Had a 2002 Outback automatic - a great car but wanted to go back to a manual transmission. Really enjoy driving this Forester - somehow it rides better than the Outback with a shorter wheelbase. Excellent visibility, easy to get in and out of. Geared lower than my '98 Outback which turned around 3200 rpm @ 65mph, the Forester is around 2750. Engine has enough torque to handle moderate hills in 5th gear. Never feels under powered. A lot of room for it's size - cargo capacity very close to an '02 Grand Cherokee. Feels like a sports car with high seating. Bought it at 98k, have about 104k now. Not a concern since I have a company vehicle.
Subaru Reliability, Good ride, decent economy for AWD. Great winter car with AWD, heated seats and windshield wiper de-icers. Really like the wheels of that year's S model. Not that I'm in the market for a new Forester, but it's good to know there's still an SUV available with a manual transmission - the Forester.
One thing lacking was an armrest. I know after market units can are available, I built a basic one from wood, foam, and fabric as close as I could match to the gray interior. It made a big improvement in driving comfort, especially with the
I purchased my Forester in Feb of 2002. It was one of only a handle of vehicles around that fit my requirements: storage room for my dj equipment, AWD, great fuel economy, and manual trans. I just went over 250K last week and my goal for 300K is within reach. Once I hit 300K, then I will be shopping for a new Forester. Vehicle handles well and is very reliable. I replaced original clutch at 190K! May not need another one before 300K.
This vehicle is amazing in the snow and in poor driving weather - the AWD is great. The rear seats fold forward for cargo space with comes in handy when I dj my weddings. I maintain my Forester regularly so the fuel MPG is still in the upper 20s.
The clock stopped working after 125K and the cup holders are flimsy, but still intact. My fuel tank is 15.9 gal and I think the new models are at 16.9 - it would be great if Subaru could create a 19 to 20 gallon tank for their Foresters. Would love to travel 550- 600 miles in between fill ups.
I bought my Subaru after reading glowing reviews. Everything was great until I reached about 60000 miles. after an expensive $1800 head gasket replacement and 2 axle replacements, leaking bushings, and a check engine light that's been on since 80,000 miles - I feel robbed-like I'm purchasing the same car all over again one repair at a time. I'm torn between taking my chances with the check engine light and just driving it for a couple more years and getting a Honda. The dealers are no help at all.
Drives well, decent mileage, cargo space is awesome.
I bought my first Subie on May 5th in 01. It had only six miles. Since then, I've racked up just over 176,000 with no problems whatsoever. I kid you not. It still has the original clutch and I put new brakes on about a year ago for the very first time. I average about 28 mix and 31 highway. It's a five speed manual and that accounts for the great gas mileage. The only thing I've done to is change the oil religiously and had a new water pump and timing belt but in at 120k. This car just keeps going and going. I live in Denver and frequent the slopes in the winter and work in Blackhawk. So the car has seen more than it's fair share of snow, rain, and hot summers.
Well I think it should REALLY have improved comfort/road noise!! Also it doesn't have good brakes or reliable cup holders. Mine broke in less than a year! Also those dark/light gray seats soak up way too much sun. I would not recommend it.