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Pros: Interior is nice
Cons: Too many repairs & rust
Advice: Be weary and do a lot of research. Buy a used one so you don't waste your $.I bought a 2003 Subaru Forester XS in 2002 when the first new models came out. I like the way it looks and feels, but overall I have had many problems with the car, including many repairs and dealer problems. Repairs/problems include: 2 Airbags replaced, transmission recall/slips, windows leak water, knocking in back and front suspension, gas mileage deteriorated to 14mpg from 23mpg, rust, roof rack broke, rear seatbelt installed backwards, stock tires replaced at 25K miles, rear differential always low on grease for some reason, AWD not very good in snow or mud, and dealerships are bad to do business with. I really wish that it did not have so many problems, otherwise I'd like it better and would feel like I got my money's worth (and would not worry about possibly breaking down soon). Now I am disappointed and feel jipped. I am going to sell it soon and never buy another new Subaru again. The resale value on them goes down quickly also. The dealership service is horrible here. :(
Pros: Xs trim and seat heaters
Cons: auto heater seems to need finer control
Advice: do not be to cheap buy what options you will need to be comfortable.I am a master auto tech for a living and I bought my third Forester in the last three years last month. I traded in my 02 S with 43k for 05 XS. Last year I traded in my wifes Legacy L wagon for a 04 XS. I was going to swap her the 05 for the 04 but she is too comfortable with it. So hey guys things can go our way sometimes! No guilt! I work on new volvo's at a dealership for a living and still bought the Subes. The Subaru has the most well balanced AWD system on the planet in a affordable and practical design. Turning is good along with parking. Cargo space is good for a small rig. The electric seat in 05 is just what my creaky back needed. The xs is the best trim with the seat heaters and paint job. I cross country ski alot and the Subes have delivered with excellent results during rough weather and lousy road conditions for years. I carry chains in my cars but have only used them as hold downs for loose cargo or foot rests to put on my ski boots. The room inside is comfortable for me even being six two. The sight lines are super for handling the bad traffic around the Seattle area and of course the rain. The performance is good enough for what I do and prefer the fuel economy over zippiness. The climate control needs to be more accurate. The drive train is a good deal especially when it comes time for repairs. Subaru makes one basic set up so this limits alot of changes and 6 month only designs . The brakes are better than the first generation Forester the suspension feels stronger also. Looks like I will be keeping these Subes for a long time as they feel very right this time. The Crv and Rav4 are good rigs too but I feel they do not have the maturity Subaru has in making a small car AWD system. The cargo space is better in the Sube and as far as people complaining about the rear leg room ,hey your not sitting back there right? Good luck with your Subaru.
Pros: All wheel drive- side air bags standard
Cons: Station wagon looks
Advice: A mature study of the competition will reveal that the others don't quite match up. Pay a little more- get more. Safety and quality come first!We bought a new 05 Forester X to replace our 2000 Forester L. Lots of improvements on a good vehicle. Buy this over the others for the standard safety features and general quality. Ride is a little soft for my taste- but as a result it's a little more comfortable for passengers.
Pros: Responsive handling and commanding view. Room
Advice: Try and get aftermarket tires.Seems solid enough, but don't like the frame less windows. Clutch is an on/off affair that engages too low and too abruptly. Reverse, with it's straight-cut gears, is often hard to engage. Changing the cabin air filter is a joke-and I hear the headlight bulbs are too! Great highway performer, and very competent on gravel and snow, OEM tires Yokohama Geolanders 900 are pathetic--no lateral traction and touchy. Good steering, Reasonably good seats. Auto heat is hard to get used to with its design to not work for 3-5 minutes on cold days. Love the sun roof! Roomy
Pros: Turbo engine coupled to all wheel drive via the standard transmission
Cons: Doesn't have as many performance accessories as the Subaru STI
Advice: Definitely buy the turbo versionThe Subaru Forester XT has great acceleration, all wheel drive and decent gas mileage. A sleeper of a performance vehicle with the versatility to actually carry larger items with the rear seat folded. A solid, well built, reliable vehicle that is fun to drive. The XT with the standard transission has more performance than the automatic but isn't available with the leather seats. Never the less the standard interior and seats are very nice. Insurance premiums are lower than the 11 year old vehicle it is replacing!
Pros: Overall Price
Cons: Bumper to Bumper Warranty
Advice: Get it nowThis is a great vehicle. I compared it to the Mazda 6 Sport Wagon and the Dodge Magnum (Wagon). I liked all of the features of this vehicle. It is good to note that this company has a solid reputation will it will continue to have one for many years to come. I got everything that you could have put in this vehicle and I went out and I did that for the other vehicles. It just came down to PRICE ! I could not get the same value from the other vehicles. I knew that I did not want anything less that 200 Horse power. This is also a great vehicle to purchase as far as insurance. Don't expect to get great gas mileage with any vehicle that has at least 200 or more horse power. Just try to get the best possible mileage for the vehicle that you want in this class. You won't get 40 miles per gallon in this or any other vehicle that has 200 or more horse power.. The Bumper to Bumper Warranty could be longer.
Cons: Fuel usage
Advice: Only buy the XT turboThis car is the best sleeper ever. Subaru's have always been great in the snow, but this one is a blast to drive all the time. Just make sure you buy the XT. The car is a well rounded vehicle, which will out run my SER-Spec V. See if you can find another 'family grocery getter' for 22 grand that can do that.