Over many years of ownership, just about any car will have its fair share of issues. After, just like any electronics that you might buy, cars are products and products tend to break, no matter what country they were made in.
And while Japanese cars, for example, have been widely and historically known for being the most reliable on the market, they can have manufacturer problems all the same. One such car is the Subaru Forester. Since it’s redesign in 2019, the Forester has proven to be just as reliable as ever and presumably will continue to be as time goes on. But what about the older models?
The 2014 Forester is not the best model year
According to carcomplaints.com, a website where car owners can upload the issues they have had with their cars in an effort to spread information and warn any prospective buyers, the 2014 Subaru Forester is the worst year to buy. They ranked the 2014 Forester as the worst specifically due to “higher repair cost and more problems at lower mileage.” Taking a closer look, there were 40 listed complaints about the engine, with 25 of them specifically having to do with high oil consumption. According to the website, the average mileage in which this issue occurs is at around 26,000 miles, which sometimes requires major engine work, which carries a typical repair cost of $2,000.
Engine problems are not the only issues that have plagued the 2014 model year Forester. According to Consumer Reports, some owners have reported issues with the backup camera, CD player, and even the Eyesight System, which is the car’s active and passive driver’s assist system. Overall, the 2014 Subaru Forester was a 3 out of 5 rating for “Overall Owner Satisfaction.”
Should you completely stay away?
A closer look into that specific model year of the Forester shows that 2014-2018 was a fourth-generation for the car. It’s not uncommon for first model years, or even the first couple of model years, of a new generation to have the most problems. Over time, manufacturers tend to work out the kinks and fix and chronic issues. While not every 2014 Forester will have a catastrophic failure, we still advise to possibly go with a later model, even in the same generation if possible to avoid any unwanted problems. Especially since the 2014 models are now completely out of 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties.
The more recent years of the Subaru Forester
A quick look at the stats on Consumer Reports reveals that the later model years of the Subaru Forester yield much better reliability results in addition to better overall owner satisfaction. Carcomplaints.com also shows that the 2018 model year, the last year in that generation has the least amount of complaints. Looking at the 2019 model, when the Forester was most recently redesigned, there are far fewer complaints overall. So it should be a no brainer, that if your budget allows for a 2018 Forester, or perhaps a 2019, then it’s probably wiser to go with one of those.