Subaru Forester 2003 - 2008 review. Part 2

What to look for when buying a used Subaru Forester: The service records is an important thing to check when buying a used car. You want to know if the vehicle has been maintained regularly. If the engine has been overheated in the past, avoid the car, overheating can cause many problems down the road. Watch for oil and coolant leaks; if you find any, have it checked with your mechanic or a Subaru dealer before buying a car; in some cases (e.g. leaking head gaskets) the repair might be quite expensive.
For models with a manual transmission, test the clutch. Watch for a piston slap noise (tapping or knocking) when the car is started cold. Check if the timing belt has been replaced. If you notice blue smoke from exhaust, even just at a startup, avoid the car. Read more: what to look for when buying a used car. Have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic familiar with Subaru before signing a contract.

Maintenance tips: Have your oil changed regularly, for the engine to last. A turbocharged engine is more sensitive to the oil quality; use only good quality oil. Check your tire pressure regularly; unequal tire pressure will cause increased wear of the 4WD system components. Overheating the engine may cause expensive damage; check the coolant (antifreeze) level regularly and have it topped up if it's low. Subaru recommends using a special cooling system conditioner whenever coolant is changed, check with your Subaru dealer.
More on maintenance:

10 tips how to keep your car running longer and
save money on car repairs How to extend the life
of your car »
Simple car maintenance tips Easy car maintenance
checklist with photos »

Resources:
Subaru For Owners - Owner's Manuals and downloads, warranties and more. Subaru of America.

Subaru Forester short specifications (2008 US model)

Dimensions:
Wheelbase:
Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:    
Non-turbo models:
Turbo models:
Ground clearance:    
Non-turbo models:
Turbo models:

99.4 in (2525 mm)
176.6 in (4485 mm)
68.3 in (1735 mm)

62.6 in (1590 mm)
62.4 in (1585 mm)

8.1 in (205 mm)
7.9 in (200 mm)

Seating capacity:

5

Cargo capacity:
Without moon roof:
rear seatbacks up:
rear seatbacks down:
With moon roof:
rear seatbacks up:
rear seatbacks down:



30.7 cu. ft. (869 L)
68.6 cu. ft. (1943 L)

28.9 cu. ft (818 L)
64.5 cu. ft (1826 L)

Towing Capacity:

2,400 lb. (1087 kg) - when towing a trailer with brakes.

Engines:
X-models



XT-models

2.5-liter, all-aluminum, horizontally opposed
4-cylinder, SOHC, 16-valve, with variable valve lift;
173 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 166 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

2.5-liter, all-aluminum, horizontally opposed,
turbocharged/intercooled
4-cylinder, DOHC 16-valve, with variable valve timing;
224 hp @ 5,600 rpm, 226 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm


EPA Fuel Economy (US mpg, L/100 km):
2.5L Non-turbo, Manual:


2.5L Non-turbo, Automatic:


2.5L Turbo, Manual:


2.5L Turbo, Automatic:


city: 20 mpg (11.8 L/100 km)
hwy: 27 mpg (8.7 L/100 km)

city: 20 mpg (11.8 L/100 km)
hwy: 26 mpg (9.0 L/100 km)

city: 19 mpg (12.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km)

city: 18 mpg (13.1 L/100 km)
hwy: 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km)

Recommended Fuel:

Non-turbo models:
Turbo models:

Regular 87
Premium 91

Fuel Tank Capacity:

15.9 US gallons (60 liters)

Engine Oil Capacity:

4.2 US qt (4.0 liters, 3.5 Imp qt)