Subaru Forester

Scott Brady

Does anyone own one of these cars? I have long been attracted to the practicality and thoughtfulness of these vehicles. Simple, reliable, great snow and graded road performance, etc. They are also quite capable to a limit, and it was not uncommon for me to see a Forester on Ophir Pass in Colorado or cruising the Comb Ridge dirt road in Utah.

Are there any skidplates available for them? A (very) small change in coil spring height?

I think the Aussies dig them too.



we had a '10 model for a couple months while my wifes impreza was getting some warranty work done. It had the same 2.5 l engine, averaged about 25mpg. I liked it, not as sporty as the impreza, but for an all around vehicle it would be a good one. I ran it at 95+ mph between here and Grand Junction while my wife was in labor, could have gone faster no problem.
With the automatic, you could go alot of places.
I have a buddy here who has lifted his subaru, he's been playing with spring combinations from different models trying to get it dialed in. He took his over baby lions back. We go rally around some of the trails and I'm impressed where it'll go and what it'll clear.

Skid Plates here
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I had a '98 - the '98, iirc, were the first year for the 2.5l engines which were notorious for head gaskets, mine blew both (I bought it used)

I think the 03+ are the ones to look for.

Easy to work on, (park vehicle, and 4 hours later, engine on a pallet in the driveway) solid vehicle and loads of room - way better fuel economy than my double cab tacoma.

I'll likely end up with another one at some point

I had the skid plates from the previous post on my forester - beefy.

We have a 2001 and it is great!

Replaced the head gaskets last year, purchased it used 1.5 years ago.

The only downside is automatic transmission...slow, even with the 2.5.

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
My friend has one....but not the Expedition version.

The factory STI version. Extremely rare apparently in the US.

He is selling it right now in case anyone is interested - this car is insane:


* VF39 STI Turbocharger

* APS Top Mount Intercooler

* APS Blow off Valve

* Tomei Equal Length Header

* COBB 3.0" Turbo Back Exhaust System with High Flow Cat

* APS 65mm Cold Air Intake


*STI Front Brembo Brakes

*COBB Front and Rear Sway Bars

* Swift- 1.6" Lowering Springs

* Dyno-Comp Performance 4 Wheel Alignment


* It is mapped for 91 octane fuel

380 Horsepower

410 TQ


I had an 04 model for 60,000 miles. Sold it and bought a 4x4 BMW that costs LESS then the same used Subaru!

-They are "hip"
-Easy to work on. Engine can be out of the car in 4 hours(and you will have it out regularly)
-Crappy vehicle so you can tear it up and not care(if you get over the purchase price)
-Lasts 300,000 miles with proper maintenance and repair work(like most cars nowadays)
-Parts are relatively inexpensive as there are lots of them out there
-Hill holder! Loved that thing

-Expensive to buy for the car you get
-Expensive to maintain as your always have to do something to it(timing belt, water pump, tune up, cam seals, crank seal, valve cover gasket every 80,000 miles). Wheel bearing every 60-100k. Clutch 60-120k. CV boots 30-100k. I used to work at an automotive repair shop for 5 years and we serviced mostly Subarus. I can go on and on about Suabru repairs if you would like.
-VERY loud inside especially with studded tires. Louder then my brothers diesel truck inside
-No power for the MPG(my BMW gets better MPG and has 2x the HP for example). I averaged 20 city only and 29 highway. Sometimes 31 on LONG road trips to Cali.
-Just a cheap feeling, cheap driving vehicle overall plastic car.
-HORRIBLE in the snow and ice in Oregon. After 2 different sets of studded snow tires I came to the conclusion that this car is unsafe to drive in slick conditions due to the short wheelbase. All the other Subarus I have driven in, and my friends and family have owned, do MUCH MUCH better in the ice and snow due to the longer wheelbase.

I can go on and on. Long story short, I sold it and bought a cheaper BMW and I will NEVER own another Subaru again. My sister bought a brand new 2009 Subaru, then drove my 10 year old BMW and cried as she just spent over 2 times the money on a new Subaru that didn't compare to my car at all.
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Automotive ADHD is fun!
I am regularly tempted by an assortment of Subarus, and every time I get in one I can't shake the feeling that I'm in a rental car. Great driveline, but if I had to spend any time behind the wheel NOT on a fun road, I think I'd go insane.

Also, my 200k mile Audi S4 has fewer squeaks and rattles than any used low mile (20kish) Subaru I have test driven.

Still... I wouldn't be too angry if somebody gave me one for free.


I had an 05 2.5RS which is mechianically very similar to the Forester. I did everything with it from daily driving, autoxing, rallyxing and even did a few TSD rallies. I am pretty sure in countries other than the USA you could get the Forester with a two speed transfer case and have low range! It would be really cool to import the bits and pieces to retrofit an American version.


Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
Scott, I've been thinking about buying a Suby for a couple years now. My sister has had three Foresters, continually trading up to newer and nicer, as she really loves it. They live in Colorado and where they take that stock Forester always blows me a way.

I really do want one.

By the way, the purchase prices are nuts. They're not giving these things away.


Expedition Leader
I have a WRX wagon and I love it for it's sportiness and practicality. Some of my family members are recent converts who have ditched their bimmers and Lexus' for a practical Subaru. In addition to my WRX wagon, my family has a Legacy, Outback, Tribeca, and Forester. And on top of the fact that it's easier to find a Subaru in a manual transmission. My family loves driving manual over automatic.

Also a roof rack is fitting for a subie. It's like peanut butter and jelly; they go hand in hand.

Scott Brady

Scott, I've been thinking about buying a Suby for a couple years now. My sister has had three Foresters, continually trading up to newer and nicer, as she really loves it. They live in Colorado and where they take that stock Forester always blows me a way.

I really do want one.

By the way, the purchase prices are nuts. They're not giving these things away.
We will have an older Forester for a small project in a few weeks. I think they are worth exploring a bit.


I don't have a Forester, but my '05 Outboack turned 150k miles on the way to work this morning. With this many miles, my only repairs have been 2 CV boots, one wheel bearing, and about 5 headlights. One CV boot and the wheel bearing were just done last week. Now compare that to when I turned 150k on the Discovery....

Great car and we love it. Great clearance, great in snow, great mileag, etc., etc.

I don't like the new Outbacks so if I was to pick up a new Suby it would be a Forester.


Funny timing, my parents are buying their second one tomorrow. They had an '06 with 70k miles before it was totaled last week. They absolutely loved it, but live in SoCal and never take it even in the dirt, which begs the question. . .

Anyway, they're my parents. :sombrero:

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