The Forester rides and handles like a good sedan. It also provides decent acceleration and good fuel economy for this class. The controls are well laid out and the interior is nicely finished. Access is easy and seat comfort is very good. Impressive crash-test results are another plus.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Feel it to be a little floaty at high speeds"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I have been driving the 2005 Forrester for over 13 years and it still handles like a champ. Good stout handling vehicle."

Anonymous, TX (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This car has always had superior steering and handling. Far superior to the 2012 Rav 4."

William E., NY (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Handles great in snow."

Anonymous, IN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"All wheel drive and all weather package is the best."

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Handles whatever we ask it to do: snow, ice, mountain highways, mountain dirt/rocky roads"

Anonymous, OK (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Handling has been excellent in all situations. Behavior of 4 speed automatic is not optimal, particularly when accelerating when already moving as it seems to downshift too far."

Anonymous, IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Tremendous pick up, and incredible stability."

Steven C., CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Safe car good acceleration"

Anonymous, NM (2005 Subaru Forester)

"acceleration and handling"

Anonymous, ME (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Vehicle has outstanding acceleration and handles well."

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I really like the way the car drives and handles including during snow and wet road conditions. My complaint is that there is a lot of wind noise! The car also can have some annoying vibrations, but it's pretty old. The wind noise is the one thing that bothers me regularly."

Kinderly P., OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Good: lack of any trouble, almost sports-car handling, outstanding acceleration for a 4-cylinder engine, extremely smooth and vibration-free idle from the horizontally-opposed engine design, and still at this high mileage no addition of motor oil needed in the 2000-2200 miles between oil/filter changes (always done at my Subaru dealership). Bad: Extremely hard and uncomfortable seats (noticed especially on trips!) and sometimes badly-timed downshifts of the automatic transmission (poor tractability)."

Anonymous, MA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"nice and strong acceleration good handling"

Mary M., FL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The acceleration is adequate, not breath taking, like my Camry Sport, but the ride and handling blows the Camry away."

Robert D., PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I have appreciated the way it always handles. The acceleration will sometimes hesitate when I start out though."

Marilyn C., OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"It is a fun car to drive - seating position and acceleration are great...."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Handles like a tank in mud and deep snow (with snow tires)."

Mark F., NY (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This car has lots of power and accelerates very quickly even when fully loaded."

Anonymous, ON (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The Forester will not win any drag races, but it's acceleration is more than adequate around town and merging onto freeways. The car is sure footed in all driving conditions, although. as in all cars, making sure that we have good tires makes a big difference. The car can be a bit noisy at highway speeds, but not excessively so. A wonderful aspect of driving the Forester is that it offers exemplary visibility in all directions. So many cars these days have very limited rear glass and visibility, and it is a pleasure to be able to see everything in every direction from a normal, comfortable driving position."

Michael B., IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Holds the road remarkably well on turns, good turning circle, easy to parallel park, 5 speed manual transmission allows confidence on snow or other iffy surface. Good acceleration."

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"With manual transmission, it accelerates well, and handling is great."

James B., IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Excellent handling -very concise and quick-"

Anonymous, MN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Quick acceleration with 5spd manual transmission, engine very willing to rev, firm handling."

ROBERT M., OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Forester is very stable on wet or slick roads--excellent handling"

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Very good car"

WILLIAM S., ME (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Quick acceleration, excellent handling and a smooth, quiet engine make this little turbo-charge SUV an excellent, dependable purchase, worth every penny. I have had not one bit of trouble with this vehicle. It still looks and drives like new!"

JOHN S., NJ (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I have a top-trim Forester XT (Turbo) with a manual transmission and I really love the engine/transmission combination. If Subaru still sold Foresters with a turbo and manual transmission I probably would have had 2 or 3 new ones in the years since I bought mine 12 years ago (just to get a new car feeling, not because of any problems I've had)."

STEPHEN S., UT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"It has difficulty accelerating on the highway when going to the mountains from Denver. It will really rev up and then kind of have a catch where we get slightly thrown on the vehicle and then be ok."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Brakes mushy, takes long to stop"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I should maybe have purchased a larger engine - acceleration lacks a little"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Vehicle is a 4-cyclinder so acceleration is a little slow--but can downshift if needed for extra acceleration. Vehicle has handled unpaved, rocky (I mean big, football-sized rocks!) mountain roads and winter snow very confidently."

Anonymous, OK (2005 Subaru Forester)

"turbo 4 cylinder"

JOHN M., CO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Drives great"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Very solid car that feels substantial"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"reliability and winter driving"

Anonymous, NB (2005 Subaru Forester)

"good acceleration and handing with an upgrade to Michelin Premier AS tires"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Without a doubt, this car handles extremely well. Extremely responsive, nimble, and has great visibility."

WILLIAM E., NY (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The car handles very well and has the smallest turning radius of any car I've ever had. It makes it easy to navigate narrow streets and parking lots."

MICHAEL R., IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Acceleration has always been good, but handling has always been exceptional on my back country mountain roads."

Robert D., PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Good acceleration"

Edward A., PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The handling is extremely good and especially impressive on mountain roads with many curves. Acceleration is a bit weak at high altitude on steep inclines. Gas mileage is good but less than our heavier Mercedes SUV which has about 70% more horsepower."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"good acceleration and great handle response in almost all road conditions"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"acceleration is sluggish, especially compared to the Honda CRV which has same sized motor. Newer Subrus are better I've red."

Anonymous, UT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Lively"

Robert T., MB (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Peppy acceleration and tight handling make this car a pleasure to drive."

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This year of the Forester was great for handling and acceleration, is still fun to drive. We traded in the later 2010 model and kept the 2005 because it was a better car."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This car has lots of power for acceleration and towing. The tight steering and its handling in the snow are great."

Anonymous, ON (2005 Subaru Forester)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Driver's seat is comfortable and fully adjustable for my needs"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Incredible wind noise in the front windows at highway speeds."

Tony L., NJ (2005 Subaru Forester)

"very noisy ride. Roof rack struts vibrate at high speeds"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Good quality seating. Firm and durable. Reasonably quiet. Moderately firm ride."

Jay S., MT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"very comfortable for a tall person"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Passenger seat not comfortable for long rides, Get leg cramps."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This little Subaru just keeps running. We use the car for trips around town and hauling things - it is well built and reliable. It has great seats, seat warmers and an AC system that cools the car quickly. We love this car..."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The noise level from outside is high. The seats are stiff and uncomfortable over longer rides."

Anonymous, CT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The comfort and ride of this vehicle exceeds even my Toyota Camry, particularly on long trips and obviously on back roads."

Robert D., PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Wind noise from front windows has increased with age. But, it's not too bad."

Anonymous, OK (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Very noisey with wind noise. Hard to hear cd voice talks or audiobooks"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"good ride. very dependable, easy viewing"

Carl B., NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Interior wind noise is loud. Seats are great, and ride is very good."

James B., IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Interior is noisy while driving. Comfort is reduced when driving on rough or bumpy roads. Driver's seat is relatively comfortable; could have better lumbar support."

Fred, MO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"My only complain is the level of noise when highway driving. I suspect it is caused by the side view mirrors. Otherwise, this has been and still is a wonderful car."

Anonymous, MD (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I'm petite and short at 5'3", and the comfort level has been satisfactory for me, including the ride."

Marilyn C., OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Lots of wind noise"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Handles like a sports car, firm ride, comfortable bucket seats."

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are comfortable. Wind noise. Ride is good Bought this car because The streets weren't always plowed when it was time to go to work."

Anonymous, IN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The structure of the windows causes more air noise than I like. I need to turn up the radio louder than preferred."

Frances S., MD (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Clear view all around. A little hard sprung, but sturdy On rough country roads"

Anonymous, NM (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Ride could be quieter. I'm always checking to make sure windows are closed."

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"road noise especially wind/air noise is too high"

Kenneth W., VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Uncomfortable seats on long drives"

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The noise level inside the cabin counters the audio system. On the highway, I can barely hear the radio"

Patte L., CT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"same comment as made for 2015 Subaru"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I love all-wheel srive. I have leather seats, which I really love. As long as I keep the fuel injectors clean, a d the gasoline octane high, it’s a good engine performance, and a good ride."

Mary C., WV (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are comfortable and great. Driving noise is higher than expected"

Anonymous, NS (2005 Subaru Forester)

"There is a little air noise at front side of driver's window. Otherwise, the vehicle is very comfortable--seats and climate control."

Anonymous, OK (2005 Subaru Forester)

"noisy widow seals."

MARC K., CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"considerable road noise"

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"seats are not that comfortable for longer highway driving. Apart from that and that I have to use premium gas, the car is great."

Anonymous, AB (2005 Subaru Forester)

"A/C has never worked well."

Anonymous, OH (2005 Subaru Forester)

"There is an oil leak and noise when the car accelerates with the steering wheel turned and when driving"

WILLIAM S., NY (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The car allows wind noise when on the highway. Consequently any audio CD or even music must be very loud and even then it is not worth turning on."

JAMES R., FL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This is a noisy car. The undercarriage could have much better attenuation. Even thicker carpeting would help. The seal around the driver's door doesn't seal out enough noise. No water enters, but road noise sure does. Considering the age, I am considering having a new seal installed, as well as new insulated carpeting in the front seat floor The climate control is very satisfactory compared to (previously I owned both a Nissan and a Toyota) Compared to new autos, the ride is a bit rough"

DALE H., OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The heating system on the floor/feet area is terrible."

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This car developed a wind noise on both front door window weather stripping on the rubber strip by the window. This is only a problem at highway speeds. I have never been really happy with Subaru's door window design."

DAVID T., NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The front seats in the 2005 are approximately 25" long and Subaru has reduced that by ~2" in subsequent updates to the model. That little bit of seat depth has kept my wife from even considering a newer model of Forester. When I mentioned it to the salesman from whom we purchased the vehicle new he stated that "it is a common complaint"."

GARY W., SC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Climate control does not have a totally manual setting. The car blows hot air until it feels it needs to lower the temperature. This causes me to reduce the fan setting, resulting in cold spots on my shoulder and side of my face next to the window. Dealer stated climate control was functioning as designed. Very annoying."

RUSS T., MO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"It's an SUV: ride is rough, goes anywhere. very little space in back seats: too little for average adults. My wife refuses to give it up for a newer car."

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The whole family loves this car. Our only complaint is the noise level (wind level) when highway driving."

M C., MD (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I love the size of the vehicle, and wish the newer ones were not so much bigger. I would get a new one if it was smaller. May end up with a Crosstrek in a year or so."

PATTE L., CT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"VERY noisy. Wind noise around windows is very loud. my wife refuses to ride in the Forester on any trip of more than 10-15 minutes duration."

KAREN L., MD (2005 Subaru Forester)

"noisy (wind and road) uncomfortable seats"

PAUL H., NY (2005 Subaru Forester)

"seat uncomfortable. wind noise high"

JUDSON B., CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"air conditioner is not very strong. back seats are very small and can't fit adults comfortably. you can't have a modern car seat in the rear-facing position and have an average sized adult sitting in front of them"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Climate control on this model is lacking control"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Frameless windows create wind noise while driving. Otherwise, no complaints in this category."

Anonymous, NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"My only complaint is the level of wind noise during highway driving. I think it is caused by the side view mirrors."

M C., MD (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Subaru is good at what it was designed for...functionality but it is noisy. AWD system is great in loose sand and snow"

Scott O., CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Ride is too stiff and seats do not have enough settings to adjust comfortably. Ride is rather noisy, too."

Anonymous, MA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Road noise is very noticeable"

Anonymous, NM (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Longer seat surface than 2012 Outback making these seats better. Electric driver seat allows full movement which fits both family members well."

Gary W., SC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"good sensible car, acceleration is quite sluggish, bit noisy"

Anonymous, UT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"comfortable, good visibility"

David S., TN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Outside rushing air noise caused by non-streamed outside mirrors such that can't hear radio well."

Anonymous, IN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Comfortable and dependable, love that it is 4 wheel drive"

Edward A., PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Uncomfortable seats. Lacks back support. Stiff seats"

Kimberly N., CT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This car rides well. It is well made, comfortable and fits both my 6 foot husband and me at 5 foot three. The ride is stiffer than many cars, but still comfortable. There is a bit more road noise, but acceptable. All in all I would recommend this vehicle."

Sandra H., MN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"It is an old car and has some rattles and noises. We still love it and as we are also older, we have the same complaints about ourselves! It has been a wonderful car and continues to be that!"

Anonymous, IN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Lots of wind noise from the doors"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Subaru Forester)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"We purchased this car in the loaded LL Bean Edition trim in 2005 for an excellent price. The car has been virtually trouble free aside from normal maintenance. It gets decent gas mileage for an AWD vehicle that is now a teenager, and it can be counted on to get us where we want to go in bad weather."

Michael B., IL (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Ergonomics of controls, style of newer models do not deviate too much, all wheel drive great, visibility fantastic, reliability"

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Great value, great control in bad weather"

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"AWD - great in snow! Car is currently not drivable - Body and frame rusted out in the back of the car. Very expensive to repair so my husband is planning on DIY repairs."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I wish the Forester didn't require Premium gas"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"It developed a leaking head gasket at about 50,000 mi, according to dealer who did tons of expensive work & kept car a long time. Unfortunately, it was over winter holidays & I was dealing with major family issue, so I didn't have it checked elsewhere."

Anonymous, NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"very reliable. low cost to operate and maintain."

Carl B., NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"exceptional quality, reliable, dependable,"

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Very little major repairs over 13 years. I have maybe spent $4,000 on oil change, tires, belts, a/c, faulty window and brakes."

Frances S., MD (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This has been a great car. Easy handling, great control via the 5 speed manual transmission, and relatively free of serious problems. While relatively problem-free in the 13 years of ownership, any issues are the result of corrosion to bolts and other metal parts caused by the salt on roads during winters in Vermont. However, no body rust because of annual undercoating."

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Original purchase price was less than $30,000. Annual maintenance costs are usually for an oil change, except for the every-30,000 mile major service programs, which are about $600. The vehicle has been exceptionally reliable."

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Subaru Forester)

"It has been amazing. We have had quite literally no trouble with the car in 14 years. It still performs like new, with lots of power, and a smooth ride. We can also get a ton in it!"

Steven C., CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Good value with the Forrester, yet you do have to keep it well-maintained."

Mary C., WV (2005 Subaru Forester)

"This vehicle provides dependable and quality vehicle for the money; a good buy."

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"IT has been very reliable and I have not had any major repair costs."

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The car has been trouble free for 13 years and shows no signs of age."

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Extremely durable and trouble=free automobile"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Inexpensive, and built to stay that way. Subaru's old sales line is true. Over 13 years old, vehicle has had no major repairs or issues and its dependability means I would take it on a cross-country trip without hesitation."

M B., WA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Owned since 2004, paid a fair price and have had very few repairs."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"excellent value"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The car holds up for a long time. I have had this car for 11 years. Recently I have had some expensive repairs, but it is still reliable."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"It drives well especially compared to my previous vehicles. The problems I have had were fixed and no use complaining about cash spent. It starts and stops,good enough."

Anonymous, WA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Reliabilty"

MATTHEW T., TN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Solid,especially reliable-in-winter vehicle, though terrible wind noise and poor mileage (by today's standards)."

MURRAY H., VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The vehicle has over 270,000 miles on it. You can't do much better than that."

Anonymous, MD (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Since the car was an outright gift four years ago, it couldn't help being a good value! The engine has just failed on me, but i plan to get another Subaru Forester."

MARY W., ME (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Car has had only 1 major repair since purchase and has been super reliable with a lot of miles on it."

K M., MT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Car has 90,000 miles and the engine needs to be rebuilt"

NANCY C., GA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Terrible gas mileage. Not very comfortable for passengers. Otherwise I love it."

KATHLEEN F., CT (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I wanted a dependable and reliable car but at 60,000 miles the turbocharger died ($4,500) and at 90,000 both the engine and new turbo died. Then they told me the oil needed changing every 3,200 miles not the 7,000 miles my manual said. They said since it was turbocharged I should have known regardless what the owner's manual said."

ROBERT J., NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Good"

Anonymous, VA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Way too many repairs needed over the years including sunroof (which was never resolved), 4 oxygen senors, catalytic converter. A LOT of wind noise around the outside rear view mirrors. Gas mileage was never what I expected and now is only 20 mpg with nearly all city driving."

Anonymous, NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"The 2205 Subaru has almost 100,000 miles and has had no major problems but wear and tear."

Anonymous, NC (2005 Subaru Forester)

"very reliable and inexpensive to operate for a small suv"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Forester)

"reliable"

David S., TN (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Extremely reliable and low maintenance. Best AWD and safety for a 12 year car."

Anonymous, OR (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Twelve year old car that still handles and drives effortlessly. Great acceleration and great cornering. Very few repairs and no body problems. Only problem was fogged headlights after ten years."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"We have a base model and has been very reliable and simply gets the job done. It is getting a bit noisy but it is very satisfactory given it is twelve years old, well over 100,000 miles and is often driven on poor roads."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Subaru Forester)

"Has been an excellent vehicle. RELIABLE. Had to replace head gaskets at 125k miles, leaking oil. Still very happy with my purchase."

Joseph H., CT (2005 Subaru Forester)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"easy driving and parking, mileage not bad, wonderful for hauling as the back seat can be put down"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Subaru Forester)

"I like the darker gray area around the sides. I also like the rear lights."

Anonymous, PA (2005 Subaru Forester)

"To me, exterior looks better than current models."

VICTOR H., FL (2005 Subaru Forester)

Would you buy this car again?

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Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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