Best Subaru Forester Model Years to Buy Used

Subaru is consistently ranked as one of the most-loved car brands because of its versatile vehicle options and because it gives owners a unique sense of community. One of the most popular vehicles in the Subaru lineup is the Forester, one of the best SUVs you can buy in 2020 according to respected critics like Consumer Reports and U.S. News. If you want to keep your costs low, purchasing a used Forester makes the most sense. Here are some of the best Forester model years to buy used. 

The 2019 Forester is an obvious choice

2019 Subaru Forester Sport parked in front of mountains
2019 Subaru Forester Sport | Subaru

Subaru completely redesigned the Forester for 2019, so it’s an attractive choice because of its exterior styling upgrades and tech features. This model year also marks the introduction of the new Forester Sport trim. But as U.S. News reports, 2019 Foresters are harder to find because they are the first of the new model generation. 

RELATED: More 2019 Subaru Forester Owners Are Having a Windshield Problem

The 2018 Forester is well-equipped 

Consumer Reports praised the 2018 Forester for its classic style and space-efficient design. CR also loves the 2018 Forester because of its expansive windows, which provide the best views for drivers and passengers alike. This Forester also offers ample head- and legroom, even in the rear seat. 

Standard 2018 Foresters come with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 170-horsepower. The standard engine is available with a manual transmission. For more power, you will want to look for the XT variant that features a 2.0-liter, 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2018 Forester is also relatively fuel-efficient and gets a combined 26 mpg. The Forester’s fuel economy ratings are pretty unimpressive for a model that comes standard with all-wheel-drive.

The 2018 Forester also features a modern infotainment system with a 6.2-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, connectivity, and HD Radio. If you go up from the base level to the Forester 2.5i Premium trim, you get more infotainment features such as a 7-inch touchscreen and voice recognition. Subaru’s EyeSight advanced safety equipment was also made available on this model, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. 

RELATED: How Reliable Is the Subaru Forester?

2016 Forester is a bargain buy 

A new Subaru Forester on display at an auto show
A Subaru Forester on display | Didier Messens/Getty Images

For many modern features at a bargain price, you will want to go with the 2016 Forester. The 2016 Forester offers a high-quality cabin and many other features that the 2018 Forester does. Like the 2018 Forester, the 2016 model year also has the same potent engine options and has AWD. The 2016 Forester first introduced the standard touchscreen infotainment system along with the new safety equipment options

Forester recalls 

Overall, the Forester is a generally reliable vehicle based on reviews from CR and J.D. Power. The 2018 and 2016 models are exceptionally dependable. You should know that the 2018 Forester was recalled twice for potential issues related to its tires and airbags. The 2016 model was recalled for a potential problem with its airbags and concerns with its engine cooling and exterior lights. Before you buy a used Forester, make sure to address the recall issues with your auto dealer.