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1997 subaru forester 1997 subaru forester
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1997 subaru forester 1997 subaru forester
1997 subaru forester 1997 subaru forester
1997 subaru forester 1997 subaru forester
1997 subaru forester 1997 subaru forester
    1997 Subaru Forester Review, Brian Dolezalek, From Aurora C

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Subaru Forester L

 ModelSubaru Forester L
 What things have gone wrong with the car?-anemic Clarion stereo system
-high cost of accessories, particularly the Bose subwoofer
-2.5-liter engine not quite enough; could use a 2.8 or so
-tough seat cushions, at least for the cloth seats
-brakes; mushy and not very predictable
-pillars make for a blind spot on drivers side
-windows fog up to a fault in cold weather
-the dealership I bought it from (we won't go there!)
 
 
 General comments?(1997 Model) - Wow! The first review of my car on this site? Quite an honor! It's gonna be a good review, too. Let's start with the bottom line, then work our way down: I'd say the Forester would be a fine choice for a family of four or fewer; bigger families should probably look toward the Durango or some other full-size SUV.

I'm a single guy, making $40-50K a year, and when I went car-shopping I wanted a small to mid-size SUV with maximum utilitarian value, and I must say the Forester, at $23,000 with tax, was a perfect choice. I'd owned a 1984 Honda Prelude up to that point, which was a great car but was somewhat lacking in overall usability. I'd never bought a new car, and I figured if I was going to spend that kind of money, I wanted get the maximum amount of value out of it. Believe me, I did!

Where do I start? Cargo space, I guess; the Forester has as much as I've ever needed. If this gives you any idea, anything smaller than a major appliance (dryer, stove, etc.), and shorter than a pair of skis, should fit without a problem. The rear seats fold down, of course, offering a completely flat space. The shortfall, though, comes in the form of vertical depth. The full-size spare sits underneath the floor of the cargo area; do the math. I've found it to be just right for me; anything smaller would make me wonder why I bought an SUV, anything bigger would take away from the car-like ride.

Make no mistake; the ride is indeed car-like, resembling that of a Taurus or Camry more than an Expedition or other SUV. The size couldn't be better for me, but I'm of medium build; I heard a larger fellow at the dealership commenting that there didn't seem to be enough driver's-side room for him, and he'd be right. Plenty of room for me, though, up front. The back seat is another matter; most of my passengers have BARELY sufficient legroom, and for some I have to move my seat up a notch or two. A related complaint: the styrofoam feel of the seat cushions. The leather seats might be a different story, but the cloth seats don't offer much give. I had to ride about an hour in the back seat one time, and I exited the car with a moderate case of numb-butt.

The Forester's instrument cluster is simple but effective, no suprises, no frills. Seats are fairly easy to move, and the driver's seat gets lumbar and upper-leg support (no such options for the passenger, unfortunately). Four cupholders keep you hydrated, and the passenger seat can lean all the way back for sleepy passengers. There's a myriad of handy little storage spaces, including an overhead space for your glasses. I recommend having the simulated woodgrain installed; it makes for a more handsome, high-end feel to the overall interior.

Another nicety: the interior cloth on the seats and headliner can be had with cool patterns, as opposed to simple monotone cloth. The aesthetics of the black dashboard-top left me cold, but the tan-color velour protector for said surface handily remedied that problem.

Accessories for the Forester are bank-breakers for the most part, and I've only found a few worth having. The Clarion stereo sounds uncannily like my old My First Sony, and upgrades are a joke. Under NO cicumstances should you mess with the Bose subwoofer; $400-plus, and I challenge anyone to detect any significant bass-response improvement. My advice: scrap the whole thing and get a good Sony deck with Infinity or Polk drivers. You can get side runners, a trailer hitch, and a tire





Review 1997 Subaru Forester Brian Dolezalek, From Aurora C
Japanese Import Car, New & Used Car, 2007