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:27 PM   #11
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All good info.

My son is going to college above Lake Placid in NY (Paul Smith College) so we are in the market for the 2014 Forester.

Would like to get the manual so I could use as a future toad but DW does not drive a stick. However the automatic actually gets better gas mileage than the stick!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:42 PM   #12
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Exactly, Tom. One of Subaru's negative points through the years has been their comparatively poor MPG. Our Outback gets terrible mileage and it supposedly requires premium fuel on top of it.

However, the MPG with the new Subarus have increased substantially from past years. Yes, the combination of a CVT transmission and better emissions tweaking, etc., have made the MPG for the automatic Forester very competitive. Most automatics will now get better MPG figures than one can get with a manual which wasn't the case decades ago. They've made such strides in transmission technology.

But again, for us, we just plain prefer a manual transmission. It will be a sad day when they are gone forever. I'm thinking that won't be the case in my lifetime for I'm getting up there in years.

-harry
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:45 PM   #13
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We have a 2004 Forester that has over 70,000 miles and we have pulled for another 75,000 miles in 7 years of fulltiming plus a couple of years before weekending and vacations. Couldn't be happier.

Barb
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