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!!
This car has been SO reliable over its 100,00 miles. It has gotten me out of a lot of sticky situations because of the AWD that Subaru has, and the repair record has been oustanding. Can't think of any major surprises over the last 16 years.
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.
My favorite feature of this car has to be the amount of engineering put into this car. Its just plain, simple, and smart. The 5 speed has a 50/50 torque distribution front to rear all the time. Unlike other car brands who haven't been into the AWD scene very long, Subaru has been making solely AWD cars for the last 40 years. Between both of these facts I never have to worry about anything catastrophically failing and costing me a small fortune, unlike my last car...
I could go on for days about what I love about my Forester, but I'll go easy and say my absolute favorite part about this car was the cost, $0.00 :D
I only have one minor blip on this car, Fuel mileage in city needs improving, but I'm still in the process of fixing her up. As of now I average about 22mpg overall and get around 27 highway. I would have expected a little more with only a 2.5 liter engine, but I do know symmetrical 4wd requires a good amount of torque to power. Hopefully with a couple aftermarket N.A. mods I can gain a few ft-lbs of LOW-END torque and get some MPG back. Oh one last thing, don't EVER bring your car to a dealer after the warranty has expired. My cousin was loyal to a dealer but since I do my own oil changes I found out the dealer used an impact wrench on every nut and bolt in the car = EXTRA WORK for me
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.
AWD, 5 speed manual trany, Large engine compartment for ease to work on.
Speed Sensor and Speed Sensor Gear tend to go out every 30k.
I bought this car uses so I cant say what the previous owner put it through. It had only 110,000 miles on it when I purchased it 6 months ago. Had my mechanic do a full inspection on it before I bought it. was able to drive it for 3 months, put a whole 3000 miles on it then the head gasket blew. The car is junk now because the cost to replace the head gasket is outragous. Will never buy a subaru again.
The All Wheel Drive
Nothing, Subaru took care of the head gasket problem in later models I hear.