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2004 Forester

Consumer Reviews

2004 Subaru Forester

$2,691 - $9,215  MSRP Range
2004 Subaru Forester

Review Score

4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6

40 Reviews
98% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
3.9 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.6 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.7 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.2 out of 5 stars Performance
4 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 40 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Lots of power

by ForesterXT from Reedsville,Pa on Tue May 17 2011

I bought the 2004 Subaru Forester XT(Turbo) and it has lots of power and speed to pass other vehicles or entering a on ramp and it is really nice in the interior as well as exterior. I really like the car. The down side is the ride is a little rougher than the legacy outback and if you do your own maintenance work, the spark plug replacement on this forester is next to impossible due to lack of space between the head covers and the frame on each side of the engine compartment especially on the #4 cylinder next to driver firewall. I will be taking my forester to the garage and let them fight to get the sparkplugs out and new ones in.

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

Purchased a Used car

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

Does recommend this car!!

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Bar none, the most car for the money!

by Quick from Alaska on Sun May 11 2008

My wife's car, an older Honda Civic Si had served us well for years (150K +). It was time to consider a more appropriate vehicle and I was thinking CRV and RAV4. Cartalk had mentioned small SUV ratings of Consumer Reports, and Subaru Foresters were recommended. So off to the dealers I went. After unimpressive road tests in the CRV and the RAV4,the Subaru salesman said he had just the spot for me. We drove out to the end of a road, and he suggested that I drive up to the base of a cut bank at roads edge at about an 1:3 slope. I tried the normally aspirated X and XS models, but they were only 50% successful. The Forester XT climbed all the way to the top... Braking? No problem, I took my hands off the steering wheel, and gradually left off on the brakes, backing down without a hitch. I was impressed. Comfort? When it came time to move to Alaska, we put our top-side carrier (with camping gear)on top, our black lab with 'his gear' in the wayback, our luggage/gear in the back seat and headed north. 3,978 miles, 7 national parks, 5 states, 3 provinces later we pulled into our new home. Repairs? We had a oil temperature sending unit go out, still warranted and fixed. Dependable? It has never failed us, come rain or shine. Traction on glare ice? With studded snow tires (Nokian Hakapeliita 2), we'll drive confidently over glare ice that I'd hesitate to walk across. Features? Seat heaters, huge sunroof, mag wheels, defrosters for front and rear windshields and power mirrors, and last but not least, a turbo-charger. This last option is the best...boosting enormous additions of torque and horsepower, there is no lack of power for passing, climbing, and you can stay with the flow of traffic until way beyond reasonable. Mileage? When I'm driving the Forester will get between 17-23mpg; when my wife is driving, it'll get 22-28mpg. Unquantifiables? Smileage! Lots of smiles... Have we named the car? Yep, Quicksilver.

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
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

First Subaru

by I-5 Road warrior from Eugene, OR on Sun Oct 08 2006

It is a very nimble nice handling vehicle with plenty of power for interstate driving. Road noise is very bad though. I have had to resort to using ear plugs to keep my sanity and to be able to hear normally after the weekly 5-hour drive to Seattle. The cruise control also is in serious need of improvement. If one accelerates and passes another vehicle and then releases accelerator, the speed drops 5+mph below the set speed before slowly recovering. This makes the now following driver think you are an idiot or someting worse.

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

Incredible Value in this Car!

by Granite Junkie from Fresno, CA on Tue Apr 28 2009

I have to say this Subie has been one of my favorite cars. Its not a Lexus or Infiniti, but it has practical creature comforts (heated seats, mirror and windshield defrosters, auto climate control, etc) combined with industry leading reliability and function, especially for those that live in harsher conditions. These vehicles are made for people that want safety and reliability that may venture beyond the pavement or deal with snow, weather, etc. If you will do any mountain driving, this car handles incredibly well, especially if you upgrade the tires a bit. Visibility is exception, as is the usable cargo space...MUCH bigger and square-shaped than the other small crossover SUV competitors. We now have a 2008 Toyota Highlander, but even with the sport suspension, it is not even close to the handling ability of the Subie in the twisties. We just needed a bit more room, but I really miss the Subie for drivability. With the nice improvements in the 2009, I will likely get another Forester later.

4 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
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Great year-round car.

by Snowshovel from Chambersburg, PA on Sun Jul 12 2009

When I bought this car, on Car Talk recomendation and safety ratings, I was worried as I had a beautiful Nisson Maxima; a beautiful luxury car that I loved. I needed a car that was a little tougher, and this great car fits that bill, from mountain roads covered in snow to driving on the sand in the Outer Banks. I drive through twisty, mountain areas and need a car that is good in snow. My grandkids love the huge moonroof. My original brakes lasted 50,000+ miles. No major problems or repairs, honestly no minor problems either. It has loads of room for gifts, groceries,my huge dog. I am short and I love that I can raise the seat to be able to see clearly, and yet my very tall "friend" can also adjust the seat for his driving comfort.

4 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 New car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

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

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4 out of 5 stars

Subarus don't die

by EddieSergeant from Rochester Ny on Tue Feb 06 2018

It's been very practical and has never left me stranded. It's got it's quirks but what car doesn't. Only complaint is the noisy door seals at higher speeds.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 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 Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Safe, Reliable, Easy Maintenance, Snow Hound

by Arcadia from PA on Tue Jun 05 2018

Engine barely broken in at under 100K. Premium amenities at reasonable /affordable price. Approximately 23 MPH city, 26MPH highway. Only vehicle on the road in blizzard of 2016! Comfortable ride, great seats, lots of storage nooks, plenty of room for cargo inside and in roof rack. Lots of glass: no blind spots! HUGE electric MOON ROOF! Sadly, for sale and looking for a new home.

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 New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Fun car

by Jsse from Pocatello on Wed Jun 27 2018

Overall I really liked the forester xt. I didn't leave mine stock so if you are looking for that type of review this is not it. I bought the car, put about $2k into modifications and made 150 hp over stock. With a good tune it ran reliably, I never had a problem with it in 40k miles and it got as good gas mileage after the mods and tune as when it was stock but they dont get great mileage originally.

4 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
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

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4 out of 5 stars

Very roomy.

by Daeng on Mon Aug 20 2018

So far the car has been good. It looks nice on the inside and outside. It also handles well. The gas mileage isn't the best but it's a turbo so that's expected. It also uses synthetic oil so that makes the upkeep a bit more. Premium gas is also recommended and that gets expensive. Overall I feel it has been a good car.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 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!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Happy and Safe

by ConnieC from Elkhart, IN on Fri Aug 18 2017

It handles well at high speeds and it is 13 years old! This is my first Subaru and I may only buy these cars in the future!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 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!!

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

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Our Take on the 2004 Subaru Forester

Looks Aren't Everything
2004 Subaru Forester 2.5 XT

Many of us were happy in 1997 when Subaru of America introduced its Forester wagon. It seemed the perfect antidote to lust for large sport-utility vehicles -- an agreeably modest offering in the midst of motorized bacchanalia.

The Forester represented good wheels. It was large enough to carry a family of five but small enough to escape the stigma of being an SUV.

It came with standard all-wheel drive, a more benign and arguably more useful form of four-wheel drive for urban and suburban motorists.

All-wheel drive automatically transfers power from slipping to gripping wheels. It is engineered to keep you on-road in rain and snow. Traditional four-wheel... Read More