Recalls are never good for a car’s reputation. Depending upon the recall’s severity and how the manufacturer handles it, consumers might shy away from a car or even a brand. For example, the 2019 Subaru Forester‘s reputation took a hit in April when a recall revealed the compact SUV could endanger occupants. Unfortunately for dealers trying to unload their used-car inventory, J.D. Power’s recent reliability rating makes the 2019 Subaru Forester look even worse.
The recent 2019 Subaru Forester recall
Subaru recently announced two recalls. The first includes approximately 405,000 2019 Foresters and Crosstreks. The automaker initiated the recall as concerns arose that the rear suspension bolts — specifically those on the rear stabilizer bracket — could come loose, damaging other vehicle components. Dealerships will inspect the affected models and retorque any loose bolts. Owners can call 844-373-6614 for more information.
Indeed, this recall isn’t ideal for the 2019 Subaru Forester, already subject to windshield problems. Subaru’s second recent recall doesn’t help matters. That recall involves 466,025 2018 and 2019 Crosstreks and 2017 to 2019 Imprezas. Dealerships will work on the engine control module’s programming, as the unit could leave the ignition coil energized long enough for short circuits and blown fuses to occur.
The Subaru Forester is a popular SUV thanks to its power, performance, handling, and affordability. Consumers like the Forester because it’s generally a reliable all-wheel-drive SUV they can get them and their families from point A to point B, whether on the pavement or off-road. Unfortunately for dealers, an influential source — J.D. Power — found the 2019 Forester unreliable.
The 2019 Subaru Forester’s reliability ratings
U.S. News shows the 2019 Subaru Forester’s reliability rating is a below-average 2.5/5. J.D. Power ratings are well-regarded throughout the automotive industry. They can give prospective buyers even more reason to like a car or look elsewhere.
The low rating is partly because the 2019 Forester has seen three recalls. The first concerns those suspension bolts. The second involves about 10,000 2019 Forester and Crosstrek vehicles. Subaru realized an electronic power steering component could short-circuit, increasing a driver’s crash risk. The third recall, affecting 51,613 2019 Crosstreks, Foresters, and Ascents, resulted from the PCV valve’s potential to break apart. Pieces could enter the engine, leading to a loss of power.
In general, below-average reliability ratings could torpedo a car’s resale value. However, the 2019 Subaru Forester still boasts a high resale value, J.D. Power reports. Despite its flaws, this compact crossover is excellent in other ways.
The 2019 model offers plenty to recommend it
Though the 2019 Subaru Forester has its share of issues, it’s an affordable SUV for around $24,000 to $30,000. It also performs and handles well on or off-road, with responsive steering and minimal body lean. All trims come standard with AWD and a 2.5-liter F4 engine producing 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Though that’s not the most potent engine, it’s really all you need for a vehicle that handles as well as the Forester.
And while the exterior is similar to previous Foresters, the 2019 model’s interior is roomy, with more legroom and 76.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down. It also comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Pandora, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Plus, several upgraded technology options are available, such as a nine-speaker sound system and navigation services.
Further, the Forester comes equipped with Subaru’s impressive EyeSight suite of advanced safety features. And the optional Starlink Safety Plus package is ideal for keeping families safe in case of an accident.
Overall, the 2019 Subaru Forester isn’t the most reliable vehicle on the road. If you opt for one, you might face repair and maintenance challenges. However, this popular SUV has plenty of plusses and is worth a hard look.