2004 Subaru Forester Consumer Review: Excellent winter vehicle, thou

2004 Subaru Forester - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

244 Total Reviews

XS Wagon (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 4-speed Automatic w/Premium Package)

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Excellent winter vehicle, though slightly underpowered
By ruslan on


2004 Subaru Forester XS AWD 4dr Wagon w/Premium Package (2.5L 4cyl 4A)


Generally speaking, it is a great small utility vehicle that that drives like a car. It is an excellent winter vehicle, but it is not best for highway driving. It lacks power for comfortable passing, and down-shift is on the slow side. And, highway wind and road noise are on the noisier side. I took it for a 4000mile/6000km drive from Canada to California. It handled nicely when it was +24C and during winter blizzard when I-15 got closed for hours. I haven't had major problems with the vehicle, except sunroof does no longer work. And, parts and service are a bit expensive, especially in Canada.

Best Features

Handling - especially during winter, heated seats, heated windshield wipers and side mirrors, safety features, relatively compact size - easy to park in tight spots, panoramic sunroof, when it works, higher seating position. I also prefer premium cloth seats with leather inserts to full-leather seats. I love the vehicle for its versatility. I brought a full wall unit from IKEA that was probably over 200 lbs on its roof rails using a 2x4 cut in half. Another time, I used it to bring loads of sod. And, this can go on and on. It is my primary vehicle during winter, but I personally prefer a V6 mid-size sedan during warmer seasons.

Worst Features

I caught myself swearing a few times when the vehicle just would not accelerate fast enough. The engine is underpowered for this all-time-AWD equipped vehicle. It weighs as much as a mid-size vehicle and does not have great aerodynamics. The AT transmission is only 4-speed with the down-shift that is on the slow side. If you try flooring the gas pedal shortly after the transmission up-shifts, very likely you would experience about 1/2 sec. hesitation until you would feel increase in the engine power. Due to all-time-AWD and only 4AT fuel consumption is also quite heavy, but on-par with mid-size V6 vehicle. Frame-less side windows design increases road noise. Service and parts are expensive
Recommend (8) (0)

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Comments (1) Post a Comment
By juanmafxt
on 08/06/13 11:12 AM (PDT)

That is why the XT exists, for more power.

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