2003 Subaru Forester Review from Australia and New Zealand

2003 Subaru Forester XS 2.5 petrol

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.5 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired30000 kilometres
Most recent distance60000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Skyline

Summary:

Talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk

Faults:

Central locking stopped working.

Heavy fuel consumption.

Rough running, stalls easily.

Heavy depreciation on purchase price for both me and the previous owner.

General Comments:

Feels solid on the road, handles well, easy to drive and park.

Dashboard and door trims cheap quality plastic, even on XS model, but XS seats are good.

Uses fuel like a much larger car, and I am not a lead foot.

High cost of parts and servicing. Poor dealer support.

Car is unnecessarily complex mechanically in relation to what it delivers. For example why have a low-range reduction when the ratio is only 1.1 to 1? Needs to be 1.5 or better to be worthwhile.

Wheel arches are too small so I could not fit higher profile tyres when original 215 x 16 x 60% wore out. Subaru should have stuck with 15" rims like on earlier model as 60 profile tyres are useless in sand - not enough sidewall bag.

Depreciation is shocking. First owner paid $38000 new in late 2003. Three years later I paid him $24000 for it. Now, three years further on it's worth about $12000!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st December, 2009

24th Aug 2010, 06:26

Stop taking it through the sand and off road and it will hold its value better. It's an SUV.

Average review marks: 5.4 / 10, based on 1 review