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The Subaru Forester is a great compact crossover SUV that many car shoppers may be considering. That being said, many drivers may not have the budget to get a brand-new Forester, and that’s why it may be a good idea to look for a used version of the Subaru SUV. Here’s a look at the three best used Subaru Forester model years that cost less than $15,000 in 2023.

A Subaru Forester on display at an auto show.
Subaru Forester | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

The 2010 Subaru Forester is the best used option that’s under $15,000

U.S. News recently created a list of the best used compact SUVs that cost less than $15,000, and the 2010 Forester was tied for second place. It had an overall score of 9.0 out of 10, which isn’t far from the score that the SUV in first place got, which was a 9.1 out of 10. The 2010 version of this Subaru SUV is also going to be very cheap, as it can cost between $6,000 to $10,000.

This model year of the popular SUV was highly rated largely for the same reasons that the current model years of the SUV were also highly rated. The Japanese automaker gave the SUV all-wheel drive as a standard feature, and it came with some capable powertrains. The standard engine was a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that got 170 hp, and the higher trims received a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder that got 224 hp.

These engines made the SUV feel powerful, and they were relatively economical as the standard option got 24 mpg combined. Additionally, the Forester was a spacious SUV that had 68.3 cu. ft. of max cargo space. That was a large amount of cargo capacity for the segment. Lastly, although it didn’t have many tech features, the Subie did well in its crash tests.

The 2012 Subaru Forester is not that far behind 

Unsurprisingly, another great model year of the Forester was in the same generation as the 2010 version. The 2012 model year of the Subie SUV was ranked 23rd on the list, but it still had an overall score of 8.5 out of 10.

Since the 2012 version isn’t that much newer than the 2010 version, the two SUVs share a lot of similarities. For example, they both have the same boxer engines, and they both have the same horsepower outputs. 

This version of the Subie still had standard all-wheel drive and a spacious interior, but the Japanese automaker did make some small changes. For example, the front passenger seat became height adjustable as standard.

However, this model year of the car also had new problems. The car critic wrote that the SUV’s automatic transmission was “unresponsive.” This model year of the Forester is still cheap though, as it costs between $10,000 to $12,000.

The 2011 Subaru Forester is a solid option, but there are many more


2023 Subaru Forester Has 1 Giant Advantage Over Toyota RAV4

Another model year that made the list was the 2011 Forester. It was ranked 49th, and it got an overall score of 8.2 out of 10. Once again, this version of the SUV was in the same generation as the 2010 and 2012 versions, so its features and specs are almost identical. Subaru changed even less about this version of the SUV compared to the 2012 version.

The only major change was in regard to the Forester’s trim options. This was the model year that Subaru added the Touring trim, which continues to be the SUV’s highest trim level.

Overall, the 2011 Forester costs between $7,000 to $12,000, but it’s not the last good used Forester model year that’s also cheap. Several other model years made the list, including the 2009 and 2014 versions.