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I am interested to know any experiences with the latest Subaru Forester. I am interested in getting one as a replacement for a Pajero Sport. It seems to be a good practical car for Thailand. Also wondering about the after sales support and servicing etc around Bangkok.

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There are less service centers than say, for honda. Service charges and parts costs are a little higher than the competition. But the forester is now assembled in Thailand so maybe that will help things a little. It's selling quite well. Some complain of the CVT and 2.0 boxer being a little underpowered, so a test drive would be in order. I think the top spec has eyesight, which could prove useful. It's practically a new release so I don't think anyone thaivisa member has one. 

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29 minutes ago, DavisH said:

There are less service centers than say, for honda. Service charges and parts costs are a little higher than the competition. But the forester is now assembled in Thailand so maybe that will help things a little. It's selling quite well. Some complain of the CVT and 2.0 boxer being a little underpowered, so a test drive would be in order. I think the top spec has eyesight, which could prove useful. It's practically a new release so I don't think anyone thaivisa member has one. 

Perhaps not so helpful, however I am a current Pajero post owner & have had 2 Foresters in Aus. I think in terms of general day to day practicality the Subaru is fantastic, unless you really use the towing & off road capacity? They tend to be bullet proof & I personally enjoyed the "car feeling" of the thing. You may feel "low down" after the Pajero, but Im sure that will pass. 

 

 

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Thanks for the replies. More Subarus are appearing on the road and they do seem practical for Thailand. We have been very lucky with the Pajero, it's doen 120,000km with very minor problems in that time and  the dealer and service centre has been brilliant. Might end up keeping it and swapping the small car for the Forester. Subaru's seem to be built well and a 4wd station wagon would be versatile.

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I have read nothing but good things about the Forester, and the latest one has one a bunch of accolades. As mentioned by DavisH above though, the Thai versions come with only the 2.0 litre engine, and not the 2.5l which many markets have. The smaller engine is fine, but don't expect amazing power when overtaking, or if you are hauling 4 large adults on a road trip. The full time 4wd means it's not a light car, coming in just over 1,500kgs.

On the other hand, the full time four wheel drive is a massive plus on Thailand's oily roads. Having driven an older model in NZ, I was surprised at how tight the handling was, especially considering the higher ride height. 

The updated interior looks great, and in Thailand even the base model has most of the bells and whistles, although you need to opt for the top of the range "Eyesight" model if you want that acclaimed feature.

If you live within a reasonable distance of a Subaru dealership (servicing), I wouldn't hesitate in recommending one.

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2 hours ago, Katipo said:

I have read nothing but good things about the Forester, and the latest one has one a bunch of accolades. As mentioned by DavisH above though, the Thai versions come with only the 2.0 litre engine, and not the 2.5l which many markets have. The smaller engine is fine, but don't expect amazing power when overtaking, or if you are hauling 4 large adults on a road trip. The full time 4wd means it's not a light car, coming in just over 1,500kgs.

On the other hand, the full time four wheel drive is a massive plus on Thailand's oily roads. Having driven an older model in NZ, I was surprised at how tight the handling was, especially considering the higher ride height. 

The updated interior looks great, and in Thailand even the base model has most of the bells and whistles, although you need to opt for the top of the range "Eyesight" model if you want that acclaimed feature.

If you live within a reasonable distance of a Subaru dealership (servicing), I wouldn't hesitate in recommending one.

They have a great reputation in OZ. In Thailand, not so much. I think it could be more to do with the number of service centers/reputation/spare parts costs, and the Thai love for toyotas and hondas. I did consider the xv, but upon looking at their total service costs, it was more than my diesel crv. I think that can be found on their website. The forester did outsell the mazda cx-5 in March, so it is getting a good reception. The 4wd definitely is a bonus, but suspect the petrol engine would struggle loaded up going up and down mountains. An xv with a turbo kit below. Gives it a bit more oomph, albeit with a loss of drivetrain warranty. 

 

 

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I have had a few Subarus and they have all been excellent. I checked the prices here and unless I made a mistake they cost 10,000 dollars more here than California......that is a lot. Good luck.

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2 hours ago, Mansell said:

I have had a few Subarus and they have all been excellent. I checked the prices here and unless I made a mistake they cost 10,000 dollars more here than California......that is a lot. Good luck.

I don't even bother with looking at western prices anymore. It's depressing. Having said that, resale here is relatively high and labour is much cheaper here than back home. That evens it out somewhat. Subarus here do take a bigger hit on resale than honda and toyota though. Popular brands are easier to sell and I think that is a major factor for Thais when they buy a car. Old fortuners sell for ridiculous prices. 

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I don't know where the Foresters sold in Thailand are manufactured, but I have owned two Foresters in the U.S. (as well as two Subaru Outbacks).  They are well made and reliable, and Subaru's all-wheel drive is a big plus on rainy streets and/or rough roads.  If I return to the U.S., I'll no doubt buy another Forester or maybe the smaller XV Crosstrek.

Edited by JTXR
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I thought the Subaru was assembled in Malaysia, we have a Cross Track and like it a lot, previously we had a Honda HRV, the subaru is way ahead, we changed because we were dissatisfied with Honda service

 

Service centres are few and far between

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27 minutes ago, spornb said:

I thought the Subaru was assembled in Malaysia, we have a Cross Track and like it a lot, previously we had a Honda HRV, the subaru is way ahead, we changed because we were dissatisfied with Honda service

 

Service centres are few and far between

The new forester is assembled in Thailand. The xv will be also. I'm not sure where the parts are sourced from though. 

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20 hours ago, DavisH said:

I don't even bother with looking at western prices anymore. It's depressing. Having said that, resale here is relatively high and labour is much cheaper here than back home. That evens it out somewhat. Subarus here do take a bigger hit on resale than honda and toyota though. Popular brands are easier to sell and I think that is a major factor for Thais when they buy a car. Old fortuners sell for ridiculous prices. 

My landlady is selling her two year old Fortuner with 40,000 kilos for 300,000 down and 24 months at 20,000 baht each. I believe she paid 1.5 million.

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3 hours ago, Mansell said:

My landlady is selling her two year old Fortuner with 40,000 kilos for 300,000 down and 24 months at 20,000 baht each. I believe she paid 1.5 million.

Thats quite cheap. Heres a 2008 model for 569K https://www.one2car.com/for-sale/toyota-fortuner-v-กรุงเทพและปริมณฑล-รัชดาฯ-ห้วยขวาง-ลาดพร้าว-เพชรบุรีตัดใหม่/4812058

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We went with the Forester 2.0i rather the the next model up (2.0iP) as I couldn't see paying more for bells and whistles I have no need of.  That was  year ago.

 

Dealer in Chiang Mai are foot draggers and really do not know their product.  Seem to have a very high turnover of staff, both sales and service, as well.  The service department there is very easy to use - I've never seen it busy.  Perhaps that is telling me something?

 

So far service has been OK but I'm one of those who watch each and every move.  Had a Toyota before and really appreciated that I could sit in air con room while watching them service the car.

 

Love the car and very happy with it.

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  • 5 months later...

I just saw a 2020 Forester in a mall and while it looked good it felt cheap. The panels were light and hollow sounding. The doors flimsy and didn’t have that satisfying close that signals quality. The interior leather seemed thin. Reading about it I saw that back home the 2.5L engine is regarded as power starved and here it’s a 2.0L. It must be an utter dog. I was really disappointed because I wanted to like it. 30 years ago Subaru was superior to Honda and Toyota, but today it seems not. I walked away feeling the Forester is an underpowered tin can. 

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On 7/28/2019 at 7:41 PM, fredge45 said:

We went with the Forester 2.0i rather the the next model up (2.0iP) as I couldn't see paying more for bells and whistles I have no need of.  That was  year ago.

 

Dealer in Chiang Mai are foot draggers and really do not know their product.  Seem to have a very high turnover of staff, both sales and service, as well.  The service department there is very easy to use - I've never seen it busy.  Perhaps that is telling me something?

 

So far service has been OK but I'm one of those who watch each and every move.  Had a Toyota before and really appreciated that I could sit in air con room while watching them service the car.

 

Love the car and very happy with it.

Confusion on the service timing.  Booklet with the car says every 10,000 km, owner's manual (both Thai and English versions) say 15,000 km.   BKK Subaru center says thzat it is from the translation being incorrect - until I had them eat their words by going to the exact pages in the books.  Still no decision on this.

 

Not at all happy with the latest service in Chiang Mai.  No used parts presented to verify that the oil (engine and differentials) had actually been changed.  At the very last moment before I got into the car to leave a technician came running up with torque wrench in hand to torque the lug bolts after the tires had been rotated.  When I got home I noted one tire (the spare going into the rotation) had very low pressure - about 35% of what is required.  Technicians obviously had not done any checking of tire pressure.  As noted, one is not able to observe the car while being serviced so who is to know what is done or not done.  This has been brought to the attention of the BKK center.

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On 1/24/2020 at 6:59 PM, Bay Ridge said:

I just saw a 2020 Forester in a mall and while it looked good it felt cheap. The panels were light and hollow sounding. The doors flimsy and didn’t have that satisfying close that signals quality. The interior leather seemed thin. Reading about it I saw that back home the 2.5L engine is regarded as power starved and here it’s a 2.0L. It must be an utter dog. I was really disappointed because I wanted to like it. 30 years ago Subaru was superior to Honda and Toyota, but today it seems not. I walked away feeling the Forester is an underpowered tin can. 

Did you drive it...?

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I drive the Subaru Forester 2.0ip 2018 four wheel drive when in Phuket. Nothing bad to tell you. Drives well, feels well, only 9,500 km, did not fell apart. No idea about service etc., I am just an occasional driver. 

Edited by Gene1960
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