indulging · travel

Subaru Forester Review Part 3

Go Gingham review at Carlsbad beach

This post is sponsored by Subaru.

Let this be a warning to automobile companies: if you contact me to see if I want to “test drive” your car, I’ll do so BUT please understand, I’m not taking it for a Sunday drive around the city and writing a review. I will really give it a test driveas in 2,600 miles sort of test drive. After 5-days of camping with the Subaru Forester, we spent the next 5-days going to the beach and surfing in Carlsbad, California  and THEN, we drove it 17-hours. Straight.

Carlsbad CA warm water jetty

I know this sounds like an awful car trip for a family of 4 but our kids prefer it this way to an extra night of camping on the drive home. We all get through it by singing songs and playing car games. Joking!

What I really liked about the car for beach and highway driving:

  • The highway driving is super smooth and you don’t even realize how fast you’re going. This sort of fast driving can occur while driving in the Mojave Desert and there’s not much of anything around. I suggest using the cruise control for keeping your speed around the legal limits. Don’t rely on back seat drivers to say, “Mom, you’re driving way too fast!”
  • GPS – I’ll just say that we are not a fast food eating type of family, but our big exception is when we’re on long car trips. Our routine when driving from San Diego to Portland is to leave very early in the morning (4:30AM early) and hit the In and Out Burger in Stockton around lunch time (11:00AM ). Even though we’ve done this drive several times over the years, I can’t remember which exit we need to get off for our fast food feeding frenzy. With the built in GPS you can get the exact location of the restaurant you need and then it will tell you which exit you need to take to get off of I-5. I loved this! For once someone else was telling my husband which way to drive!

Road trips lead to In n Out Burger

What I would change about the car for beach and highway driving:

  • Add some cross bars to the top racks for goodness sake! If someone is buying a brand-new Subaru, they want the cross bars so that they can put surf boards and boogie boards up top without having to go out and purchase more racks. The sand gets everywhere if you have to put boards inside the car. We had our camping gear in the back, too, so I didn’t really want that to get sandy along with the 5-days of dirt it already had from camping. Yes, you can buy cross bars but when I went to the rack store to inquire, the least expensive set was $250. After buying the premium outdoorsy car, I’d want the cross bar racks without feeling like I had been nickeled-and-dimed.

Subaru gave us a Go-Pro camera (yes, we get to keep it!) and a $50.00 gas card to use on the trip. If you’re wondering how my campaign is going to get Subaru to let me have the slightly-used-but-almost-brand-new Subaru Forester back for keeps, it hasn’t happened yet but keep your fingers crossed!

Let’s all Tweet this…

Hey @Subaru_USA let’s give @GoGingham her #SubaruForester car back! Her 20-yo Subaru is getting old! Pretty please! #RT

Go Gingham review at Carlsbad beach
This part of the Carlsbad beach is known as “warm water jetty” and the water is pretty warm.

Here’s a short video from our trip:

Thank you, Subaru, for the car! We really had a fun trip – even the teens admitted to having fun with their parents.

Are you a long car trip type of person or do you prefer shorter trips? What’s your favorite road trip food stop?

Disclosure: I am a voluntary participant in the Subaru of America Forester Blogger program. I have been asked by Subaru of America to review their products in exchange for the use of a short-term vehicle loan. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. My disclosure policy can be found here.

Go Gingham related links:

Take the night off and let your kids cook dinner every week
Our weekly ritual – Technology Free Sundays
A beach weekend away – beautiful weather – in November?!
Camp cooking supplies and what I cook with

10 thoughts on “Subaru Forester Review Part 3

  1. If the vehicle is a 2013, see if the company will give you a higher discount. After all, the 2014 models are all coming into the dealerships. Got to move those “old” cars.


    1. Karen, good idea! We were lucky enough to have to drive the newest 2014 model. Don’t worry – the 2015 models will arrive before we know it and then they’ll have to give me the “old” car! 😉


  2. I tweeted, lol. I am seriously thinking of a Subaru for my next car.

    Is that a nuclear power plant in the beach picture? If so I guess the water would be warm, lol. Glad you had fun and hope they give you the car. 🙂


    1. LOL! Well, it’s some sort of hydro-electric something or other but that is why the water is warm. We had a blast and I can honestly tell you that I’ve been very happy with my Subaru that I bought in 1993 and that I’m still driving. The plastic and rubber parts of it are starting to dry out (I can only assume that’s what is happening…) but it has been an excellent car with very low maintenance costs. I also have a great mechanic who only works on Subaru cars. 🙂 Good luck!


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