Replacing my totaled Forester

subaru
forester
used

#1

Hi,

Heart broken over my totaled Subaru Forester 2001. Only 53,000 miles!



Exhausted by the idea of car shopping. Not in my xmas plans. So would love your help in recommending replacement options.



Another Forester is an option. I was curious if I’m overlooking anything.



Desires/needs



? hatchback/space for camping gear, volunteer delivery of food weekly.



? Good in snow and rain. Live in Oregon.



??I like the good visibility in a Forester



??I wouldn’t mind considering a hybrid or other green vehicle.


#2

What’s your price range? Do you need the AWD? Will you be driving on hills in winter?

An Impreza or Legacy will have almost the exact same strengths as the Forester, just with slightly different dimensions.

Youtube videos suggest the Suzuki SX4’s AWD is almost as capable as most of Subaru’s.

A mid-late 90s Accord wagon would be a good choice too, if you want to save some money (and you can find one). As would a Civic.

Toyota’s wagons tend to get abysmal fuel economy in comparison to their sedan brethren, for reasons that baffle me.

Really, though, if you like the utility of a Forester AND you want decent fuel economy AND you want AWD AND you want reliability, Subaru makes almost all of your best options. They have a niche where they are nearly unchallenged.


#3

I would first consider what you know and like. I am not a fan of hybrids for the price you pay. The new Forester is suppose to be even better. Rav4 (best economy of all small non hybrid SUVs) and CRV are also excellent choices. The newer models of all are substantially bigger and more economical than your old Forester. IMHO, they are the best choices for everything you say you like about your old Forester and I couldn’t recommend any other brands that don’t have their long term history/reliability. Also, the dealer proximity, purchase deal and maintenance dept and cost may go a long way in your final decision of these excellent choices. All now have traction control, abs, and stability control. I would test drive all of these…
BTW, food delivery in all weather is an excellent reason to consider awd. Contrary to what you will hear by some, they cost very little more to maintain as you already know and they have NO tire issues if you drive them sanely and rotate them regularly. I have found that tires WILL actually outlast fwd only options in wagons.


#4

You would be extremely happy with a new(er) Forester. It seems to meet all of your needs, so why switch?


#5

If you do not need all wheel drive, I would suggest the following:

  1. Toyota Matrix

  2. Hyundai Touring

  3. Mazda Sport

  4. Scion Xb

All the above have lots of space, perform well with winter tires, and cost less than the Forester. If you absolutely need AWD, the Forester is unbeatable.


#6

If you want to check out SUV hybrids, the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner/Mazda Tribute (same basic truck) all get 34 city/31 highway in 2WD and 30/27 as 4WD trucks. All use a 4-cylinder gas engine. The Toyota Highland hybrid has a 6-cyl gas engine and gets 27 city/25 highway. If the mileage numbers are attractive and the price does not scare you off, go test drive a Ford product and the Toyota. Between now and the end of March, the 2010 Ford trucks have federal income tax credits of $750 (2WD) or $650 (4WD). The 2010 Highlander tax credit is $650.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybrid_sbs.shtml

The hybrid Highlander starts at about $35,000, but it is well equipped, while the base Highlander starts at $26,000. The Escape hybrid starts at about $30,000 and is also about $9000 more than it’s less well equipped base model. They ae both really about $2000-$3000 more than the equivalent non-hybrid model.


#7

Thank you all so much. Makes me not feel alone in this decisions.

Yes, I think I want AWD. I’ve been happy with it and since I go up the mountain to ski, I want to feel like I’m a bit safer.

I am being offered $8600 (minus deductible and cost to fix an existing ding) bringing it to $7900. I cannot afford monthly car payments now. So I’m looking at a used car.

Would you try to buy something before end of year or am I as likely to get the same deal (dealer or private party) in January?

Thanks!


#8

The end-of-year sales are less about it being the end of the year, and more about clearing out the previous model year because the new model year is coming in in quantity. If you’re not buying a new car, it doesn’t really matter if you buy in December or January.

It absolutely does not matter for private parties in general. If they have individual reasons to sell urgently in December, chances are they still will in January.

Regardless, you’ll get a better deal buying from a private party than from a dealer. You’re spending enough money that it isn’t completely pointless to look at dealers, but you’re still likely to get less car for your money.


#9

“I am being offered $8600 (minus deductible and cost to fix an existing ding) bringing it to $7900. I cannot afford monthly car payments now. So I’m looking at a used car.”

Look at a 2004/2005 Escape or Equinox. The Asian trucks just cost too much. The Highlander is $5000 more in this age group - at least 60% more. It’s a fine truck, but you’ll have to go 3 years earlier to get equal purchase price. The Highlander is more reliable - than an equivalent Equinox or Escape. But these are not equal, since the Highlander is much older and has significantly higher mileage. BTW, the Forrester is priced comparably to the Highlander.


#10

“I am being offered $8600 (minus deductible and cost to fix an existing ding) bringing it to $7900. I cannot afford monthly car payments now. So I’m looking at a used car.”

Than I think your looking at a used Forester near the same year/mileage as the one you had.


#11

“Than I think your looking at a used Forester near the same year/mileage as the one you had.”

That’s exactly what the insurer has in mind, and it is reasonable. But I think that a similar Detroit 3 SUV, especially the Escape or Equinox, would be more reliable. That is mostly because they would be 3 or 4 years newer and with lower mileage, but they are also reliable vehicles.


#12

Small hatchbacks such as the Matrix/Vibe and Elantra Touring come to mind.

If you need AWD, check out cars like the Forester, Outback, and Suzuki SX4.

You may also want to consider small SUVs like the RAV4, CRV, Equinox, and Escape. The hybrid for the last choice may not be a bad idea.


#13

The Matrix(and I’m guessing the Vibe too) also has an AWD option, but I don’t think many of them sold


#14

“he Matrix(and I’m guessing the Vibe too) also has an AWD option, but I don’t think many of them sold.”

The Matrix S is still offered as AWD. Pontiac discontinued AWD in 2007.


#15

The 07 AWD Pontiac should be in their budget then.

http://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action?dlId=&dgId=&AmbMkNm=Pontiac&AmbMdNm=Vibe&AmbMkId=20035&AmbMdId=22276&searchSource=ADVANCED_SEARCH&rd=100000&zc=43302&uncpo=2&cpo=&stkTyp=U&VType=&mkId=20035&mdId=22276&alMdId=22276&alMkId=20035&prMn=&prMx=8000&clrId=&yrMn=&yrMx=&drvTrnId=&mlgMn=&mlgMx=&kw=awd&kwm=ANY&ldId=&rpp=50&slrTypeId=


#16

Subaru reliability is setting the bar pretty high, but those two vehicles do have pretty good reputations.


#17

I have never seen a Matrix or Vibe in Alaska that wasn’t AWD.


#18

“Subaru reliability is setting the bar pretty high, but those two vehicles do have pretty good reputations.”

And buying a 3 to 4 year newer SUV makes their reliability significantly better than the older Subaru.