Subaru Forester (2002 – 2008) Review

Looking for a Subaru Forester (2002 - 2008)?
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Subaru Forester (2002 – 2008) At A Glance


+Very useful off-road yet an enjoyable car-like drive on tarmac. Looks and feels classier than its predecessor. Well built. Owners rate it.

-No diesel version. High running costs. Gearboxes and clutches can be problematic.

On average it achieves 99% of the official MPG figure

Looking for a Subaru Forester (2002 - 2008)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a Subaru Forester (2002 – 2008)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

Real MPG average for a Subaru Forester (2002 – 2008)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

21–36 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

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Ask Honest John

What antifreeze should I use in my car?
"Can you tell what type or brand of antifreeze I need for my 2005 Subaru Forester?"
Halfords offer a service where you enter you reg number and it tells you the best type for your model:
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Can you suggest a second-hand, cheap, small 4x4 to tow a trailer?
"Can you suggest a second-hand, cheap, small 4x4 to tow a trailer? The car will be used for infrequent short journeys to pickup furniture, logs and building materials with the occasional longer trip. Ideally, I wish to spend less than £5000 and would like a car that has some interest with the potential to become a "classic"."
It sounds like a Land Rover Defender would tick all the boxes, but it has potential to be a money pit for £5000. A Subaru Forester would be an interesting alternative.
Answered by Andrew Brady
When should I replace the gearbox and diff oil on my Subaru Forester?
"I have a 2004 Subaru Forester 2.0 automatic which is approaching 100,000 miles. I hope to keep it for several more years. Would you recommend a complete drain and refill of the automatic gearbox and rear differential oils?"
The centre diff may also need an oil and filter change. But a torque converter transmission cannot simply be drained. The fluid won't all come out. It needs to be pumped out at the right temperature and pressure and replaced in a dialysis process by a member of
Answered by Honest John
Is the hand car wash damaging my alloys?
"I have had my car hand washed five times at a one of the local sites. I have been complemented on the finish but having recently had to removed a wheel, have noticed that the lacquer has been stripped off in places. It has been suggested that brick acid is sprayed on the wheels to remove stains. The wheels are totally unmarked and wondered if i just purchase a can of lacquer or should I get a professional repair? "
Yes, these guys often use acid based sprays to quickly remove brake dust and this takes off the lacquer. Professional repainting costs will start at around £50 a wheel: Wheels require high temperature resistant paint because of the heat generated by the brakes.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Subaru Forester (2002 – 2008) cost?

Contract hire from £478.17 per month