Product Reviews

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A car-based SUV, such as the Forester, provides many of the advantages of a traditional sport-utility--all-weather versatility, higher seating position, and interior space. In addition, it offers the comfort and road manners of a car.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2001. Side air bags available from 2001, standard from 2003. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags standard from 2009.
Road Test
A car-based SUV, such as the Forester, provides many of the advantages of a traditional sport-utility--all-weather versatility, higher seating position, and interior space. In addition, it offers the comfort and road manners of a car.
Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (165 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2000 Subaru Forester owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

“The head gasket had to be smoothed and rebuilt”

Faith E., FL (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine overheated while driving - diagnosed as head gasket failure”

Jan S., AR (2000 Subaru Forester)

“Head Gasket Leak is fairly small causing some coolant and oil leaks. Has not been repaired due to cost and the car is still driven anyway with no operational issues”

Gerald H., CO (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket leaks. It has been a Subaru problem in the past and it will need to be replaced...$2000-$3000”

Anonymous, MN (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket leak allowed exhaust gases into the cooling system, resulting in erratic engine temperature readings”

James R., CA (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“slow oil leak. traced to the gasket. it was replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Head gasket leakage (coolant) was a well-known problem for which Subaru offered a free gasket replacement under conditions we barely didn't meet (time and/or mileage), according to dealerships. Subaru never again”

Steven M., OR (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“oil loss over short time period due to need to replace head gasket. Very expensive maintenance issue”

William O., NY (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This was a recall item with my 2000 Forester...car was taken in and serviced, only to have head gasket begin to go regardless. I have not had it replaced at this point...using car to get around town during winter months mostly...will not take on lon”

Anonymous, NY (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Apparently this is a characteristic of early 2000 decade Subarus. The head casket began leaking engine coolant I had head casket replaced”

Anonymous, NJ (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“head gasket failure resulted in coolant leak into cylinders. This caused overheating. Known issue with some model/years on these cars”

Anonymous, NM (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“THE CAR IS 15 YEARS OLD AND PARTS WEAR OUT”

Anonymous, NY (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“CHANGED TIMING BELT AND HAD THE HEAD GROUND DOWN”

Anonymous, PA (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“With the changing of the timing belt and mounts we also replaced the water pump”

David R., KS (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

“Rear seal failed”

David C., WA (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“engine leaks oil, unable to locate location of leak, not repaired”

Anonymous, CA (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Slow oil leek may be causing odor from engine”

Anonymous, FL (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Some drips of oil on driveway”

Anonymous, NM (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Engine computer

“The "check engine" detector was replaced during the warranty period. More recently, the detector was cracked and required replacement which revealed that the "oxygen mixing" part was malfunctioning and required replacement. The system is functioning”

Robert B., CA (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Engine knock or ping

“Sorry, this car is 2000 miles away and a friend sent it for repair. I have no idea what the diagnosis was”

Daniel R., TX (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“After the head gasket replacement, the pistons on the DS bank have had a increasing piston slap noise that was not present before the gasket replacement. The head gasket was done by a dealer”

David D., MI (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“I have had to replace the clutch on this car several times. (I don't remember whether it is 2 or 3 times.) Since I have needed few other repairs, that doesn't bother me that much, although I do wonder whether car manufacturers take manual transmissions seriously in cars other than sports cars”

Anonymous, NY (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“I have had to replace the clutch twice once in 1997 and again in 2013”

Anonymous, CA (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“It was a result of a previous accident. The issue wasn't immediately known”

David R., KS (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“This my2000 car had clutch issues through first 60k miles, then revised clutch parts were issued. New clutch now exhibiting same issue. Shop is researching”

Anonymous, IL (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“lurching, failing to shift smoothly”

Anonymous, MD (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Torque converter

“decreased power, shuddering”

Anonymous, MD (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

“just cost and inconvenience”

Roger H., IN (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“Gaskets around doors have loosened and are falling off”

Anonymous, CO (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“paint all over the vehicle I chalking and fading”

Anonymous, NV (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“A small area near the passenger side door window has bubble and the clear coat is separating from the paint”

Anonymous, KY (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

“Quite a bit of rust in various places.Some of the rust in areas where road salt would rarely get to”

Michael H., CT (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“both back wheel wells”

Anonymous, MI (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“some minor leaks in the AWD system”

Anonymous, FL (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Tailgate squeaked but I eventually solved the problem by cleaning and lubricating it”

Anonymous, CA (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Back door rattles no matter how many times we re-close it”

Anonymous, NM (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Air or water leaks

“engine leaks water, unable to identify location of leak. not repaired”

Anonymous, CA (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Overheating

“Engine froze, overheated, had to be hauled, expense of engine rebuild more than value of car now”

Joyce J., NM (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Already described in previous question. The engine suddenly overheated whilst driving to work”

Jan S., AR (2000 Subaru Forester)

“had to buy a new one”

Anonymous, NY (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Thermostat

“CAR OVERHEATED AND RADIATOR HAD TO BE REPLACED”

Anonymous, PA (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

“The check engine light comes on and goes off, Subaru says that it would be a MAJOR repair to fix and that it isn't really a serious issue”

Anonymous, KY (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“disconnected at the converter and leaks close to the muffler”

Anonymous, MI (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“repaired twice”

Anonymous, MI (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Pipes

“rusted out”

Anonymous, ME (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“Similar issue with emission control...recall item...oxygen sensor was put in...just a bandaid for a much larger problem”

Anonymous, NY (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“See also previous comment. Defective knock sensor caused driveability issues, and meant that the "check engine" light was on most of the time”

Richard B., IN (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“My check engine light went on. It was casued by two factors, the oxygen sensor had to be replaced and the gas intake to the gas tank lost integrity and compomised the integrity of the system and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, NJ (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel gauge/sender

“I still have to get it fixed, the gas gauge does not work most of the time and can't be trusted when it seems to work”

Anonymous, CA (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“Both front axles needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, CO (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Shaking in steering wheel when in motion”

Anonymous, NH (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

“ignition module failed”

David P., CO (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
CV joint

“I did not realize I had any major problems with my car until my son drove it and noticed the problems. Buy the way the car was a 1994 model year not a 2000 model. In the past month I donated the car to Michigan organization”

Gene H., MI (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Drips from car are not too bad. Not worth fixing”

Anonymous, NM (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Fluid leaks from power steering system resulted in difficult steering and loud pump noise”

Anonymous, NM (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Front struts needed to be replaced. I was told this was common for this vehicle”

Anonymous, UT (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“seizing calipers are a design flaw of this car, this has happened at least 4 times since owning the car, purchased at 45,000, where the seizure has caused problems”

Michael S., IN (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced rotors”

Anonymous, WA (2000 Subaru Forester S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Regular brake failure

“Complete brake failure caused by the corrosion of a brake line”

Michael S., IN (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Keyless entry

“KEYLESS ENTRY FOB WORE OUT COULD NOT REPLACE THROUGH DEALER”

Richard L., NJ (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

“Needs replacement. Over $400”

Anonymous, MN (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“had to replace window blade”

Anonymous, NY (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

“The alternator had to be replaced”

Faith E., FL (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Spark plugs or wires failure

“Oil leaked through/past the oil seals, causing 2 spark plugs to short. Repair included spark plugs, plug wiring harness, oil seals, head gasket, and knock sensor (which was a separate problem)”

Richard B., IN (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“THE CAR DOES NOT GET HIGHWAY USE SO THE BATTERY DOES NOT GET RECHARGED BY LONG DISTANCE DRIVING, ONLY LOCAL SHORT TRIPS OF LESS THAN 5 MILES”

Anonymous, NY (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder)

“I had to take the car in three times to fix the clutch master and slave cylinders. At the final visit, they saw that a line needed to be repaired as well”

Scot F., PA (2000 Subaru Forester Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

“Slips when going from reverse to drive”

Anonymous, HI (2000 Subaru Forester L 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

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