Cons: "Early problems were not addressed by dealer."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this car new in 2000 and have put over 208,500 miles over 12 years. I installed leather interior before accepting delivery and it has held up well, still looking young and fresh, if no longer new. The 5 speed manual provides peppy performance and I average 26 mpg, with several tanks of fuel out of state at over 30 mpg. In the first year, the car developed clutch engagement vibration problems and shaking front disk brakes. The clutch problem was fixed with updated clutch release parts long after warranty expired. The brake problems persisted until I replaced stock parts with Power Slot after market discs and ceramic brake pads, problem solved. The car has a nice small turning circle and short overall length, convenient for parking and turning in tight places. The upright seating and expansive windows provide excellent viewing out. The heated seats are a true pleasure and the electronic compass in the inside rearview mirror is very handy. The all wheel drive makes for very confident driving in bad weather."
"This is my second Forrester, I loved the 98 and would have kept it except for the car accident which totaled the car.
The owner of the repair shop told me that if I had been in another car I may have been very badly injured or worse.
I think the 98 had a better design"
"Mine is an '01 with 150K miles on it, of which I (2nd owner) have put 120K myself. I used to trade in cars every 2 years or so but have held onto this one for 5 years with no plans of getting rid of it.
In my car's 150K miles, I have replaced one wheel bearing, both front axles, front brake pads (rear brakes are original!), a clutch, and a timing belt. Change oil every 5,000 miles and do regular tune ups.
I live on the east coast and would not hesitate to drive this car to California tomorrow. Excellent car, one that gives you your money's worth."
"Here's what I like!
Flexablity - good enough gas milage for an around town car - but also enough car to handle towing, big loads on car top and lots of room inside the back for hauling everything from full size file cabinet for office to a load of rocks from the country for my garden. I have occationally used it on some pretty rough low maintenance forest service roads with a high degree of confidence in my ability to get home again!
I have had some maint. issues that have made me less then perfectly happy - including wheel bearings, engine seals and clutch replacement."
"Styling: bought it new in 2000. Back then, it was an odd-looking mommymobile. Nobody thought of calling it Car Of The Year.
Performance: it will carry a twin bed if you lie back the front seats and scrunch your body way forward (really uncomfortable, but I did this for a long move).
Performance: it can't climb hills at freeway speed. I try to avoid getting over about 3200 rpm, so that means losing speed to about 50 mph going up the grapevine or the hill after Primm coming back from Las Vegas.
Performance: the automatic transmission sometimes won't shift down on an uphill when you want to slow down a little and get into an easier gear. This is a nuisance on hilly roads.
Performance: blew a rear tire once on road debris on the freeway, and the car handled arrow straight.
Performance: high cross winds really push the car around---a lot more than they do a sedan.
Performance: all-wheel drive always holds the road. You can really hear and feel the difference between hydroplaning on 1, 2, or 3 tires, but it never completely loses traction.
Value: the car now has over 250k miles on the original engine and transmission.
Reliability: struts wear out, but it never needs wheel alignment.
Reliability: ordinary Costco Michelin tires that are supposed to last 70k miles actually lasted 100k miles. Keep them at proper inflation, rotate them, and the car is easy on tires.
Quality: the plastic front windshield side pieces easily blow loose. You have to pull off the road, hit them with the palm of your hand to push them back into position, and then slide the top of it under the roof piece.
Quality: the windshield doesn't crack up even years after being chipped in several places.
Maintenance: don't try synthetic oil. It cleans out the gunk in the seals and starts small oil leaks.
Maintenance: replacement radiators are junk and don't last."