Used Subaru Forester Ratings

Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.

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Subaru Forester All Years
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    • Comfort
    • Performance
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    2005 Subaru Forester - X (M5)

    Pros: The safety

    Cons: The lack of power in acceleration and no option for a V6

    Advice: Get the turbo... or at least test drive both the stock and then the turbo.

    I test drove the stock model for 2005 and after all of my research, I was led to believe that the forrester was the best of the best as far as small suv's. And for the most part it seems that way. I even took it out on the highway and it has a fairly smooth ride. I'm told that the turbo has good pick up, but the stock model sure didn't. I really expected more power and actually get more out of my 4 cyl dodge dakota (that I've had for almost ten years - it's a 96 that I've beat up a LOT). I figured that since it had all wheel drive it would help. Not! There's something else that bothers me, but I just can't put my finger on it... I think it's that whole women's intution thing :)

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    2005 Subaru Forester - XT (M5)

    Pros: Acceleration, AWD, Power driver seat, Heated seats, Very good audio system. Visibility and build quality.

    Cons: When the front seats are all the way back, the legroom in the rear is a little tight.

    Advice: Test drive the XT. You will be glad you did.

    Really great compact SUV. All wheel drive is very effective, it's like snow is non existent. Unbelievable acceleration. Handling and ride is excellent as well. Plenty of handy storage compartments throughout the vehicle. Rear cargo area is well designed and very usable, when you drop the flat folding rear seats the area is cavernous. Interior is well done and very comfortable. Love the power driver seat, both the driver and passenger seats are heated.

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    2005 Subaru Forester - X (M5)

    Pros: It is designed and built to meet your safety needs and exceed them.

    Cons: My wife's driving - but you didn't sell me her.

    Advice: Not everyone has the same level of driving skills - but this car helps keep you safe.

    My wife had an accident in this car - Thank You! The airbags deployed, the seat belt held, the car didn't flip, pieces of the car didn't impale the interior of the car and shortly thereafter she drove it home...only having to pry up a portion of the bumper. The State Highway Patrolman exclaimed if ever there was proof of a car's safety, this was it! She was on a superhighway, and hit the guardrail on the driver's side. She said she was doing 70 (but that means 80). This woman has had quadruple bypass open heart surgery twice...and in this accident she was merely bruised by the belt. Yep it's safe as you can get!!!! TRUE story - when you care enough to insure her safety.

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    2005 Subaru Forester - XS (M5)

    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. :(

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    2005 Subaru Forester - XS (M5)

    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.

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    2005 Subaru Forester - X (M5)

    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.

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    2003 Subaru Forester - XS w/Premium Package (M5)

    Pros: Responsive handling and commanding view. Room

    Cons: Clutch

    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