We've had a 2002 Forester S Premium for
a little over two years; and like it so
much that we recently replaced our other
car with a 2003 XS with the premium
leather package. Both are auto trans.
Drove the 2003 from Virginia up to
Acadia Maine and spent a month driving
in Maine and Western Massachusetts (3000
miles). No complaints, very similar to
the prior model (which is an excellent
vehicle) except for a flaw in the
driver's seat adjustment mechanism.
Auto open and close feature of the power
moon roof, new for the 2003.
The 2002 driver's seat height adjustment
is far more sophisticated -- both the
front and the rear adjust up and down
independently. The 2003 has been
cheapened with a single adjustment in
the front. Needs the dual adjustments,
or a power option.
When I decided to replace my Nissan
Frontier I was a bit unsure about what
type of vehicle would best suit my
needs. I wanted more interior space,
better gas mileage and a more
comfortable ride. But I didn't want to
give up having 4-wheel drive, and
wanted to have some cargo room. I
looked at the Ford Escape, Jeep
Liberty, Toyota RAV 4, Honda CRV and
eventually the Subaru Forester. The
Forester is fun to drive (not like a
sports car, but for a small SUV it
handles very well), the fuel economy is
good, it has great safety features (#1
small SUV in Insurance Institute
Study), is reliable (according to
Consumer Reports), and comfortable.
Of course I love the sunroof, but it
was really the handling that won my
over. Of all the cars I looked at and
drove this was the most fun to drive.
A bit more room in the backseat would
be nice. Would also like to see Subaru
offer XM radio as an option.
Test drove and priced several other
comparable models, but none matched
the Forester for features and overall
performance. I drive mostly highway
and it has lots of pep for a 4 cyl.
Anyone in the market for a small
SUV/crossover should test drive the
Easy to get in and out of, CD stereo
is surprisingly good, new styling on
2003 model was a big improvement.
Minor complaints: I drive mostly
highway and I get 28 mpg. It would be
nice to get a little better mileage.
The arm rest in in an awkward place
for the 5 spd shifter.
I enjoy the AWD excellent handling.
Premium package has all the
amenities; leather, heated seats,
heated mirrors and wipers, fog lights,
mudguards, 6 CD stereo (spring for the
speaker upgrade), climate control, and
a huge sunroof. I added the deflector
and took off my roof rails to cut down
4-cylinder engine is zippy - has great
highway acceleration - more get-up and
go than the 6 cylinder Buick I
traded. Handling and parking are a
Now I know why so many Subaru owners
buy again. Before you buy check-out
their website partners. They have
discount deals when you support their
Safety, sunroof, AWD, great
visibility, quality fit and
construction, versatile cargo area,
climate control, averaging 30 MPG (60%
Power seat adjustment, hope to see
hybrid engine offered.
Just moved from a 96 Legacy LS wagon to
an 03 Forester, prem. pkg with
leather. Car is a joy to drive and the
sunroof is as big as all outdoors.
Only have it for about two weeks so
can't say much more.