Model Details

2002 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews

4.3
Average based on 19 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 19 reviews

Great Utility Car

by from Pacific Northwest on December 25, 2010

I own a 2002 Forester S and am quite satisfied with it. The difference between a L and S are worth saving for the S. It has the best sun roof I have ever seen in a car, heated leather seats, heated mi...
I own a 2002 Forester S and am quite satisfied with it. The difference between a L and S are worth saving for the S. It has the best sun roof I have ever seen in a car, heated leather seats, heated mirrors, heated windshield wipers, a 6 CD player/radio that sounds quite good. The car has been quite reliable, and drives great. The view from the drivers seat is wide, helping with safety. The car handles great in all conditions, especially snow. It looks a little boxy, which turns some people off, but performs well. I don't want to sound negative, but buyers want to know: The biggest knock on the older Subarus are the seals. Expect to change some of the gaskets before 200,000 miles. The head gasket being most expensive. I have yet to do this on mine, but have recently done the valve gasket and oil seals. You can delay this issue by changing the oil and coolant on time, every time, using oil treatment, or synthetic oil. The good news though is once you are over this bump the car will likely last 300,000 miles before something else major goes wrong. Outside of the above, I've had only a spatter of tiny issues, such as headlight bulbs, wiper blades, or dash bulbs, that are common and easy to fix. - Overall, this is just a great car.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car

16 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best Car and Reliable for a Single Momma of 2

by from Los Angeles on August 24, 2010

i bought this vehicle brand new in 2002 and it runs spectacular. There have been no issues. I have towed a Boat and jet ski's as well as another car and no adverse reactions. This is a very depependab...
i bought this vehicle brand new in 2002 and it runs spectacular. There have been no issues. I have towed a Boat and jet ski's as well as another car and no adverse reactions. This is a very depependable car.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Absolutely Amazing Vehicle

by from New Paltz, NY on December 8, 2006

I bought this car and used it to travel 90 miles each way to work each day. I never had to worry about bad weather or even bad gas mileage. I could easily get 330 - 350 miles per tank while commutin...
I bought this car and used it to travel 90 miles each way to work each day. I never had to worry about bad weather or even bad gas mileage. I could easily get 330 - 350 miles per tank while commuting. I have the huge sunroof with heated leather bucket seats and all the accessories - I couldn't be happier with this car. My 2002 with 115,000 miles runs smoother and more quietly than my wife's 2004 Rav4 with 25,000 miles. This car is going to last me another decade easily.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

shocked at early headgasket failure

by from Conroe, Texas on January 30, 2008

I bought my Subaru Forester because of the high rating for reliability. I am retired and needed a dependable vehicle. Although I love my Forester, I was shocked to have the head gasket fail at 115,000...
I bought my Subaru Forester because of the high rating for reliability. I am retired and needed a dependable vehicle. Although I love my Forester, I was shocked to have the head gasket fail at 115,000. I have had many cars and I have driven some of them to 200,000 and I have never had a headgasket failure. I wonder if this is normal for this engine. It is quoted as a $2,000 repair. I will repair it but I wonder at the reliability of future Subarus.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great car! Incredible Value

by from Ulster County, NY on August 7, 2010

I have loved this car since I bought it. It handles really well, and is especially reliable in snow and rough winter weather. It's a really classy car. In dash cd changer plays 6 cds; sound system is ...
I have loved this car since I bought it. It handles really well, and is especially reliable in snow and rough winter weather. It's a really classy car. In dash cd changer plays 6 cds; sound system is incredible. Retractable sun/moon roof. Power everything. Decent gas millage. And reliability. All for a reasonable price. I love it.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

exactly what i wanted

by from mount pleasant ,sc on May 8, 2011

the stick is smooth as can be and quiet, i have to look at the gauge to remember to change gears. tons of hidden spots for glasses and cellphones and such. drives well on the highway with little corre...
the stick is smooth as can be and quiet, i have to look at the gauge to remember to change gears. tons of hidden spots for glasses and cellphones and such. drives well on the highway with little correction. at 130,000 miles it still feels new. plenty of room for kids and dog, and my drums.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

SUBARUS RULE

by from BOTHELL, WA on January 16, 2012

THIS IS MY 3RD SUBARU...2ND FORESTER. THESE ARE GREAT CARS THAT KEEP ON GOING NO MATTER WHAT. WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE WHO WANTS A DEPENDABLE ALL WHEEL DRIVE CAR THAT LASTS
THIS IS MY 3RD SUBARU...2ND FORESTER. THESE ARE GREAT CARS THAT KEEP ON GOING NO MATTER WHAT. WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE WHO WANTS A DEPENDABLE ALL WHEEL DRIVE CAR THAT LASTS
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

It refuses to give up!

by from PA on November 27, 2015

I bought the 2002 Forester used hoping it would get me through college after my 2007 Toyota's engine threw a rod. My Forester has 183000 miles, the engine ticks, the check engine light comes on all th...
I bought the 2002 Forester used hoping it would get me through college after my 2007 Toyota's engine threw a rod. My Forester has 183000 miles, the engine ticks, the check engine light comes on all the time, and it moans on the cold mornings. Even with those quirks I have grown to love the car, it refuses to let me down. I had an issue with the spark plugs which caused it to run on three cylinders 400 miles from home. Being a broke student, I pushed to get home and it got me home safely. The A/C still blows ice cold, everything works like it should feature wise. The AWD is awesome, this car will go almost anywhere. When I finally got my dream job I didn't have the money to spend on a new car, I had to trust my Forester to drive the 3000 a month. It has held up to this like a champ. I still average 24 MPG and I don't baby it. I would recommend a Forester to anybody, it has kept going without proper care on my part.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

great car

by from Bloomsburg Pa. on January 10, 2012

love the car subaru is very well built very reliable i will buy another subaru in the future the maintance on the car is min and the all wheel drive is great it has a lotof room and the roof rack is g...
love the car subaru is very well built very reliable i will buy another subaru in the future the maintance on the car is min and the all wheel drive is great it has a lotof room and the roof rack is great to hull the kayak
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Outdoor sports (hiking, cycling, etc.)

Does recommend this car

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

Maintenance costs are too high

by from Redwood City, CA on July 31, 2013

I've had my 2002 subaru forester since it was brand new. My unhappiness with this vehicle is because of the maintenance costs and the unreliability of the vehicle. I have spent more money maintaining ...
I've had my 2002 subaru forester since it was brand new. My unhappiness with this vehicle is because of the maintenance costs and the unreliability of the vehicle. I have spent more money maintaining this vehicle than any other I've owned. 168,00 miles and I'm on my 3rd clutch, with the current one showing signs it needs replacing. There is always some wheel or bearing issue. The original catalytic converter needed replacing. The CV joints have been replaced 3 times. I've always maintained the vehicle as recommended on time, yet had to do an engine rebuild and head gasket at around 120K. In addition, the check engine light has been ON about 80% of the life of the car. As soon as I repair what the computer says needs repairing, the check engine light comes back on. Very frustrating. Not a car that I'd recommend.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car

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