2002 Subaru Forester S Boxer from North America


Replaced the muffler because it got damaged by road debris.

There is no rust, and the leather seats have held up well.

Our 2002 Subaru Forester S has cost nothing to maintain beyond the normal stuff like tuneups, oil, tires.

My sister has the same car, but has 260,000 on hers. She is heavy on the brakes, drives in traffic all the time, steers hard and drives in bad weather often (Chicago). She has put a ton of money into hers; struts, ball joints, steering linkage, cats, plug wires, head gaskets, timing chain, and has replaced all the bearings and boots at least once. Driver's seat frame broken. Like anything else, it's going to cost you to drive hard. This is why it's hard to find a good used one.

General Comments:

You'll be able to drive the Forester for years, just don't abuse it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2012

2002 Subaru Forester S 2.5 litre from North America


A Porsche for a quarter of the price


4 wheel alignment needed and an oxygen sensor.

General Comments:

This car is gorgeous, and can go anywhere through anything.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2011

2002 Subaru Forester XS from North America


What if the Japanese made Volvos? Yes, it's that good


Some rubber trimmings were coming off, some belts had to be changed.

General Comments:

Super comfy and quiet in town. Low gravity center makes for great handling. The XS is full equipped and looks great. It's hard to believe this car has 96000. Feels solid and firm when hitting bumps.

Motor isn't a high rev-er. It's got all the torque down there where it counts. 4WD isn't a luxury in Montreal where parking in winter resembles xtreme off road polar style. If you hate shoveling snow, get one of these. Had it for a while now, and intend to keep it a very long time..

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2010

2002 Subaru Forester from North America


Workhorse go-kart


I got the car 'cheap' from a dealer, so I was a bit scared at first. Usually that's a bad sign.

And sure enough, the check engine light went on a few miles after leaving the dealer. It took me about 3 months to get used to the car, when I realized (after spending on a few O2 sensors and bringing it to the dealer again and again) that it was just the catalytic converter that was shot. That tripped the check engine light often. But I didn't live in a town where I had to have the cat functioning properly, so I drove it like that. It drove amazing.

In one year, I had to only bring it to the shop to have the thermostat replaced, when the old one popped overnight when temps in Colorado dropped to 2 degrees.

General Comments:


I'm the kinda guy who thought these were the dumbest and ugliest cars. But driving the Forester in the 4 Corners (CO, Utah, NM, and AZ) is the funnest thing you can do. I goes everywhere. Same with the old '93 Legacy I used to have.

Hey, as long as you DON'T buy a Subaru with a 2.5L engine, you're OK! The 2.5L often has head gasket challenges, like the '97 Outback I have now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2010

2002 Subaru Forester 2.0X 2.0 Litre from UK and Ireland


Reliable and comfortable


No faults to date.

General Comments:

Nice looking practical estate car.

Engine and transmission very smooth, drive is stable and comfortable.

Seems a little underpowered at times.

Nice level of standard equipment, except for the radio; the buttons are very small and fiddly, replaced this for an iPod compatible one, which wasn't a big job.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2009

29th Nov 2010, 19:51

From the perspective of owning a Forester in Japan, please be advised as follows:

Negative aspects

-Good fuel economy on long run, poor on short journeys (turbo).

-Rear wheel bearings tend give up at around 100,000km. Expensive to change. Job must be done by expert. However, possible to fit the larger Legacy bearings.

-Limited space in wheel arches, which means even 70% profile tyres won't fit. Unless you get physical with the suspension.

-No proper spare wheel. Scrap yard sourced spare sits very slightly proud, but essentially no problem.

-Difficult to change spark plugs (Turbo), but fortunately the originals last at least 100,000km.

- Inside clock tends to fail. Stereo not that reliable.

Positive aspects

-Good traction on snow. Has LSD (Turbo).

-Good ground clearance (except STi).

-Reliable (up to 100,000km). Alternator/water pump belts last to 100,000km. No need to change fuel filter. Just remove, blow through from both directions and refit. Brake pads (fronts last about 50,000km, rears longer. Dead easy to change.

-Handles well for soft roader. Bit like a front wheel drive on gravel corners. Really needs a central diff.

-Easy servicing (except for spark plugs).

-Runs on regular petrol (including Turbo).

-Possible to angle out fog lights so they function as corning lights.

Worth considering Turbo/auto spec if available in the UK.

Bottom line: Seriously considering scrapping at 100,000km, particularly if approaching 10th birthday. A lot of expensive servicing/repairs fall due. Here in Japan, auction prices are so cheap that replacement is often the best option.