Used 1998 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews
Unlike many other reviews that I have read on the 1998 Subaru Forester mine keeps going no matter what I do to it. I have never had a problem with head gaskets or wheel bearings. Yes I have replaced the timing belt at 80k but I do that with every new vehicle I buy. Other things that I have replaced over the life of the car are struts to an adjustable bilstein coil over , rotors and pads to brembo drilled and sloted rotors and pads , cv joints were changed based on the fact the car had 150 k and it was time, clutch to a center force stage two and two sets of tires cause each set wore out after putting over 75 k on each.
I got this car back in October from my cousin who was getting a new car and didnt want to trade his Subie in. GO HIM! lol It is by far the best vehicle I've ever owned. Reliability is amazing, the car has 136k miles on it, and i drove 400 miles to Ohio through the rain soaked mountains of West Virginia with no problems. Enough said. For reference in the rest of this, the Subie I own is a 2.5L 5 speed manual.
I currently have 2 forester S. I first had a white one with automatic transmission, bought for $2000.00 with 130k miles. Finally, at 170k, timing belt gave out and bent intake valves. I did most of the maintenance on the car since I owned it, with the exception of the timing belt (which apparently wasn't done right - failed after 1000 miles). It was immaculate. everything worked, even the cruise control! Excellent in the snow and rain. Always confident that my Subaru would make it no matter the conditions. I was so devastated when the timing belt slipped that I needed another. I found another 1998 Subaru Forester S with 188,000 miles on it. Its black and has a manual transmission. This car is still like brand new!! No squeaks, rattles, clunking, ticking, smoking or knocking. This car drives and handles the way I'd expect a brand new one off of the showroom floor to. Best of all, its better on fuel than my automatic was. I've owned approximately 20 cars; all different makes and models. I'm hooked on my Subarus! You can't beat them!!
I'm a believer of the safety features after hitting a deer with the Forester at 65 mph on the freeway. I also love the way the Forester handles. But there were a few bugs that I wouldn't have expected given that the Legacy chassis had been out a while. First, the wheel bearings went out at 20K on two wheels. Then the oil seals went at 70K and 140K (just like our 95 Legacy). The head gasket went out at 140K When I complained about a manufacturer defect at 70K because of similar problems with our Legacy, Customer Service said it was coincidence and wouldn't negotiate a better rate on repairs, stating the warranty went out at 60K. If you buy a Subie, you better extend the warranty!
My 1998 Forester, bought new in the 1st model year, has been the best of many cars I've owned since the '60s. I have just traded the car at 120K miles, facing a big $$ repair, but nothing you wouldn't expect to wear out after 10yrs/100K+ miles. Overall, my Forester has been incredibly reliable and great to drive in our "bad" Northeastern weather. I've set out on long drives at night with total confidence, in all seasons. After this experience, I'd find it hard to part with the AWD. Looking forward to my new '09 Forester.