2003 Subaru Forester - XS (M5)
Pros: All wheel drive
Cons: Uncomfortable back seats
Advice: This is an oversized station wagon with no rear legroom for passengers.On the road the Forester handles like a car, unfortunately I could feel every bump and pot hole. It rides lower than an SUV, which is why I think you can feel the road more. There is no room in the back seat for anyone larger than a pigmy or a child under the age of eight. The reason for this is the narrow bench they put in. It needs to be at least 25% wider and pushed back. They could have lifted the seats up a bit since there is plenty of headroom to spare. This might help with the bumpy ride and the rear legroom problem. It has nice pickup with 165 hp, and the console layout is better than a CR-Vs. I did like the giant sized sun roof. The front legroom is nice, but it does cut into the already sparse rear legroom. It looks and feels like a giant station wagon. It might be great for getting groceries, but not for car pooling, or driving friends around in. With the exception of the rear cargo capacity, I wouldn't even consider this a utility vehicle. If you need an all wheel drive station wagon and you won't have any more than one passenger at a time, this would work out for you. Though you would be better off with an Outback Wagon. CD - Moline, IL
2003 Subaru Forester - X (M5)
Pros: Ride Quality
Cons: No Complaints with this restyled Subaru offering
Advice: My best advise is to buy it if you like it. You won't be disappointed.I'm happy to have the first posted review on the 2003 Subaru Forester. I can not recommend this vehicle more. It combines all of the features I was looking for in a new vehicle-not necessarily in an suv, as I didn't limit myself to any particular class of transportation (I also looked at a Toyota Camry). The driving position is ideal, the ingress and egress of the vehicle is first-rate, handling is just fine, noise levels are commendibly low, and the pickup and roominess are excellent. Oh, and parking is easier than with some of the big sedans out there. This vehicle, as improved for 03, would appeal to anyone looking for an suv, wagon, or sedan. It's as if Subaru planned it that way. Actually, I think they did. Highly recommended, top score. I'm happy with my choice. You will be, too.
2002 Subaru Forester - L (M5)
Pros: Head room
Cons: Get's dings easy.They need to improve this big time.
Advice: If you don't like dingsGood performance,not great.But that's what I want.I don't want my wife driving our kids in a car with 220hp.The faster the car the more trouble you can get in.This car is good for passing and getting on the parkway.
2002 Subaru Forester - L (M5)
Pros: I finally have a shoulder restraint that doesn't rub my neck - the height of the attachment is adjustable.
Cons: It's just a little small in the seat (I'm plus size) - the seat belt catch (on the driver's right side) rubs my hip until I adjust it out of the way every time.
Advice: Check out the government safety tests - Subaru excells!Zippy and fun. The 4WD holds to the road securely but not obviously. When my Nissan Pathinder was in 4WD and I made low speed turn to park, I could feel it pulling itself thru the turn. The Forrester just feels like I'm driving!