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2004 Subaru Forester Overview

Making fathers happy everywhere, the 2004 Subaru Forester adds a turbocharged model, easing the pain of of owning a safe, reliable suburban family car. The 2004 Forester now comes in 2.5X, 2.5XS, and 2.5XT. The XT hits 210-hp with the turbocharged 2.5-liter H4, which normally gets 165-hp. A 5-speed manual and 4-speed auto tran are available transmissions.

The AWD Forester is praised for its performance in bad weather and road conditions, though low ground clearance and lack of low range gearing prohibit serious off-roading. It also earns 5 stars from the NHTSA in front and side crash tests, thanks to dual front and side impact air bags, ABS brakes, 16-inch tires, and active head restraints. Other nice features include a Hill Hold (which also can be turned off) to prevent rollback. The base X comes with foglights, power features, folding mirrors, roof rack, intermittent front and rear wipers, cruise control, and keyless entry. The XS and XT add on automatic climate control, heated seats, a 6-CD player, and leather-wrapped wheel. On both the XS and XT, a Premium Package adds a nearly roof-length power sunroof and leather seats.

Rear seats split-fold 60/40 for 64 cubic feet of cargo room, which is still below the 2004 Forester's closest competitors, such as the RAV4 and CR-V. But the turbo power is what makes the latest Forester fun to drive, with little turbo lag and lots of pickup thanks to the light weight of the compact SUV. Drivers also like the car-like handling, quiet engine, visibility, and the reliable AWD performance. Families like the high safety ratings. Downsides include limited rear legroom, limited off-roading capability, and a non-intuitive climate control system.

Updated by Anonymous

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