What Are the Best Years for The Subaru Forester?


For many years, Subaru has been regarded as one of the most popular vehicle brands in the world. 

This is largely because of its wide selection of unique vehicle models, performance, and body styles. The lineup of Subaru vehicles is made up of powerful and luxurious Sedans and SUVs that have a very big following in the motor world. 

The Subaru Forester is one of the most popular SUVs in the Subaru lineup of sport utility vehicles. According to consumer reviews and reputable ratings from Consumer Reports, the Forester ranks top as one of the most reliable SUVs to buy in 2021. 

If you are on a budget and would wish to enjoy the high performance and luxury that the Subaru Forester has to offer, you should consider a used or pre-owned vehicle. 

This will require you to research to find the best model years for second-hand buyers. 

What Are the Best Years for The Subaru Forester? 

The best years for Subaru Forester to buy are those from the years 2019, 2018, and 2016. These model years have been ranked as the most reliable and come equipped with high-quality features and amenities that make the go-to SUVs in the Subaru lineup. 

The Subaru Forester SUVs are offered in five trim levels, namely Forester (base), Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring. 

Safety, performance, practicality, and dependability are the concept behind the design and manufacture of all Subaru vehicles. 

The Subaru Forester is a good example of an SUV that combines all these qualities to give its fans superior drive quality and a comfortable ride. 

But how good are the 2019, 2018, and 2016 Subaru Forester model years? 

2019 Subaru Forester SUV: Style and Performance on Wheels

The 2019 Subaru Forester comes on top of the list of the best years for the Subaru Forester. This SUV offers an impressive balance of opulence, comfort, and superior off-road abilities. 

The 2019 model was a complete upgrade of the Forester lineup that gave it an appealing look both inside and outside. 

It also comes packed with a host of technology features that makes it outrank most of its peers in the same class. 

The 2019 lineup of Subaru Forester features the base trim, Premium, and Sport trim levels. 

It is this year that saw the debut of the new Forester Sport Trim level, which was received very well by the Subaru SUV enthusiasts.

Although the sport trim was a rarity because it was the first of its kind in the new generation of Subaru Foresters. 

2018 Subaru Forester SUV: Redefined and Redesigned

According to Consumer Reports, the 2018 Subaru Forester was rated as one of the most stylish SUVs, thanks to its classic exterior design. 

Inside, the 2018 Forester came with much more space and amenities that put it at the top by genuine Subaru owners’ reviews on Consumer Report. 

It exhibited an efficient use of space inside the cabin, this is typical of all Subaru vehicle models. 

Consumer Report goes further to illustrate the consumer’s positive reviews concerning the large windows that come standard on the Forester. 

This allows for an excellent view for both the driver and the passengers. 

It also featured ample headroom and legroom for its occupants, making it an ideal family-centric SUV. 

Under the hood, the 2018 Forester features a standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine that provides 170hp. 

It is mated with a manual transmission. For drivers who need the thrill of some extra horsepower, the XT trim level, which has a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that offers a whopping 250-hp is a valid option. 

This SUV is fuel-efficient and gets a combined 26 mpg. This is very impressive for a vehicle that comes fitted with an AWD drivetrain. 

Inside the cabin, the 2018 Forester comes standard with a sophisticated infotainment system that includes a 6.2-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connection, and an HD Radio. 

Upgrading from the base Forester 2.5i model to the Forester 2.5i Premium adds more amenities like an advanced infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen and a voice recognition system for convenience and ease of operation. 

Other features that came with this model year include the Subaru’s Eyesight advanced safety features and adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. 

2016 Subaru Forester SUV: Prestige and Comfort

If you are on a tight budget and still wish to experience the prestige and comfort of the Subaru Forester that dates way back, the classic 2016 model year is a good place to start from. 

This SUV is the hallmark of Subaru’s attention to detail and ability to offer comfort without compromising on performance. 

Buying the 2016 Subaru Forester will offer you the advanced features of a Subaru at a very affordable price. 

This SUV comes with a premium-styled cabin and many other amenities to enhance the luxurious ambiance inside the cabin. 

Beneath the hood, the 2016 Forester offers equally powerful engine options and AWD like the 2018 model year. 

It also comes with the standard touchscreen infotainment system, as well as advanced safety and driver-assist features. 

Most of these safety features were first introduced in the 2016 Subaru Forester model year and later became the standard features for all the models that came later on. 

Are Subaru Forester SUVs Reliable? 

So, are Subaru Foresters SUVs Reliable? According to J.D Power and Consumer Reports, the Subaru Forester SUV is a very reliable vehicle. 

The 2018 and 2016 models scored high in predicted reliability. 

However, it is important to note that the 2018 Forester was recalled twice for potential problems with its tires and airbag system. 

The 2016 Subaru Forester model was recalled due to possible issues with its airbag system. 

It also reported some concerns about the cooling system of the engine and lights. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a used Subaru from these years, it is important to check the maintenance report and confirm whether these issues have been addressed appropriately. 

On the other hand, the new 2020 Forester has recently scored 84/100 on reliability rating.

It is difficult to forecast the reliability of the newest models since the consumer report examines the previous data and compares the issues raised. 

But since the 2020 Forester model is holding the second position on the list of the most reliable compact SUV, it is expected to be the most reliable in the future. 

It is predicted to have an ownership satisfaction of 5.0/5.0. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Should I buy a used or a new Subaru Forester? 

According to Consumer Reports, the old model years of the Subaru Forester have proven to be more reliable than the new model years. 

Such model years include the Subaru Forester 2016, 2018, and 2019. 

For instance, the 2018 Forester garnered a five-star reliability score. Other old models like 2016 have close to perfect reliability of 4.0/5.0. 

What are the problems of the Subaru Forester? 

Although the Subaru Forester SUVs have near-perfect reliability scores, they still exhibit some issues. 

According to CarComplaints, the 2016 and the 2018 model years reported fewer complaints cumulatively. Some of the complaints reported included engine issues, transmission problems, and excessive oil usage. 

Which year Subaru Forester should you avoid?

It is best to avoid the 2009 to 2010 Subaru Forester model years because of the high cost of repairs and maintenance. These models have recorded more complaints on the blown gaskets. 

This is mainly because of the turbo engine upgrade that came standard on these models. 

Most old model Subaru Foresters will still be on warrant. 

But if you buy a used or pre-owned Subaru Forester whose warranty period has expired, it will cost you a lot to repair and maintain the old model SUV, due to both the cost of the spare parts required and the complication of the drive- and powertrain. 

Final Thought

Subaru is popularly known for manufacturing highly dependable and safe cars. It has been on top of the list of the most trusted vehicle brands for many years in a row. 

It has topped the list of the customer satisfaction index for over two years standing. 

It is even claimed that “approximately 97 percent of Subaru vehicles sold in the last ten years are still on the road”. 

Making them the most durable and reliable vehicles in the market. 

This is an achievement that Subaru has attained because they are quick in addressing the issues raised by clients.

All the issues reported in the first-generation Subaru Forester lineup have since been addressed in the new model.

This has helped reduce the number of recalls reported in the new models. 

In 2019, Subaru sold over 180,000 Foresters, a record high that Subaru has ever sold in a single year. 

Therefore, if you are looking to buy a used or pre-owned Subaru Forester, you can safely pick any from the years 2016, 2018, and 2019 without fear. These model years will offer you value for money and an exciting user experience at an affordable price. 

Newer models (2020, and 2021) are equally good but lack reliable data on their dependability. While we can easily get the performance data for the newer models, the predicted reliability will be established after some comparative tests have been done.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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