I bought this at 100,000 miles for 8000. I'm on the fence on whether It was worth it or not. Been a good car but i've put some real maintenance dough into it.
Pros: handling, acceleration, steering, quite roomy because of it's boxy shape and the seats that can fold forward. Really high clearance, all wheel drive, good suspension all means that this car can handle a wide variety of conditions, from poorly maintained roads to very wintry weather. I use my car for construction and enjoye the spaciousness in the back (especially with seats folded down) and being able to get places that big trucks sometimes can't get to.
Cons: It's interior is quite delicate. I know I said I used it for construction, but I've had a number of cars before and I was disappointed with how easily the interior aged, dinged, scratched, and the upholstery tore and the carpet at the feet are tearing and wearing as well. The biggest issue is the major and minor repairs that you risk after about 120k miles on it, maybe sooner if you're not lucky. I guess this is true for most cars that aren't Toyota or Honda. I have put $3000 into it in four years. The big issues have been head gasket repair, multiple belt issues. The little issues have been thermostat, leaking and burning oil, emergency break stopped working, hatch stopped shutting, weather stripping coming undone and lots of air noise, leaking steering fluid. All this on top of a drop in gas mileage since I bought it, and "regular maintenance" like getting the timing belt replaced and fluid changes so looking back I would have looked for something maybe less 'nice' but more reliable.
So far head gaskets are good, fingers crossed......
No surprise here but this car is amazing in bad weather. I love driving this car in the snow, wind, rain and I feel very safe and secure while doing so. My main beef with this car is that it has about 140000 miles on it and I'm going to have to let it go because it needs some very pricey repairs.
-Head gaskets are leaking. It's basically a time bomb and I was quoted $1800 to replace the gaskets.
-My front differential blew up. Luckily they found a used one and I didn't need to replace transmission. This cost me $2000 and it left me stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night.
-3 wheel bearings ($300 each i believe)
-Now my transmission is slipping. My gas mileage dropped from 22 to 17mpg. I feel like it's a matter of time before I do need to replace the transmission and that won't be worth paying since it will cost nearly what the car is worth.
-I had the timing belt and water pump replaced at 100k miles. Standard procedure but just be aware if this has been done or not around that mileage as it cost about $1000.
I have not had very many small repairs. It's been a fairly reliable car other than the above big ticket issues. I've noticed a lot of used Foresters around the same year are around that 130k mile mark so I'm guessing this is sort of the point in these cars life where you either dump a ton of money into it or sell it.
I bought this vehicle with 76000 miles on it. It runs and drives like a new one! The AWD feature is amazing in the snow and on ice. The interior is a little cheap, but its not bad. It is a perfect car for us as we have one infant whose carseat sits in the middle of the rear seat. The boxer motors are bulletproof and as far as people saying it is like a rollercoaster.....its an AWD vehicle. There is going to be an obvious deceleration when going through gears. There is more friction to keep power to all wheels. I would highly recommend this vehicle.
Possibly the most functional car....not the best looking
written on 07-21-2012
I've been the sole wonder of my 06 Forester XT. There's been a few times when I've wanted to trade it for something different to switch it up, but it's almost impossible because you feel like you're getting less of a car.
Panoramic Sunroof, heated leather seats, handles all real world weather conditions, reliable, XT is VERY fast, quiet, good sound system. reliable
maintenance can be pricey
I absolutely love the way the car drives. The handling and performance in snow are great. That being said, this car is an absolute nightmare for maintenance. Head gaskets, catalytic converter replaced and needs another catalytic converter because no one can figure out why the car is burning up catalytic converters. Have also replaced the coil pack, which was not cheap. I'm going back to Honda as soon as I can.