2004 Subaru Forester
1-10 of 26 reviews
Test drive review

Lots of power

by from Reedsville,Pa on 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...
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.
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Purchased a used car

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

Does recommend this car

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Solid vehicle with some quirks

by from NJ on February 9, 2011

The car is solid. Doors slam shut and feel solid. It is like driving around in a nimble little tank. That is the best thing about the car...the gas mileage, nimbleness and handling are all really good...
The car is solid. Doors slam shut and feel solid. It is like driving around in a nimble little tank. That is the best thing about the car...the gas mileage, nimbleness and handling are all really good considering the solid feeling of the car. So far so good on reliabGas mileage is solid for a car with awd and this size cargo area. ility, but mine only has 62,000 miles on it. On the downside: Excessive wind-noise at highway speed. I think the boxy shape of the car and window design cause this problem. It is really loud on the highway. There is also some kind of rattle in the engine when accelerating. I have researched this issue and it is common and difficult to fix. If you can deal with these quirks, you got yourself a solid car that is a pleasure to drive.
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Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a used car

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

Does recommend this car

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

A reliable friend

by from Bay Area, CA on June 12, 2016

After 13 years it's time to bid my Forester farewell. So bittersweet, as its purchase was a great decision and it doesn't feel all that dated. Pros: Extremely durable. I've driven this car t...
After 13 years it's time to bid my Forester farewell. So bittersweet, as its purchase was a great decision and it doesn't feel all that dated. Pros: Extremely durable. I've driven this car through everything and only ended up with scratches and scuffs So consistent. Even at 180,000 miles, gas mileage of 23/28 has held up and AC still runs cold Handling is adequate, as would be expected from a Subaru. Can tow up to 2,000 lbs Cons: Road noise is bad. Changing out the original Yokohama Geolander tires with Michelins helped, as did replacing original window gussets Like most cars, things start to go bad after 100k. In the last 3 years, I've had to replace front o2 sensor, rear wheel bearings, and now have a buggy air assist solenoid. Biggest caveat is leaky head gaskets, fortunately mine are holding thanks to using subaru coolant with a bottle of conditioner thrown in. Back seats are low and not comfortable. Also they do not fold 100% flat when down At 165 HP, a bit underpowered for a car this size.
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

Bar none, the most car for the money!

by from Alaska on 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 rating...
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.
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a new car

Does recommend this car

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

First Subaru

by from Eugene, OR on October 8, 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 ...
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.
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Purchased a new car

Does recommend this car

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

Incredible Value in this Car!

by from Fresno, CA on April 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, et...
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.
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

Great year-round car.

by from Chambersburg, PA on July 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, a...
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.
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car

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

Amazing, dependable, affordable, and won't disappo

by from Philadelphia, PA on February 21, 2012

I am the single -owner (now former owner after selling this car) of a Subaru Forester 2004 WS car. Bought it new in 2004 and fell in love with it over the course of the next few years. never gave me ...
I am the single -owner (now former owner after selling this car) of a Subaru Forester 2004 WS car. Bought it new in 2004 and fell in love with it over the course of the next few years. never gave me any problems, no maintenance issues, NEVER gave me a check engine light, performed routine maintenance as per owner's manual, and handled well in snow (I live in the Northeast). If you're looking for a small SUV, with good gas mileage (24-26mpg highway), great cargo room, and reliable handling, you should definitely consider this car!
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Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Excellent Car for the Money

by from Vermont on June 8, 2010

I've had my Forest for six years and it drives as well as it did the day I bought it. I live in a snow belt and have never had a problem getting anywhere, even in 2ft of snow. I also live on a dirt ro...
I've had my Forest for six years and it drives as well as it did the day I bought it. I live in a snow belt and have never had a problem getting anywhere, even in 2ft of snow. I also live on a dirt road and the Forester handles both the mud (in the spring) and the bumps with ease. While not the most exiting car to drive or look at, it is one of the best most reliable cars I've ever owned. Its got 109,000 miles on it and no major maintenance other than standard things like timing belt replacement. In fact it still has its original exhaust system.
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Exterior Styling
Interior Design
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

first Subaru in family

by from Richmond, VA on April 19, 2010

The all wheel drive is very effective and impressive in snow and rain. Great seating position, visibility, headroom and overall comfort. Averages close to 30 mpg. Outstanding overall quality, reliabil...
The all wheel drive is very effective and impressive in snow and rain. Great seating position, visibility, headroom and overall comfort. Averages close to 30 mpg. Outstanding overall quality, reliability and value.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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