If you’re in need of a small SUV that’s able to get you through the mud and snow with ease, then a used Subaru Forester is a great choice. Its all-wheel-drive architecture and Boxer engine make it a popular choice among off-road enthusiasts and regular consumers alike. However, considering that the used car market remains elevated, is it worth it to buy a used Subaru Forester right now?
Is buying a used Subaru Forester a good idea?
Yes, but you may have to cast a wide net to get the Subaru Forester you want. We say this because if you look at Foresters that are three years old and newer, many are selling for more than what they cost when they were new. Sure, we can argue that it’s just the current state of affairs, however, why buy a used Forester when you pay around the same price for a new one? That being said, if you’re in the market for one of these SUVs and can’t find a new one in stock near you, then go for a used one.
The key with buying used, as always, is to ensure that you find a clean example with low miles and a clean title that’s selling for a fair price. If you’re unsure what a “fair” price is, then you can look up the used car value on sites like Kelley Blue Book, CarGurus, and Edmunds to find out. In our research, the current market value for a 2019 Subaru Forester, according to CarGurus, is $25,640.
That number is based on an average of 2019 Subaru Foresters for sale nationwide. Upon closer inspection, we noticed that many of the Foresters priced in that range had high mileage, had one or two accidents, or had a branded (salvaged) title. However, we did find a few clean base-model examples with low miles (less than 50,000) for sale in the mid-$20,000 range.
If you would rather have one of the higher trim levels – Sport or Limited – then you could pay closer to $30,000 and above, which is close to the car’s original MSRP.
Why buy a 2019 Subaru Forester?
When it comes to shopping for any used car, it’s a good idea to start with a car that’s three years old. The reason being is that a three-year-old car is newer, will likely have some of the latest technology, and it has already taken the initial depreciation hit. In the case of the Subaru Forester, we recommend shopping for a 2019 model (or newer) because that year marks the initial year of the redesign for the model’s fifth generation.
Of course, if your budget doesn’t allow for this model year, then opting for an older model is still a wise choice. But if you can afford a fifth-generation Forester, then you’ll enjoy the EyeSight suite of driver-assist features as standard equipment as well as the availability of the X-Mode AWD system. The EyeSight system includes features like lane-keep assist, automatic braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a pre-collision warning.
As for other available features, the 2019 Forester was available with power-adjustable and heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a leather interior, a Harmon Kardon premium sound system, an eight-inch touchscreen, and dual-zone climate control.
A naturally-aspirated, 2.5-liter engine – which has been called “underpowered” by many — is standard across all trim levels. That engine is connected to a CVT automatic transmission, which doesn’t offer the best acceleration, but it does get fairly decent fuel economy.
Which used Subaru Forester model is right for you?
It really depends on your budget and the availability of Subaru Forester models near you. According to Autotrader, if you’re looking to spend around $5,000 to $8,000, then you may want to search for a second-generation Forester (2003-2008). Those models have the option of a turbocharged engine and a manual transmission, making them more fun to drive.
But if you have more money to spend, then the fifth-generation Forester is a great place to start. These models don’t have the same oil consumption issues as the 2014 and 2015 models either. No matter which used Forester you choose, always remember to have a pre-purchase inspection done.