The Subaru Forester is a solid choice in the segment. It rides very comfortably, handles responsively, and it has decent fuel economy and adequate acceleration. The Forester is quick and agile in the turbocharged model. But the interior is plain and fairly noisy. The cargo area is square and useful, but backseat leg room is tight.
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

"The ABS is amazing! This car has kept me from at least 2 serious accidents by its ability to stop quickly and safely."

JOYCE S., TX (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Our Forester is old and never had great acceleration, but the handling is superior - great turning radius, excellent in bad winter driving conditions."

CARRIE H., IL (2008 Subaru Forester)

"i don't like the jerky acceleration, and top heavy when taking turns (doesn't feel like it will stay on the road."

Anonymous, PA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Before I retired I had to drive to work at night during some crazy weather. My Forester handle the snow better than expected and I expected a lot. I always felt safe."

EMILY T., CO (2008 Subaru Forester)

"The all wheel drive works well in winter and stabilizes travel on icy roads."

LANCE S., MN (2008 Subaru Forester)

"It's great in the snow. Love how it hugs the road. I'd buy another one. However it is noisy, especially on the highways with the wind on the front windshield."

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester)

"was concerned about the size of engine. It's got more get up & go than I need."

KEN M., BC (2008 Subaru Forester)

"The AWD corners very well"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Turning radius is nice and tight. The car handles slippery conditions well."

Anonymous, IA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"The Manual clutch assembly. The throw-out bearing failed, which I diagnosed readily from the driver's seat, but the "best Japanese car repair shop" in town said could not be. the bearing totally failed within the next 4000 failed. The new clutch that I also had replaced, has never been quite right."

Anonymous, CO (2008 Subaru Forester)

"It is very nimble around town dealing with traffic and dodging potholes. And it recovers nicely from the potholes that I do end up hitting."

Anonymous, MO (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Handles really well especially in snowy weather in the northeast."

Anonymous, PA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Small turning radius, low center of gravity, and high clearance."

Anonymous, BC (2008 Subaru Forester)

"great little car and amazingly reliable"

Claire S., MA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Great handling and responsiveness"

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Subaru Forester)

"While the acceleration isn't outstanding, it is dependable. This has not been the case with the other cars I've owned."

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester)

"good acceleration handles well in snow"

Ronald D., WA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Love the ABS. Handles well especially in bad weather, snow. Acceleration when you need it. All around reliable practical choice."

Lori K., BC (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Handling in bad weather conditions. Solid ride"

Anonymous, VA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"It's Slooooow. I got the 5-speed to hopefully make it a little more peppy, but it can't get out of its own way. First gear is too high for the lack of torque the engine puts out."

Anonymous, GA (2008 Subaru Forester)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Noisy - can't listen to radio."

Anonymous, WI (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Climate control (A.C.) is excellent. Ride and noise are a little worrisome."

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Neither the vehicle has comfortable seats and both have more road noise than I would like. We had a 1996 Volvo with very comfortable seats and little road noise. Neither newer vehicles are not as comfortable."

Anonymous, WA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"noisy on the road"

Anonymous, IA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Needs more leg room in front. Seat belts are hard to fasten on passenger side. needs to have an extender."

JUDY S., MD (2008 Subaru Forester)

"I find this car to be very loud - I usually end up having to turn my stereo way up in order to hear it."

A D., WI (2008 Subaru Forester)

"It is almost perfect except for the fact that it is very noisy at highway speeds. I wear earplugs on long trips if I am not driving."

Anonymous, MO (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Noise and sometime rough ride"

SUSAN S., AZ (2008 Subaru Forester)

"The car is no very comfortable. Seats are hard and the engine and road noise is very loud."

Anonymous, MA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"It's the seats-ugh. Hard to drive for an hour or more without stopping to stretch. The seat slopes so that your knees are higher than your hips-maybe okay for the 20 somethings, but very uncomfortable for baby boomers."

SHARON L., WA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Over 10 years, it has several body rattles"

Anonymous, CO (2008 Subaru Forester)

"The ride is so noisy on the highway I have trouble understanding instructions from the iPhone on GBS Instrument panel is almost unreadable when driving under full sun."

Roland R., WI (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Too much road noise seats are very good"

Anonymous, GA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"solid feel, somewhat noisy"

Ronald D., WA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Ideal seat height for my wife and I, each about 80, to enter and leave the vehicle."

J C., NY (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Noise while driving has increased over the years. Its so loud for highway driving that only shouting works. It will cost hundreds of dollars to replace just ONE of the door parts that “fails‿ over time. Disappointed by this. Seats: the back seat has such small space that car seats require very uncomfortable (sometimes unsafe) driver and front-passenger positions. Poorly designed for such a “long‿ vehicle!"

Christy W., VA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"The ride is not smooth; whatever irregularities there are in the driving surface are transmitted to the driver. I noticed this even when I went for a test drive; and the salesman said, "well, it is an SUV, after all.""

Barbara H., FL (2008 Subaru Forester)

"seats are comfy more leg room needed slightly noisy like all suv's ride is bumpy compared to quality sedans"

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester)

"It is a noisy ride."

Joseph B., PA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are HARD, and offer little comfort, especially on longer rides. I needed to get an aftermarket seat cushion to be able to be reasonably comfortable."

Jim C., PA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"comfortable driving"

Lani G., MA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"pretty noisy ride"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"seats well designed"

Claire S., MA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"noisy - hard to hear radio"

William M., WI (2008 Subaru Forester)

"A great car, but it is very noisy at highway speeds. It is very tiring on a highway trip for this reason."

Anonymous, MO (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Overall this vehicle is a reliable workhorse. You can pack a lot of gear in the cargo area. Excellent gas mileage. Smooth ride. Great visibility. Quiet inside. Love the moonroof. Everything works well. Only issue to date was having to replace the timing belt and head gasket replacement coming soon. Good value for the price and very reliable. Great in snow. Love this vehicle!"

Lori K., BC (2008 Subaru Forester)

"not enough leg room in driver's seat to stretch legs during long drive for us long-legged folks"

Dave B., CA (2008 Subaru Forester)


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

What Owners Say

"The used Subaru we bought has been incredibly reliable. While the acceleration on this older model is not great, the handling is."

CARRIE H., IL (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Good, reliable vehicle."

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Subaru Forester)

"no major expenses outside normal use and maintenance"

RITA P., CA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"I've never had to repair this car."

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester)

"This was the first year I've had to put any money into the 2008 have to say other than it being inconvenient to get work done at times it has seven me quite well for years!!!! Love my Subaru....2nd one I've owned!"

MAGGIE C., PA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Only one complaint. Needed a new head gasket which has been a long time known repair for Subaru. I still expect the Forester to run for 200,000 miles."

A M., CT (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Excellent in reliability and maintenance"

Dieter O., NJ (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Great car for the price. Company stands behind their product."

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Subaru Forester)

"It is very reliable, gets good gas mileage, and has cost little for repairs."

Anonymous, BC (2008 Subaru Forester)

"Best damn car I've ever owned. I expect it to last another 10 years."

Timothy S., WI (2008 Subaru Forester)

"excellent value for a very reliable and safe ride"

Christopher C., NY (2008 Subaru Forester)

"10 years with barely a repair bill."

Anonymous, NY (2008 Subaru Forester)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"I like the raised level and roominess that allows me to get in and out easily. Also excellent visibility."

Anonymous, IA (2008 Subaru Forester)

"For a station wagon, I think it is very sporty looking. I would like to have tinted windows however."

MIKE L., MI (2008 Subaru Forester)

Would you buy this car again?

2008 vehicles
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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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