And now it looks like I have to be added to the list of low-mileage HG problems. I too sought out an '03 because supposedly the HG issues were gone, and also because of the side air bags.
77k. I can definitely smell burning coolant if I sit at a light for more than a minute, or if I pop the hood open after driving a while.
This particularly burns me because, when I was shopping for a vehicle this last time, I had the list down to the Forester that I bought, and an '05 Sportage V6 4WD that had 10k fewer miles. I'm kicking myself now because my Kias have never EVER let me down, but I picked the Subaru for my long-standing relationship with them, the leather seats, and the slightly better fuel economy.
I know now that was an idiotic decision, that the 2.7L Hyundai Delta under the hood of the Sportage would have been a more reliable motor. I really should have known that as my wife has a Hyundai with the same exact motor that's at 90k with absolutely 0 non-maintenance work having been done to it.
Guess it's time to bite the bullet and find out how much the local shops want to rape me for this repair. Fortunately there are a couple good independent Subaru-only shops in my area.
'03 Forester XS Premium (Cayenne Red, 4EAT)