I got this car back in October from my cousin who was getting a new car and didnt want to trade his Subie in. GO HIM! lol
It is by far the best vehicle I've ever owned. Reliability is amazing, the car has 136k miles on it, and i drove 400 miles to Ohio through the rain soaked mountains of West Virginia with no problems. Enough said.
For reference in the rest of this, the Subie I own is a 2.5L 5 speed manual.
My favorite feature of this car has to be the amount of engineering put into this car. Its just plain, simple, and smart. The 5 speed has a 50/50 torque distribution front to rear all the time. Unlike other car brands who haven't been into the AWD scene very long, Subaru has been making solely AWD cars for the last 40 years. Between both of these facts I never have to worry about anything catastrophically failing and costing me a small fortune, unlike my last car...
I could go on for days about what I love about my Forester, but I'll go easy and say my absolute favorite part about this car was the cost, $0.00 :D
I only have one minor blip on this car, Fuel mileage in city needs improving, but I'm still in the process of fixing her up. As of now I average about 22mpg overall and get around 27 highway. I would have expected a little more with only a 2.5 liter engine, but I do know symmetrical 4wd requires a good amount of torque to power. Hopefully with a couple aftermarket N.A. mods I can gain a few ft-lbs of LOW-END torque and get some MPG back. Oh one last thing, don't EVER bring your car to a dealer after the warranty has expired. My cousin was loyal to a dealer but since I do my own oil changes I found out the dealer used an impact wrench on every nut and bolt in the car = EXTRA WORK for me
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.