This car is a blast to drive. Handles like a true rally car in the curves! With the AWD, it handles exceptionally well off road. I honestly believe that this car handles/ drives even smoother in the rain! 154,000 miles and still counting! I have the S model, which on here says it's a manual, but i do infact have the crafty automatic. The leather interior has held up greatly & the seat warmers come in handy on those brisk mornings. Getting rid of my car & having this vehicle has truely inspired me to make it a point to get out of the office & enjoy the outdoors. It's the perfect utility vehicle that also doubles as an economical, every day driver. I hope to keep this for a looong time!
Handling capabilities, the fact that all foresters come standard with roof racks, fog lamps (with grill guards on them), and AWD is the ultimate setup you can get on a stock forester. How many other companies offer that on their base models? I've added a roof basket & hella off road lights to dress it up & make it even more capable. The 16" rims & bull bar on the front are nice as well. Tons of head room
Cup holders! Only one cup holder in the front and 2 in the back. Also, the plastic skid plate underneathe should be replaced with a nice aluminum one that won't rip off first chance. Although mine made it 10yrs before i replaced it. ;) Rear leg room is not suitable for adults - fyi. Kids are fine.
I've owned the vehicle since it was new. I bought the car in NC and brought it to my home in Minnesota. what an excellent choice! I've had the same battery crank in sub-zero temps for 11 years! However, when it does break down, you will cry. Head gaskets blew at 70K and the repairs cost me $2200. After that, no problems. Fun to drive and an Excellent teen car!
Bought this car as a family car when moving up north to snow country between the Catskills and Adirondacks. Has always performed to expectations. With the right tires -- the original Yoko Geolanders, or the replacement Goodyear Triple Treads -- it grips exceptionally well, handles nimbly, accelerates smoothly and rapidly. My mechanics say it's got the bones to reach over 300,000 miles. So far, w/ 119K miles, it's on the 4th set of tires and it's only needed regularly scheduled maintenance. Still looks and drives like a new car. Unless some dealer comes out with a similar SUV wagon that gets >33 MPG, this car will be maintained and driven as long as possible -- hopefully 14 more years.
Reliability! Acceleration and handling. Exceptional visibility. All-wheel drive that works well on sand, rocks and gravel, snow, rain and mud. >25 mpg highways, >20 mpg city!
Interior noise w/ highway driving takes getting used to -- like air is rushing in, but all is tight and warm inside. Cup holders are flimsy (redesigned in subsequent models.) Original Geolanders bald in 30 months! (Goodyear TripleTreads seem to be holding up well!). Tinny exhaust heat shields.
I put on 324,000 miles on my '99 Forester and finally have a problem with the transmission. Did a valve job about 290,000 miles. Replacement engines were hard to find. Had some more minor problems along the way but taken care of okay. I would like to replace the transmission but they may also not be easy to find or be reasonable enough.
The Forester is a very well built car. It's very well designed, inside and out. It runs very smoothly and quietly even with 100k+ miles. Very good sound reduction inside the vehicle. Handles great, feels very solid. Neat gadgets like heated outside mirrors, windshield wipers, and rear quarter windows.
Dozens of storage compartments in every part of the vehicle. All Wheel Drive. High quality all around. Heated leather seats, heated side mirrors, heated windshield wipers, heated rear quarter windows. VERY quiet when driving. I should have bought a Subaru sooner.
A bit more horsepower would be nice, but it has plenty for what it is. Seats can get a bit uncomfortable on long rides. Rear leg room.