Subaru Forester 3rd gen

Subaru is capable of evoking strong emotions. That's probably not a bad thing. The third-generation Forester (SH) is often considered not that original SUV, but a decent family crossover. Even, rather, a station wagon that can be driven off the road if desired. Back in 1997, the year the first-generation Forester went on sale, the situation was somewhat different. Then all-wheel drive crossover on the basis of Subaru Impreza seemed really quite distinctive and partly even incomprehensible. All the same, all-wheel drive, opposition motors, a signature Subaru sound and... some "forester". Besides, it seemed to have a high landing and a decent clearance, but there was no frame - a load-bearing body. That was very rare back then, too. Someone appreciated its good reliability, someone - presence in the lineup of two-liter turbocharged engine, which allowed a little more than just to go to the nature.


Paintwork and bodywork

That's not to say the Forester rusted and rotted quite so brazenly. But owners of these cars, too much rejoicing in the presence of all-wheel drive and high ground clearance, are sometimes disappointed in the quality of paintwork - it is very soft and easily scratched. So you should be more careful in the forest: "When driving through forests and fields, you have to maneuver deftly, and sometimes you have to wave an axe. Otherwise, the car will change from metallic black to metallic silver. I paint over the chips, where in time you do not have time to paint - rust appears (if the chip to the metal). But so on - no traces of corrosion for a year.

A lot of people have complaints about the bumpers. More precisely, to the fasteners. There are also questions about the torsional rigidity of the body, which is especially noticeable off-road: "The body is weak, like plasticine. In case of diagonal curvature the rear door cannot be closed".

But the windshield, which cracks as easily as family life after cheating, raises the most questions. Most likely, the angle of inclination is to blame: the glass is almost vertical, so any pebble on the highway hits it very noticeably. Don't think that Forester is the standard of reliability. It has problems, at least, one problem is for sure, and we will tell about it. But it seems that the car does not have annoying constant breakdowns - small and large. And there are a lot of cries of joy about it on the Internet: "For 11 years of operation practically nothing failed, only consumables and trifles were changed". In general, they are rather monotonous: "For all the time of operation it has never "got sick", only scheduled maintenance". Probably, let's not occupy the air with idle chatter. Forester does not fall apart by itself, and it is good.

Fuel consumption

Here the situation is not quite unambiguous. On the one hand, there are plenty of complaints about appetite on the Web. But, as it seemed to me, not everyone complains fairly. On the average for a car with automatic transmission we get approximately such figures: highway - 11,5-12,5 liters per hundred kilometers, city - 16,0-16,8. But, as many correctly say, "the question is debatable, because it depends very much on the right foot of the driver". I think, it is not so much. 

However, there are still a lot of complaints about consumption. "It eats like a horse", "eats gasoline like an airplane", - Forester owners moan in the Internet. And if they moan, we notice it, because objectivity is our everything. 


Even fans admit that the Forester's interior is rather modest: "The interior is ascetic, and over time, cheap plastic and eternal crickets become annoying". And it would be all right - ascetic, the second part of the review is more interesting. It seems that "eternal crickets" is what the Forester gets in reviews from almost all of its owners. There are a lot of extraneous sounds inside, and not everyone can put up with it. 

The second drawback is the quality of plastic. Sometimes they say more specifically: "Very easily scratched door elements in the cabin (painted)". Especially often on quality of plastic complain those who rejoice off-road possibilities of Forester. Apparently, those, who take care of the car, also treat the interior more reverently.


Opinions about the Forester's suspension are another illustration of either the car's inconsistency or people's inability to evaluate their car. They literally contradict each other. And they contradict each other vehemently and unapologetically. Someone complains that the suspensions are too soft, which makes the car almost uncontrollable, while someone else is convinced that everything is exactly the opposite - the suspension is tooth-crushing, and it is better to drive only on asphalt.

It looks like this: "Soft suspension, which on the test drive showed itself with a positive side at low speed, in fact turned out to be a spoonful of tar in a barrel of honey. The rear part of the car swings to the state of nausea of rear passengers. At high speeds it is simply dangerous - the rear of the car bounces." And literally the next owner says the opposite: it is very unpleasant to drive on an uneven road (rural)". 

Stiffness of suspension and aspiration of Forester's stern to dance on bumps is not all claims. Many complain that the suspension is not very enduring. They say that it "always rattles". However, such claims are not very much, more often in knocks the steering rack is guilty, which resource really does not please. Well, those who do not drive on bad roads are usually satisfied with reliability of running gear.


Maintenance cost

It would seem that Subaru is not the kind of car that is bought because of the low cost of maintenance and repair. And yet Forester owners often note that the car does not cost them as much as they expected. But again - with one small condition: the car should be properly maintained. If you constantly drive on potholes and do not check the oil level, the repair will cost a lot of money. But if you take care of the car, it will not ruin.

Besides, rumors about complexity of Subaru in service are greatly exaggerated. And, yes: plugs on Forester can be changed without removing the engine. Surprisingly, but many people prefer to service the car themselves. And the reason is not only in the desire to save money, but in love for their Forester and availability of this fascinating process: "Simple car in maintenance and repair, all parts are available, suspension parts and arm silent blocks are changed separately, there is no need to buy levers".


As we've said before, the Forester is more of an all-terrain vehicle than a crossover or SUV. It does a good job of combining the comfort of a passenger car with the ability to climb through mud. At the same time, it looks stylish, which, of course, is also important. And all this together gives full moral right for existence of such reviews: "Versatility for such money - there are no competitors! ... This is the most universal car for this money, a universal in all senses, a car for any weather and any road". Or so: "A car for any occasion - for the city with its traffic jams and bad roads, and for country trips, where there are no roads at all, but only mud and clay", "an opportunity to feel yourself on the high-speed highway and off-road" .... In short, such praise is a regular occurrence, and the Forester deserves it.