1998 Subaru Forester Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 23 Total Reviews
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Biased on subarus, but lessons learned
By Cautious fan on 05/16/09 22:42 PM (PDT)

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.
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I need a new one
By david on 04/28/09 14:13 PM (PDT)

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.
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Watch Out!! $$
By Mike on 07/24/08 18:26 PM (PDT)

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.
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Great Vehicle
By Susan on 05/18/08 20:36 PM (PDT)

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
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I love my Subaru.
By Soob-Dog on 04/02/07 14:21 PM (PDT)

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.
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Hope phase II engine is better
By Subaru guy on 02/03/07 14:21 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

I bought the car as a project car with one of the cylinders literally smashed. I've used and worked on Subarus for 4 years. 2.5 liter DOHC Phase I engine is awful. 2.2 engines were much more reliable. After installing an engine with 120000 miles on it it works great. It's a small SUV, really fun to drive. Handles great on snow and rain.
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Forester
By Barbara McAleer on 12/06/06 08:44 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

Great car dependable, excellent in the snow. Low maintenance cost.
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1998 Subaru Forester S AWD
By T-Bob on 03/02/06 11:16 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

This has been the best car we have ever owned. We have taken it everywhere - offroad, on beach, long trips, and everyday commutes, and it has never had a problem.
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1998 Subaru Forester
By ml secrest on 02/17/06 21:50 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

In 1998 I was looking for something safe, reliable, small, but still enough room for all my stuff. The Forester has met all my expectations. The only problem was keeping the front end in line. Investing in a good set of tires and being careful not to run into curbs has solved the problem.
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What a Joy
By DoDred on 01/28/06 11:39 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester Wagon S 4dr Wagon AWD

Review

We have 170,000+ miles on our Subie and still feel that it is one of the best cars we have ever owned. I have used and probably abused it back and forth across the US and Canada, from California to Prince Edward Island, from Key West to Vancouver, BC. What a joy of a car to own.
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