2002 Subaru Forester Consumer Review: Best small SUV out there

2002 Subaru Forester - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

64 Total Reviews

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

Build Quality
Reliability Value
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Best small SUV out there
By Amandrew in MI on


2002 Subaru Forester S AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)


Bought new Nov. 2001, 100K miles as of today. Pros: I'm 6'4" and fit fine, but barely; 25-27 mpg in mixed city/hwy; replaced clutch at 90K miles, which is pretty good; AWD is awesome; have driven in my grandma's sandy-soiled Michigan pasture off-road in all 4 seasons without getting stuck! Cons: auto-dimming mirror failed at 20K miles but was not covered under warranty, not worth $250 to replace; check engine light has come on 4 times between 30K and 100K - vacuum hose, emission control module, air/fuel sensor, and a 4th problem to be found at shop this week. None expensive, but none under warranty.

Best Features

Going fast around corners on dirt roads with AWD is a blast! Huge moonroof when open feels like a convertible. Zero major reliability issues; car has always been safely drivable. Manual transmission allows peppy acceleration even for a 4-cylinder. World's most underrated small SUV.

Worst Features

Relocate cupholders so they don't block controls. Reduce wind noise and buffeting when windows open in any configuration. Rain/washer fluid flows off windshield and into driver's window if open. Windshield-mounted mirror is too low and can block vision during right-hand turns/curves.
Recommend (4) (0)

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