"This is my wife's car, she loves it and has bonded significantly. It's not my type of vehicle but I'm amazed at what I've (not) had to do to it in 300k miles. Used synthetic oil, changed the trans fluid and filter regularly, and it still runs great. Original axles, did the brakes a few times, plugs, filters, etc....the only issue is the typical oil head-gasket leakage. I just keep my eye on the oil level and call it good. I can't believe a car can go 300k with nothing but routine maintenance."
"I get close to 30mpg on the highway and with the all wheel drive I still go more places than my friends do with their big 4x4s. It handles really good in the snow. In fact I drove it out on the lake to go ice fishing. I got close to getting stuck a couple times, but when you are motoring through up to 2 feet of snow I was very impressed!!! I've owned two fullsized trucks and a jeep before this forester and I still go through the woods and snow like I used to. This car is the BEST overal buy on the market period."
Cons: "Wee bit of coaxing over steep steep mountains"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is a safe, dependable, cost effective, vehicle. I have 156k on it and it runs like a top! Replaced front seat-belts when they would no longer pull out and retract properly. This car is amazing. Hope to keep driving her forever!!"
"I've owned this car since 2001, always reliable no major issues, just routine maintenace. My son recieved his license in June. It just took a glace away from the road (no cell phone or texting) and he hit a telephone pole. The pole broke in two and the car was totaled. All he had was brusing and a sprained ankle. The Forester took all the brunt and goes to show that it is well built and a safe vehicel. Time to buy another one."
Cons: "`03 is outdated and used Love the 2010 allweather"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Subaru`s have been very very Good for me, We have mom`s 1991, have leased an 06 Tribecca saved on insurance, leased then bought an 09 Forester, (insurance on two cars less than our daughters 2002 Maxima) Bought this 03 in April as a back up for the 1991 both have less than 100K so still young. In May the 09 was destroyed in a head-on, just purchased a 10 used of course. If you only need room for five consider a Forester. (note) we had a Toyota for a rental WORST CAR EVER poor handling and cannot see out rear window !!! no wonder Toyota drivers always ride their brakes!!"
"Got this car to commute everyday, around 10 miles, to college. This car is an absolute beast, I took it offroading, drove it in heavy Michigan snow, rain and mud. The Subie never lost a step, started on a dime and pumped AC or heat quickly. Only problems I had was with the overhead clock (busted), the seats aren't comfortable (who cares) and I replaced the stock tires with Kelly all terrains. 104K miles so far. Red Forester S."
"I bought this car just over a year and a half ago when we decided to have our second child and it is great for that purpose. I have 2 car seats (1 toddler seat and 1 infant seat) and usually an 80lb dog in the car. My only issue is the passenger seat has to be closer to the dash than most people like because I cannot fit the infant seat behind my seat (and I'm only 5'6"), the back seat needs to be further back. I have also had to replace both O2 sensors and a CV shaft but since I bought it with 119K, that's not a big deal. That said, it's good in the snow, gets good gas mileage, and handles really well, I enjoy driving this car."
Pros: "Reliable, agile in traffic, easy maintenance"
Cons: "Slow from a stop, a rougher ride than most sedans"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My 2001 Forester was all factory original at 170,000 (other than expected maintenance like battery replacement, etc), and now at 190,000 I just had the head gaskets replaced. The dealer basically gave me the bad news: I'll probably only get another 100,000 miles on the engine. It is amazing how far you can go with defensive driving habits (car is accident-free) and routine maintenance.
These old Foresters are pretty slow from a start, but it is a perfect vehicle for snowy winters, and like the ads say, it has a high resale value if ever you decide to sell. With that in mind, this one is already claimed by my teenager, so I'll be shopping for another Subaru before too long."