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1998 Forester

Consumer Reviews

1998 Subaru Forester

$1,146 - $5,218  MSRP Range
1998 Subaru Forester

Review Score

4.4 out of 5 stars

4.4

18 Reviews
89% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.4 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.7 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.4 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.3 out of 5 stars Performance
4.1 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 18 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Extremely reliable, roomy, and stylish

by Subaru Driver For Life from New England on Sun Jun 21 2009

I have owned many Subaru models of different years and models, but my 98 Forrester has be my favorite. There is a ton of room for my dog and I. All-wheel drive is essential where I live and the car's wide tire base asserts control over any conditions. The vehicle is great on gas which was a Godsend when prices were sky high. Ask anyone you know who has a Forrester from around this year, and they'll all tell you the same thing: "I LOVE IT!"

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

17 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Very reliable car

by German Car Enthusiast from Los Angeles, CA on Mon Jan 22 2007

Never had a problem until a sharp metal debri punctured the radiator causing the engine to overheat and crack the engine block. Other than the one incident, this vehicle requires minimal maintenance and repair aside from oil changes and tune-up. Low cost to operate and maintain. Great for hauling and trips to Home Depot. Preppy engine and good gas mileage for an AWD vehicle. Better than a gas guzzling SUV and gets the job done.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

lots of miles --- reliable

by whirlwind from blue ridge mountains, Virginia on Thu Jul 31 2008

This vehicle now has 231,000 miles on it and is still going strong. It has lived in the high deserts of the southwest and in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia and has been driven from Baja to Quebec and a lot of other places in between. Upkeep has been minimal. I've had the timing belt replaced twice, regular oil changes, new tires, cv joints... not that much considering all the miles it has carried me without a problem! Am about to get another, newer one. There are known issues with the 2.5 liter engine --head gasket problems, but so far it has been OK. (added some Barr's a while ago).

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Sturdy

by Jake in Issaquah from Issaquah, WA on Mon Mar 10 2008

This Forester will be 10 years old next July and it is approaching 200,000 miles. It blew a head gasket at about 93,00--pretty early for something like that--but other than that, routine maintenance has kept it going pretty well. It's at the point where I had to put in a new clutch about 6 months ago and the heater coil and water pump just had to be replaced but it has been reliable and sturdy.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

My first car, and still going strong four years.

by Treue from Waverly, PA on Mon Jun 23 2014

I bought this car for $4500 four years ago, and it was the best investment I ever made. This car has saved my life in multiple scenarios, whether they be driving through some of the worst winter conditions ever after being stuck in a flash winter storm, or truckers trying to run me off the road for one reason or another. The handling on this car is so advanced for its age. I have grown so attached to my Forester that I want to give it to my children when I have them. I got this car around the same time I started dating my girlfriend, and it has safely got her to and from anywhere we have ever needed to go; for this I consider the car invaluable. I would recommend that anyone that is considering getting this car for the safety factor picks it up immediately. I deducted a star in Interior for the lack of leg room for passengers, and a star on Exterior Styling for the fact that there are really no parts made for this year such as grill guards, tail light guards, or much else for that matter. It is very hard to find aftermarket parts that fit the car. Other than this, the car has been perfect, and has only just recently been showing signs of age. Every car gets old, but this one aged finer than any car I have driven.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Ugly but awesome

by Bob from Chicago, IL on Thu May 25 2006

I have to admit that the Subaru Forester is an ugly vehicle. BUT, it gets the job done. I took a chance and bought this car in its first year. The payoff has been great. 142K miles later, I have had minimal problems and nothing but overall satisfaction from its ability to take a pounding and keep on moving. Even as a wedding DJ, I can fit more gear in my car than most guys can in their small SUVs. I even bought my wife a 2002 Forester and convinced my buddy (and his dad) to get a Outback. Everyone has been thrilled. Ugly but awesome. U R a Bus when you drive a Sub a r U.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
2 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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2 out of 5 stars

98 Subaru Forester

by former subaru owner from Boulder, CO on Thu May 11 2006

we have had a lot of problems with this vehicle. Engine had to be replaced at 90K miles due to a known flaw of the main gasket tearing and allowing the pressure in the engine to pressurize the coolant lines, which pushes the coolant out of the radiator. Subaru knows about this problem but since it only effects 28% of the vehicles it is not a recall. other than the engine problem was a good vechicle.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
2 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
1 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does not recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car

by Forrester Love from baltimore, md on Thu Jan 12 2012

I bought this car used but it has been very reliable and fun to drive. It has lot of head room and cargo room. The back seat leg room is average, but the seats are comfortable. It has a lot of pep for a 4 cylinder car, and handles great in poor weather.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

This is by far best car I've owned personally

by Djdavid686 from WA on Fri Aug 18 2017

Oh I love this car! It's so reliable and man do I love going to Costco and putting the seats down for all the extra room, not to mention the hatchback makes loading up easy. I have the sports edition and wow I love my car, never had any major issues, it's great off road too! I highly recommend this car!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Awesome All-around, Safe and Fun

by Pinchpenny Off-roading Family Man from South Dakota on Sat Dec 04 2010

'98 Forester L: still love it (Dec '10). It's a beautiful thing. So fun, safe, good w gas, reliable.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 1998 Subaru Forester

In the last couple of years mini-sport-utilities have established a solid niche in the market. But none of them -- the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage or Suzuki Sidekick/Chevrolet Tracker --is a serious off-road vehicle. In fact, there isn't much sport in any of these utility vehicles.

Subaru is the latest automaker to check in with a small sport-utility that is missing vital ingredients. This time it's a rugged suspension system and the commanding view of the road you are supposed to get in an SUV.

The Subaru Forester probably will sell well for the time being because, anything with all-wheel drive and a brawny visage is in vogue.

In its current form the Forester -- which is based on... Read More