Used 2004 Subaru Forester Wagon Consumer Reviews
In the winter of 2016 I hit a patch of black ice while driving a new Dodge Ram 4X4 truck, I hit a snow bank broadside and rolled it into the woods crushing the poor truck. After the insurance company agreed it was a total loss I bought my first used Subaru forester (2004) and I must say I feel a lot safer in a Subaru AWD than I ever did in the Ram. After owning and driving the Forester for 6 months I knew I'd never own another brand from that day forward. When I wear out this one I'll buy my first brand new Subaru Forester. I have already begun to customize mine and there is so much in the way of after market parts on line and in the auto stores. The gas mileage is crazy good and I am getting about 22 city and 27 Hwy. If your sitting on the fence about getting a Subaru DO NOT delay it any longer, I only wish I thought about this brand 40 years ago ahen I started driving.
I do not give this vehicle 10s across the board, but I give it a 10 in what I was looking for. It is not fast. It produces lots of wind noise. It doesn't corner particularly well. It does provide amazing versatility, functional all-wheel drive, and plenty of room for storage. I am an outdoorsy type. I take this vehicle camping, hunting, fishing, biking, and for long distance traveling. I have driven this through sand, mud and water. I accidentally went through an innocuous looking puddle that came up over the hood, and the Forester pulled right through. Am very happy with the Forester and will drive it until the wheels fall off, or I do, whichever comes first.
This little SUV with the Turbo will move when I need it to. It's so handy to haul items, easy to fold seats down, easy to remove the headrests. I love the auto climate control, great stereo. I have great control of car in adverse weather conditions - I feel SAFE driving this car. Doors feel solid when you shut them.
I purchased this vehicle in Dec. 2017, and despite the fact that it only had 89,400 miles on the odometer and was very clean it did need some $$$$ and TLC to make it a nice reliable vehicle. The automatic transmission (and spin on filter) / differential gear oil / brake fluid needed to be flushed and replaced. It needed a new fuel filter, and a cabin filter. The timing belt, and water pump had just been replaced prior to purchase. This was a NJ vehicle so it was subjected to the NE winters which meant that the ball joints needed to be replaced because the rubber seals had deteriorated. It also has a little bit on the undercarriage which is normal for a 14 year old NJ vehicle. The rack and pinion power steering unit, and the radiator needed to be replaced also and after the repairs, new tires and a 4 wheel alignment it's a very nice smooth ride for a 14 year old vehicle. I purchased a 4 year / unlimited mileage vehicle service contract from Cars Protection Plus at the time of purchase for an additional $1,200, and it saved me $1,000 on the rack and pinion steering unit / radiator / labor so, that seems to have been a good investment for this vehicle. Like virtually all Subaru Foresters in this age group (2002 -2008), this one did suffer from the infamous wind noise problem, but that was easily corrected with some vinyl tubing inserted behind the window weatherstripping, some weather stripping applied to the exterior mirror gussets and some side window deflectors, now it rides just as quietly as a new vehicle.
I have had my 04 XS for 5 years now, generally speaking, it's a good car. It is reliable and gets 28-30 mpg highway, front seats are comfortable, back seats are tight, car is sporty and stylish, great traction in bad weather, massive sunroof, BUT...this car has problems. From day 1, car bucks after filling with gas (dealer can't explain), wind noise on highway is horrendous, check engine light goes on and off at will, moving drivers seat causes airbag light to go on, sunroof track broken-they want $1500 bucks to replace, vibration from engine Y-pipe drives us crazy (dealer again can't fix), now the rear end has a very loud humming noise as if its about to go. Car only has 62k miles.