1998 Subaru Forester LX 2.5 from North America


Subaru has a problem!! Lost our business!


4 sets of wheel bearings at $900 each.

Blown head gasket ($2500) Subaru refusing to admit they had a problem. Refuses to cover.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd January, 2008

25th Nov 2011, 21:39

I have a 1998 Subaru Forester with a blown head gasket. Now I must make the decision to fix it or get another car. I don't think I want another Subaru.

1998 Subaru Forester S 2.5 DOHC from North America


Excellent car if you take care of it well


Excellent car up to 180,000 miles. Then several problems in a short period of time.

The head gaskets went out. Found out it is a defect in the Phase 1 & 2 Forester engines. Apparently fixed by 2003.

Also replaced two CV boots.

Next a complete brake job including turning the rotors.

Then replaced both rear wheel bearings after a brief trailer tow.

All in a short period of time.

Still driving the car. Seems to be doing fine.

Repairs are costly. Complete brake job $680 US. Each wheel bearing $430 US. Each CV boot $196 US. Both head gaskets $2080 US.

General Comments:

Excellent handling in any weather.

A bit small.

I keep squashing the springs. Could use more cargo load capacity.

Very comfortable for long drives.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2007

1998 Subaru Forester 2.5L Flat Four from North America


Loves to go off road, but loves to go to the shop


Replaced knock sensor at 208000km. $440.

All new brakes, brake pads, rotors, 1 ABS ring, both front bearings, right rear bearing and 4 new tires at 217000km. $3000.

Engine blew on highway. New engine, water pump, clutch and flywheel at 230000km. $3500.

General Comments:

I love this car. It can go places that my old 4x4 truck couldn't (up steep hills in snow, through deep snow).

The 4x4 is amazing. But...

After owning the car for one year (23000km's) and spending $7000 on repairs, I think reliability is not its strong point.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2007

1998 Subaru Forester from North America


Costly repairs


I had to replace a clutch within the past year.

Last week I broke down and had the theromostat replaced.

This week I broke down and now am looking at replacing the head gasket. At least I am not alone in this boat. I broke down both times an hour away from home while in the field doing my job. I wasted 2 afternoons dealing with this.

This is a manual and every now and them when I am in first the gear shift pops out of first into neutral. I am considering something else.

I was hoping to get close to 200,000 miles, but I think this was a bum year for Subaru.

General Comments:

I love having all wheel drive, but do not love having to have things fixed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st February, 2007

1998 Subaru Forester LX 2.5L 4-cylinder Boxer from North America


Solid, reliable, functional car with excellent bad-weather traction and all-around handling.


Constant-velocity joint boot fell apart at 30,000 ($$$ repair), but dealer said that I picked up a piece of wire on the road that wrapped around CV joint and tore boot. Developed a rear main seal leak at 80,000 miles, another $250 repair. Recently, (90,000 miles) the airbag light is on constantly (time to take a trip to the dealer). However, generally a reliable car with little trouble. Nothing beats the 1987 Toyota Tercel Wagon I had before this for reliability. Replaced only a battery and starter in 145,000 miles! Original clutch when I sold it!

General Comments:

Functional design with high ceilings inside, large cargo area, easy to fold rear seats, good roof rack. Paint and interior materials have held up well at 90,000 miles. Seats are fairly comfortable, but firm. Backseat leg room is acceptable, not great. Idiot lights in AC control button and cruise control button have both gone out, although the curise control button light returned! Both features still function in spite of lights out. AC is barely acceptable; most cars have more powerful AC.

Mechanically, this has been a reasonably reliable car. Burns no oil, original clutch (even though I've taught two teenagers to drive on this car), no problems with transmission. Developed a rear main seal leak at 80,000 and spent $250 to get reparied. No other leaks. Will have to get that airbag warning light looked at by dealer.

Handling is excellent. Good cornering, excellent suspension, decent ground clearance for light-duty off-pavement use. Great traction in snow/wet. Performance is good with pretty good acceleration (standard transmission) and braking. Gas mileage is OK with 24-26 MPG in city or highway. The all-wheel drive must be keeping the highway mileage down.

Frame-less windows seal remarkably well, except the drivers door window which was smashed by a would-be stereo thief who was scared away by a neighbor. Replacement window has never fit as well as the original (some wind noise on the highway and hard to close door if all the way up). Tailgate began creaking within a few thousand miles, but I found the points that needed grease (where door-open sensors meet strike-plates) and re-grease every year or so.

I would buy another, or maybe an Outback?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2006