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Subaru Forester

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby Flips » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:50 pm

colorado yooper wrote:For some reason I alway find myself passing Jeeps on these roads. Am I doing something wrong?


Same here!

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby Steve Gio » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:05 pm

Well all good stuff to know. And re-assuring hearing about all the high mileage going on these things. Hopefully I am as lucky.

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby hurdles » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:15 pm

I love my Forester. It's a 2002, still gets about 29 mpg, always seems way better in the low 30's when I am in the mtns. I live in WI my Subaru has done me proud whenever I have taken it out to CO. Took it up the road to Antero, have been into LIndsey, and others. Mine now has 215,000 miles on it and going strong :-)
“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”
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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby creidinger » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:42 am

I had a 2002 Forester but got rid of it at 128k miles since it developed a head gasket leak for the second time. That generation of Subarus is known for leaky head gaskets. I also would burn the clutch anytime I was on a steep and rocky road. Definitely need that low range 4WD. I guess if you have an automatic transmission it's probably a little easier. I upgraded to a 2001 Tacoma, which is much better for any 4WD road (and holds more gear). My Taco gets 20-22 mpg, which isn't too bad. And it hauls fewer people comfortably. But overall I'm pleased with the upgrade.
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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby randalmartin » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:52 am

creidinger wrote:I also would burn the clutch anytime I was on a steep and rocky road.


You may have helped me figure out what's happening on mine occasionally. I have been on steep rocky roads and have even had smoke come out in those situations where I rolled back and then re-tried a tougher section. I have a 2011 Forester. No doubt that 4WD Low is a critical feature on steep high clearance roads.

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby Steve Gio » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:52 pm

The 2011 has a hill assist for the manual transmision. Brakes stay on for a couple seconds while you release the clutch. Pretty neat but I never had trouble starting any manual on a steep hill. But again when the going gets tough that is the trailhead.

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby SuperiorTrailHiker » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:27 pm

I've got a '98 I bought new and is still running like a Swiss watch at 170K; it hasn't been up Colorado trailheads but has hit a lot of backwoods logging road and former-railroad-grade access points in the dead of winter with no complaint. I've wanted a Wrangler for a long, long time, but based on the performance of the Forester, it'll be hard to objectively justify buying something else.

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby nkan02 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:41 pm

SuperiorTrailHiker wrote:I've got a '98 I bought new and is still running like a Swiss watch at 170K; it hasn't been up Colorado trailheads

lol. Well, maybe try getting up Jennings creek TH in it this weekend, and then give us an update.
It has frequently been noticed that all mountains appear doomed to pass through the three stages: An inaccessible peak - The most difficult ascent in the Alps - An easy day for a lady. Albert Frederick Mummery, My Climbs in the Alps and Caucasus

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby SuperiorTrailHiker » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:45 pm

nkan02 wrote:lol. Well, maybe try getting up Jennings creek TH in it this weekend, and then give us an update.



Oh, if only that were an option. I'd be game.

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby jsdratm » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:58 pm

Old thread, but I too have decided to acquire a Subaru Forester. After two years of taking my poor 2WD Toyota Matrix on these terrible roads I decided that I could use the AWD and increased clearance. If gas mileage was not an issue I would have gotten a Wrangler. I'm not expecting to get up any rough 4WD roads, but it will make me feel better about driving on the rougher 2WD roads and maybe some easy 4WD. I took my matrix on some very rough roads near Westcliffe and thought it was going to shake apart, but it did survive and also made it up to the Massive, Elbert, Crags, and Harvard trailheads.

I was wondering if any other owners have advice on this type of car since I've never had a Subaru or AWD car before. I've heard that snow chains are not recommended. What do you guys use when you need additional traction? What are the worst roads you've done? Any recommendations on a bike rack?

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby Scott P » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:29 pm

I was wondering if any other owners have advice on this type of car since I've never had a Subaru or AWD car before. I've heard that snow chains are not recommended. What do you guys use when you need additional traction? What are the worst roads you've done? Any recommendations on a bike rack?


We recently had a Forester and now we have the Outback. Both area really great cars. If you have a choice, I'd go with the Outback because it has better clearance, a bit better off road, gets betters gas milage (with the CVT) and has more room.

The Forester doesn't offer a CVT, so gets slightly less gas milage. The disadvantage of the Outback is that they have the same engine, but the Outback weighs more so is slightly slower (with the 4). The CVT gets better gas milage than the manual, so there's little need to get a manual (out Forester was a manual).

As far as snow chains go, the thin cable chains are fine. The big heavy duty chains don't leave enough clearance in the wheelwells, thus the recommendation.

I've done a fair amount of moderate 4wd roads in the Subaru, but you aren't going to get it up something the Lake Como road! Modern Subarus have just as much ground clearance as read 4wds, but they don't have a low range and the available skid plates aren't as strong as those in off road SUV. An Outback or even a Forester will hold it's own against something like and Explorer, but not a 4Runner, Grand Cherokee, Xterra or Rubicon, for example. Moderate 4wd roads are fine and you would be surprised how well they do. Still, they have a good combination of rough road driving capability and gas milage. I have an old Pathfinder (before they mostly lost their off road emphasis), but it usually sits in the driveway unless we are going to do something like the road up Antero. The Subaru does fine on most roads and can easily make it to places like the Huron 4wd trailhead.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Subaru Forester

Postby randalmartin » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:46 pm

Scott P wrote:We recently had a Forester and now we have the Outback. Both area really great cars. If you have a choice, I'd go with the Outback because it has better clearance, a bit better off road, gets betters gas milage (with the CVT) and has more room. The Forester doesn't offer a CVT, so gets slightly less gas milage.


I am not sure the statement about more clearance is accurate. Edmunds shows the 2013 Forester and 2013 Outback are both 8.7" of clearance. As far as mileage and for mountain usage I would strongly recommend you get a manual transmission.

Manual Transmission allows for much better control of shifting as you ascend in the mountains for improved power. In addition, I get significantly better gas mileage with a manual transmission vs automatic if you know how to do a bit of hypermiling. By that I mean, coasting to stop lights and coasting downhill etc... I typically get 31-34 MPG roundtrip when I take my 2011 Forester to the mountains.

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