5 Best & Worst Years For The Subaru Forester

Learn which year of Subaru Foresters are good to purchase

The Subaru Forester is a popular choice among people who know about the Subaru brand, and it is a pretty good choice as a compact SUV that can seat up to 5 people and has an All-Wheel drive setup.

Though, of course, the car being popular doesn’t mean that you can go buy it instantly. You need to know the best and worst years for Subaru Forester before buying it.

Worst Years for Subaru Forester:

  1. 2001
  2. 2003
  3. 2010
  4. 2011
  5. 2014

Best Years for Subaru Forester:

  1. 2018
  2. 2019
  3. 2020
  4. 2021
  5. 2022

Now I’ll be going through all models that have been listed above one by one to find out what made them the worst or the best, going through every reason why they are called such.

What Are The Worst Years For The Subaru Forester? Which Years To Avoid

I will start with the worst years of the car, so you are well educated on really good reasons why you shouldn’t buy these models.

1. 2001 Subaru Forester

The Subaru Foresters of 2001 and before the year 2001 had major gasket problems. The problem was caused by a single-layer head gasket that was extremely weak.

This made people stay away from the first-generation models as this issue was quite prevalent in virtually all of them, and no one wants a car that has issues out of the box.

Of course, there was a cost of repairing attached to the car, considering that this was the type of issue that could have been repaired as the weak gasket caused leakage.

But to be very honest, why would anyone want to buy a car and repair it because of an issue that can be found as early as 50,000 miles.

2. 2003 Subaru Forester

The most common issues with this 2003 Subaru Forester were very basic and could have been easily fixed.

Mainly the issues were breaking door seals and the noise of wind coming inside the cabin due to a faulty window seal. These could have been repaired easily by getting them replaced.

However, you might have issues with the power windows too, which could have only been solved by replacing the entire door.

There were multiple complaints by consumers about the airbags not deploying; furthermore, there were several complaints consumers made related to the seat belts.

The main issues were with the engine and the head gasket falling. The car usually misfired while accelerating, and the engine often lost power while it was accelerated.

3. 2010 Subaru Forester

There are also several issues with this 2010 year model of the Subaru Forester.

Multiple Forester owners told that their diesel filter did not show a warning light while it was operational, and there was a problem with a blown head gasket.

These issues were typical and were to be repaired for roughly $2380; that was only the cost to replace that gasket.

Another issue with the interior was the driver seat collapsing and the lock not working. The most common problem within the car is the seat lock breaking.

This issue usually starts at about 64,000 miles, and the only way to fix the seat issue first is for it to be replaced.

It’s worth noting that the engine failure problem is not a minor one, and it should be replaced to remedy the problem, which does not come cheap.

Therefore, you should avoid this model at all costs since you’ll often be repairing the engine along with the car seats.

4. 2011 Subaru Forester

This 2011 Subaru Forester model came with multiple problems, namely accessible oil consumption, engine oil failure, oil leaks, and unexpected acceleration.

The most common one is engine failure. This issue only is fixed by replacing the engine, which is extremely costly.

Furthermore, the oil leaks were a big nuisance to many customers, especially the burnt oil smell that came along with it.

Excessive oil consumption is already a problem in itself as the cost of having a car increases and coupled with the cost of repairs that you have to do that makes the car something that you should avoid while trying to look for one.

The average cost to repair the treatment for high oral use is the placement of the engine was roughly about $1640, and it started occurring around 46,000 miles.

5. 2014 Subaru Forester

The specific model of the 2014 Forester was riddled with many issues. It had an excessive oil consumption issue, the suspension often broke down, and the gearbox had several problems.

The car was not an enjoyable drive. The suspension was terrible and coupled with the transmission problems due to a faulty gearbox.

The cost of replacing was high as it cost roughly around $1200 on average, and the issue started early at around 50,000 miles.

Moreover, the car had a broken clutch, which usually rolled forward when it was in parking mode. It used to get stuck in the park often.

This was solved by the manufacturers and dealers who were already accustomed to the faulty problems that the car came with.

Lastly, the car also had multiple failed circuit systems that caused blown fuses and miscommunication.

A few issues that came with the 2014 year model of the forest though they are not the costliest issues, there are certainly some that you don’t want in your new car.

What Are The Best Years For The Subaru Forester? Which Years To Buy

Now that you are well-versed with the worst models of the Forester, I should be going through the best models you should consider when looking for a Subaru Forester.

1. 2018 Subaru Forester

The 2018 model of the Subaru Forester had a classic exterior design. It was refined and redesigned for many consumers, giving it a very stylish SUV look.

Had a spacious cabin and it gave an excellent view to both drivers and passengers. It had large windows that several consumers appreciated in their reviews.

Moreover, the interior featured amazing headroom along with exceptional legroom for its occupants, making it a very good family crossover SUV.

Lastly, a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with the XT trim level’s staggering 250 horsepower is available for those who desire the thrill of more power.

Furthermore, this SUV is economical with gasoline, getting a combined 26 mpg. For a car with an AWD drivetrain, this is quite outstanding.

2. 2019 Subaru Forester

The 2019 Subaru Forester model had a lot of offers for the consumers. It was an already all-wheel-drive car with comfortable drive and great handling.

The car also had a very spacious cabin, and it was reliable in a lot of ways. Though it had some minor issues, they were not as major as discussed in the Worst model section.

It’s a crossover SUV. It had an all-wheel drive as a standard option which was great for many people considering that they could’ve driven it in most elements.

It was also a low-mileage car that was efficient with a good engine.

3. 2020 Subaru Forester

The 2020 Subaru Forester year model was a good execution of an all-wheel-drive SUV.

It offered excellent fuel economy, which was great as it efficiently used fuel while covering larger amounts of distances.

It came with several standard safety features that consumers always welcome since a car needs good safety options.

It had the finest all-wheel-drive systems in the segment, and it had very good handling that made the drive enjoyable and comfortable an all-terrains.

The car has a spacious cabin, and the interior is good for the price. There was only one major complaint which was essentially the windshield sometimes cracking.

Other than that, no major issues were reported that made this car reliable.

4. 2021 Subaru Forester

This was another great model in the lineup of 2021 Subaru Foresters. This was a highly-rated SUV that embodied ruggedness and practicality. It wasn’t the flashiest car, but it got the work done.

Interior space was one of its best qualities, along with top tier all-wheel-drive system and an excellent drive assistant suite that gave good eyesight to the driver while driving consequentially it made the car very enjoyable to drive, and it was comfortable on all terrains as it was an all-wheel-drive system.

Therefore, normal consumers and people who liked adventure enjoyed this car, and it was hard to go wrong with this model of the Subaru Forester.

5. 2022 Subaru Forester

This 2022 Subaru Forester model came with serious exterior upgrades from his previous models, which were the fifth generation of Subaru’s.

It featured 17-inch wheels, side-view mirrors, and a rear spoiler.

The car had a great interior and offered several features that gave the best value: a panoramic sunroof reclining seats, a great speaker system, and even a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The all-wheel drive was standard and gave the consumer a very comfortable and enjoyable ride. It is a great car for any family or person who enjoyed going on adventures away from the city settings.

How Reliable Is A Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester upholds that reputation. It earns an above-average dependability rating from the company, reports Repair Pal.

However, it is to note that the car came with some issues; however, these issues are easily fixable, especially for the best models that have been listed above.

For the worst, they did have issues that did not make the car reliable, and therefore you should steer clear of them.

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last?

The Subaru Forester developed a reputation as an SUV with a 200,000–300,000-mile lifespan during its 24-year existence.

The Subaru Forester has had a stellar reputation among its devoted customers since 1998. It was noted for the early versions to last up to 300,000 miles. That made the car extremely long-lasting.

What To Do To Lengthen The Life Of Your Subaru Forester

There are many ways that you can lengthen the life of your car, though make sure that you practice these consistently to make sure that your car stays at the top of its game.

Always check for all fluids in the car before driving, namely coolant, engine oil, brake fluids, etc.

  • Periodic and regular checkups ensure the fluid is good for use.
  • Keep the driving style calm and calculated.
  • Maintain the vehicle and always get it checked up often.
  • Always replace the air and oil filter if you feel like it is past its use.
  • Visits to the service centers after 6000 miles are also recommended.

These were several steps to be followed to lengthen the life of your car along with making it retain its value.

Things That Shorten The Lifespan f Your Subaru Forester

You need to make sure that you do not practice any of the said things as they are detrimental to the life of your car.

If these actions are not properly stopped, this could cause a massive devaluation of your vehicle and cause it to break down more often than it should, along with major and minor repairs to be made.

  • If you do not replace your tires after they are past their lifetime.
  • Do not check your vehicle for its brake fluid.
  • If you do not get the air filter and oil filter changed.
  • If you do not get the engine oil refilled and changed on its due time with its maintenance.

Though these things slip up pretty easily, it’s your responsibility to make sure that every single thing is done to keep your car up and running for a longer time the usual.

4 Most Subaru Forester Common Problems You Should Know

Now, I shall be going through all the issues that are commonly reported by the consumers that have bought this vehicle.

I will be going through them one by one for your convenience and ease of understanding.

1. Air Conditioning Problem

The air conditioning issues with the Subaru Forester are very well documented.

Many owners have complained of hot air coming out of their air conditioners, which eventually led to complete A/C failure. A faulty AC condenser may be the problem, according to sources.

Depending on the diagnosis, as well as component and labor costs, this repair might become pricey.

2. Excessive Oil Consumption

Although the issue is continuing, some people have stated that Subaru is aware of it and offers an oil consumption test; nonetheless, the test results come back normal.

This issue is commonly found in the 2014 Model of the car.

3. Transmission Issues

When changing gears, gearboxes are reported to jolt and tremble significantly. According to Subaru, this is brought on by a lack of CVT fluid.

According to the research done later, the fluid is not filled to the recommended amount, which results in air vacuum noise and raises the risk of chain slide under various driving circumstances.

4. Brake Fluid Leakage

It has been reported multiple times that the car had brake fluid leakages by consumers. This mainly happened due to corrosion due to the motion of the car.

This caused consumers to brake the car before stopping at a correct distance. Otherwise, it had the risk of crashes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is Subaru Forester A Good Car?

Simply put, Yes! The Subaru Forester is a good car. It is a good all-rounded SUV that comes with great handling and rides smoothly. It’s a better off-roader as compared to its competitors as well.

Q2: Do Subaru Foresters Hold Their Value?

Since it’s an all-rounder vehicle that can serve as a good family car and even a good adventure car keeping its all-wheel-drive situation in mind, it is a vehicle that holds its value.

It appeals to several people for the said reasons and therefore is a great choice by many. It loses roughly around 40% of its value after five years of ownership.

Q3: How Many Subaru Foresters Have Been Sold?

Though there is no exact number that can be pinpointed to tell how many of the vehicles at hand have been sold, a rough estimate is that around 150,000 units were sold years through 2018 to 2021.

However, it started to see a decline of 69% in November of 2021.

Q4: Which Subaru Forester Engine Is The Most Reliable?

The turbocharged engine 2.0 liter with 250 horsepower, which was offered in the 4th generation Subaru Forester model, is the best and most reliable engine.

It has great fuel economy, and it is continually recommended by many sources.

Q5: Is Subaru Forester Expensive To Maintain?

According to several sources, the Subaru Forester is slightly expensive to maintain, and costs have been high for over ten years.

It costs roughly around $1220 on average per year, and over ten years, its cost is about $12,200, putting it on the slightly costly side of cars that are to be maintained.


Now that you’re here, that means you have read the best and worst years for Subaru Forester.

I hope that you were able to figure out what model you would like to do for, and if you already have one of these, I hope it’s among the best models with the least issues.

The Subaru Forester is a great choice as a family car or a car for adventurers. It comes standard with an all-wheel-drive situation that is not that common among many car manufacturers.

Therefore, it is a great pick for many. It even performs well in the after-sales market due to its popularity.



Written by Kane Dan

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