What Years to Avoid Subaru Forester : A Comprehensive Guide

If you are in the market for a used SUV, the Subaru Forester is likely on your radar. With its reputation for reliability, safety, and versatility, the Forester has been a popular choice for those seeking a capable and practical vehicle. However, not all model years of the Subaru Forester are created equal, and there are certain years that you may want to avoid due to potential issues or concerns.

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Common Problems with Certain Model Years

Before diving into the specific model years to avoid, it’s important to understand some of the common problems associated with certain Forester generations. These issues can range from minor inconveniences to potentially costly repairs, so being aware of them can help you make an informed decision when shopping for a used Forester.

Generation Common Problems
Third Generation (2008-2013) Excessive Oil Consumption, Head Gasket Leaks
Fourth Generation (2014-2018) Infotainment System Glitches, CVT Transmission Issues
Fifth Generation (2019-present) Stalling/Starting Issues, Unresponsive Acceleration

While these problems may not be present in every vehicle from the specified generations, they are worth considering when evaluating the potential reliability of a used Forester.

Model Years to Avoid

Based on the known issues and owner complaints, there are specific model years of the Subaru Forester that you may want to approach with caution. Here are the years to be mindful of:

  • 2011: This model year is associated with significant engine problems, particularly excessive oil consumption and potential bearing failure. These issues could lead to costly repairs and are important to watch out for.
  • 2014: Some owners have reported transmission issues, including jerking and shuddering, which may be indicative of problems with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) in certain 2014 Forester models.
  • 2019: The 2019 Forester has received complaints about stalling and hesitating during acceleration, posing safety concerns for drivers. While not affecting all vehicles, these issues should be taken into consideration.

It’s worth noting that these model years are not guaranteed to have issues, and many Foresters from these years may prove to be reliable vehicles. However, being aware of the potential problems associated with these specific models can help you make a more informed decision and possibly avoid costly repairs down the road.

Key Considerations for Buying a Used Forester

When shopping for a used Subaru Forester, there are several key considerations to keep in mind regardless of the model year:

  1. Vehicle History: Obtain a detailed vehicle history report to understand past ownership, service records, and potential accidents or damage.
  2. Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have a trusted mechanic perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle to identify any existing issues or maintenance needs.
  3. Test Drive: Take the Forester for a comprehensive test drive to assess its performance, handling, and any potential concerns such as unusual noises or vibrations.
  4. Warranty Coverage: If available, consider purchasing a certified pre-owned Forester or one with remaining factory warranty for added peace of mind.

By being diligent in your research and inspection process, you can increase the likelihood of finding a well-maintained and trouble-free used Subaru Forester, regardless of the model year.

Frequently Asked Questions For What Years To Avoid Subaru Forester : A Comprehensive Guide

What Are The Common Problems In Subaru Forester?

The most common problems in Subaru Forester include head gasket issues, oil consumption, and transmission problems.

Is There A Specific Year To Avoid When Buying A Subaru Forester?

The 2014 and 2015 model years are known for experiencing excessive oil consumption issues.

What Years Have The Best Reliability For The Subaru Forester?

The 2016 and newer models have shown improved reliability and fewer reported issues.

How Can I Ensure I’m Not Buying A Problematic Year For A Subaru Forester?

Perform thorough research and consider later model years, as they tend to have fewer reported issues.


While the Subaru Forester has a strong reputation for reliability, there are certain model years that may have a higher likelihood of experiencing specific problems. By being aware of these issues and conducting thorough research and inspections, you can minimize the potential risks associated with purchasing a used Forester. Whether you choose to avoid the specific model years mentioned or not, taking the time to make an informed decision can pay off in the long run by ensuring that you end up with a Forester that meets your expectations for quality and dependability.

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