2004 Subaru Forester Consumer Review: Plain and Simple Truth

2004 Subaru Forester - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

241 Total Reviews

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

12 of 15 people found this review helpful
Plain and Simple Truth
By juanmafxt on


2004 Subaru Forester XT AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


This is the pioneer and last of the true sport crossovers. There are a lot of copycats nowadays, but this one is the real thing.

Manual transmission, 4.44FD, AWD with 50/50 torque split, big STI engine 2.5L, factory turbo with low compression pistons, disc brakes, LSD and fully independent suspension. Sti parts are all swappable.

All parts from the WRX and STI fit into this vehicle since they share the platform. Tons of aftermarket parts available and can be modified to go very fast with simply an Sti turbo and Sti top mount intercooler. Plus using OEM parts. Great sleeper vehicle.

Gearing is very tight. Highway cruise can be somewhat annoying because 60mph equates to about 2500RPMs, which leads to too much fuel consumption.

This is a vehicle meant and designed to run on the STI turbo and tmic. It doesn't simply because Subaru will not cannibalize the STI. Sti springs are on the stiff side, so I recommend softer rated ones. Swapping in full STI suspension, it can take its toll on daily commuting. Not a great daily because its fuel consumption is not the best. In terms of reliability, so far I've had a window that does not work, cruise unavailable due to a check engine light, ABs light on, and gas pressure switch that pops out the gas station hose.

All in all, it a very fast and highly reliable station wagon. Its very rare in XT, and very few cars today have the mechanical attributes this vehicle has, rewarding you with a great bargain and collectibility.

Best Features

  • Outward visibility
  • Rain snow traction
  • Purchase cost
  • Resale value
  • Maintenance cost

Worst Features

  • Active safety
  • Headlights
  • Parking aids
  • Climate control
  • Entertainment
  • Fuel economy

Recommend (12) (3)

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