"Noisy at highway speeds
Unreliable engine; replaced head gasket at 80,000 miles and this appears to be the norm for the 2.5L engine.
Needs a five speed automatic to cut noise levels at highway speeds.
Parts and service are expensive.
Poor quality and thin carpeting.
Radio reception is very poor.
Poor mileage for a four cylinder.
Spongy brakes and brake discs are too cheap and small."
Pros: "Reliable, comfortable, very stable in snow"
Cons: "Noisy, not great gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have owned this car after purchasing it in 2008 as a demo. At the time of purchase, it had 10k miles on it. This vehicle handles so well in the snow, but have not really taken it off road. Not much power to get up I 70 to get to the mountains. But always starts up! My SO who owns an Exterra loves the lower center of gravity, says it feels so much more stable on both ice and snow. I feel more confident driving this in the snow.
My major complaint with this vehicle is the noise! Very noisy driving around town. Quieter on newly paved roads. Gas mileage about 23 mpg."
Pros: "Great size, good clearance, sticks to the road"
Cons: "Dirt collects on back window, tire pressure touchy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my Subaru Forester as a true and trusted friend. I have traversed the country, built a home and filled it with supplies and materials, and traveled dirt roads daily in the desert where I live, and after 10 years it is still in very good shape. She may have developed some character lines, but I can't imagine a more perfectly sized and functioning car for me. The new Foresters I've heard are great but they are quite a bit bigger. Ce la vie!"
Pros: "Fun to drive, stable in bad road conditions"
Cons: "Less reliable than advertised, interior dials"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I bought my Forester new and have put a lot of miles on it in 9 years. The car has been a good one.
On the plus, it is fun to drive on the mountain roads I use it on - hiking and hunting. The car is really nimble on curvy, gravel roads and ice. It literally saved my life one time, when I tried to drive off a hairpin curve in New Mexico - that's another story.
On the negative side, the car has been slightly less reliable and maintenance-free than the Subaru reputation. The head gaskets blew in 100K mile, necessitating an engine overhaul. Also, the interior controls are very cheap. Dials wear down and do not work. I have had to replace the cable connecting the heater controls 3 times at about $190 each time.
Again, I have gotten good service out of the car. I hope to continue driving it a few more years. I like it, but I do NOT love it. I will probably buy a Toyota or Honda next time. I would buy a Kia before I bought another Subaru."