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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Subaru Aficionados

    When seen in person the Imprezza is definitely too small. We are now looking at Foresters and Outbacks.

    We need to be able to fit 2 carseats and on occassion a 5 stepping tween in the back. DD will be 3 in Jan. and we plan to rf her to 4. Right now I am not pregnant but we hope I will be sometime between Dec. and April. However, we are realizing that by the time baby 2 comes along my daughter will about to forward face and once she is we can move her to in a slimmer ff seat.

    I tried out our current seats in a Forester yesterday. Pria fit well (but needs to be replaced, due to it being the seat in the crash that is causing all this hulbaloo), Boulevard G3 would fit behind me but not hubby. We had no infant seat to try, but plan on a keyfit.

    We also own, a G4 roundabout, G3 marathon, and a Diono Olympia. I didn't try any of these. The roundabout and marathon are in babysitters' cars and the Olympia is so huge I knew it wouldn't fit rearfacing.

    I'm thinking replace the pria for now as it fits well rf front to back and will be the only seat in there for quite a while. When the time comes that we need to put 2 carseats in the car, we can put in the Olympia forward facing and the Keyfit. When baby 2 outgrows the keyfit we can go back to the pria. By that time my niece and nephew will be significantly older (they are 11 and 12 now) and can ride in the front if I need to pick one of them up.

    All that being said I have 3 questions:

    Are there any incompatibility issues with forward facing Diono's in either of these vehicles?

    Does this seem like a sensible plan?

    We are looking used. Our mechanic said anything after 2007 from a mechanical standpoint. But are there any models years of either of these vehicles that we should lean towards or stay away from?

    TIA

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  3. #2
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    I think the redesign on the Forester was 2011 -- and I think it was redesigned again in 2015. I hear that the 2015 is better for car seats, but even the 2011-2014 should be better than pre-2011. My Forester doesn't have much more side-to-side space than the Impreza.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

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  5. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    It was really more the trunk that wasn't enough space. The dog never would have fit back there. The forester seemed like it would be similar to the Jeep Liberty that I was previously driving.

  6. #4
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
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    Redesign for the Forester was 2009 with another refresh (mainly interior) in 2014. I've had both a 2010 Forester and now a 2012 Outback. Both are great but the Outback is more spacious and will definitely provide you more room for 3 in the back seat. The price difference between the 2 isn't too much either.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  7. #5
    Senior Community Member solmama's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    ...might want to look up oil consumption in the newer Subarus and head gasket problems in any before 2010. See how often those things occur and if you're comfortable buying a car with, potentially expensive, issues.
    Last edited by solmama; 11-17-2015 at 12:10 AM.
    DD-12 years, 68"
    DS-10 years, 60"

  8. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    Quote Originally Posted by solmama View Post
    ...might want to look up oil consumption in the newer Subarus and head gasket problems in any before 2010. See how often those things occur and if you're comfortable buying a car with, potentially expensive, issues.
    Our mechanic, who's wife drives an Outback, told us that there shouldn't be a head gasket issue on anything newer than a 2006/2007 as long as we stayed away from ones with Turbo. We did look at the oil issue in the new Foresters and he is looking more into that issue for us.

  9. #7
    Senior Community Member solmama's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    I'm going to be really direct. You may not like it, but I'm hoping to save you a ton of cash.

    You need a new mechanic. He doesn't know what he's talking about. If you're going to purchase a Subaru of that vintage, you DO NOT WANT a non-turbo model. The non-turbo (2.5, 2.5i) engines are the ones with massive head gasket failures. You should look to purchase a Subaru that is either turbo or a 6 cylinder.

    I made this mistake. We purchased a 2006 Subaru Outback limited 2.5i. I loved that car. Until it blew a head gasket (apparently this was the 2nd time, according to the mechanic). In the mountains. On vacation. Very, very expensive. 15 months later, it began failing again. I now drive a Honda Accord.

    After our head gasket blew, I did a ton of research (research I wished I had done prior to purchase...never would have bought it). I read more than I should have about Subarus. What I did learn is that there should have been a recall. That's how widespread this problem is. It's huge. And very expensive. A head gasket job costs well over $2000.

    I encourage you to do some research of your own. Your mechanic is either misinformed or wants to make a ton of money off of you. Mechanics love Subarus. They really do. Research, research, research.

    If you'd like me to post some links, I can do so tonight. I'm using a tablet and just find that hard to do.
    Last edited by solmama; 11-17-2015 at 01:27 PM.
    DD-12 years, 68"
    DS-10 years, 60"

  10. #8
    Senior Community Member SuzaBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solmama View Post
    I'm going to be really direct. You may not like it, but I'm hoping to save you a ton of cash. You need a new mechanic. He doesn't know what he's talking about. If you're going to purchase a Subaru of that vintage, you DO NOT WANT a non-turbo model. The non-turbo (2.5, 2.5i) engines are the ones with massive head gasket failures. You should look to purchase a Subaru that is either turbo or a 6 cylinder. I made this mistake. We purchased a 2006 Subaru Outback limited 2.5i. I loved that car. Until it blew a head gasket (apparently this was the 2nd time, according to the mechanic). In the mountains. On vacation. Very, very expensive. 15 months later, it began failing again. I now drive a Honda Accord. After our head gasket blew, I did a ton of research (research I wished I had done prior to purchased...never would have bought it). I read more than I should have about Subarus. What I did learn is that there should have been a recall. That's how widespread this problem is. It's huge. And very expensive. A head gasket job costs well over $2000. I encourage you to do some research of your own. Your mechanic is either misinformed or wants to make a ton of money off of you. Mechanics love Subarus. They really do. Research, research, research. If you'd like me to post some links, I can do so tonight. I'm using a tablet and just find that hard to do.
    I'd love the links!

    We had a 2001 and a 2003 Forester (both Limited models) and never had the head gasket problem. The 2001 I had from March of 2000-2006 (bought new) and the 2003 we had from 2006-2011 (bought used). Both cars had well over 100k when we got rid of them. Neither ever needed major repairs. We've had our current Subaru (2011 Tribeca) since May 2011and never had any issues with oil consumption.

    Regarding mechanics, I'm curious if solmama (or anyone else) has a source for mechanics who specialize in Subarus? They definitely have some unique challenges that a mechanic well-versed in Subies is essential. We bought a maintenance package with our Tribeca but that's almost up and I'd like to stop going to the dealer.
    integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching

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  12. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    I'd love to see links as well. I have an 2007 Outback and I'm nervous about this. I've already put nearly 4k into this car this year. I'd be pissed if I had to put any more money into this car. Not worth it.

  13. #10
    Senior Community Member solmama's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    If you'd like to Google, just look up "Subaru head gasket problems.". You'll get plenty of results.
    DD-12 years, 68"
    DS-10 years, 60"

  14. #11
    Carseat Crazy Persimmon's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    Quote Originally Posted by SavsMom View Post
    Redesign for the Forester was 2009 with another refresh (mainly interior) in 2014. I've had both a 2010 Forester and now a 2012 Outback. Both are great but the Outback is more spacious and will definitely provide you more room for 3 in the back seat. The price difference between the 2 isn't too much either.
    I have a 09 Forester and my dad still drives my old 00 Outback. No issues for either. I agree on looking at the Outback over the Forester if you are looking at 3 in the back. Every inch will help. If you must get a Forester, and fitting a tween in the middle of my 09 seems like it wouldn't work at all, I would only get a 2014+ because the interior refresh got rid of the hump in the center seating position. The back seat became much flatter so it seems like you could push the car seats out closer to the door with a seat belt installation. FF car seats have been more problematic in my Forester than RF when someone in a seat belt is seated next to them. The car seat bumps up against the seated person's shoulders when FF, but the seat belted person's shoulder and arm can bleed over into the RF carseat's seating airspace.
    DS1&2: Driving, DS3: 5 Stepping, DS4: 12/09 Parkway SGL

  15. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    Please send the links.

    Our mechanic is a personal friend who've I've known for years. He is in no way trying to rip us off. He has been repairing our cars for years and we've never had an issue.

  16. #13
    Senior Community Member solmama's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    One, for now, but there are many others.
    http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...gasket-issues/

    More links:
    http://www.licmotorsports.com/blog/2...d-gasket-issue
    http://community.cartalk.com/discuss...asket-problems
    http://mdhmotors.com/subaru-headgasket-failure/

    The main problem, for me, is that Subaru has done little to address this issue because it typically happens when the car is out of warranty. They do help some owners with a portion of the cost, but little has been done with the actual vehicle. One stat I read said that 15% of Subaru's head gaskets will fail (09 and earlier). 15%. That's a lot. And, I'm willing to bet that *most* of the used Subarus out there are the ones with problems. The rest will get driven into the ground.

    In the 15 months prior to trading in our Subaru (which we still owed money on), we spent $4000+ on repairs. It had less than 100,000 miles on it. We dumped it because the head gaskets were failing, again, for the 3rd time.

    So much was touted about the reliability of Subarus (and my parents love theirs) that I didn't think anything could go wrong. Nope, I'd never buy a used Subaru that I couldn't pay cash for because I'd need the money I didn't spend on a car payment for the huge repair fund.

    I encourage you to do your own research. I'm pretty biased against Subaru, at the moment. I liked so much about that car...except the money it ate and the fear that it would strand me in the middle of nowhere (and I kind of live in the middle of nowhere ).
    Last edited by solmama; 11-17-2015 at 09:06 PM.
    DD-12 years, 68"
    DS-10 years, 60"

  17. #14
    CPS Technician autumnlily's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    I've owned my first Subaru since March. LOVE it!
    2015 Outback and fit three booster seat kids in it every day.
    I tried the Forester and Outback and three across was much easier in the Outback.

    We had also tried the 2015 Honda CRV and Nissan Rogue and they were too tight for our seating needs.
    Misty, CPST and SK Senior Checker

  18. #15
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    Thank you. I will check out the links. Everything I read so far, not counting your links is that the issue was fixed in engines after 2003. I know several people with Subarus made from 2007+ with well over 100,000 miles and they haven't had issues.

    The situation you are describing is exactly what happened to our neighbors car. They ended up dumping it when they owed more than it was worth after they had to take out a small personal loan to fix the car and it went bad again. But their's was older than 2003.

    I will def. take a look at your links. We are looking at a few other SUV's as well. But Subaru was our first choice with the awd feature. Our Pilot is not 4 wheel drive and we prefer to have 1 vehicle with snow driving capabilities. I am a teacher and when it snows here even if school closes for the kids, I still have to go in and work or I am forced to take a personal day which costs me $50.
    Last edited by brooksfamily; 11-18-2015 at 08:58 AM. Reason: typo.

  19. #16
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
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    I had a 2010 Forester and now a 2012 Outback - I've never had oil consumption issues with either. I just had a full inspection and service on my Outback and the only issue I had was my throttle body needed adjusting, which is a common complaint.

    Having said all of that - All manufacturers have issues, some more than others. Research it and discuss it with a mechanic YOU trust.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  20. #17
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    Our 2000 Outback had the regular 2.5 and in 2010 we traded it due to unresolved overheating issues that I think was a head gasket issue. It was pretty reliable prior to that. I think we had almost 100K on it.

    Is the new Forester really all that much wider than the Impreza for carseats? I know in previous generations, they shared a platform and the interior was pretty similar, so you had to go up to the Outback or Legacy to get another inch or two of hiproom in the back seat. Legacy sedan/wagon is actually generally the same price or less than Forester, so maybe that's worth considering, too.

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  22. #18
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Subaru Aficionados

    FWIW, they do still share a platform and specs on the backseat are very, very close (though I find the Forester feels a bit bigger just because of the extra headspace--we drive an Impreza and my parents drive a Forester). If you're looking at used cars, though, you can end up comparing cars on either side of an update and then the older one will be smaller, since with each major update in the last 10 years, they've upped the interior space by a good bit. I've put a Radian FFing in our 2015 Impreza with no problems. Our regular seats are a RFing Marathon G3 and a FFing Frontier CT, which both fit well too.

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