RE: Subaru Forester STI: Spotted

RE: Subaru Forester STI: Spotted

Sunday 20th January

Subaru Forester STI: Spotted

Sub-zero conditions got you pining for practical all-wheel drive? Consider the Impreza's big booted cousin...



It's only natural to crave an all-wheel drive performance car when the worst of winter arrives. And, if you're reading these words, it's almost inevitable that you will have previously considered a Subaru. If that consideration has ever extended to a Forester STI, then congratulations, because it still ranks as one of the most lovable (we don't use that word lightly) and genuinely usable second-hand wagons out there. Not bad for a car never officially sold in the UK.

Its appeal goes well beyond the Haldex-equipped VW Groupies you might otherwise consider. Most importantly, it features Subaru's characterful 2.5-litre blown flat four under its snout. In JDM spec the engine is rated at a not insignificant 265hp, which is a fair amount of punch even by today's standards. It's tough too, with many cars that have been remapped to work better with British petrol said to reliably produce 70hp more than the factory output.


Which doesn't mean that you won't instantly be put off by the STI's looks, of course. You probably need to come at the Forester with a bit of love for Japanese throwbacks already in your heart. Only to the right eyes does the gaping bonnet intake and handlebar rear spoiler result in a superlative appearance - although for anyone not convinced, you only have to turn the key.

The way the Forester sounds, pulls and handles is classic Subaru. The boxer motor never catches instantly, instead requiring a couple of turns of the crank. But once spinning and up to temperature there's plenty of boost and accompanying burble to satisfy the senses. There's lag, true, but it only serves to emphasise the subsequent punch. And with proper four-wheel drive beneath, there's endless traction.

Subarus like this require a certain driving style to be best appreciated, with their tendency for initial understeer best countered by greedy uses of the accelerator through the bends. Do this, and you'll be sliding through slow corners like an Impreza owner. Admittedly, the Forester, even in most focused STI form, doesn't quite offer the athleticism of its flat-four cousin - but that's only because it's the more comfortable car to live with.


Prices for used Forester STIs have remained strong for all these reasons, although their comparative rarity (and large fan base) is obviously the kicker. While that has kept them from shed territory, good STIs seem to have settled at around £10,000 to £12,000 for some time now - PH's old fleet STI was bought for just under the former three years back. So there's always the fair chance you might get your money back after a couple of winters.

Today's Spotted fits the bill perfectly for such an opportunity. It's a 2005 model in fine condition, having covered a not hugely substantial 63,000 miles. There's full service history, including the original Japanese brochures, and a fresh MOT. Course, for those after a winter hack, it might just be too good. But those wanting proper Subaru all-wheel drive performance in its most practical setting, look no further.


SPECIFICATIONS - SUBARU FORESTER STI
Engine:
2,457cc, flat-four
Transmission: 6-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 265@5,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 278@3,600rpm
MPG: 30ish
CO2: NA
First registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 63,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £10,995

See the original advert here

Author
Discussion

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

437 posts

35 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
Any Subie AWD is awesome in frozen over conditions when nearly all other traffic starts sliding around. This one looks ace, but for me an older Impreza would be big enough.

Sa Calobra

27,778 posts

149 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
Stunning Forester however 11k for a 13yr old one? Sorry I'm out.

(4 time Subaru owner).

Zaim

111 posts

143 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
I owned mine for three years. Bought for a bit over £10k and sold for £9k. Great car, and served well for family duties, although the boot isn't very big.

I sold mine though because it was 14 years old, and was still worth not far off what I paid for it.

SidewaysSi

5,040 posts

172 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
What a great looking thing. My neighbour has one in blue and I do admire it. Would make a great family car...

Cambs_Stuart

383 posts

22 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
Brilliant cars. Lots of interchangeable parts with an imprea.
Fast subarus from this era have been going up in price. For years STI imprezas were worth more in parts than as a whole car, so loads got broken. Now, hopefully these lairy, noisy, uncouth, poorly equipped hooligan transport are starting to be appreciated as a really good drivers car.
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yonex

12,980 posts

106 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
I always liked the looks of these and the other JDM estates smile

rossub

2,014 posts

128 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
As much as I love them, you're never going to see as much as 25 mpg and they have a tendency to spit their head gaskets, being the 2.5.

I opted for it's slightly lesser brother, the Cross Sports. Similar looks, 2 litre engine and 220 bhp. Should be finally driving it next month.

SG9-113784_3_vga by Ross Davidson, on Flickr

TEKNOPUG

13,833 posts

143 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
For when an Impreza is slightly too small and a Legacy slightly too big.

Sa Calobra

27,778 posts

149 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
TEKNOPUG said:
For when an Impreza is slightly too small and a Legacy slightly too big.
Or for when you don't like bland German dross.

BoostedRE

2 posts

2 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
I daily a 52 beat up Impreza Wagon Wrx. Its awesome all year round and apart from routine servicing has not cost a bean it has been bullet proof. Only cost £2k mind.

Max_Torque

13,177 posts

155 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
Calling Dan Trent to the Forum, calling Dan Trent........... ;-)

BUG4LIFE

1,348 posts

156 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
Sa Calobra said:
Stunning Forester however 11k for a 13yr old one? Sorry I'm out.

(4 time Subaru owner).
Age has nothing to do with how desirable a car is or how much it’s worth.

SidewaysSi

5,040 posts

172 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
Sa Calobra said:
TEKNOPUG said:
For when an Impreza is slightly too small and a Legacy slightly too big.
Or for when you don't like bland German dross.
Why people sprout simplistic generalisations I will never know. Seems to be a common theme on Subaru threads on here smile

I do like them a lot - quite fancy a Spec C or RA to be honest. And I drive a BMW. Which is far from bland.

rossub

2,014 posts

128 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Why people sprout simplistic generalisations I will never know. Seems to be a common theme on Subaru threads on here smile
To be fair, that’s usually after a German car driver has had a pop at Japanese cars. Albeit, it hasn’t happened here yet smile

Banstead Stig

3 posts

87 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
rossub said:
As much as I love them, you're never going to see as much as 25 mpg and they have a tendency to spit their head gaskets, being the 2.5.
Mine has 114k miles, regularly gets to 25mpg (have managed over 30mpg before), but you don't buy one for economy. My wife's WRX wagon with the 2.0 does no better (worse in fact).

Yes, the head gasket may go, but at 114k miles, anything comparable would have a similar gremlin lurking.

The 2.5 is nowhere near as problematic as the internet would lead you to believe, but that's a lengthy discussion point.

I'm a few weeks shy of having had mine for eight years and it's been a terrific car for that whole time. It may blow up tomorrow, but that doesn't change how good it's been.

All that said, the Cross Sports are good cars and don't command the same premium, so I'm sure you'll love it.

big_rob_sydney

2,208 posts

132 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
Banstead Stig said:
rossub said:
As much as I love them, you're never going to see as much as 25 mpg and they have a tendency to spit their head gaskets, being the 2.5.
Mine has 114k miles, regularly gets to 25mpg (have managed over 30mpg before), but you don't buy one for economy. My wife's WRX wagon with the 2.0 does no better (worse in fact).

Yes, the head gasket may go, but at 114k miles, anything comparable would have a similar gremlin lurking.

The 2.5 is nowhere near as problematic as the internet would lead you to believe, but that's a lengthy discussion point.

I'm a few weeks shy of having had mine for eight years and it's been a terrific car for that whole time. It may blow up tomorrow, but that doesn't change how good it's been.

All that said, the Cross Sports are good cars and don't command the same premium, so I'm sure you'll love it.
The age and mileage thing is a bit funny to me. I actually prefer older cars, because my view is that sure, they're possibly going to cost a bit more in maintenance, and their engines aren't the latest word in efficiency, but, by the same token, you don't spend whatever a new car costs either. What you save in purchase price, I believe you can more than make up for in maintenance and losing a small number of mpg's.

6 speed Subaru's have an almost bulletproof gearbox, and provided you maintain it properly and are mechanically sympathetic, it will last you a long time. As a brand, Subaru are among the better ones, with a reputation for being quite rugged. Farmers don't buy them because they break down.

V8RX7

16,778 posts

201 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
I modified my 2.5 XT to a similar spec for circa £4k all in

Full exhaust, decat and remapped to 275bhp, lowered on WRX suspension, 4 pot brakes, 17" wheels etc

It was discrete and fast (ish) but it was never fun

frown

Fast, bumpy roads upset the ABS meaning it wouldn't apply the brakes, which was interesting.

Sliding around bends could be interesting too as you never knew where it was going to transfer the power

I don't miss mine.



Edited by V8RX7 on Sunday 20th January 16:33

Sa Calobra

27,778 posts

149 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
SidewaysSi said:
Why people sprout simplistic generalisations I will never know. Seems to be a common theme on Subaru threads on here smile

I do like them a lot - quite fancy a Spec C or RA to be honest. And I drive a BMW. Which is far from bland.
Modern German cars. Like white goods/washing machines

Jim on the hill

3,593 posts

128 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
rossub said:
As much as I love them, you're never going to see as much as 25 mpg and they have a tendency to spit their head gaskets, being the 2.5.

I opted for it's slightly lesser brother, the Cross Sports. Similar looks, 2 litre engine and 220 bhp. Should be finally driving it next month.

SG9-113784_3_vga by Ross Davidson, on Flickr
I have a Foz STi and have seen 32mpg on the motorways and probably much lower at times. We did a 2000 mile road trip across Europe taking in the Alps, autobahns and many cities overall average was 28mpg.

figtree

41 posts

33 months

Sunday 20th January
quotequote all
rossub said:
As much as I love them, you're never going to see as much as 25 mpg and they have a tendency to spit their head gaskets, being the 2.5.

I opted for it's slightly lesser brother, the Cross Sports. Similar looks, 2 litre engine and 220 bhp. Should be finally driving it next month.

SG9-113784_3_vga by Ross Davidson, on Flickr
Are you importing it? If so can you give details, ta.