1999 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5 from North America


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


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


My Toyota and Honda are better!!!


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.

1999 Subaru Forester L from North America


All wheel drive works as advertised


Battery failed the first year

Front rotors have to be turned or replace every 10,000 miles.

Radio stopped working in the third year.

Upper clock stopped working in the third year.

A/C stopped working at 60,000 miles. Cost for the A/C repair was $1300.

I now have an intermittent problem with the wipers not working when the car is turned on.

General Comments:

Car rides rough no matter what tires you put on it.

Back seat is too small for adults.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st August, 2004

1999 Subaru Forester S from North America


A dependable car, but only when under warranty


After 13,000 miles the speedometer failed which was replaced under warranty.

Around 10,000 miles I noticed the scent of antifreeze coming from the heater air. The head gasket was starting to leak and was replaced under warranty.

Around 40,000 miles I had the head gasket replaced under warranty due to the same circumstance.

Around 50,000 miles I noticed a drive train sound pitch change while traveling at 60 miles per hour in fourth gear. The car is currently in the shop.

I noticed that the wheel alignment is not correct as the car shakes while I drive. The odd thing is that I have not run into any curbs since I have owned the car.

The gear box has a different sound to it while driving around 60 miles per hour in fourth gear. This is a new sound which started several days ago. The same sound occurs at 90 miles per hour in fifth gear so it is definitely related to a specific area on the tachometer.

General Comments:

Thus far everything has been covered under warranty. However, my car is currently at Subaru having the clutch, gear box, and wheel alignment checked.

After the last head gasket repair I received a notice from Subaru stating that the 1999 Subaru Forester had a problem with a faulty head gasket. It stated that a specific antifreeze had to be added in order for an extension of an 8 year or 80,000 mile warranty to take place.

The cabin is very roomy, the seats are very comfortable for long drives and the all wheel drive handles well in the snow.

Even with the stated problems and general comments I would still purchase a Subaru. The newer versions are better and if I had the money I would trade my 1999 in for a 2003 or 2004 Forester. Meanwhile I will just keep my 1999 Forester.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd July, 2004