SUBARU – FORESTER
Over the years the Forester has subtly changed from a station wagon into a medium-sized SUV in its styling.
But the thing that’s always been popular about Foresters is the decent amount of ground clearance it offers. This allows it to tackle tougher than average conditions in the bush and on the beach, making it a hit amongst people who love the outdoors.
The major knock on Foresters, particularly for younger people, is that older engines often have that typical flat-four ‘dak-dak’ beat when they get a lot of kilometres on them.
If it seems too bad the engine may be approaching overhaul time. Newer ones are more refined, but it’s still wise to have them checked out.
If you’re selling an older model Forester, you’re more likely to get the deal done with an older person, rather than a driver who wants their car to ‘sound cool’.
On a turbocharged model, check the clutch isn’t slipping – this usually shows up on fast upchanges. Subaru makes the clutch a sacrificial component so that it fails first to protect other transmission parts.
Also check underneath in case the Forester has been seriously used in off-road conditions.