I bought a brand new 2004 Impreza in April, 2004. My parents loved mine so much, they decided they wanted a Forester. So, we bought one together! This car is amazing. It does things my Impreza cannot: lugging mountain bikes, skis, large objects, it's GREAT. It handles very well in snowy weather, and is fabulous.
LOTS OF ROOM! Good stereo, excellent handling. I'm 4'10 and the seats/visiblity is awesome (visibility better than my Impreza).
Better fabric on the L. It's scratchy and nasty. Same as everyone else regarding cupholders and vanity mirrors. It needs a compass too. I'd also like to see a "cruise, set" light on the display. Do the new Foresters have that?
There must be something about 2001 manual Foresters. We had all sorts of trouble with our 2001 manual L model. Almost from the start, we had problems with shudder and gear grinding/engagement. Since 2001, we've gone through four new clutches, two TSB services and a total transmission replacement. They were all covered under warranty, but not without a lot of grief, letters to Subaru headquarters and, most recently, a month of the Forester being in the shop. When the transmission started grinding again (six weeks after the transmission replacement) we decided that was the last straw. We traded in the Forester for a new Honda Accord EX V6 coupe. We're keeping our Outback, tho.
Handling, power and responsiveness, especially in the rain (when it wasn't in the shop for manual transmission problems).
The Forester is supposed to be one of the most reliable ... build a transmission to match that reputation.
I bought my Forester used (lease
return with 37000 miles), got the 30k
maitenance done and a clean bill of
health, then drove halfway across the
country and back. The sight lines are
great, adjustable seat height is
wonderful for me at 5'2". It's zippy
and I like the feel of the suspension.
MPG topped out at 40 (yes, 40) on the
road trip with a tailwind in Wyoming;
I average 28-30 mpg when driving in
the city. I would buy this car again
in a hearbeat.
Height adjustable seat, gigantic
sunroof, good sight lines. Roomy for
small size and good off-road. Winter
package with heated everything.
Better lumbar support and head rest
adjustment for shorter people. The
stupid cupholders, which have already
been fixed in later years. Wish the
back window on hatchback rolled down.
I've had my Forester for four years and almost
65,000 miles now, and overall it's been a good buy.
It averages about 27ish mpg, and it's still fun to
drive, with plenty of pep from its engine, paired
with our five-speed manual transmission. About a
year ago, we had problems with the clutch
shuddering when the vehicle was cold, but the
problem was fixed under warranty (apparently the
early models were built with weaker clutch plates
than needed). We've been tempted with the turbo
Foresters and the 2005, 250 hp Outbacks, but I
think we'll keep this puppy around a few more
years and a couple thousand more miles.
Handling in dry and wet weather, plenty of power,
fun to toss around corners and surprise BMWs and
Camaros with off-the-line performance, especially
in the wet.
I wish I had gotten leather. The cloth is starting to
look a tad dated.