Unlike many other reviews that I have read on the 1998 Subaru Forester mine keeps going no matter what I do to it. I have never had a problem with head gaskets or wheel bearings. Yes I have replaced the timing belt at 80k but I do that with every new vehicle I buy. Other things that I have replaced over the life of the car are struts to an adjustable bilstein coil over , rotors and pads to brembo drilled and sloted rotors and pads , cv joints were changed based on the fact the car had 150 k and it was time, clutch to a center force stage two and two sets of tires cause each set wore out after putting over 75 k on each.
AWD, 5 speed manual trany, Large engine compartment for ease to work on.
Speed Sensor and Speed Sensor Gear tend to go out every 30k.
I bought this car uses so I cant say what the previous owner put it through. It had only 110,000 miles on it when I purchased it 6 months ago. Had my mechanic do a full inspection on it before I bought it. was able to drive it for 3 months, put a whole 3000 miles on it then the head gasket blew. The car is junk now because the cost to replace the head gasket is outragous. Will never buy a subaru again.
The All Wheel Drive
Nothing, Subaru took care of the head gasket problem in later models I hear.
Bad electrical system on accessories, i.e. clocks, sun roof, keyless entry) purchased used with 98k miles, sending to the crusher with 264,000 miles due to blown head gaskets that is causing the cooling system to overheat. Cost of repairs more than I care to sink into the old of a vehicle, $1800.00! The MPG was very disappointing, never got over 15MPG city and maybe 20MPG hwy. Transmission had some shifting issues at 200k miles but so bad to require replacing, just grinned and drove it anyway. Tough little cars and fun to drive.
All wheel drive, hatchback on the 4 door lots of cargo space
Bought this wagon in 04, my senior year of college.. I got a great deal on it. Was 6 years old and had 90k on it. I love the manual transmission. By far the smoothest manual i ever drove. Fantastic in the snow. Just too many problems, radiator, head gasket, tires wear very fast due to the symmetrical all wheel drive. This vehicle broke down 3 straight years on the eve of the biggest snow storm of the year leaving me stranded. I went to a Jeep and haven't looked back.
5 speed, great handling in all weather conditions. Love the wagon look to it.
Average gas mileage at best, head gasket goes on all Subaru 2.5l engines, only certain dealerships can fix it, not always guaranteed and very expensive. Very cheap interior. Horrible sound system.
Bought this car used with 96k miles on it and had high expectations. Knew other Subaru owners that swear by them. I should have read some reviews before buying as apparently this particular engine, which also rears its ugly head in other Subaru models in and around this year, has some major issues. It all started with a bad radiator cap and then led to blown head gasket and who knows what else. I'm dumping it because it isn't worth what its going to cost to repair. This was my first and last Subaru.
This car will go just about anywhere...assuming the engine isn't blown up. But seriously, it eats snow and ice for breakfast.