Used 1998 Subaru Forester S Wagon Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1998 Subaru Forester - Consumer Reviews

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon

Average Consumer Rating

23 Total Reviews

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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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Watch Out!! $$
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Mike
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Own 1998 and 2001, both bought new. 1998 clock above mirror went out as apparently with most of these cars. The center differential pack went out at 60K to the tune of $1200. The head gaskets and transmission failed at 86k. Cost for these two items is almost double the value of the car. The transmission on the 2001 car went out at a little over 100,000. Cost to replace was given as $3500 or about the value of the car when sold to Carmax.


Favorite Features

Good Federal crash rating. Good road holding.


Suggested Improvements

Subaru needs to learn how to build running gear and/or offer warranty on drive train to minimum of 100,000. Also would be good if the transmissions and differentials could be serviced/repaired, rather than just replaced.


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Great Vehicle
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Susan
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I have 98,000 on my Forester-11 years old. I have a 5 speed manual and had my clutch adjusted once. I had a couple other problems early on but nothing since. I think the problems were from it being the first year this vehicle was made. At first I was not enchanted as I did have problems but since then it has been great and very dependable. For whatever reason my tires do not wear out. It is important I think to take it to a Subaru Dealer to do all maintainance and do the suggested maintainance that is suggested for Subaru Foresters. It is very important. I love my vehicle and when I think about getting a new vehicle I just can't do it. I love my automobile, very dependable and great in snow


Favorite Features

My all weather package with heated seats and leather, bug guard, mudflaps, a must in Minnesota and the list goes on and on.


Suggested Improvements

My clock built in by my map lights does not work now and I cannot get it to work. If it is electrical I am not going to fix as it is not worth it, doesn't matter and does not affect any other features.


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I love my Subaru.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Soob-Dog
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

A great car for short commutes. Our Subaru gets us to work on time through rain, sleet and snow. The cargo space is very good given the size of the vehicle. Plenty of power (won't snap your neck back, but can definitely get out of its own way), and fun to drive (we have a 5 speed). We had a couple serious problems (kept popping out of gear, and some kind of head gasket problem) that were both handled by Subaru out of warranty - no problems with them at all. I'd buy another one in a second if it could fit our family of five - Two adults and three car seats is nearly impossible in this machine.


Favorite Features

AWD system is phenomenal. If you don't bottom out there is no stopping her. Outstanding in the snow. Blows my 2002 Toyo SUV AWD out of the water. Engine is strong.


Suggested Improvements

She ain't pretty, but she gets around. A body only a mother could love. Better (larger/more secure) cup holder that doesn't cover the dashboard controls.


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