2003 Subaru Forester XS 2.5 litre non-turbo from North America
A reliable workhorse
There was one recall for a transmission parking pawl, and that was it. It briefly had an oil pump leak (very minor) which stopped on it's own.
My dad is really hard on the brakes. It's like he's on ABS all the time. And as expected he keeps going through brake pads and warped rotors. The next time this happens again I will go with the mechanic's advice and upgrade to bigger brakes from a WRX, which is a bolt-on mod.
There is a air leak in the front driver door window seal. Subarus do not have window frames in their doors, and my dad won't stop using the window to close the door, so this was expected. Hopefully I can get the glass realigned and fix it because at highway speeds it whistles quite loudly next to your ear.
Subaru batteries are junk! Ours died just outside of warranty in the middle of winter. I searched online and found out that I'm not alone. It has low CCA's and cold weather kills it.
We bought it as a workhorse for my dad, who is a property manager for several properties and is always on the road.
Interior space is a bit tight, but it's not a full size SUV. Interior trim is obviously geared towards utility, with a lot of rubberized or vinyl surfaces. The rear hatch area is not wearing well on it's carpeted surfaces, despite having a rubber cargo mat.
The paint chips easily. Apparently a lot of the new Subarus are like this. If it gets any worse I will repaint the hood and get 3M stoneguard done.
The OEM Bridgestones are garbage. I was so happy to see them wear out prematurely at 25k kms. I had replaced them with Toyo Proxes and haven't regretted it since.
The engine has decent low-end grunt, but it is not a high-revving motor, which means it is not that happy on the highway. But we spend most of the time in the city so it doesn't matter much.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th March, 2006