Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid – Should You Look Elsewhere?

Are you planning to purchase a used Subaru Forester and you are looking for the Subaru Forester years to avoid? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because, in this article, we are going to cover all you need to know about this legendary Subaru model.

One of the best things that you can do when buying a used car is research. Proper research will make you sure that you don’t get a basket case full of problems. And the more hours you invest into learning the possible problems, the more fortunate you will be once you purchase the car. Since you will avoid getting a problematic vehicle.

And trust me, out there there are a ton of vehicles that have not just one but many problems. There are hundreds of models and each of these models has different generations. So, each of these generations has different problems. This is why you need to conduct a proper investigation of the model and collect the right data. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out.

First, we are going to learn what is the Subaru Forester and understand the basic concepts of this model. Then we will cover the last four generations of the Forester. We will learn their specs, common problems, best years, and also the Subaru Forester years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

What Is The Subaru Forester

Now before we start discussing more complex topics like the Subaru Forester years to avoid. Let’s take a look at what the Subaru Forester is all about. Knowing the general concept of what Forester is, will be truly helpful for people that are not familiar with this model. So, let’s cover this real quick.

The Subaru Forester is probably one of the most legendary models of Subaru, except for the Impreza and Legacy. The Forester is a compact crossover SUV that was introduced in 1997 and is produced to this day.

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

During this 25+ year-long production stint, there were five generations of this model released in total, and each of these generations sold in big numbers. The Forester has an annual selling rate of about 170,000 units only in the US. Not to mention the global sales that boost this number even more. So, you get an idea why this model is so popular.

What is important for you to understand is that this model is a compact crossover SUV. This means that this is not a proper off-roader but a vehicle that is somewhat based on a sedan. Namely, the Impreza. The Forester in general is a lifted Impreza.

It has AWD as a standard, which is quite good considering that on other models you have to pay for AWD. But here in this model, you get it as standard equipment. But does the Forester have problems and what are the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that we are going to cover later on.

Subaru Forester Generations

Now as we familiarized ourselves with the Forester, we can move on and learn about each generation of the Subaru Forester.

As we mentioned, there are five generations in total of this model. But we are going to focus on the four most recent generations since the first one is largely outdated and not a lot of people are interested in it.

We will focus on the specs, common problems, reliability, best years, and the Subaru Forester years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

Second Generation Subaru Forester (2002 – 2008)

Now let’s begin discussing the Subaru Forester. Namely, the second generation. This generation was introduced in 2002 and the 2003 model year was the first production year. The model was produced until 2008 when it was replaced by the third generation.

What is interesting about this generation is that it moved away from that station wagon look that the first generation had and resembled more of an SUV. Even though it used the same platform as the Impreza. This means more ground clearance of course.

The wheelbase of the model was 99.4 inches and an overall length of 175.2 inches. And the curb weight is about 3,249lbs for the 2.5L turbo variant. Which is quite light when compared to the modern Forester. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.

Subaru Forester Engine & Transmission

Even though the Forester was offered with a variety of engines. For the US market, there is only the 2.5L EJ253 and the 2.5L EJ255 which was the same engine but turbocharged.

The naturally aspirated engine produced 165hp and 166lb-ft of torque. While the turbocharged engine produced more power, 210hp and 235lb-ft of torque.

In terms of transmissions, there was a 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmission available. As well as a 4-speed automatic. But what are the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.

Fuel Economy

In terms of fuel economy, we can say that this model got decent mileage. With 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined with the naturally aspirated variant.

And 18 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg overall combined for the turbocharged engine.

Safety

When it comes to safety, we can say that for its time the model performed well. But overall, it cannot be put in the same line as modern models of the Forester. This is genuinely an early 2000s design that is really outdated and in terms of safety, it doesn’t really meet modern requirements. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Problems With Subaru Forester

When it comes to the problems with the Subaru Forester, we can say that these vehicles have rather problematic engines.

Even though these engines have a low center of gravity and are basically really good when it comes to their performance. They are susceptible to a lot of problems that can lead to engine failure.

Namely, they are often prone to head gasket failures because of the cheap head gaskets that Subaru used. Especially from the model year 2006 and newer models.

These problems can easily scrap the engine. There are oil leaks coming from the outside of the engine. Coolant burning and oil burning problems. And eventually, the engine starts to wear out its bearings and start to knock. In this situation, you only have the option to replace the engine.

And when it comes to Subaru engines, this is like a plague. It is hard to find a Subaru engine that is not burning coolant and has not overheated at least once.

Also, another common problem is the rubber gasket around the windshield failing on these older Subarus. You should definitely check that out as well before you buy. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Subaru Forester Reliability

When it comes to reliability, we can say that it is rather poor. Especially when it comes to vehicles with engines that have more than 100,000 miles. These engines basically ruin the potential reliability score of the model.

Best Subaru Forester Year

When it comes to the best year of this Forester model, we would say to go for a newer model. The 2008 model year is probably the best since this is the most up-to-date model from this generation.

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

When it comes to the years to avoid, we would say to avoid 2006 and 2007. These are the model years with the most complaints on them. 2003 is also a good candidate since it has many issues documented by owners on carcomplaints.com.

Third Generation Subaru Forester (2009 – 2013)

The third generation of the Subaru Forester was introduced in 2008 and the 2009 model year was the first model year of this new Forester. This Forester was produced until 2013 at the Subaru Factory in Gunma, Japan.

This new model ditched the boxy shape of its predecessor and implemented a more modern streamlined design that improved its air drag coefficient which helped reduce fuel consumption. Not to mention that it looks much better from a design standpoint.

Even though different, it still relies on the Impreza platform. But for this model Subaru enlarged it and the wheelbase of this model is 103 inches. And has an overall length of 179.5 inches. Which is great for legroom. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that we will cover in a bit.

Subaru Forester Engine & Transmission

In terms of engines, this model offered a new and revised engine. Known as the EJ25. This new engine is still a boxer and is based on the EJ253 previously introduced.

There were two versions of this engine. A naturally aspirated version that produced 170hp and 174lb-ft of torque. And a turbocharged version that produced 224hp and 226lb-ft of torque.

In terms of transmissions, there were two transmissions available. A 4-speed automatic and a 5-speed manual.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy of the naturally aspirated engine was rather good for the time being. It got 21 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined.

The turbo version got 19 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Safety

When it comes to safety, this model was a big improvement in comparison to the previous generation. It implemented a new stronger chassis as well as more safety features when compared to the previous generation. The 2013 model got the IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

Problems With Subaru Forester

When it comes to problems, we can say that this model is rather problematic. The engines at higher mileage become rather unreliable and prone to problems.

Namely, oil consumption, oil leaks, coolant leaks, overheating, and rod knock. All these problems are affecting these newer engines at an even much higher pace than the previous generation, especially the oil consumption.

And if you are not aware of it and top off the oil constantly, the engine will overheat and throw a rod. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Subaru Forester Reliability

These Foresters are also quite unreliable vehicles. Especially the ones above 100,000 miles. So, it is rather to stay away from high mileage samples that were poorly maintained unless you want o get yourself a problem.

Best Subaru Forester Year

When it comes to the best year of the Forester from this generation, we would say to go for the 2013 model, this is probably the one that has the least issues since it is the last production year.

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Subaru Forester years to avoid, we would advise you to avoid all years except for 2013 since all of them have reports of engine failures. With most reports on the 2011 model year.

Fourth Generation Subaru Forester (2014 – 2018)

The fourth generation of the Subaru Forester was introduced in 2013 at the New York Auto Show. The model was officially released for the 2014 model year and this generation was produced in 2018 when it was replaced with the next generation.

This model implemented an improved chassis with added safety features. As well as improved exterior looks that made this model more up-to-date than other contemporary models.

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

The wheelbase increased for about an inch at 103.9 inches and this is something that allowed more leg room to be created for the rear passengers. The length of the Forester also increased to 180.9 inches. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Subaru Forester Engine & Transmission

This new model implemented two new engines. The naturally aspirated 2.5L FB25 created 170hp and 174lb-ft of torque. And the 2.0L FA20F turbo created 250hp and 258lb-ft of torque.

In terms of transmissions, there was only one. And that was a CVT automatic.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy of this model is excellent. It gets 24 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. The 2.0L turbo has slightly worse fuel economy at 25 mpg combined.

Safety

The safety also improved. The 2015 model also got a Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS. On the NHTSA tests, this model also performed well, getting 5-stars overall.

Problems With Subaru Forester

When it comes to Forester problems, we can say that this model still carries a lot of issues with the engines through all its production years. The high oil consumption, problems with coolant consumption, and oil leaks. All these situations end up with a blown engine in the worst case.

Also, there were problems with the new CVT automatic and a lot of owners reported that it lurches forward, slips gears, and overall, it performs quite rough. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that next.

Subaru Forester Reliability

The overall long-term reliability of this model is quite poor because of obvious reasons with the engine. These engines on high-mileage cars should definitely be a turn-off for you. Unless you want to end up with a problem.

Best Subaru Forester Year

When it comes to the best year, we would say that you should go for a 2018 model. And especially if you can find one with relatively low miles. This would be the best decision.

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

When it comes to the years to avoid, we would recommend avoiding the 2014 and 2015 model years. These two years carry most of the issues and most of the reports are done on these two model years. Especially with the transmission, we also know that the engines are bad.

Fifth Generation Subaru Forester (2019 – Present)

Now let’s cover the last generation. This generation was welcomed in 2018 and the first model year was the 2019 model. This model is still in production and is not going anywhere in the near future.

This new model is based on the Subaru Global Platform. This new modern platform was designed to create a better driving experience as well as to improve the safety and agility of the vehicle.

This meant that his model will grow in size even more. With a wheelbase of 105.1 inches and an overall length of 182.1 inches, it is the largest yet. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Subaru Forester Engine & Transmission

The engine used in this vehicle is a 2.5L FB25 boxer engine. This engine produces 182hp and 176lb-ft of torque.

The transmission used in this model is a 5-speed CVT transmission for all models.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy is good. The model gets 26 mpg around town and 33 mpg on the highway. And the combined fuel economy is rated at 29 mpg.

Safety

The 2019 model was also a really good performer when it comes to safety. On the IIHS tests, the vehicle performed really well and got Good scores on most of the tests. On top of that, the 2019 model got the Top Safety Pick+ award. But what about the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on this we are going to cover in a bit.

Problems With Subaru Forester

When it comes to the problems, we can say that this model suffers fewer engine-related issues. Mainly because it is still quite new and most of these problems appear after a couple of years.

Other problems include electrical issues. Namely, the battery dying constantly, and problems with the tailgate and lane assist not working as they should. The wiring also attracts a lot of rodents. In addition to this, the windshield chips and cracks quite easily.

Subaru Forester Reliability

The overall reliability of this model has greatly improved in comparison to the earlier generations and as of now, it seems that Subaru sorted out the problem with the blown head gasket and oil consumption. But the future will tell. So, what are the Subaru Forester years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

Best Subaru Forester Year

When it comes to the best year of the Subaru Forester, we would say to go for a later model year, 2021 or 2022 if possible. Avoid the first model year since it has the issues that we mentioned.

Subaru Forester Years To Avoid

When it comes to the Subaru Forester, we would say that you should avoid the 2019 and 2020 model years. Mainly because of minor bugs and electrical problems. You don’t want to mess out with these issues that first model years are more prone to have.

Conclusion

In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the Subaru Forester. First, we learned what this model is all about and why it is so popular.

Then we covered the last four generations of the Forester with the main focus on the specs, fuel economy, safety, common problems, best years, and the Subaru Forester years to avoid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Where Does Subaru Come From

Subaru is a Japanese carmaker. Their main factory is located in Gunma, Japan. But they also have factories in other parts of Asia, as well as in the United States.

Where Are Subarus Made

The manufacturing location largely depends on the model. For example, the Forester is produced in Japan. In Japan are also produced the Crosstrek and BRZ. While the Impreza, Outback, and Legacy are produced in the US factory located in Lafayette, Indiana.

Is Subaru A Good Car

When purchased new they are rather good cars. But as they add up miles, they became rather problematic. Especially when not maintained regularly. They tend to drink oil, blow head gaskets, overheat, and whatnot.

Are All Subaru AWD

Yes, all models that Subaru is making are AWD. And this is the thing that is really good when it comes to Subaru since you don’t have to pay anything extra for the AWD option since it comes as a standard.

Are Subarus Good In Snow

Yes, they are really good in snow. They have an AWD system as a standard and understandably this allows them to drive a lot better on snow than cars that do not have AWD.

How Many Miles Does A Subaru Last

Every new Subaru should last 150,000 miles. But since this is Subaru that we are talking about, their engines are rather prone to problems. So, when you come across a used Subaru with a lot of miles, better stay away from it unless you want to have to deal with oil consumption, blown head gasket, and oil leaks.

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