1999 Subaru Forester SX from North America

Summary:

Poor performance, high maintenance

Faults:

Poor paint quality was the first thing I noticed.

Poor tire wear quality even after appropriate rotations, balancing and alignments.

Check engine light constant until I had to change a block sensor in the gas tank. Nobody except Subaru knew what that was, but was a very high-priced item.

Road noises coming from rear after speed balance and rotation. Turns out wheel bearing needs to be replaced at 57,000 miles. Seems I'm the lucky one compared to other posts.

Brakes wear out faster than any car I've ever driven. This is another high-priced item.

General Comments:

I drove a Honda Accord LXI for 11 years and outside of normal wear and tear spent less than 2,000 in maintenance in 11 years. I only purchased the Subaru because I was tired of the color of my Honda and I wanted a mini-SUV. The Forester had great safety reviews, which was a major concern.

Very unusual and high-priced maintenance on this car makes me want to dump it. Every time I take it in to the dealer, I can't get out with less than $500 in repairs. For a 6-year old car with 57,000 miles, I've had it.

The best thing I can say about this car... it handles great in the snow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th March, 2005

1999 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5 from North America

Summary:

Never again, run away from Subaru's, your pocket book will never forgive you

Faults:

The list is long.

The rear brake pads have had to be replaced every 50,000km.

Both head gaskets started to knock at 60,000km, I was told it was a loose heat shield and a that few rocks had gotten underneath the shield. At 125000km the engine blew and the block cracked, the entire engine had to be replaced which of course was not covered by warranty. A portion was good willed.

While they were fixing the engine the drive shaft fell apart, so that too had to be replaced.

Right driver's wheel bearing went, $600.00.

Fuel line and coil were next, 2000km later, $800.00.

There are 150,000km on my car at current, in the past 25,000km I have spent over $5000.00 on breakdown repairs (and that is with good will). It would have been well over $10,000 without the good will, never mind the money spent on preventative maintenance which I won't get into.

General Comments:

Winter driving is a dream, add 4 snow tires and you are off!

Overall the car handles well in all weather conditions, if you can get over the fear that it might blow up on you.

Put additional money away for roadside assistance because you're going to need it.

The dealership service department in my experience is fantastic, so good that with all the breakdowns and unnecessary repairs I still take it to them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th January, 2005

18th Jul 2005, 07:52

Subaru dealers really charge like a wounded rhino in your area. Starting to think you need to sell a Subaru at 100,000km (before the timing belt change) while it still has some life in it. That rare beast, a turbo Impreza that hasn't been hammered (until you acquired it) seem to last longer. Perhaps an auto is a good bet as the heavy right foot merchants avoid it like the pest.

21st Nov 2009, 23:34

Be careful not to skid out in the vehicle on the ice. The car is very dangerous in inclement weather.

1999 Subaru Forester L from North America

Summary:

My Toyota and Honda are better!!!

Faults:

Transmission replaced @ 59900mi. Head gasket replaced @ 47000mi. Wheel bearings replaced @ 41000mi. All covered under warranty except the wheel bearings.

General Comments:

Reliable car in bad weather. Major parts had premature wear. Poor sound system. Easy to get in & out of.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2004

21st Nov 2005, 10:00

My Forester is in the dealer repair shop as I am writing this. Both rear wheel bearings needed to replace. Each bearing cost me US$350. This car only had 61000 miles on it.

Way to go Subaru.

28th Mar 2006, 08:35

82K Miles on my 2000 Forester. All 4 wheel bearings need to be replaced at a cost of $1092. Ridiculous.

11th Oct 2006, 06:23

I had to replace the same wheel bearing (rear passenger side) five times on my 99 forester. Finally we replaced the entire housing as well and it seemed to have worked, but this was after each replacement had cost ~$350.

At 160k we got rid of it since it needed a transmission, differential and front axles (even though the front axles had just been replaced within a month).

It handled well on the winding wet roads where I live, but I hope our new Honda Element will be more reliable.