1st Generation (1998—2002) Forester Problems

Forester owners with a 1998—2002 model year have the most problems with the engine (47%), transmission (10%), and the wheels (10%). We've listed some of the most recent complaints below. The full list is available on CarComplaints.com.

  1. Automatic Transmission Failed 2 complaints at an average of 75,000 miles in the 1999 Subaru Forester.
  2. Coolant Leak, Blown Head Gasket 4 complaints at an average of 120,000 miles in the 1999 Subaru Forester.
  3. Leaking Oil 1 complaints at an average of 59,000 miles in the 1998 Subaru Forester.

What Forester Year is Most Reliable?

Generations are a good baseline for prediciting reliability, but there will almost always be year-to-year differences. We've calculated a reliability score for each model year within this generation, but we've based that score on how the model year compares to all Subaru model years.

Watch out for the 2001 model year which has the highest PainRank™ score in this generation.

Year Complaints Recalls TSBs PainRank (?)
2002 10 1 23 7.58
2001 23 0 25 10.07
2000 11 0 25 5.87
1999 12 1 25 5.88
1998 1 1 18 2.06

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