8th Sep 2001, 05:59

This car is the best all around vehicle we've ever owned. We even drive it in the Outer Banks (North Carolina's barrier island) ON THE BEACH. People in conventional 4X4's look at us like we are NUTS!! But we love it. We are keeping this car forever :) :) :)

25th Sep 2001, 07:14

I guess you didn't like it!

Snow is funny stuff - it demands a skillful driver. Even a GMC Jimmy will go in the snow.

3rd Oct 2001, 17:11

Sorry about your luck! My first Forester was a 1999 L model, I loved it! But they came out with the 2001 Forester S with the moonroof and heated seats, and I had to have that one.

It helps if you have a good dealer. We had to go out of town to get my car. My next car will be a Subaru again. Don't give up on the Subaru, they're a great car, just go to another dealer, or contact the Subaru company, they do try to help.

1st Nov 2001, 20:47

The numbers don't make sense...

WHY make up such a story???

$1500 for a brake job? AT 20,000 miles to boot?

You took quite a "ride" if you really paid this!!!

Most Subaru brake linings that I've seen last around 60,000 miles (96,000 KM).

Bad in the snow??? tell me another one... My Mom's Forrester will pull almost any 4x4 truck backwards!! You say there 20,000 miles on the car?? Hmmmm, just about the right mileage it might take for a bad driver to make set of tires bald...

Next time you feel the need to "slam" a car pick one that may have REAL problems, not a top-rated car like the new generation of Subarus. At least SOMEONE might believe you!!!

11th Jun 2002, 20:17

You got taken on the brake job!!! I just replaced my front brake pads for the first time at 59,000 miles. It only cost me 19.99 for the pads, with a lifetime warranty on them. Nothing else needed to be replaced or repaired.

7th Aug 2002, 09:06

I just traded my 1999 Forester S in on a Toyota truck. Was I dissatisfied with the Subaru? No Way! It was just not the idea vehicle for North Alabama. We average 1-2 inches of snow each year. The increase in tire wear (due to the AWD) and the mediocre fuel economy were unnecessary, If I lived in the snow belt, I would drive nothing but a Subaru.

The car never gave a bit of trouble, just expect to replace the tires at 20,000 mile intervals and if your average fuel economy exceeds 22MPG, consider yourself lucky.

This has been the only SUV I have ever driven that didn't feel awkward, It actually handles quite well.

16th Sep 2002, 14:05

Evergreen, CO -- I own a '98 Subaru Forester with 62,000 miles on it. I've had chronic brake issues (I believe the newer models have a more robust braking system). I also just found out that ALL FOUR struts are blown out and need replacement... total cost, over $1200. I bought a Subaru for it's supposed reliability and toughness. The one thing it does do well is go through snow (with studded snow tires it's even better). Next time, I'd buy a Honda for reliability and American made for toughness. Subaru's are just plain wimpy vehicles. Timmy B.

19th Nov 2002, 15:14

I see that there are a lot of people on this site that love the Forester. I really like the car. But I do not know a lot about repairs. My 2000 Forester has 37000+ miles. I am being advised to replace the brakes and all four tires (4/32). Bridgestone is giving me a really hard time about replacing the tires, they want to pro rate them and I pay the majority. As a single mom, this comes as a big expense just before Christmas. Any suggestions.

23rd Nov 2002, 17:22

I have a 2003 Outback and it is absolutely awful in the smallest bit of snow, it fishtails and it is dangerous. But it handles so well in the rain, I am pretty sure it is a defect with my particular car, as it is so out of line with the rest of the car's performance. Anyone else having unusual problems in the snow or ice with the Outback?

I have a lot of experience driving in snow and other 4WD or AWD vehicles, something is wrong with my car, anyone else out there have the same thing? The dealer just hooks it up to the diagnostic and if it doesn't come back with codes, they say it's fine, they don't care, any suggestions?

14th Feb 2003, 22:50

Thanks for the information about the fuel cap, cause my check engine light just came on for the first time.

This actually happen right after I filled up my gas tank.

Subaru first timer.

Forester 99.


2nd Jun 2003, 11:46

I have to agree that the Forester is a piece of crap! Brand new 2000 Forester and only 50,000 km and we need a new clutch. Subaru takes no responsibility. The car lost its pep after the first year (15,000 km) Continuous problems with reverse gears, clutch shuddering, check engine light faulty, squeaking brakes. It's not a safe car to drive. To those people who just love their Subaru's -- just wait a little -- it will fall apart.

25th Jun 2003, 09:21

I had trouble with the clutch on my 2000 Legacy. Completely died after 30K miles. This was preceded by a periodic burning odor, which started soon after buying the car. Subaru would not cover the clutch under warranty and the dealer tried to blame me for abnormal wear. This is my 5th manual vehicle and I never had such early clutch problems! Dealer wanted $900 to fix. After some yelling and screaming, they backed down to $300 as a "good will" gesture. In itself, this is quite suspicious.

27th Jun 2003, 10:50

The first time I looked at a Subaru Legacy (1989) and balked at the then-additional cost of AWD, the salesperson told me the AWD would pay for itself the first snow storm. He was right--seven months later on Valentine's Day a huge snowstorm hit Chicago and our Legacy was one of the few non-emergency vehicles able to navigate the 14" of powder. Saying all that to say the Subaru is one workhorse of a car.

We now drive a 2000 Forester and have had no problems with it. Much as I love the Subaru, however, the next new car won't be one unless they come out with a convertible.

9th Sep 2003, 08:51

We have two 1998 Foresters (his and hers). Approximately 125 K. Good experience so far. Very pleased with performance in snow, but I would like to have the later versions with a locking rear differential. Otherwise you can get stuck with wheels on one side spinning front and rear!

The only problem are brakes. Brake jobs cost us about $150 (USD) per wheel. This is because the rotors have to be replaced. They were designed too thin to have them machined. Otherwise this is a great car!

5th Oct 2003, 06:18

I own a 2001 Forester and noticed a lot of free-play in the brake petal. I was told the rear brake pads and rotors had to be replaced ---- the car has only 34,000 km --- isn't this a bit premature? My driving habits have not changed. My previous cars (Mazda) had double the mileage before I even had to think about brakes! Did I get "sandbagged"?

27th Jul 2004, 08:04


You may have had the same problem I experienced.

I have a 2001 Forester and noticed brake noise from the rear at 30K miles. Found the pads on both wheels worn down to nothing. Bottom line the pads are too tight in the sliders and therefore don't float. Even after I purchased new pads the spec's aren't the same. I therefore had to file the metal tabs slightly so the pads could slide freely in the assembly. This has applied to my front inboard pads also. There is a TSB even telling the Technicians to perform the same fix! This is ridiculous...

4th Jun 2006, 05:04

Sounds like you guys are being blackmailed by the dealer over warranty and resale value. I've changed brake pads many times on various Impreza and Legacy before I left UK in 2003, and it is so easy. Seem to remember a set of front pads cost some Stg.30.00 and rears somewhat less. So some $90.00 all round (but the rears never seem to wear out) for parts and an hour's work. Not only are dealer expensive, they are not totally reliable. And when you've done with the car, give it away to a younger relative or friend. It will pay off in good will assuming they can get it insured.

17th Mar 2009, 16:55

My 2002 Forester is due for its first front and rear brake job at 88,000 miles. My original tires lasted 60,000 miles. I live in Minnesota and we get 6 inches of snow on the streets during snowstorms. The car drives easily through it and the driveway, which is flat. The car is 7 years old. I consider it to be pretty reliable.