Big Guy Car Guy

The Big Guy Car Guy Report — 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited

I applied for one job when I decided it was time to leave Philadelphia and the bank teller life in the late 90’s. I got it, took it, and never looked back.

We looked at exactly one house while researching a potential move out of apartment life. Then we bought it.

I don’t make a habit of being indecisive.

Saying Goodbye to Big Car

The Bear & Mouse kiss Big Car goodbye.

Nine years ago, when the Bear was just a wee thing in a baby carrier, we bought our first family car — that car above and below these words, a beautiful Cayenne Pepper Red 2004 Subaru Forester. I loved Big Car (our nickname for her) then as much as I did the day this past Spring when we traded her in. But, with 149,000 miles on her odometer and major service on the horizon, we decided it was high time to say goodbye. After nearly a decade of terrific service from the dealer (we’ve had the same service guy from day one! I bake him cookies every Christmas), I knew I wanted to return there for our next car, but wasn’t sure there would be a Subaru that could meet the needs of our growing (length-wise, not in number) family.

Big Car Subaru Forester 2004

Big Car’s last day in our driveway. Not gonna lie, tears were shed by all.

I am big. I am tall. And I like to fit inside cars, like all of my limbs and stuff. I’m finicky that way. But still, a simple man I am. Yet the quest to find a vehicle that combines front leg room for me with back leg room for my growing children, trunk space for our crap when we road trip, gas mileage that allows me to keep my head held high at the next Greenpeace meeting, and all at a price that won’t bankrupt us..well that just isn’t too easy.

After a few hours of internet research though, I discovered that my ideal car is indeed on the same lot where our last car was found. In fact, it has the same name: Subaru Forester, 2014 edition. Yes, we bought the same car. Yet it’s anything but the same. It even has a new nickname Car Nou (our family’s ode to the home pitch of FC Barcelona). But the color hasn’t changed. Me likes myself some red. I am however facing resistance in my dream to have the FCB crest painted onto the hood.

The ’14 Forester Limited is the family car we now happily own. Yep, after buying two base model cars (our pre-kids ’00 Mazda Protege and the aforementioned ’04 Forester,) we decided this time around we’d rather enjoy sitting on a smooth leather interior, gazing up and out of a gigantic panoramic moonroof that opens into the backseat (!), backing up with the aid of a rear-vision camera, adjusting for comfort with a power driver’s seat, and letting the girls get cozy with reclining back seats. This car is a dream! And the space inside, thanks to an elongated cabin vs. the 2004 model and vs. just about every other car I looked at in the small SUV/Wagon space, is massive. I have enough legroom to almost lay down while still giving my tall-ish 9-year old daughter enough legroom to cross her legs and stretch out in comfort. Also, the side-to-side hiproom allows me to flex my left leg out like I would in a La-Z-Boy recliner. I’ve never been more at ease in a car, any car, in my life.


Three+ months and nearly 8000 miles in already, I am still fanatical about this vehicle. We just returned from our first road trip in Car Nou, up to Northern VT/Southern Quebec, and it did remarkably well. Yes, I wish it had a vacuum cleaner standard in the spacious trunk to eradicate the crumbs, pretzel salt and crayon pieces that will someday melt into my beautiful grey leather, but still I cannot find one single thing to complain about the 2014 Subaru Forester. Okay, that’s a lie. Here’s what bugs me about what I am calling the best non-minivan family car available to a big guy and his clan. Note: this is ticky-tacky stuff:

  • The bluetooth sometimes decides it isn’t in the mood to play a particular song or podcast any longer. It just halts the sound with no warning while the audio counter still clicks on. Odd and other than turning the car off and then back on, I haven’t a clue how to fix it.
  • The rear-vision camera is useless when it rains. It needs a itsy-bitsy wiper or a visor-type apparatus, something the size of an awning for a LEGO Friends house, to prevent it from being covered by a single droplet of water.

That’s it. Seriously. We all still love this car as much as when we took a black Limited version for a test drive while we waited for our Metallic Red one to be delivered from another dealer in Maryland.


The 2014 Subaru Forester is not only making me happy every day, the car is also making me a better driver. The comprehensive information display built into the console delivers real-time fuel efficiency stats and being a stat junkie and a competitive-with-myself fella, I am constantly trying to improve my miles per gallon usage when on the highway and local streets. This means, among other things, I do not floor it at every greenlight like I used to because I can see that that aggressive driving style is brutal on my my car and fuel usage. That said, the 4-cylinder BOXER engine has plenty of giddy up to make you think you are actually at the helm of a V6 well enjoying nearly 30 mpg performance.


*I attempted to contact Subaru PR for images, info, help, anything at all in advance of buying the car and writing this piece but got nowhere. No response at all. That really pisses me off. In spite of that, I still love everything about the 2014 Forester and my dealer, Roberts Subaru in Downingtown, PA.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial