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What to pay for Forester?


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Hello out there!

I've been looking around for a used Forester XT, preferably a 2.5 and almost certainly automatic. I was hoping to spend 3-4k so have been looking at cars from '04 to '06 age with around 100k on the clock. The reason for posting on here is that I'm new to the world of Subaru's and I 'm trying to get a handle on pricing as it seems to be all over the place! I have seen 55 plate cars that look great with 70 - 95k miles priced anywhere from £4.5k to 6k and beyond yet when you check Glass's, What Car, Parkers, CAP etc they nearly always estimate the values at £1500 to £2000 (or even more)  less than the dealers (or private sales to some degree) are asking. Hence, not wanting to get stitched up, I haven't yet bought a car!

I'm trying to work out whether sellers are over pricing or if the used car valuations are massively undervaluing. I'm happy to pay the going rate but I wouldn't want to fork out, say, £5k for an '05 car to find out a few weeks later it's only worth £2.5k if you see what I mean.

Can anyone with a better idea than me shed any light on what's right and wrong here? Maybe supply and demand?

It would be great to get some info on this. My other choice may be an Outback, the differences don't seem quite so great on these,

Many Thanks,


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There will be a bit of supply and demand at this time of year. You'll probably find 55 plate cars attract a premium too as they fall into the lower tax bracket.

Other than that, look for a full service history including a cambelt change. 4 to 5k at this time of year should get you a good, well looked after example

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As above, 04 and 05 get premium as better road tax bracket. don't buy a 2006, road tax is crazy and they harder sell on .

this time of year jumps price 500 to 1000

good ones can be had as low as 2500 but needs be private sale.

Plenty good XT's about and autos easier/cheaper find.

Don't rush and only buy if 100% happy and inspected car in depth, look and check everything and do not trust what sellers tell you especially trade dealers .
Inspect rear arch wells and turrets for rot as some prone to it, need physically tap metal as rot from inside so can look pristine outside, visually look at rear subframe too & also see rear ride height seems pert and not saggy .
Good long test drive needed on good B roads, check gear change crisp (2nd and 3rd especially) & clutch ok . engine should be smooth with no hesitation .


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Thanks guys, that's really helpful. It make sense that 4x4's are going to be at a bit of a premium at this time of year but I chose to sell my other car before Winter set in so you can't have it all ways!

There is a 55 plate 2.5 XT near me for £3750, it's pre facelift with 98k on the clock and apparently been fastidiously looked after (so the dealers ad reads!). It's a manual, and I tend to prefer autos but it might be worth a look.

Is there anything I should know about manual vs auto? Also, are Foresters ok for motorway work? Most of my miles would be at weekends and although I only anticipate about 8k miles a year a lot of that will be 150-200 mile round trips on the motorway.

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Manual potentially bit better mpg plus tend resale better.

If really want an auto stick it out for one.

Have a look at this one as more see better idea you get on price and condition.

Be fussy as it easy get almost immaculate xt models as generally low mileage and little abuse, more so for auto. I found good ones easily compared to the base model work horse.

Ignore dealers as they full of it and use your own eyes and hands, inspect everything, operate all electrics and inspect paint finish as os wings and rear bumpers get knocked easy.

Plenty about and worth traveling a bit as proper tidy one saves thousands long term .

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