2004 Subaru Forester: Reliability, Performance, and Affordability – A Comprehensive Review

If you are someone in search of a reliable, practical vehicle, the 2004 Subaru Forester may be a model to consider among other SUVs. This vehicle can cater to a range of audiences, including car enthusiasts, potential Subaru buyers, or individuals who want a safe and spacious vehicle for daily use. In this comprehensive review, we will explore the 2004 Forester’s specifications, performance, reliability, safety features, maintenance costs, and consumer reviews.

Overview and Specifications

The 2004 Forester is a four-door, five-passenger compact SUV with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 165 horsepower. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, a four-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift control, and four-wheel disc brakes. The exterior styling of the Forester is rugged, with basic design features, which may appeal to individuals who prefer a simple look and functionality.

In terms of interior space, the Forester boasts 68 cubic feet of cargo space, which can be expanded by folding down the rear seats. The interior is designed to be roomy enough for passengers to sit comfortably on long road trips. This SUV also offers features such as power windows, power door locks, and heated mirrors as standard equipment.

Performance and Reliability

The 2004 Forester’s all-wheel drive system gives it an advantage over other SUVs in terms of handling, especially in slippery or uneven conditions. This car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just under 10 seconds, which is an acceptable performance for a model of its class. The transmission responds well, and the overall ride is smooth, making it a comfortable car to drive.

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When it comes to reliability, the 2004 Forester is known for its long-lasting durability and reliability. Subaru’s reputation for producing vehicles that can withstand harsh driving conditions is supported by the Forester’s track record. With proper maintenance, these vehicles can easily pass 200,000 miles, which is an excellent indication of the Forester’s reliability.

Safety Features

The Forester scored well in both government and independent crash tests, earning five out of five stars in both the frontal and side-impact tests. It also scored high on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) crash tests, earning the highest rating of "good" in frontal offset and a "marginal" rating in side-impact testing. This vehicle comes equipped with standard safety features such as anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags.

Maintenance Costs

The 2004 Forester has relatively low maintenance costs when compared to other SUVs of its class. The vehicle requires standard maintenance of oil changes, tire rotations, and brake pad replacement. Subaru recommends a timing belt change at 105,000 miles, which can be costly, but necessary for the car’s longevity. Overall, the 2004 Forester’s maintenance costs are manageable, especially given its reliability.

Consumer Reviews

Owners of the 2004 Forester rave about the car’s handling and performance, stating that it is easy to drive and safe to handle in all weather conditions. Customers also appreciate the car’s fuel economy, as it averages 21-23 miles per gallon in the city and 27-29 miles per gallon on the highway. However, some owners of the 2004 Forester complain about the car’s lackluster acceleration and outdated interior design.

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Comparison to Other SUVs

When compared to other SUVs of its class, the 2004 Forester offers distinct advantages such as all-wheel drive, fuel economy, and reliability. However, if you need more space for passengers and cargo, other SUVs may be a better fit. Vehicles to consider when comparing to the Forester may include the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and the Ford Escape.


Overall, the 2004 Subaru Forester offers a reliable, practical, and affordable option for customers in search of an SUV. With its reputation for durability and long life, the Forester is a great option for individuals who are looking for safe and dependable transportation. With proper maintenance, this car can run for hundreds of thousands of miles, making it an excellent long-term investment.


Is the 2004 Subaru Forester expensive to maintain?

The 2004 Forester has relatively low maintenance costs when compared to other SUVs in its class.

How many passengers can the 2004 Subaru Forester accommodate?

The 2004 Forester is a five-passenger vehicle with 68 cubic feet of cargo space.

Does the 2004 Subaru Forester have all-wheel-drive?

Yes, the 2004 Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive, which contributes to its handling and performance in all weather conditions.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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