Model Details

2005 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews

4.1
Average based on 18 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 18 reviews

Small but tough

by from Fort Myers, FL on February 25, 2011

I traded a noisy but nice 2006 Corolla for a super low mileage 2005 Subaru Forester. Had the money for a new one but did not like the smaller windows and larger size of the new model, which still only...
I traded a noisy but nice 2006 Corolla for a super low mileage 2005 Subaru Forester. Had the money for a new one but did not like the smaller windows and larger size of the new model, which still only holds 4 people in comfort. The Forester has the best visibility of any car I've owned with upright windshield and giant rear window. Guess I will not need a $500 rear TV to back out of the supermarket lot! Car is perfect height for getting in and out of. Averages 25 mpg which means the AWD is free compared to newer mini SUVs with 2WD. Finish of the car is impeccable and the 2.5 liter engine has plenty of ooomph when you need it. With seats down you can carry almost any HDTV Wal-Mart sells.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

20 out of 20 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Our Second '05 Forester

by from Potomac Falls, VA on February 22, 2011

My daughter totaled our first '05 Forester, which was bought new. She rear-ended a commercial van, but didn't get a scratch herself. In a less well-constructed car, she could have been severely injure...
My daughter totaled our first '05 Forester, which was bought new. She rear-ended a commercial van, but didn't get a scratch herself. In a less well-constructed car, she could have been severely injured. So I bought another '05 Forester. These cars retain their value! I put a few extra bucks into the "new" one to get one with lower mileage. It drives just like the first one - sure-footed, all-wheel drive handling, plenty of power to get out of a bad situation, but not too much for a young driver to get into one. Plenty of cargo space. Our first Forester never had a problem, and I don't expect any with this one. It's a great car!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

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

wouldn't drive anything else!

by from Edwards, Co on January 15, 2009

I live up in the mountains in colorado and that is a true test of a car's durability. The temperatures range from -20 F to 98 F where I live. Most of the people in my neighborhood drive a subaru becau...
I live up in the mountains in colorado and that is a true test of a car's durability. The temperatures range from -20 F to 98 F where I live. Most of the people in my neighborhood drive a subaru because they last the longest, preform the best in the snow/rain/ice with the full time AWD, and are very reliable cars. They hold their value very well and are well built both inside and out. Every winter I use my forrester to tow at least two people out of snow banks on the side of the road. Living up here is my dream come true, but when it comes to a vehicle I need something I know will start and that will run for years under these harsh conditions. The sheer number of Subarus in the rocky mountains is a testament to how great these cars really are!
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

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

Does recommend this car

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

4 Years Later...

by from Buffalo, NY on March 8, 2009

After four years and 55000 miles, this car is about to leave my fleet. This has been a really good car overall. Maintenance costs have been practically nil, except for a new set of tires and the recom...
After four years and 55000 miles, this car is about to leave my fleet. This has been a really good car overall. Maintenance costs have been practically nil, except for a new set of tires and the recommended services. There has been once recurring problem with faulty iginition coils, I'm on my third one! With one covered under the factory warranty, I'm only out $250 or so on mechanical repairs. It also seems to be a problem with these vehicles (according to CarTalk and the dealer) that spiders have a habit of weaving webs in the gas tank vent causing fuel fill problems. Easily fixed, though. This car has received more than an average amount of use off-road and in crazy weather conditions and has held up well. I managed to get stuck in a deep, icy rut on the side of the road once but in fairness I was really pushing my luck with that parking space. This car has performed as well as expected. This car has been improved greatly in the 2009 model, with reduced interior noise, four wheel disc brakes all the way around, and (thank goodness) a bigger fuel tank. The 2009 had better have a better windshield defroster, too. Every car is going to have its quirks, so I reaffirm my thumbs up and look forward to my shiny new 2009.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Work

Does recommend this car

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great Safe, dependable fun car

by from MPLS, MN on October 9, 2007

Had my 05 Forester for almost 3 years. Just traded to get a bigger vehicle but it was a great car. Excellent handling, fun to drive (has some zip) and had zero problems with it. Only complaints were M...
Had my 05 Forester for almost 3 years. Just traded to get a bigger vehicle but it was a great car. Excellent handling, fun to drive (has some zip) and had zero problems with it. Only complaints were MPG (little low for a 4cyl), road noise and rattles. Absolutely GREAT in the snow. Great for towing small trailers. VERY solidly built. Had a couple people rear-end me and absolutely NOTHING happened to the forester. Not even a smudge on the bumper.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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

Do Your Research first

by from Denver, CO on October 26, 2015

Many of the good reviews here are owners that are embarrassed to admit that they were wrong. BEWARE!! The Foresters from 98-2009 are good for about 60-70k miles, then the problems come, with head gas...
Many of the good reviews here are owners that are embarrassed to admit that they were wrong. BEWARE!! The Foresters from 98-2009 are good for about 60-70k miles, then the problems come, with head gaskets. We've had 3 in the family and all eventually get there. If you don't believe me, just Google Forester Head Gasket problems. Very disappointed at Subaru as they will not do a recall, for 10+ years they have known about the problem. If you go ahead and buy one, don't say I didn't warn you..... I can't wait for all the owners who gave a good report to do a follow-up review, not to mention..still uses rubber timing belt, there goes more money....please do your research before buying.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does not recommend this car

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

Car, Truck, no its a Forester

by from Buffalo, NY on August 19, 2006

This was the first vehicle I have puchased new, and the biggest selling point is that even the base model had everything I needed. I live in the North (snow), frequently travel to construction sites ...
This was the first vehicle I have puchased new, and the biggest selling point is that even the base model had everything I needed. I live in the North (snow), frequently travel to construction sites (mud), carry a lot of tools and equipment around (station wagon), haul around ladders (truck), make long trips on my service route (econo-box), am starting a family (safety), and wanted something I could work on myself if need be (cheap). After comparing a dozen or so vehicles in its class, and knowing a few fanatical fans of Subarus, I couldn't come up with a reason not to go for it. The standard features are just what one needs, without too many frills. Everything about the car is comfortable, except I feel that on the highway there is a bit too much road noise. I'm used to driving bigger, more luxurious vehicles so maybe I'm just picky, but on long trips I have a tendency to arrive just a bit crankier than my spouse would like. However, it could be much worse. The seats are very supportive. The 4 cylinder engine is enough to make the car peppy when I'm the only thing in it, but load it up with 4 people and some luggage and you definitely notice the engine strain. Turning on the AC likewise really bogs it down. I can't complain too much, though, because the gas mileage is adequate. A V6 would just make me angry every time I stop at the gas station. Handling is suprisingly good for such a tall vehicle. It corners very nicely, is swift to change lanes, is a dream to parallel park, and stops on a dime. The 2006 models have a package with 4 wheel disc brakes and much larger outside mirrors, which I feel are important safety items that should be standard. I wish I could have held out a year for that. Styling? What's that? Subaru could have done worse. Its not exactly eye-catching, but it isn't goofy-looking or available in garish colors like some competitors out there. You can't hide what this car is: a four-wheel drive station wagon for tall people. It looks like the sensible vehicle it is. The interior design is good, though after a year I still have to think about which stalk sticking out from the steering wheel does what... especially when getting out of one car and into the next. Leg room in the front is outstanding, and so is the cargo volume with the rear seats down.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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

So far, so good

by from Budd Lake, NJ on March 23, 2014

I've only had this car a few weeks, but so far I like it. My only negative is that it's too low, and that's just me. I have been driving either mini vans or larger SUVs for so long, I'm used to riding...
I've only had this car a few weeks, but so far I like it. My only negative is that it's too low, and that's just me. I have been driving either mini vans or larger SUVs for so long, I'm used to riding up higher & having a better view of everything; especially with the high piles of snow we still have here. Going from an 8 cyl. Ford Explorer (2 of them) to this 4 cyl. smaller car, I'd say I'm pleasantly surprised at the power, especially for an automatic. The smaller cars I used to drive were 5 speeds. It has a decent amount of interior storage compartments also. I did buy a narrow pillow to put between the 2 front seats because I'm used to having a higher console to rest my elbow on, which this doesn't have.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

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?

Favorite car

by from South Carolina on July 12, 2015

The only reason it didn't get 5 stars overall, is the wind noise from the frame less windows, and not a lot of sound deadening for the cabin. The engine is quiet, but the heat shields for the engine t...
The only reason it didn't get 5 stars overall, is the wind noise from the frame less windows, and not a lot of sound deadening for the cabin. The engine is quiet, but the heat shields for the engine tend to rattle at low rpm. Nothing extreme or annoying. There's also no middle arm rest, which we've gotten used to, but would be a nice extra. We've had it a few months, and have used it to tow a trailer and an engine/transmission for an old mercedes and it pulled without a problem. We get an average of 26-30 mpg which was bettter than expected. We love this car and will drive it until it dies, then replacing it with another Forester.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

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?

My second Subaru

by from Germany on August 14, 2015

Traded my 1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon for the Forester Automatic, i like the quiet ride and the smooth transmission, leather-seats are nice to have, the AC is ice cold. I used to be a Volvo-lover, but i ...
Traded my 1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon for the Forester Automatic, i like the quiet ride and the smooth transmission, leather-seats are nice to have, the AC is ice cold. I used to be a Volvo-lover, but i like the Subaru too. I´ve only got this car for a few days now, so let´s see.
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?