Apparently, Subaru needed to wait a bit longer before turning out the Forester. This was the first year they made them, and the bugs are still present. No way to fix a failing in the AWD; the wheels intermittently lock at low speeds (this was also a problem on the Legacy wagon) - even Sub experts can't fix it. Many other mechanical failings that disrupted trips. I've heard subsequent years are much improved and really wish I'd known more up front, since I've been very happy with past Subarus I've owned.
Interior room & features made this one of our favorite vehicles for functional use. We liked the rubber bumper on the L model so scratches were well hidden.
Seats are uncomfortable for long trips, and a rubberized back of the rear seats for cargo hauling would be helpful. Mechancial issues were the main reason why we canned the car -- spent on average $500/month in maintenance over the final year of owning the car.
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