Used Subaru Forester 4x4 1997 - 2002 review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Advice for buyers

1997 - 2002 review
Subaru Forester 4x4 (97 - 02)
  • Subaru Forester 4x4 (97 - 02)
  • Subaru Forester 4x4 (97 - 02)
Loading interface...
Share review

Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Subaru Forester 4x4?

Subaru justifiably has a reputation for making solid, reliable cars, and the Forester does nothing to damage that. This version finished in the top two in its class in the JD Power survey in 2002 and 2003.

There have been no recalls on this version of the car and most online owner reviews have been very positive. The only complaints that come up more than once are that the bonnet chips very easily and that the clutch and transmission can judder noticeably, especially when cold.

Warranty Direct confirms that the Forester is one of the most reliable cars on the company's fleet, but warns that the clutch and driveshaft can give up after 60,000 miles.

Warranty Direct also says that claim rates are very high on Subarus, but that's largely due to the high numbers of Imprezas on their fleet, which are prone to expensive failures after being driven too hard.

What are the most common problems with a used Subaru Forester 4x4?

Is a used Subaru Forester 4x4 reliable?