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1.0 out of 5, based on 2 ratings and
18 reviews & complaints.

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Navigation Nightmare
Posted by on
I waited weeks to get a limited Outback with Navigation. I could not preview a Navigation system before purchases as none were available in area. I have used numerous Nav systems in the past and was confident a factory system would be superior to Magellan or Tom Tom.

Wrong, this system has many problems. I was told by factory New England Sales Manager that I needed to wait another 3 or 4 months until the system is upgraded and that he realized the system is outdated.

I told him I paid for the Nav system in June and I expect it to operate on the day I purchased it. We have 5,000 miles on car, every time we use Nav it has been a problem.

Factory Sales Manager thought I was totally unreasonable to be expecting Nav to be operational the day I purchased. He suggested I take my lumps and trade the car.

My suggestion, with a New England Sales Manager with this much attitude who needs to purchase a Subaru?
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Alain on 07/27/2010:
It may help to report this to Subaru (>contact us at the bottom of the web page) or to give their customer service a call at 800-782-2783.
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Subaru Roadside Assistance Horror Story
Posted by on
GROTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I called Subaru roadside assistance on Friday, April 4th after my 2005 Subaru WRX overheated several times. I asked to have it towed to the nearest Subaru dealer in Hudson, NH. I was told I would need to wait about 3 hours for a tow. After waiting several hours, I got a call back saying that they couldn't get to it THAT DAY. I was told it would be towed Saturday morning. Saturday evening I got a friend to drive me by where I left the car, and it still hadn't been moved. I called Subaru back today, Sunday, and they ask me "was it delivered?" This seems like something THEY should know. I explain it wasn't delivered and now it's Sunday, and the garage is closed. I tell them they need to pick it up on Monday morning when the garage opens. At this point, they say "I'm sorry, we can't 'schedule' pickups. You'll have to call back tomorrow."

In my past experiences with AAA, the longest response time I've ever encountered (even in the western, rural part of the state) has been a bit over an hour. With Subaru roadside assistance, it has now been TWO DAYS, and at this point, I wonder if my car will ever get delivered. I've also wondered if I'd ever buy a Subaru again, but I think the answer to that is becoming clear.
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*Brenda* on 04/06/2008:
JayD why are you such an angry person?
Anonymous on 04/06/2008:
Brenda, I don't think I have ever seen him say anything nice. Not sure why he even got the star?
Anonymous on 04/06/2008:
JayD, Subaru roadside assistance is a product that Subaru provides. Its pretty clear THAT'S why the OP wouldn't buy another Subaru. Why turn this around and blame the OP for the cars inability to operate correctly. That's just absurd. You should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking that. From your post JayD, it appears that you have an affiliation with Subaru. For that reason, it would be enough for me to stay away from Subaru. I will vote this post helpful. The post itself warns me of Subaru's service. And, if you are an employee your post warns me of the type of person Subaru employs and we should all stay away!
Principissa on 04/06/2008:
I agree John. Poster, if my car overheated and roadside assistance failed me once, I would have paid out of pocket just to get it off of the side of the road. Why offer a service to your customer's if you aren't going to follow through with it.
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Subaru Forester 2000 Breaks A LOT!
Posted by on
MEXICO, MAINE -- I purchased my Subaru Forester 2 years ago with 73,000 miles for $12,000 dollars. I had heard that Subarus were reliable, dependable vehicles and that the bodys would go before the car went. The car is going.
On Carfax reports I learned that my vehicle had the Drive Axle, Right Bearing, Seals/Gasket, Emission Control System, Oxygen Sensor serviced at 62,857 miles and the Electrical System and Coil serviced at 63,225. At the auto dealership they had repaired a few other things but I do not have the information here (its in the car which currently sits at a garage for an undetermined amount of time.) During this last summer at 119,000 miles the Transmission started to slip and I brought it to a Subaru Dealership- They informed me that they see the Transmissions going in this Year Model of Subaru Foresters and that I would need to get it rebuilt because it would just go if I had it replaced. During this time I also had to have work done to the steering knuckle and had the timing belts changed. This cost me $2,097 dollars. A month later my car started making more funny sounds and I brought it in to get looked at. I believed it was the struts- but it was much much more. First off the Mechanic could not believe the amount of Rust under the vehicle- he had a hard time repairing what needed to be repaired which is the Rear Wheel Bearings, All four Struts, There is some kind of Electrical failure down the center of the vehicle ( The lights for the Gear Shifter, My Radio and the Clock), There is also a crack in the Catalatic Converter and the Oil Filter for the Transmission started to leak. He has not given a figure for it but the part for the catalitc converter runs from 1200-1500 and the struts themselves are going to be $850 dollars *including labor* so I am looking at another couple of thousand dollars and haven't even had a chance to pay down the car! I drive the car averagly to work and back and keep up on the regular maintince of the vehicle. I am 23 years old and cannot imagine that I will ever buy another Subaru in the Course of my life and I hope when and if it comes back from the shop that it has the "New Car" smell because that's exsactly what it is going to be!
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guchiedad on 11/03/2005:
You may have been doing regular maintenance, but the previous owner may not have. Sounds like there were a lot of problems that may have started prior to your purchase of the car. I own a Subaru Forester 1997, and have never had one problem with it. Likewise, I haven't heard too many others that had problems either. Timing belts are standard replacement at 120,000 miles, so it's expected to be expensive. It's unfortunate for you, but I completely understand you not wanting to get a Subaru again. As for me, on the other hand, I look forward to the purchase of my next Subaru. Hopefully they'll come out with some kind of minivan...
ChuhBaca on 11/03/2005:
That is a very common misconception. In ANY make of vehicle, you are going to have some lemons. You are also going to find people who will tell you nothing but good or bad based on their own personal experience. According to Consumer Reports, the long-term reliability of a Subaru is worse than the big 3 American makes (based on number of problems per 100 vehicles). Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans (including their high-end lines like Lexus) show higher reliability than the big 3.
Anonymous on 11/03/2005:
I have to agree with Chuh
ejack053824 on 11/04/2005:
Buy a new car next time. I would never buy a used car with over 40,000 miles on it.
Anonymous on 11/04/2005:
Maybe Stars, should do what you normally suggest ejack. Threaten to kick the dealership's @ss.
starsmyles on 02/22/2007:
Yes I definently agree with purchasing a new car next time. I have issues to add to the vehicle in the above review. Last October I needed to hv the exhaust welded, new brakes and I the center consoles still fails to work.

Now I am experiencing issues with the coolant system that may end up being head gasket issues! What a headache. Anyone want to buy a Subaru?
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Dealership and Warranty
Posted by on
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- Downtown Subaru is not making good on the extended warranty they sold. The "bumper to bumper" warranty provides a rental car for 5 days. But it is taking 10 days for a repair. The Service Department says it is because they cannot get the parts from Subaru any sooner. There is no dealership within 50 miles of my home.

Why does a customer have to pay for a car rental when it is Subaru's inefficiency on providing parts to their dealers? Why won't the dealer make good on a defective contract they sold?
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DebtorBasher on 11/26/2008:
Bumper To Bumper extended warranties are a waste of money. I got the warranty on my car when I bought it...but for some STRANGE reason, bumper to bumper did not include the door locks, interior lights or whatever reason my Engine light was on (I forgot what the problem was with that)...this was all within the first week of purchasing my car. I canceled the warranty and took my car to my own mechanic.
Anonymous on 11/28/2008:
First off there is no such thing as "bumper to bumper" warranty, that term is WAY to broad. Sometimes though Subaru will allow a few extra days car rental due to a parts delay, you may want to call the district service parts or service manager for Subaru for assistance. You can get their number from the dealership service manager usually, but remember to be "NICE". If you act like an azz I can guarantee you the will shoot you down.
Aerocave on 11/29/2008:
A better term for a Bumper to Bumper is "Comprehensive" (That's what we use)...Debtor, not sure what warranty you are talking about, but, "Comprehensive" warranties typically will cover switches, SES lights, etc...Sounds like you had a "Powertrain" warranty, which does not cover most of the items you are talking about. You'd be surprised how many people are thankful that they put an extended warranty on their vehicle--it just has to make sense in terms of cost, etc--which isn't always the case.
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Posted by on
QUEENS, NEW YORK -- I purchased a 2006 Subaru Legacy B spec.... from I was told a special edition, only 500 made, it took me 6 months to find a low number, I purchased #36. Sticker price $35000, 1 year later the Subaru dealers, all of them have quoted $15000, the same price that a $25000 Legacy was new when I bought my car. Now the B Spec are made every year, I guess it wasn't a special edition one of a kind. Not only that but the customer support answered my complaint email, gave me a phone number, spoke to them and have not heard from them afterwards, and all I do know is get harassing phone call from the dealers...

I will tell everyone that I know or can get in touch with to never buy a Subaru again!!!!!

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MRM on 09/11/2007:
$35,000... Now that's a sticker shock.
Timboss on 09/11/2007:
You wanted something really 'special' so you overpaid for it. And I can't believe a $35,000 car is only worth $15,000 a year later, even if you did pay too much originally. Sorry, because of your immature car shopping I am not ruling a Subraru off my list of cars to look at.
Anonymous on 09/11/2007:
Os1672: $ 35,000.00 - were you drunk ? That is a lot of money. Good information.
I voted your review 'Very Helpful'.
heaven17 on 09/11/2007:
I've been a collector of many things over the years, but I've never understood this 'low number' thing.
If there's only 500 of something and they're all alike in every way, I don't see why the number would matter.
Anonymous on 09/11/2007:
If you want real limited edition cars (bragging rights) and not marketing gimmicks, you may want to look at these dream machines($60,000 or less).

1. Audi RS 4
2. BMW M3
3. Mercedes AMG
4. Lotus Elise

I have a 04 M3 with mod chip with some aftermarket upgrade. It is scary fast. I clock in @ 4.5 sec in 60.
sarahnkrystal on 09/11/2007:
I'm still finding them:

bowserb on 09/14/2007:
I cannot address your disppointing "limited edition" purchase, although paying premium prices for limited editions and new stuff (can you spell I-PHONE?) will almost always guarantee premium depreciation.

Otherwise, Subaru makes one of the most reliable and durable cars you can buy, with arguably the best all wheel drive system there is. Of course that figures, since Subaru has made nothing but all wheel drive since the 70s, so they pretty much have the experience. My 2000 Outback is in the shop right now getting 120,000 mile service. Its cumulative time in the shop since January 2000 is less than any twelve month period of ownership of my wife's 2002 Audi TT.

So, you can criticise the marketing people, your dealer, and to some extent yourself for falling for the pitch...but don't knock the brand. It's still tops.
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2000 Subaru needs new transmission w/ only 34K miles
Posted on
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND -- Last week, my 2000 Subaru started making a strange noise. 2 days later, the Check Engine light came on. The day after that, it was making a 'thunk' noise so I called Subaru Roadside Assistance & had it towed to the nearest Subaru dealer. The car has 34K miles, so it should be under warranty (3 yr/36K miles).

The dealer says it needs a new transmission. They say it was out of transmission fluid & was 'obviously drained'. However, I have never had any work done or any maintenance that involves the transmission fluid in any way, so it most certainly has not been drained (properly or improperly) & all the appropriate fluids were topped off at my last oil change (approx 2400 miles ago).

The dealer says this is NOT covered by the warranty because "there is no leak" in the transmission. I say there must be something wrong in the system or it would have had fluid.

The dealer is trying to point the finger at the quicklube/express lube where I had the oil changed. He says that the tech pulled the wrong plug & drained the transmission fluid. I have a hard time believing that, but decided to get more info. I asked the dealer that *if* that was what happened, how long could the car go before there would be problems. He said maybe 500-600 miles. I've gone 2400 miles since the last oil change, so that doesn't sound like it's really likely that that's what happened.

The dealer has called for Subaru to look at the vehicle & determine whether it is under warranty or not. If they deny it, I will be responsible for any costs involved with replacing the transmission.....let's just say that I'm not holding my breath that Subaru will determine that it is under warranty. Why should they if they can blame the oil change shops & get out of paying?

Has anyone else come across something similar to this? Any suggestions on how to get Subaru to honor their warranty?

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Anonymous on 03/14/2002:
I have a 98 forester, had transmission problmes, it had a cooling line leak and they fixed it but it still seems to have problems, the power train on a Subaru is supposed to be 60k miles, mine had 34 k when this happened, Call Subaru,and complain
Anonymous on 03/14/2002:
Although I have never experienced having the transmission fluid drained, when I purchased my Subaru the salesman warned me
of this issue and advised me to only have my oil changed at the Subaru dealership. I didn't believe him. However, on two separate
occasions while dropping my vehicle off for service, there were customers at the dealership with this exact problem. The dealer also
told me that they had to send technicans out several times a week to oil change places because no one could get an oil filter off a
Subaru unless they had special tools or know how. To me, this is a case of when being different is bad. All cars should have standardized
or similar oil systems so you can take the vehicle anywhere for oil changes because frankly there aren't enough Subaru dealers
in any given area.

Also, my 2000 Suburu Legacy Outback's rear tranmission failed at 50,000 miles. Thank the good Lord we purchased an extended
warranty or we would have had to pay around $2,000 for the repairs. I couldn't believe that a two year old car had a major
transmission failure (it was a standard 5-speed). Subaru's are supposedly so well known for their durability but I now believe
that may be true of the older models not the newer ones.

Since then, the vehicle was involved in an major accident and I'm hopeful that the insurance will total the vehicle. Both my seat
and my seat belt failed during the accident so I'm never buying another one. I'd definitely pursue the issue you are having as
an inferior design issue by the manufacturer who is aware of the potential problem but doesn't effectively warn consumers of
the risk with the oil system of the vehicle.

Good luck!
Anonymous on 09/07/2002:
We too had trouble with a Subaru transmission. We had to buy a rebuilt official Subaru transmission at a cost of $5,000 installed. We had nightmares with this new rebuilt transmission too. We brought it back to the dealer six times because the wheels where binding and finally they replaced it and then called us saying the new replacement was defective so they had to order another. The last one has been okay but I lost over two weeks of work and placed and additional 1200 miles on my car for service. The Subaru rep. (Lukas) only offered a $150 coupon for more service at Subaru. Don't buy or trust Subaru!
Anonymous on 03/30/2003:
Well, well it seems Subaru has a problem it is not telling it's consumers. It appears that when a auto repair place drains your oil you should warn them not to drain your differiental too. Well how was I too know this would cost me $3500 to replace my the front differential in my 2002 Outback with less than 8k miles. It appears by these reports that Subaru has a design flaw that goes back to the 2000 Outback Legacy. It is that Subaru has not put out the proper notice on this or are the many service repair shops that unskilled to handled the new cars coming on the market. Is it our fault as a consumer that this is occurring. Not only is the repair facility denying liability for the damage but the original warranty and the extended warranty we purchased will not cover the damage because it was intentionally done. We now have a brand new vehicle that needs major repairs because a repair shop did not know what it was doing and Subaru may have a design flaw in the placement of the drain plugs for the engine oil and front differential, at least on the Outbacks if not on all Subaru's. The only thing I can say at this point is never another Subaru!
Anonymous on 12/29/2003:
if I had a Subaru I would drive it like a race car and mess up the transmission that way.
Flying Dutchman42 on 10/29/2004:
I cannot understand why you people have so much trouble with a Subaru, the cars your buying I bet are not built in Japan I bet they are American or canadian built subarus, well you cannot blame Subaru for the way the lazy americans put the cars togather, case and point I have a 1995 Subaru impreza with 387000 miles and never any problems still runs great, but this Subaru was built in Japan and imported to the usa, my mother bought this car new she traded in a ford taurus that was nothing but trouble, I have owned several Japanese built cars and have never had problems with them when they are built in Japan and not America.
Blurt8 on 09/17/2007:
I have a 2000 Subaru Forrester and it IS easy to confuse the transmission filter and oil with the engine oil...on the drivers side of the engine is a spin on filter and drain plug.....look exactly like engine filter and is NOT...I made this mistake trying to change my own oil.
equiptech on 03/27/2008:
Subaru is one of the SMART designers to make a spin on filter for the Trans ( and a drain Plug) It is up to the Service shop to TRAIN their personnel to know how to CHANGE OIL!!! Seems your DISCOUNT oil change was not a sound decision?

Get confirmation from Subaru that this was the cause & a lawyer to collect from the oil change facility.
I speak as a retired ASE Tech & a former Auto shop owner!!

These places hire by price & change personnel by the DAY!
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forester failure, low miles
Posted by on
FRIENDSWOOD, TEXAS -- I paid $24,000 for a 1998 forester fully loaded, at 34,000 miles, the differential may be going out as the transmission, and dealers tell me this truck is only worth $7500.00. two words for Subaru, Never AGain

I want to know why these vehicles hold no value. Most of all I want the thing fixed under warranty, as it says it should be
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Anonymous on 01/22/2002:
You can buy a brand new SUV for $24,000 -- Fully loaded, including all taxes, fees, and warranty.
stubby226 on 02/07/2002:
buy one for that price, but the trade in value after a year is half or 1/3 of what you paid for it, they don't hold value like other autos
Anonymous on 02/10/2002:
I checked the NADA web site ( The resale price for this vehicle is about $12-13,000. This is for a basic model; CD player, leather seats, etc. would increase the value. So the people telling you the value is only $7500 are either taking into consideration the fact that it needs major repair, or are trying to get you to trade-in for cheap.
Anonymous on 02/21/2002:
Kelly blue book rates a Subaru forester 98 at $13,000. But if you go to trade no dealership will give you more than $7500.00. and that was 10 different dealers from ford, toyota, gmc, even foreign . Even McRee Ford in Dickinson, who handles Subaru won't give over that, and this vehicle only has 34,000 miles on it, fully loaded, cd player, heated seats, undercoated, upgraded tires, upgraded wheels, even has a security system. No defects on the truck, never been in an accident. Go figure.
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forester failure, low miles
Posted by on
FRIENDSWOOD, TEXAS -- I paid $24,000 for a 1998 forester, fully loaded, including extra for a cd player, with 34,000 miles on it, the differential is going out and the transmission is slipping , possibly failing, and dealers tell me the truck is only worth $7500.00, I only have two words for this auto manufacturer, NEVER AGAIN
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