1998 Subaru Forester Consumer Review: Former Forester owner

1998 Subaru Forester - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

67 Total Reviews

L Wagon (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Former Forester owner
By Pip on


1998 Subaru Forester L 4dr Wagon AWD


Bought this wagon in 04, my senior year of college.. I got a great deal on it. Was 6 years old and had 90k on it. I love the manual transmission. By far the smoothest manual i ever drove. Fantastic in the snow. Just too many problems, radiator, head gasket, tires wear very fast due to the symmetrical all wheel drive. This vehicle broke down 3 straight years on the eve of the biggest snow storm of the year leaving me stranded. I went to a Jeep and haven't looked back.

Best Features

5 speed, great handling in all weather conditions. Love the wagon look to it.

Worst Features

Average gas mileage at best, head gasket goes on all Subaru 2.5l engines, only certain dealerships can fix it, not always guaranteed and very expensive. Very cheap interior. Horrible sound system.
Recommend (1) (0)

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Comments (4) Post a Comment
By carageous
on 12/19/10 13:56 PM (PST)

Subaru L AWD automatic transmission, 264,000 miles and dead....sending to the crusher. Head gasket failure causing the cooling system to overheat. Had the same problem as now as I did back in Aug 2009, tried a leak treatment called "Steel Seal" which worked from Aug 2009 to Dec 2010. Cost of head gasket repair is $1000 to $1800! This car is not worth it. Purchased the car used with 98k miles and the electrical accessories (clocks, sun roof, keyless entry etc) never worked. Replaced the right rear wheel bearing 3 times! I was able to get the repair shop to split the repairs on the last 2 events. I will consider a Subaru again but will do more detailed research before taking the plunge. Gas mileage was disappointing with this Forrester, in fact often wondered if there was a hole in the tank!

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By subie6
on 08/18/11 07:32 AM (PDT)

standard vehicle maintenance in my opinion

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By fatguy2
on 04/30/12 15:27 PM (PDT)

If you went to a Jeep you're problems may have just begun

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By forester98
on 01/06/12 02:32 AM (PST)

Not gonna lie, your paying for work. if you had a spare weekend and an auto parts store near you, the cost of the head gasket wouldnt be anywhere over 50$. It just takes some know how and a solid weekend of time to remove the engine from the trans, drop it, tear the heads off and replace the gasket.

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