The Best Subaru Forester Year to Buy


Subaru Forester SUV is one of the top-selling models on the market, yet even though it has its weak spots, some model years should be avoided at all costs.

Owner-reported reliability experienced a dramatic spike in 2005 before falling significantly during 2006. Furthermore, this generation was plagued with airbag recalls, and maintenance costs spiked considerably at this time.


The Forester offers a relaxing ride thanks to its symmetrical all-wheel drive and standard stability control and features an expansive cabin that comfortably seats four. An available 10-way power driver’s seat provides maximum comfort, and the backseat reclines as needed. Subaru’s DC cubed unibody structure has more robust and rigid frame components, resulting in excellent passenger protection and high marks from NHTSA and IIHS for its safety features.

The redesigned Forester SUV remains an attractive pick in the small SUV segment. It boasts a more extensive track and wheelbase, double-wishbone rear suspension, and more cargo space than before. It boasts great off-road capability; standard all-wheel drive offers excellent weather handling, while its turbocharged engine delivers 224 horsepower. You can choose between a manual or four-speed automatic transmission for optimal performance; a towing capacity of up to 1,500 pounds can also be reached with this Forester!


Subaru has historically excelled at meeting the needs of niche markets among automotive purchasers, yet has recently made strides toward catering to a broader, mainstream audience – one such vehicle being the 2011 Forester.

City streets and more rugged terrain can be navigated comfortably thanks to its stiffer suspension, direct steering, and significant ground clearance. Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive delivers power directly where needed, and SPORTSHIFT gives you total control of how power is distributed between the front and rear wheels as conditions shift.

Subaru switched from their old EJ25 engine to the more fuel-efficient and powerful FB25B in 2011, improving fuel economy and power. Optional features for this upgrade included an easily removable TomTom navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity with iPod integration and power driver’s seat power drive system, fog lights, telescopic steering wheel, and heated seats and mirrors to further increase comfort during cold climate driving conditions.


Subaru made subtle adjustments under the hood of their Forester to improve performance, ride comfort, and fuel efficiency. Greater front cross-member rigidity, optimized rear trailing link bushings, and an upgraded Lineartronic CVT gearbox led to better steering response and straight-line stability while decreasing NVH levels.

On the road, the Forester stands out with its agility, making it stand out among its rivals. Its flat-four engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive combination create a low center of gravity, enabling it to navigate corners like a sports sedan, while its impressive 8.9 inches of ground clearance allow it to handle rough terrain easily.

Internally, the Forester feels refined and spacious. The front seats offer ample legroom and can comfortably seat three across the rear seat bench. A new height-adjustable front passenger seat comes standard on all models; a touch-screen navigation system with iPod integration (including music streaming ) is also available.


The 2013 Subaru Forester blends the outdoor-friendly qualities of an SUV with the sporty handling and road manners of a car. It’s also an excellent commuter vehicle thanks to its impressive cargo capacity and good fuel economy, plus its version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which powers all four wheels simultaneously while sending more power when necessary to those with more grip.

Subaru Forester owners praise its spacious interior, comfortable seats, and powerful engine. However, owners should avoid models from 2014-2017 as these have several issues, such as a fragile windshield which keeps windshield repair businesses busy. Crash testing revealed excellent scores across all categories except the frontal offset test and standard safety features, including a long list of standard safety features – with brake testing coming to an average stop time from 60mph of 122 feet for brake tests performed by Subaru Forester models.


Subaru released their fourth generation Forester SUV in 2014 to keep up with competition from new compact SUV models and draw family buyers in. However, ruggedness remains at its core. Subaru hopes that by targeting family buyers and being competitive against its peers.

The most popular model employs a 170 horsepower 2.5-liter flat-four engine that offers excellent acceleration while leading the class with 25 mpg combined fuel economy. There is also an even higher performance 2.0XT model, which boasts increased performance capabilities and more favorable gas mileage.

Both models exhibit impressive all-terrain handling thanks to standard Subaru all-wheel drive that delivers power directly to those wheels with the most traction, including an X-mode for slippery conditions, which boosts engine, transmission, traction control, descent control, and descent speed control – helping the 2014 Forester earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating.


Subaru stuck closely to its formula with this Forester, offering an expansive rear seat and additional cargo room. Inside is enhanced with richer materials and a revised infotainment system; additionally, the EyeSight suite of driver assistance features provides road departure warning and automatic emergency braking as part of its driver assistance functions.

The Forester has been completely redesigned, boasting increased height and length between wheels and its predecessor while offering ample utility and drivability. The steering feels perfectly weighted while body control is superior – not forgetting its standard all-weather capability, which makes this model great value.

A 2.0XT turbo adds fun on-road presence and better fuel economy, yet some models of this model year experience engine failure despite proper maintenance practices. Overall, this vehicle remains reliable, distinguishing it from competing compact SUV models while remaining cost-effective. Furthermore, it boasts an extensive feature set while remaining less expensive than many of its rivals.


Subaru Forester buyers prioritize utility over style, and this fourth-generation version provides many modern features at an attractive price point. Its rugged terrain handling abilities and inclement weather protection make this an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ vehicle. In addition, its spacious cabin provides plenty of cargo room.

Fuel efficiency has improved significantly; occupant comfort has been enhanced through luxurious materials, and driving dynamics have evolved to be more responsive and safer than before. An EyeSight system with stereo-camera technology also provides active safety features such as pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and steering-responsive fog lights – perfect for prepping for potential accidents.

This year’s Forester was an overall better buy than its predecessors, except for its unreliable infotainment system, which experienced frequent crashes and stalling issues as well as numerous recalls and owner complaints; nevertheless, it still ranks near the top of our reliability chart.


Subaru’s famous Forester stands apart from the current trend toward SUVs that resemble sports coupes by offering practical benefits like tall dimensions, ample ground clearance, and spacious rear seating. Furthermore, it was recently named one of the safest models in its class by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for crash test ratings.

Subaru upgraded its EyeSight driver-assistance system for 2017 with color cameras offering a broader and more extended field of vision, along with features like lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision braking for better driver assistance.

Redesigned front grille and bumper, new wheels, and Saddle Brown leather upholstery add visual appeal to the exterior of this car. Quicker steering with active torque vectoring helps improve handling, while interior soundproofing and insulation improvements reduce noise pollution.


The Subaru Forester is a popular compact crossover SUV featuring standard all-wheel drive. This versatile vehicle can be equipped with numerous safety and driving aids, making it one of the most reliable cars in its class while boasting plenty of ground clearance to navigate difficult roads or trails effortlessly.

The third-generation Subaru Forester had many issues, including airbag malfunctions and excessive oil consumption. Its fourth-generation successor proved much more reliable, with fewer complaints and a much better NHTSA safety rating. It features a powerful turbo engine for responsive handling, impressive cargo space, and an innovative driver assistance system as standard features, not to mention being one of the more economical SUV options on the market!


The Forester remains the quintessential Subaru wagon. While some SUVs can provide faster acceleration, its standard 2.5-liter horizontally opposed boxer engine produces 182 horsepower and 176 pounds-feet of torque, while its continuously variable automatic transmission excels in handling its duties.

Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance features are now standard across every model in this generation of Forester, featuring a stereoscopic camera setup capable of detecting pedestrians and cars in front of it, adaptive cruise control to maintain safe distance from vehicles in front, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection capability – making this class’ only model to offer this type of safety feature! In addition, all Foresters now come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality via touchscreen infotainment touchscreen infotainment systems.