1999 Subaru Forester 2.5 liter from North America


I loved my car... now I hate it!


Another head gasket at 80,209 miles "This is unacceptable Subaru" Your badly designed engine cost me $1500.00.

General Comments:

This is the letter I sent to Subaru:

I am an owner of a 1999 Subaru Forester 2.5 liter with 80,209 miles. I just picked up my car from the dealership after paying $1551.34 for what seems to be a well documented defect in the design of the head gasket. I understand Subaru's position on this matter is that it comes from "normal" expansion and contraction of the engine... So is it also Subaru's position that it is "normal" for this engine to fail before 100,000 miles. I have been told that Subaru is aware of the problem and is not willing to help their customers with any of the costs of repairing this defect. I love my car, but now I am going to sell it as soon as I can because I can't risk having this happen to me again. I think Subaru should issue a recall for all of the cars with this problem before they discourage anymore loyal customers from buying a Subaru again. My biggest problem at this point is that I have lost faith in my favorite car company. I feel like I’m breaking up with my girlfriend by writing this letter. Please let me know if I am wrong about Subaru’s position on this matter. I would love for us to be okay again.

Subaru customer service called me this morning. I keep you posted on how they handle this... I still have hope that they will do the right thing.

Let me know about any class action lawsuit at benjaminp15@msn.com.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st February, 2007

1999 Subaru Forester L 2.5 from North America


I would recommend this car


I got less than 35k miles out of the OEM tires.

I have had a rear wheel bearing go bad at 97k miles.

Check Engine light has come on 3 times since I owned it. Once for a bad sensor. Two times I was told it was a loose gas cap. The cap was tight.

General Comments:

I have been very pleased with the overall performance of this car so far. In reading some of the bad reviews from this site, I would have expected a lot more problems than I have seen.

I have kept up with the scheduled maintenance and so far have had only a few problems. Nothing unexpected with over 100k miles on the car. I am hoping to get another 100k out of it.

My last car, 1988 Mazda 626, had 170k miles when I go gave it to a relative. They drove it for 2 years before selling it. I had to replace an alternator and a transmission on this car. The trans was at 94k miles at a cost of $2,400.00 (1994 pricing). So only having one wheel bearing go on the Forester is not so bad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2006

1999 Subaru Forester L 4 cylinder from North America


We are afraid to take it on a long trip


Wheel bearings went out at 4 times between 30,000 and 90,000.

General Comments:

Very dependable car, except for the wheel bearing problem. We will never purchase another Subaru.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th March, 2006

20th Mar 2006, 13:47

You will never consider another one of these great cars (other than the tribeca and forester) because of wheel bearings?

Buy an outback next time, it's a little smaller, but not much without the wheel bearing problem.

23rd Mar 2006, 18:55

Like I said I will never buy another subaru, when we contacted subaru they gave us the run around. When my last wheel bearing failed my right front wheel came off and I lost control of the vehicle and ended up stranded and in a bean field. NEVER will I give subaru any of my hard earned money going back to GM.

1999 Subaru Forester Limited from Australia and New Zealand


Great all rounder


Tyres 120,000.

Self levelling suspension Strut 125,000.

Water Pump 140,000.

Major Electrical fault 160,000.

New radiator Cap 180,000.

Rear Break Shoes 200,000.

Self Levelling Suspension Strut 205,000.

Cam Belt Tensioner 215,000.

Front Brake Shoes 220,000.

Wheel Bearing Rear RH 225,000.

Tyres 230,000.

Clutch 240,000.

Cam Angle Sensor 245,000.

General Comments:

Great Car, Good on road handling a bit underpowered (XT would be better) but cheap to run, tyres seem to last well. Off road also very good for light stuff, but limited wheel travel & ground clearance means you might have to take a slightly different line than your mate in a big 4x4 for any real heavy work, great on the sand! (don’t go off road without a metal sump plate).

Although the car seems very solid I’ve had my share of expensive repairs & should have sold it yrs ago, but have just put in a clutch, Tyres & lift kit.

I would buy another Forester, I’ve looked at other Soft Roaders & other than the Freelander (which seems even more unreliable than my Forester) nothing comes close.

I've got a few friends with Foresters & mine is the most unreliable, but also at 245,000ks the highest in kilometerage. For driving to work, Towing the boat, extended camping trips it's a great car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2005