This vehicle has been dependable and good in the snow. However the engine noise is very annoying. The dealer calls it " piston slap" and says it is normal for Subaru and would not do anything under the warranty. Because of this I will probably not purchase another Subaru
I did a great deal of research on mid-size SUV's and narrowed my choices to the 2003 CRV or the 2003 Forester. After 4 years and 45K of driving I think I may never buy anything but a Subaru again. The car handles any weather condition you can throw at it with ease. Snow, rain, ice, sub-zero temps. The car behaves well in any element. Most importantly though the car just runs well with no major mechanic or electrical problems to date. Certainly there are some minor, mostly aesthetic and comfort changes I would welcome. However this car has earned my trust and has been an excellent ambassador for the Subaru line-up. The best vehicle purchase I have ever made.
AWD, Boxer engine, great visibility throughout. Surpsingly roomy front. Lots of cargo space. Very responsive handling. Good safety record and outstanding reliability.
Interior feels a bit cheap. Cloth is thin and the seats aren't well padded. Better MPG would be welcome. ABS acts up a bit when braking over bumps. Noticeable road noise. The 'hill-holder' is the answer to a problem that didn't really exist and kicks in too frequently.
I totaled my 98 Camry in 06/09 & decided I needed an AWD or 4wd car. I looked at Honda CRVs, Toyota RAV4s, & Subarus. After much research & many test drives, I decided I like the Suby. I like my Forester, it's a good car. However, it's had some issues. Had to replace water pump due to leak from weep hole right after I got it, I replaced timing belt at that time too to save $ in the future. Now it makes whistling noises when eng revs to 3-4k rpm. Think its cat-converter, but cant fig out for sure got an extension on 80k fed war, but having difficulty with dealers. Hope once things are fixed it'll last 200k.
AWD! w/Yokohama Ig20 snow tires I RARELY slip on ice! Roof-rack! Lots of cargo space. Split backseat. Mini-SUV shape on a sedan chassis makes for great handling! Suby safety! adjustable dr seat great for my 5'2" frame. lumbar support!
This car has got it all. Its fun to drive, reliable and great features. The 160hp engine is capable enough but I wonder how the XT with turbo would feel. It feels quick and sharp when turning. With routine maintenance I have never had any trouble or need for repairs. The only thing I have replaced have been fluids and tires. Our XS model came with leather seats which are much easier to clean with kids, and the cold weather package: heated front seats, front wipers and side mirror defrost. Pretty nice when my wife was driving it to class and she could sit inside while the car heated up instead of standing outside scraping the car off in a bad neighborhood.
The AWD! Here in central NY with its lake-effect snow (tons of heavy, wet snow coming off Lake Ontario) Subaru's rule and this car has always made it through. With new Goodyear Tripletred tires this thing can get through it all.
My main issue is with cabin noise when driving. The engine is quiet but the rushing air can sound loud. Legroom is cramped but I've read that has been improved it more recent models. Also, the stereo buttons are small and difficult to find without taking your eyes off the road to look down.