1998 Subaru Forester Base Wagon Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1998 Subaru Forester - Consumer Reviews

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1998 Forester Consumer Reviews

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The best part is it was Free :D
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By forester98
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

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.


Favorite Features

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


Suggested Improvements

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


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The Subaru That Keeps Going
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bigairtrix2
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

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.


Favorite Features

AWD, 5 speed manual trany, Large engine compartment for ease to work on.


Suggested Improvements

Speed Sensor and Speed Sensor Gear tend to go out every 30k.


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1998 Subaru Forester
3 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By smokeymedic81
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

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.


Favorite Features

The All Wheel Drive


Suggested Improvements

Nothing, Subaru took care of the head gasket problem in later models I hear.


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4cyl L AWD 4dr hatchback atuomatic trans-bad head gaskets
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By carageous
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

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.


Favorite Features

All wheel drive, hatchback on the 4 door lots of cargo space


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Former Forester owner
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Pip
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

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.


Favorite Features

5 speed, great handling in all weather conditions. Love the wagon look to it.


Suggested Improvements

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.


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2.5 Curse
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By JAS
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

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.


Favorite Features

This car will go just about anywhere...assuming the engine isn't blown up. But seriously, it eats snow and ice for breakfast.


Suggested Improvements

Motor


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I LOVE My Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By eieio
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I am horrible on cars, but this one is still kicking. It is terrific in the snow and off-road. The wheel bearings need to be replaced every few years. If you are looking to buy a 98 Forester, then make sure the head gaskets have been replaced. These cars either die at 120K or they live forever. I would love another Forrester in the future.


Favorite Features

AWD, space in the back


Suggested Improvements

front cup holder placement


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Ugly, Yet Tough, Reliable & Fun to Drive
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By MMoretti
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Bought my Forester used in 2004. While it is not the most beautiful vehicle (it sort of looks like the car seen in "National Lampoon's Vacation)...it has proven to be dependable, fun to drive, and an unstoppable monster in the worst Winter weather New England has to offer. The AWD is great! While the car has gone through a few wheel bearings, and does leak small amounts of oil, it still looks new and runs strong at 194,000 miles. Looking for a new car, but I may hang onto my Subaru as a beater/dog hauler.


Favorite Features

The All Wheel Drive, comfortable seats, tons of space...if you have multiple dogs and travel with them, you will appreciate the interior layout. The motor just goes and goes...even a -20 winter morning won't keep this thing from firing up without delay!


Suggested Improvements

Move the drink holder away from the heat/AC vent. I like my coffee hot and my Dr.Pepper cold! Wheel bearings, wheel bearings, wheel bearings! They could use a little help.


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Biased on subarus, but lessons learned
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Cautious fan
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I learned to drive on a Subaru and am somewhat biased. What I have learned is that Suabarus in general can be reliable cars most of the time. I bought my '98 Forester w/ 125k miles and had minor mechanical issues, 2 CV joint replacements and a new thermostat. However, a year ago many major issues popped up, including major repair on the front end and rear rotors. Now the automatic transmission is shifting hard into and out of 1st gear plus a bent rod makes a lot of noise during start-ups. The handling is sound and AWD works beautifully, many chances to hydroplane but the wheels caught the road instantly. Low profile feels like you're driving a car but with twice the cargo room.


Favorite Features

Headroom, AWD, cargo space, good ground clearance, unique body style.


Suggested Improvements

consistent and almost predictable mechanical problems


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I need a new one
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By david
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

This first series model (1998) has a flaw. The rear wheel bearings were ball bearings but I replaced them at 50000 miles for the later design of roller bearings. No problems since. I have had the timing belt changed at 60000 miles and also the oil seals. The dealer had a special and I took it. It needs the seals replaced again because of a small leak but the cost is almost the worth of the vehicle. I may still do this because it is cheaper than a new vehicle. It also could do with a new set of shock absorbers. Changed the battery twice but other than that it starts first time and just keeps on going. I would love a 2010 model but this one won't die.


Favorite Features

Handling in bad weather.


Suggested Improvements

Plastic cup holders could be improved and the CD player died a long time ago.


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