In Summary

Hello Paul, between a second hand Harrier and Subaru Forester, which one would you recommend and why?

Hello Paul, between a second hand Harrier and Subaru Forester, which one would you recommend and why? Jim.

Hello Jim, both cars are medium high maintenance. The Harrier might be easier to maintain but more costly to run in fuel terms. Subaru maintenance is expensive in the long term with the non-fast moving parts such as suspension or body parts.
However, its service parts are easy to get. The Harrier is easier or more affordable on both fast and slow moving parts as they are readily available and also has a better resale value than the Subaru.

Drivability of both cars is good. The Subaru is arguably more nimble and agile, particularly the all-wheel drive 2003-2005 Forester. It even looks chic. Toyota Harrier is bigger, more spacious and equally more fuel thirsty, especially with its 3.0 litre engine.

The 2.4 litre Harrier is better, but feels sluggish because the engine body weight ratio is not balanced. The Subaru’s 2.0 litre engine is better than the 2.5 litre one in fuel economy terms and matches the car body size.

If you must buy one of these, go for the Subaru Forester 2003 and have some fun. You will sweat a bit trying to get parts but with the many Subarus running around, the independent parts dealers will soon stock them. Be adventurous, listen to your heart.