Used 1998 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews - 67 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1998 Subaru Forester

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Biased on subarus, but lessons learned
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Cautious fan
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester S 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

I learned to drive on a Subaru and am somewhat biased. What I have learned is that Suabarus in general can be reliable cars most of the time. I bought my '98 Forester w/ 125k miles and had minor mechanical issues, 2 CV joint replacements and a new thermostat. However, a year ago many major issues popped up, including major repair on the front end and rear rotors. Now the automatic transmission is shifting hard into and out of 1st gear plus a bent rod makes a lot of noise during start-ups. The handling is sound and AWD works beautifully, many chances to hydroplane but the wheels caught the road instantly. Low profile feels like you're driving a car but with twice the cargo room.


Best Features

Headroom, AWD, cargo space, good ground clearance, unique body style.


Worst Features

consistent and almost predictable mechanical problems


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I need a new one
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By david
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester S 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

This first series model (1998) has a flaw. The rear wheel bearings were ball bearings but I replaced them at 50000 miles for the later design of roller bearings. No problems since. I have had the timing belt changed at 60000 miles and also the oil seals. The dealer had a special and I took it. It needs the seals replaced again because of a small leak but the cost is almost the worth of the vehicle. I may still do this because it is cheaper than a new vehicle. It also could do with a new set of shock absorbers. Changed the battery twice but other than that it starts first time and just keeps on going. I would love a 2010 model but this one won't die.


Best Features

Handling in bad weather.


Worst Features

Plastic cup holders could be improved and the CD player died a long time ago.


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A lemon!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By LJN
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Bought the vehicle for durability and reliability. Have gone through multiple sets of tires, several sets of wheel bearings, two water pumps, and most recently replaced head gaskets ... all before 45K! Vehicle has known design flaws (head gaskets, for example) that Subaru of America refuses to be accountable for, offering cheap, short-term fixes. Will never buy another Subaru unless/until company stands behind their product!


Best Features

AWD, cross between wagon and SUV.


Worst Features

Make the car reliable and durable.


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What to call an 11 year old car?
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Realist
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

Well here we are...11 years 180k miles and still going. I figure I paid $20100 for the car, put an average on 18k miles on per year, spend about 2k per year in repairs/maint. So what? Should I trade it in and get a car payment. What is $200 per mo going to buy me... a compact? I have one of those and it can't take a curb, a mud bath, a snow bank, etc. Over time my Suby pulled a Jeep, a Lexus, a Land Rover and about 3 other cars out of ditches. It may be the way I drive or it could be this car (please note: towing is only about 1800 lbs... all the stuck vehicles had to help some). That's it. It is a fair car/truck/wagon/compact/suv/whatever for the price. I would consider buying another.


Best Features

Head room. No blind spots. Ground clearance. Towing. Looks. AWD. Rich people respect the car. People who repair cars want to buy it from me. Cops ignore me. 180k miles. Son calls it "Pops' car"!


Worst Features

Clock + ignition coil broke. Gasket leaked. CV boot breaks every 2 years (it's rubber). Better sound system needed No cruise offered... needed. Driving in the city is easy but in the years I put 30k on the car I had to go in for repairs on my ankle because the gas/brake position is uncomfortable


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Best car for a decade
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By David
on

Vehicle

1998 Subaru Forester L 4dr Wagon AWD


Review

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.


Best Features

All Wheel Drive! Great headlights for overnight driving. Strong, reliable engine. Responsive, precise handling. Flexible, generous cargo capacity for this size vehicle. Flexible roof rack - for bikes, stepladders, beds. Body integrity - no rust at all (except surface dings) after 10 NE winters.


Worst Features

More padding and support in front seats. More passenger room in rear seats More headroom for cargo (can't stand a bike up inside, but fits flat). Electronic stability & traction control. NOTE: Most of these items have been addressed in the 2009 redesign.


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