2005 Subaru Forester

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$2,174–$10,190 Inventory Prices
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
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Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2005 Subaru Forester. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance, especially in 2.5 XT
  • Driving ease
  • Quietness
  • Fuel economy

The Bad

  • Passenger space in rear
  • Minimal offroad capability
  • Ride comfort over harsh surfaces

Notable Features of the 2005 Subaru Forester

  • New 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition
  • Standard AWD
  • 210-hp turbocharged engine in 2.5 XT
  • Manual or automatic
  • Carlike structure

2005 Subaru Forester Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Subaru's "crossover" wagons for 2005 went on sale in early summer of 2004 with a handful of revisions and one new model in the lineup. At the 2004 New York International Auto Show, Subaru unveiled its latest collaboration with the L.L.Bean organization: the Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition.

The L.L.Bean Edition features special embroidered floormats, beige leather-trimmed upholstery and an auto-dimming compass mirror. The rear seatbacks and cargo floor are covered with a water-resistant surface, and this Forester version flaunts a large glass moonroof.

A potent new version of Subaru's crossover wagon debuted in 2004. The Forester 2.5 XT is equipped with a 210-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder that mates with either a standard five-speed-manual gearbox or an optional four-speed-automatic transmission. The value-priced 2.5 X and premium 2.5 XS use a 165-hp, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed engine. All-wheel drive is standard on all models.


Exterior
As part of its 2003 redesign, the Forester has flared front fenders, blister-type rear quarter panels and an enlarged grille. The Forester's appearance hasn't changed appreciably for 2005.

The new L.L.Bean Edition is the only model with steel-gray or platinum-silver metallic bumpers and body cladding. The bumpers and cladding are textured gray on the 2.5 X and body-colored on XS and XT models.

Features on the L.L.Bean Edition include a self-leveling rear suspension, s...
Vehicle Overview
Subaru's "crossover" wagons for 2005 went on sale in early summer of 2004 with a handful of revisions and one new model in the lineup. At the 2004 New York International Auto Show, Subaru unveiled its latest collaboration with the L.L.Bean organization: the Forester 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition.

The L.L.Bean Edition features special embroidered floormats, beige leather-trimmed upholstery and an auto-dimming compass mirror. The rear seatbacks and cargo floor are covered with a water-resistant surface, and this Forester version flaunts a large glass moonroof.

A potent new version of Subaru's crossover wagon debuted in 2004. The Forester 2.5 XT is equipped with a 210-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder that mates with either a standard five-speed-manual gearbox or an optional four-speed-automatic transmission. The value-priced 2.5 X and premium 2.5 XS use a 165-hp, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed engine. All-wheel drive is standard on all models.


Exterior
As part of its 2003 redesign, the Forester has flared front fenders, blister-type rear quarter panels and an enlarged grille. The Forester's appearance hasn't changed appreciably for 2005.

The new L.L.Bean Edition is the only model with steel-gray or platinum-silver metallic bumpers and body cladding. The bumpers and cladding are textured gray on the 2.5 X and body-colored on XS and XT models.

Features on the L.L.Bean Edition include a self-leveling rear suspension, security system, durable cargo floor and 10-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels. Raised black-letter, 16-inch tires are mounted on the 2.5 X, while the 2.5 XS has new eight-spoke alloy wheels.


Interior
Sport bucket seats in the front and a 60/40-split, folding rear seat can accommodate up to five occupants. Subaru emphasizes the Forester's high seating position. A Hill Holder clutch on manual-shift models makes it easier to start the car on inclines.

New beige or gray tricot upholstery is used in the 2.5 X, which includes an air filtration system. An eight-way power driver's seat is installed in the 2.5 XS and 2.5 XT.


Under the Hood
Subaru's Impreza series uses the same 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engines. The engine in the regular versions of the 2.5 X, 2.5 XS and 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition develops 165 hp. A turbocharged version that yields 210 hp goes into the 2.5 XT. A five-speed-manual gearbox is standard on all models except the 2.5 XS L.L.Bean Edition, which gets a four-speed-automatic transmission. The automatic transmission is optional for the other models.

Permanently engaged all-wheel drive is standard on all Subaru vehicles, but an active-type system in models equipped with the automatic transmission incorporates sensors that monitor weight distribution.


Safety
Dual-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags, front active head restraints and antilock brakes are standard.

Driving Impressions
Performance in an XS equipped with the 2.5-liter engine is satisfying. Unlike early Foresters, recent models also ride pleasantly over any reasonable road surface.

The Forester operates with light handling and a friendly, comfortable feel overall. It runs quietly and is easy to drive. Other than a bit of restriction of the driver's elbow, space in the front seat is good. The seats are firm but comfortable.



Latest 2005 Forester Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.2)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

Latest Reviews

(2.0)

A great car with a problem.

by Dave-in-CT from Middletown, CT on June 11, 2018

A head gasket problem. Motors shouldn't need head gaskets for at least 250,000 miles. Subaru gave us a new engine design in 1999 and for the next 12 years various models in their line-up had head ... Read full review

(5.0)

My first car

by Subydoo on February 5, 2018

I owned a 2005 forester from 100k miles to 150k miles. It was a wonderful vehicle, getting me through dozens of long distance road trips in snowy and rainy weather. I never had any issues besides ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2005 Subaru Forester currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Subaru Forester has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Forester received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker