2004 Subaru Forester X Wagon Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2004 Subaru Forester - Consumer Reviews

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2004 Forester Consumer Reviews

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2.5X
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
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Reliability
By Deacon Allan J. Frederiksen
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

This car served me well for 10 years 11 months and 174,000 miles. Reliable from start to "finish". Routine maintenance is a bit expensive. Only mechanical failure was a U joint in drive shaft at 153,000 miles. When timing belt was originally replaced at 82,500 miles also replaced head gaskets. Did not do so when timing belt was replaced at 165,000 miles and at 168,000 miles a very slight oil leakage began (to the tune of 1 quart per 3,000 miles.) Decided to trade in at 174,000 miles. This car went to 28 of our 50 states.


Favorite Features

The ability to tow light pop-up camping trailer, small canoe trailer, hold all sorts of stuff inside with rear seats folded down. Even on long trips this car, though a bit noisy, was a joy to drive.


Suggested Improvements

Reduction of road noise should be a priority in all Subary models. Currently own a 2011 Outback and a 2015 Crosstrek.


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Plain and Simple Truth
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
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By juanmafxt
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

This is the pioneer and last of the true sport crossovers. There are a lot of copycats nowadays, but this one is the real thing. Manual tranny, 4.44FD, AWD with 50/50 torque split, big STI engine 2.5L, factory turbo with low compression pistons, disc brakes, LSD and other good stuff. All parts from the WRX and STI fit into this vehicle since they share the platform. Tons of aftermarket parts and can be made to go very fast for very little. Great sleeper vehicle. This is not a car for nannies. If you intent is to buy a car and just put gas in it and forget everything else, this is not the car for you. Change PM parts and the car will reward you with a great bargain.


Favorite Features

turbo, awd, 4.44 fd


Suggested Improvements

A/C


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2004 Subaru Forester "Burt"
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By brooklynjoel
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I bought my Forester X "Burt" used in July 2011 from a Subaru Dealer in Rockland County, NY with 107K miles on it. I now have 120K miles on it. It has proven to be a reliable and surprisingly comfortable vehicle. I average about 18 mpg in the city, and around 28 mpg on the highway. This car is one of the most "honest" cars I've ever owned. It just works without fuss or fanfare, and feels solid. I Have done nothing but oil changes, a differential and tranny fluid change, tire rotations, and inspections for maintenance, and Burt goes like a top! I hope to buy a new 2014 Subaru Forester based on my experience with this one, and I am one of the most "brand unloyal" owners out there!


Favorite Features

The performance of this car is excellent. The brakes are strong, and the handling is confidence inspiring. I love driving this car in rain and snow because it always feels "planted," something I cannot say of some midsize sedans I've driven. The car feel solid and well built. Although aging, the interior has held up well and still is serviceable. I find the acceleration adequate, although I could see some saying it is a little "pokey."


Suggested Improvements

The manual transmission is a bit notchy, and has long throws, making it tedious in traffic. Sometimes engaging reverse is difficult. There is a lot of wind noise at highway speeds. Some of the plastic on the dash is hard and looks cheap, although it has ultimately held up well. The back seat could use more legroom. Techie people would find this car way behind the times, but it is perfect for this dinosaur!


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Expensive parts, noisy on highway, worst car I ever had.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
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Exterior Design
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By whatwhatwhat1
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XT AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Leather Package (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)


Review

I bought this car used in 2009. In three years, I spend $2400 in repairs (rear bearings on both sides, head gasket, rocker bars in the front that were recalled, air conditioner compressor) and when I traded it in today for a 2012 Camry, the turbo was smoking and the transmission was on it's way out too. It had 140K miles. Parts are hard to come by, none of the charging ports worked on it and the check engine light was always coming on, which turned off the cruise control. in three years, I got to use the cruise control once. It was a nightmare to own. It was almost impossible to talk on speakerphone on the highway due to the road noise. and the backseat doesn't have any legroom.


Favorite Features

The leather seats held up better than the rest of the car.


Suggested Improvements

Make better cars, Subaru. This was my first and my last.


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A niche car, but fits perfectly in it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By speedysteve
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

I've owned my Forester XT for 6 years now, and it has been a very fun car. The only repair I've had is the alternator. It's far faster than it looks and I love being able to floor it on the highway in 5th and it just goes. It looks good, carries a fair amount of stuff when I go camping, and is great in the snow.


Favorite Features

I love the engine in this car. It pulls like a much, much bigger motor with little turbo lag. The fold down seats give me plenty of cargo space when I need it, and I can fit 5 people in for short trips. It drives like a tall wagon rather than an SUV like the newer model. Lots of head space (I'm 6'3", and I can wear a fedora while driving).


Suggested Improvements

This car could use a 6th gear. I'm often over 3000rpm on the highway. This would also help with my other complaint, the gas mileage. For what it is and the era it's from, it gets decent gas mileage, but it's been far eclipsed by new technology. Plus, it runs on premium. Long distance trips can get uncomfortable, but I only have the cloth seats, not the leather.


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Excellent winter vehicle, though slightly underpowered
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ruslan
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Package (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Generally speaking, it is a great small utility vehicle that that drives like a car. It is an excellent winter vehicle, but it is not best for highway driving. It lacks power for comfortable passing, and down-shift is on the slow side. And, highway wind and road noise are on the noisier side. I took it for a 4000mile/6000km drive from Canada to California. It handled nicely when it was +24C and during winter blizzard when I-15 got closed for hours. I haven't had major problems with the vehicle, except sunroof does no longer work. And, parts and service are a bit expensive, especially in Canada.


Favorite Features

Handling - especially during winter, heated seats, heated windshield wipers and side mirrors, safety features, relatively compact size - easy to park in tight spots, panoramic sunroof, when it works, higher seating position. I also prefer premium cloth seats with leather inserts to full-leather seats. I love the vehicle for its versatility. I brought a full wall unit from IKEA that was probably over 200 lbs on its roof rails using a 2x4 cut in half. Another time, I used it to bring loads of sod. And, this can go on and on. It is my primary vehicle during winter, but I personally prefer a V6 mid-size sedan during warmer seasons.


Suggested Improvements

I caught myself swearing a few times when the vehicle just would not accelerate fast enough. The engine is underpowered for this all-time-AWD equipped vehicle. It weighs as much as a mid-size vehicle and does not have great aerodynamics. The AT transmission is only 4-speed with the down-shift that is on the slow side. If you try flooring the gas pedal shortly after the transmission up-shifts, very likely you would experience about 1/2 sec. hesitation until you would feel increase in the engine power. Due to all-time-AWD and only 4AT fuel consumption is also quite heavy, but on-par with mid-size V6 vehicle. Frame-less side windows design increases road noise. Service and parts are expensive


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Too many other choices to buy this again
12 of 31 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By brinx
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon X AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

This car is well thought of for some people. I don't understand why. There are too many good alternatives to this car to buy another one. Normal recommended maintenance is expensive and add in wheel bearings and head gaskets and it's like buying another car. The car is marketed for harsh weather and service, but it doesn't seem to be built for it. Before buying search on head gaskets and wheel bearings and see if you still want one.


Favorite Features

It's size makes it maneuverable.


Suggested Improvements

Increase durability. Use heavy duty wheel bearings and a gasket design that doesn't fail.


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Pass on Subaru not worth trouble
3 of 9 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By JeffD.
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

Purchased the car based on Consumer reviews. Car has lived in the shop: valves, clutch, brakes, radio, etc. The car handles well but no power and no room for kids. Most expensive car I've ever owned based on days in shop and dollars in repairs. I keep cars for 10+ years but looking forward to parking this one under a tree and walking away from it. Subaru dealerships have a lot of swagger about the belief of what they read in consumer reports. Unfortunately this attitude makes it "your fault" that the valves fail after 60 k miles and be prepared for very long waits for parts. Took 3 weeks to get in a new rear windshield wiper arm. None of the needed work has been under warranty.


Favorite Features

Tight steering and control on the road


Suggested Improvements

Warranty is too short. Needs more space and power. Subject to major engine problems


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Near to perfect design
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By netmate98
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XT AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Leather Package (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)


Review

Gas mileage just plain bad, I got the same mileage, 13 mpg, with a 2006 8 cylinder hemi daytona with 360 hp. This has great hp for a 4 cylinder and is very fun wagon to drive. The leather seating is well done. Tilt wheel would raise the comfort level. Better quality front seat back handle control needed. Near perfect interior-exterior design. Window whistle at 45 mph annoying, need window frames. Sacrificing quality for weight savings don't work for me, the aluminum hood takes a beating on the highway. The expensive to fix cd changer radio is a let down.


Favorite Features

My Favorite Features are the turbo charged engine, the fine leather heated seats, compass/dimming mirror.


Suggested Improvements

17 inch wheels would be nicer look and handle. Fix the cheap CD changer radio problem with an iphone/ipod link to the radio, its a cheap solution. Tilt wheel would raise the comfort level. Homelink would be nice too. not to mention an STI/package option.


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Great vehicle
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By H. Hudson
on

Vehicle

2004 Subaru Forester Wagon XS AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Leather Package (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Review

We have had zero problems with this vehicle. Has a lot of punch and great to drive. Fair gas mileage. Passenger seat too hard for me.


Suggested Improvements

Softer seats.


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