Buy now or wait till October? - legacylad
Following on from HJ's post 'Big drop in used 4 x 4 values' I am shortly off to the States for several weeks backpacking, and have sold my '95 Defender to a friend who collects it a few days before I fly. When I return in October I shall scour the auctions/small ads for a replacement Subaru (will be my 4th) within my budget of £5k and hopefully a lot less!
A pal of mine starts a new job and is being provided with a company car, so has to sell his 04 Forester 2.0X, 42k miles c/w All Weather Pack.He has told me that he will dispose of it through the auctions...no hassle with private buyers etc etc and I/we wondered what he could expect to receive for it. The Vauxhall website lists Glasses 'trade in part ex' values, but what relevance have these figures to what he can expect to receive in payment at auction.
If it is within my budget I may be interested, although we both agree that it is underpowered (maybe I could chip it?) and the mpg of the XT puts me off the turbo model. My preference is still an older Legacy estate...good value 2nd hand thanks to the intro of the new Sports Tourer.
Many thanks for any advice
Buy now or wait till October? - Pugugly {P}
Well I hope you enjoy your trip. Let us know from time to time how you're getting on when you find yourself on t'internet.
Buy now or wait till October? - Aprilia
An older Forester is a bit of a conundrum. The old single-cam 2.0 non-turbo is a bit underpowered at 125bhp. The Turbo gives you another 50bhp, but becomes a much bigger concern out of warranty because of potentially higher repair costs (as well as the possibility of turbo failure, it imposes a lot more strain on the drivetrain) and higher fuel consumption and insurance. Ideally you should go for a 2006-on non-turbo with the 160bhp engine (I reckon this is Subaru's smoothest 4-cyl to date) - but I guess these cars would be out of your budget.

An older Legacy 2.0 will also use the 125bhp engine. 2.5's have more power, but there have been problems with '99-'02 cars blowing head gaskets on the 2.5 open deck engine. Obvioulsy this is extremely costly and worst case can be a pair of new heads. There's some more info on this at: users.sisna.com/ignatius/subaru/headgasket.html

Subaru claim that '03-on engines are much better, but since these cars will mostly either be in warranty or just come out of warranty its hard to say. However I did speak to a technical guy at Subaru UK's HQ and he swore to me that he'd not heard of 03-on 2.5's blowing head gaskets.

As a rule of thumb with Suby's the 2.0's give almost no trouble, the 2.2's a little and the 2.5's the most, by some measure.
Buy now or wait till October? - legacylad
Many thanks Aprilia

All my previous Subaru's have been 2.0 non turbos and totally reliable.The question remains though, what would my friend get by selling his Forester at auction...bottom line, very approximately, taking into account his sellers fee. And is it possible to chip the 2.0 non turbo without unduly affecting mpg and (more importantly) reliability? If ihis Forester is beyond my budget maybe I should up my sights from the 2.0 litre and look for a 2.5 non turbo on a Legacy estate from '03 onwards when I return in October.
And yes, I would love the new 2006-on 160bhp engine but it is way beyond my budget. Maybe in 3 or 4 years. or if my Premium Bonds come up!...or maybe if I move to the States!

Buy now or wait till October? - Aprilia
AFAIK it is not possible to chip the old 2.0 non-turbo engines.

I am frankly not sure on auction value for a 2004 Forester X - they do tend to hold their value better than most Subaru's though. I would hazard a guess at somewhere **around** your £5k budget, so you could be in with a chance there...
Buy now or wait till October? - OldHand
I hate to be the bearer of good tidings but there are many people running remapped 2.0 turbo Foresters on scoobynet and the SIDC without any problem whatsoever. As far as I know the Forester is essentially an Impreza so I fail to see how 200ish bhp will cause stress to a drivetrain that was built to handle exactly that amount of power. The Forester turbo is small but robust as I understand it.

As far as I'm aware brakes and comical handling (mostly due to ride height and the geolander tyres) are the Foresters weak points.............
Buy now or wait till October? - Aprilia
Well, thankfully I get my knowledge from the real world, not from 'Scoobynet'. Got a few scars on my hands from R&R'ing turbos, and a few other "little jobs" over last 12 years of working on Subarus - but what do I know?

Nothing comical about the handling of the Forester, the low CoG actually works its magic pretty well on these vehicles and they grip and handle incredibly well for the type of vehicle. Its no Lotus Elise, but probably the best handling small SUV. But then again, what do I know?
Buy now or wait till October? - Happy Blue!
We had until last year an original model Forester 2.0 Auto and it was plenty fast enough and very smooth. Our 2.0XT auto (which I used to drive and now is in the hands of my father) is very good indeed, although I would split the difference between OldHand and Aprilia and say the handling is excellent although the Geolander tyres are not great and poor when worn.

I'm not used to manual Foresters, but found the new 163bhp Forester 2.0 to be OK but not wow'!'. It was only a short drive though. Whichever one you get they will be very comfortable, both in terms of seating position and ride.
Buy now or wait till October? - Aprilia
I'm not used to manual Foresters but found the new 163bhp Forester 2.0 to be
OK but not wow'!'. It was only a short drive though.


No, its not 'wow', but its a lot better than the old 2.0 SOHC engine. Where it wins over the old 125bhp engine is the extra power and smoothness from about 3500rpm upwards. You have to be prepared to use the high rpm regime (where the AVCS - VVT comes in) to get the best out of it, but its fun to do it. It does not really suit an automatic transmission for this reason. Incidentally, they also improved the manual gearbox on Foresters made after Nov. 2005 - the synchro action is better and the stick throw is shorter. This also applied to 4-cyl 5-speed Imprezas and Leggy's made from about that date.
Buy now or wait till October? - OldHand
So the anecdotal knowledge of the few cars you look at is a wider sample than SIDC and scoobynet which has hundreds of owners? What do you know? Not as much as you're implying I reckon.

You seem to know precious little about the handling of the Forester either- it most certainly is comical. Those geolanders are multi purpose tyres which mean once you get moving it's quite possible to induce deliciously controllable drifts at relatively low speeds. 'Comical' handling doesn't mean poor but perhaps 'entertaining' would have been easier for you to understand.

From reading your posts on here it seems to me you're setting yourself up as some sort of Subaru expert. Sadly I don't think you know as much as you make out otherwise you'd have understood about the geolanders amongst other things. You do know the first thing that goes as part of a PPP is the geolanders right?

Perhaps you are a well known and respected Subaru specialist? If so I'd be interested to know who- I know most of them by personal use or reputation.
Buy now or wait till October? - Bill Payer
So the anecdotal knowledge of the few cars you look at is a wider sample
than SIDC and scoobynet which has hundreds of owners?


Are you talking about different things? Aprilia said he didn't think non-turbo 2L could be chipped and you said many people on the forums run chipped 2L turbo's.
Buy now or wait till October? - nick
Too many threads these days seem to degenerate into personal slagging. Why can't different opinions just be accepted or ignored?
Buy now or wait till October? - OldHand
I agree with Aprilla I've never heard of a remap for a naturally aspirated Impreza or Forester and even if such a thing existed it would provide very little gain.

Where I don't agree with him is that the Forester turbo suffers a high proportion of turbo failures. What I also don't understand is how a relatively modest power increase to 200ish bhp which can be achieved via remapping causes severe drivetrain stress to a car which was designed to take that much power anyway.

I think perhaps he forgets he's in a position where all he gets is the 'bad news'. Furthermore I'd love to know the actual number of turbo failures he's dealt with. The evidence that comes back from all the forums is that the smaller turbo on the Forester isn't prone to failure at all.

Maybe people would be better taking a look here

www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/

and drawing their own conclusions than listening to a doom n gloom merchant?
Buy now or wait till October? - legacylad
Scuse me gents but my OP was 'Buy now....' with no connection whatsoever with turbos or the failures thereof!
My question about 'chipping' a non turbo 2.0 has been answered (thank you) so if I do go this route I shall just have to accept the lower performance (and better mpg) but 99% of life is a compromise anyway.
Aprilia has also said that there is a slight possibility that I may be able to buy my friends 04 Forester 2.0X for my max budget of £5k. Given I know his driving style, and the history of the vehicle, I may well do so if the opportunity arises. He may well think that it is worth far more, given main dealer prices, and if I were him I would see if the supplying dealer could sell it for me on a commission basis...if they do these things?
Watch this space.
Buy now or wait till October? - Nickdm
I can't see any point at all in buying now, if you're going away for 2-3 months?

Apart from the purchase price, you'll need to tax and insure it, then park it somewhere gathering dust (or worse).

Leave the cash earning interest and look for a car when you get back. Even though your friend will have disposed of his by then, I'm sure you'll find a few others to appraise. There are zillions of used cars out there, to suit all tastes and budgets! And aren't prices usually softer on the run-up to Xmas?
Buy now or wait till October? - Aprilia
OldHand

I'm not sure what you're 'angle' is, but you seem to be provocative and misrepresent what I have said. This started when you first posted some asinine comments about turbo Imprezas and I corrected you. This seems to have upset you.

Anyone who reads this forum regularly will know that I am not 'doom and gloom' about Subarus, in fact I am extremely positive about the brand and I think that ANY modern Sub would be a very good buy, both on account of general reliabillity and road manners. Buyers have to be careful though, because Sub's are very expensive to fix (just browse repair times on Autodata if you don't believe me!) and the parts tend to be rather expensive.

Now, look back at what I said in this thread about the turbo Forester: "potentially higher repair costs (as well as the possibility of turbo failure, it imposes a lot more strain on the drivetrain) and higher fuel consumption and insurance."
Note that I mentioned the POSSIBILITY of turbo failure - its one more thing to go wrong, I did not say that it was 'common'. Turbo's in general are not especially reliable (in relation to the rest of the powertrain) they are particulary sensitive to poor oil quality (missed services). Chipping generally involves increasing boost pressure which increases exhaust temp. and imposes additional loads on the engine and drivetrain. If the additional power is routinely used then it will result in shorter life of components like the clutch and drivetrain joints. A friend of mine has run an auto-transmission repair business for 20+ years and about 10 years ago he added turbo R&R work to his portfolio. There is a small but steady stream of Subaru owners (and other brands, of course) needing replacement turbos, its not unexpected, these things do go wrong.
The Forester has quite a good towing capacity for its size and in my (rural) part of the world is not hard to come across examples that have had a tough life dragging stuff around (Pony Club set etc), with worn drivetrain and underside damage.

In terms of chipping, you have misunderstood what I have said. I said it was not viable to chip a non-turbo motor. The newer 163bhp NA can be chipped to about 180bhp, but its not worth it for the money. There are numerous companies who will chip a turbo.

In terms of the Forester handling I will stand by what I have said; i.e. that its probably the best handling vehicle of its type (small SUV) I know that many others would agree with that (including HJ, according to his CBCB). 'Comical handling' would imply to me that it has strange, unusual or undesirable characteristics; 'entertaining handling' means something different again I think. 'Excellent' is simply the description I would use.

I get most of my information from actually doing the job, not sitting in front of a computer reading 'Scoobynet'. I imagine about 0.001% of the country's Subaru owners are members of that site.

I'm actually writing this from the wireless laptop in my workshop. Waiting for an Impreza with a very lumpy idle to arrive - sticking wastegate solenoid I guess...
Buy now or wait till October? - OldHand
what you're 'angle' is but you seem to be provocative and misrepresent
what I have said. This started when you first posted some asinine comments about turbo Imprezas and I corrected you.


You didn't correct me you posted your point of view which I still don't agree with, I'd forgotten all about it, I think you're the one holding some sort of grudge, to be honest other than a few posts I've read about a few Subarus I have no idea that you had any sort of forum presence at all here. I've never paid that much attention,

>>Buyers have to be careful though because Sub's are very expensive to
fix (just browse repair times on Autodata if you don't believe me!) and the parts
tend to be rather expensive.

I think we're all aware that Subarus aren't cheap to maintain.

Now look back at what I said in this thread about the turbo Forester: "potentially
higher repair costs (as well as the possibility of turbo failure it imposes a lot
more strain on the drivetrain) and higher fuel consumption and insurance."
Note that I mentioned the POSSIBILITY of turbo failure


That's like saying a car with 4 doors is more likely to need 4 check straps greasing rather than 2. Stating the blindingly obvious.
poor oil quality (missed services). Chipping generally involves increasing boost pressure which increases exhaust temp.
and imposes additional loads on the engine and drivetrain. If the additional power is routinely
used then it will result in shorter life of components like the clutch and drivetrain
joints.


The Forester is essentially an Impreza- taking the bhp through a remap (nobody calls it chipping anymore because that isn't what happens to modern cars-time to update your knowledge perhaps?) upto the same level as the prodrive pack which Subaru themselves sell isn't going to put the car outside it's safety envelope
In terms of chipping you have misunderstood what I have said. I said it was
not viable to chip a non-turbo motor. The newer 163bhp NA can be chipped to
about 180bhp but its not worth it for the money.

I didn't misunderstand what you said, I've never heard of anyone mapping a N/A Impreza because it would be a waste of time and money. I actually agreed with you. Maybe time for you to start reading what people have actually written before commenting?
I get most of my information from actually doing the job not sitting in front
of a computer reading 'Scoobynet'. I imagine about 0.001% of the country's Subaru owners are
members of that site.

You imagine? I'm no great fan of scoobynet myself but as a resource with tens of thousands of members it's worth a look at for people who own Subarus. Likewise SIDC and the Forester owners boards. To be honest the anecdotes of a small time mechanic aren't really representative of anything other than his own limited experience in terms of a survey of problems that can occur with vehicles. Unless of course you're actually dealing with thousands of them per year.
Buy now or wait till October? - Aprilia
Aprilia has also said that there is a slight possibility that I may be able
to buy my friends 04 Forester 2.0X for my max budget of £5k. Given I
know his driving style and the history of the vehicle I may well do so
if the opportunity arises. He may well think that it is worth far more given
main dealer prices and if I were him I would see if the supplying dealer
could sell it for me on a commission basis...if they do these things?


An '04 Forester with 42k is going to be reasonably sought after. If the dealer takes it off your mate and sells it to you he will want a margin (obviously) and also he'll need to prep it to retail standard and take an additional margin to cover warranty/liability and all the 'added value' you get from a dealer. So you probably need to add at least £1200 to the basic trade price.
I don't see why your mate can't tout it round for a basic trade price (which will be a tad higher than auction I would think) and then offer it to you at that price. Alternatively he takes it to an auction with you 'in tow' and you bid for it!
Buy now or wait till October? - Mapmaker
>>Alternatively he takes it to an auction with you 'in tow' and you bid for it!

I don't know if you would have to declare that?



Anyway, I know those Forresters have a following, but to my mind they look like vehicles that would be most useful for a wheelchair... They have poor clearance, and because they are 4x4 people are inclined to drive them like off-road vehicles with consequent damage to the underside.
______________________________
The above should not be construed as a recommendation or advice. Be
Buy now or wait till October? - legacylad
Now that's an interesting scenario...seriously. I bid for my friends car at auction. he gets the auction price, and I get a car with a known history and only pay the auction value plus 'buyers premium' whatever that is. Should I buy it within budget then each party is happy.I am happy to go with market forces.
My three friends who currently drive Foresters...all non turbo's, drive them because of their reliability.Absolutely nothing to do with their off road (or lack of) capability.I am sure that the 4WD helps handling, but as 'normal' motorists we would buy them even if they were 2WD if the reliability were as good. Having chatted to them in our local over the weekend the handling is not an important issue, but reliability is.
Buy now or wait till October? - MVP
We've owned a Forester 2, 2.0x since new in March 2003.

Totally reliable, great handling/roadholding and lots of fun to drive.

It's not fast, but makes a lovely noise when you rev it, so still an enjoyable drive without too much risk of a speeding ticket.

It's also the most economical Forester ever built I think.

Buy now or wait till October? - boxsterboy
I think the owner of this Forester must be mad auctioning it. The very slight hassle of selling privately will surely be worth the extra money he will surely make.
Buy now or wait till October? - rogue-trooper
get your mate to put a high reserve on it (higher than you want to pay) and if it goes he's quids in. If it doesn't then you can buy it off him at the highest unsuccessful bid at the auction. Not sure that an auctioneer would be happy putting on a high reserve but it might eb worth a go.
 

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