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."
"I have owned 17 vehicles, 5 of them being Saabs, and found myself falling in love with this versatile little workhorse. I've loaded it full of firewood, muddy dogs & camping gear, but when it's cleaned up, could proudly drive it out to Sat. night dinner. No problems whatsoever."
"Fun to drive. '04 XT is quick and handles well.
Default vehicle when the weather turns bad.
Rear seat room is limited with tall drivers... kids (in seats) are tight. Paint dings easily, but a solid car. A bit noisy on the highway. Premium fuel is annoying. Gas milage is OK / not great. SAFE -- our first got totaled in a head to head, but everyone was A-OK including our 6mo old; we bought another."
"This is the best Forester. Great for seniors and women. Great for arthritis limited people. Easy in and out access. The newer ones (2009)and newer are too big, too low milage and too expensive. Too bad they changed a great car."
"Bought this car in 2005 as a replacement for an '01 Jetta. Our other car is a large, gas-guzzling SUV--and as fuel prices began to surge in 2005, we needed a more efficient family vehicle. Having driven solid-feeling German cars for years, I found the Forrester to have pep, but light in feel. Essentially, you'll never be passionate about driving the Forrester, but it does everything well...really well.
Fuel economy: With a 5-speed, I average close to 30 mpg highway/26 city. Average about 28.
AWD: Car is wonderful in heavy rain, slush, sleet, and ice; the Forrester runs into a little trouble in deep snow due to its light weight, although I've never been stuck.
Cargo room: Excellent. Can fit strollers, groceries, and seats fold for additional room.
Service: Car is easy to service, relatively inexpensive.
Wind noise, and lots of it at highway speed.
Seat comfort is sub-par. Thigh support is lacking, lumbar on driver's seat seems slightly inadequate. Front passenger seat feels a little cramped and lacks lumbar support. Rear seat is a little tight.
Climate control: Since the 2005 Forrester line does not include rear privacy glass, the glassy interior becomes an oven when the exterior temperature exceeds 65 degrees. The AC never really seems to cool the cabin off on hot summer days. Even in 75 degree weather, the AC struggles. Heating is ample, however.
Summary: With 100K miles, the car has only had one issue: Air conditioner needed to be recharged at 93K for $150. I finally did the big service at 93K (skipped it at 30k and 60k) and it has been fine. Regular oil changes do the trick. In fact, it drives like a new car. You won't want to drive cross-country in it, but it's a wonderful, wonderful vehicle."