"35,000 miles and 20 months later: Ave. 30 mpg commuting to work, 31 on highway at 60 mph, 27 at 75 mph. Engine won't keep 5w30; 10w30/10w40 little consumption. Needs self leveling shocks for trailer towing. Needs better sun visors. Why a front bumper for Japanese license plates and not US? Cat. converter failed at 30,000, replaced under warranty. Poor tire traction with originals on dry pavement, rated B. New plugs at 30,000? Access not easy."
"My wife and I have owned three new subarus: a 2001 Outback Wagon, a 2001 Legacy Sedan, and a 2005 Forester. The last two had head gasket problems. With the Legacy Sedan, one head gasket was replaced under warranty. (The dealer wouldn't replace the other one despite my request). The second one went about 5000 miles later, just after the warranty ran out. The head gaskets on the Forester went at round 75,000 miles. I complained to corporate, vowing to never buy another Subaru, and they covered the repair costs. This is an inherent design problem in the 2.5L engines which still hasn't been corrected. If this problem was fixed, and they used a timing chain instead of a belt with 100K tune-up interval, this would be a bullet proof vehicle.
I have owned Fords and Dodges that had well over 180,000 miles on them and never had head gasket problems. This should not happen in this day and age..."
"I've driven this car for 5 1/2 years - 75% time in town. I've had no issues with the car except the occasional nail in the tire. A couple times it needed two starts in damp weather -- it usually is parked on the street so I never gave it a second thought because it has happened when it was wet outside.
One mistake I made was having a non Subaru mechanic do maitnance around 30,000 miles. I didn't realize I made this mistake till recently and I'm now 12,000 miles overdue. Stick with the dealers --- I've enjoyed the mechanics much more than the salespeople.
I've had three 5 point child seats in the back -- very tight -- but they are in. I'm ready to move on to a slightly bigger car and will miss the Forester. It has been a great car and if I didn't need more space I would keep it.
What is pushing me to a bigger car? The Forester's bench is too small for the seat arrangement I need. I have Britax seats and growing children, one of who needs to move into our second Regent seat or we'll need to use a booster which means I need to be able to access the buckle with a Regent and Decathalon (name?!). I'd also like a couple more inches in the rear seat for leg room and I want a third row option.
I think Subaru's Tribeca is a joke -- very goofy inside! When I spoke to my Subaru mechanic about my need for a larger forester he said they wouldn't be able to keep them on the lot -- I guess my need is typical and it is too bad they don't make it.
I'm looking at the Highlander or Pilot because I need something soon. The milage and wheel size are not what I want but I see no choice. I see VW makes the car I want but it is in Europe --- child booster seats can come with the car(like Volvo), mp3 player option(!), 7 passenger with a second row bench --- and the price in the UK is similar to the Jetta!! If I could only wait --- that sounds great!
The Forester has cost me after 5 years including the cost of money, maitenance (given I missed a $300 visit) is about $250/month with all costs!! (Insurance, gas etc..) Great Value!"
"This is my second Forester and I can't say enough good things about the 2008 model. The gas milage is about 32mpg over the highway and about 28 around town. Interior design and comfort is excellent. Guages are set up perfectly and overall instrument panel design is clean and functional. The auto diming rear view mirror with compass is excellent! I truly appreciate the simple design and standard features. I'm 6'1'' and fit comfortably in the front or back seat. Handling is what you would expect from a Subaru. The AWD is excellent and is extremely functional for all four seasons in Upstate NY. Exceleration is adequate for the 2.5 liter engine. Overall quality and design is excellent. Pulls my snowmobile trailer with no problem. Not sure about the PZEV feature as it seems to affect engine start up in the morning or when cold. I've been told by the dealer that this is normal as it is designed to emit minimal exhaust into the environment. I've yet to see an article from Subaru confirming/addressing my concerns. PZEV means Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle."
Pros: "Reliable and safe, especially in bad weather"
Cons: "Loud wind noise at highway speeds."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had my Subaru for 8 years and have been very happy with it. We have had a few repairs over the years (A/C, head gasket, and some minor things). It has finally died (2 cylinders have no compression), but we used it pretty hard and were not very reliable about keeping up with maintenance. It has always gotten us safely through rain, sleet, snow, ice, and on our rough, dirt, unplowed driveway. It was struck by lightning once and only blew a few fuses. We're currently shopping for another Subaru."