1999 Subaru Forester S from North America


Gigantic lemon


Check engine light came on as we drove it home from the seller after the car was purchased

- 07/08: Head gaskets replaced, resurfaced heads, diagnosed engine cylinders for cracks, replaced shot radiator, thermostat, engine cleaned - BIG job, over $2000.

- 10/09: Engine light on again less than 6 months --- spark plugs, back tail light, AND leak in gas tank - $800

- 02/10: No check engine light, but the car starts to emit a burning smell, makes buzzing noises frequently - electrical problems due to undiagnosed water leakage --- windows/ doors/ alarm become inoperable and the car locks and unlocks and engine starts by itself! The car is possessed. $700 to fix electrical problems, cover exposed wiring and patch leaking spots, replace wobbly ball joint (still not fully patched since car washes cause the car to fill up with water, and right passenger front window does not work).

- 05/10: Car check engine light now back on and catalytic converter needs replacing. $1000 plus estimate

...thousands of dollars in repairs in less than two years, a used car that's worth $0... Subaru, NEVER again.

General Comments:

Are Pintos still available? I'd prefer that instead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th June, 2010

13th Aug 2010, 11:05

I've had a 1999 Subaru Forester S since I purchased it new. 11 years later, I have 198,000 miles on it and it's still running strong. The only thing I've had to replace are the normal things after so many years.. (spark plugs, battery, brakes). The one thing I did have to replace that was the most costly was the timing belt, which I had to throw down about $750.

I don't believe you can purchase a 10 year old vehicle from someone though and call it a lemon. Sounds to me like the previous owner ran the car ragged & didn't keep up with the normal maintenance. Sorry to say, but you just got the shaft from that seller.

30th Nov 2011, 13:48

All wheel drive is there to assist you in traction when accelerating. When it comes to stopping or going around corners, it's up to you to adjust your driving to the road conditions.

1999 Subaru Forester L 2.5L from North America


Scary in the snow


The engine had a lower end knock, and the front CV joint broke at around 100k. Otherwise the vehicle was reliable.

General Comments:

The vehicle has great visibility, and the cargo room was good for its size.

The seat are most uncomfortable I have ever been in. When driving over 3 hours, my right leg fell asleep no matter how I adjusted the seat.

The vehicle is also a bit scary in the snow and ice. It does an OK job driving in the snow and ice as long as you do not slide. Once the vehicle starts sliding, the AWD system tries to help traction, but the vehicle ends up spinning out of control (Consumer Reports has confirmed this in the latest reviews). I had the vehicle checked out by the dealer for any failed components after my scary skid, and there are no issues.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st November, 2009

1st Sep 2015, 15:09

AWD is only going to help if you use the gas pedal. Slamming on the brakes in the snow after you start to slide will only worsen things. You need to know how to drive in the snow; it's not the AWD. I've never once heard of a Subie being bad in the snow. I know in my Forester you have to try just to unsettle it in the snow. You must steer with the throttle in AWD... if it slides, just give it more gas and let the AWD figure it out.

21st May 2016, 21:15

I agree that this vehicle can be unpredictable in snow and rain once it loses traction. I would rather drive a rear wheel drive vehicle.