"This car is a mini truck/family vehicle/animal carrier,etc.
Runs like a little tank through the snow. The only problems are parts prices and wild on ice.
One of the best all around vehicles ever made.
I've owned many cars/trucks in the past 40 years and I would recommend this to any country folk!"
Pros: "Reliable, great in inclement weather, safe"
Cons: "Head gasket problems, rattles in the back"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought a used 2002 Forester with 170,000 miles. I now have 185,000 on the odometer and it keeps on running. It's been very reliable except for having to replace the head gasket, timing belt, and catalytic converter, so I'm in it for another $3k. Mileage is ok, about 22 city and 28 highway. Check engine light comes on occasionally due to gas cap issue but a simple fix. I ended up buying a cheap OBD scanner to turn off the light. Will probably have to keep the car for a while longer but as long as it still performs well, I don't mind. As I get older I don't like the manual transmission and would opt for an automatic the next time. The head gasket problem seems to plague Subarus of this vintage so before buying one check with the dealer or owner to see if this has been done as it is expensive."
Pros: "fun to drive. Lots of extra goodies inside and tec"
Cons: "can't think of any yet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Have had the car for about a year and a half now, and am totally new to Subarus and Foresters, but so far I love this car. Lots of nice little tech. goodies, and love all the extra interior storage places. They are everywhere. Very fun to drive. So far have mostly just changed the oil and checked for alignments is all the service needed. It did have the head gaskets done before I got the car at 74K. The mechanic who did this said I should have no problem with the timing chain replacement until about 100K which is close to what Subaru recommends. Good in the snow as expected. Great sound system. So far one great car! LIke the visibility too."
"We bought our 02 Forester L used with 101k miles on it from a father/son dealer. My husband beat it up for about 80k miles, then a deer hit him. He rarely changed the oil, drove an average of 800 miles every week (a healthy mix of city and hwy!). I inherited it from him at 180k and then put another 60k or so on it myself. Upstate NY winters? No challenge. I would be the only one guaranteed to make it up our steep driveway, and I felt safe going just about anywhere with my 2 boys. This was the car we would take for the 6hr trip for our summer camping vacation, and all of our gear PLUS the dog crate fit in the rear cargo area, and I never worried that it would fail us. Only general maintenance- tires, brakes, oil changes, with the exception of the catalytic converter at about the 176k mark and a starter at the 225k mark. Our drive is very steep and has potholes, between that and the salt, the muffler system started to go towards the end. It finally blew the rings and seized the engine at the 240k mark. Given how little maintenance we gave it, the car more than surpassed any reasonable expectations. I miss it terribly and would buy another in a heartbeat!"
"Living in a small town with minimal access for service, this is a great car! Has required simple infrequent maintenance and only a couple of suspension and a knock sensor repair. Fantastic snow driver-don't need my drive plowed unless we get more than 18". My first "all wheel drive" car after driving 4x4s for decades. Very sure-footed, quiet, reliable, well designed without a lot of annoying complexity and clutter. I'm tall so a bit more legroom would be ideal, but it works. 15 years old and it runs perfectly, so if I had to sell it I wouldn't need to hide anything from a buyer."