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Subaru Forester
Overall Satisfaction Rating
3.86/5
  • 5 stars
    21
  • 4 stars
    4
  • 3 stars
    3
  • 2 stars
    1
  • 1 stars
    3
Based on 32 ratings submitted in the last year
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Subaru Forester

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The Subaru Forester is a compact crossover SUV. Read more Subaru reviews to learn about other models.


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35 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Customer increased Rating by 2 stars!
Verified Reviewer
Resolution response: Dec. 22, 2018

Thankfully the catalytic converter issue is now being resolved by the dealership.

Regarding the transmission, I will still like to hear from SOA.

I will update when I receive the car back.

Original review: Dec. 21, 2018

I bought a Forester XT in late 2014. I have babied this car in the hopes of keeping it forever. Only top tier gas, and regular Subaru only service with the best oil. From day one I experienced sluggish and unsteady acceleration, bucking, surging, and at high speeds engine slippage which I have complained about to the dealers with no resolution. I am aware now that these problems are widespread on my car model year.

In the past two years I have had to visit the dealer countless times for transmission leaks. While last year, Subaru of America extended warranties on the transmission to 100K miles, I have also seen an uptick on transmission problems as the car ages. At this rate, when the time the car is past warranty, the car won't have much value.

Two weeks ago, I took it in for an oil change at the local dealership (Serramonte). They again found a leak in the transmission and kept the car for a week. Upon pickup, I see they are towing the car into the lot. Apparently the car stalled on a test drive and had to be towed. They claim to have fixed the issue, and I pick up the car and the next day the engine light pops, along with Emissions and traction control lights. I take it back in to find that they want to replace the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors at full cost to yours truly.

While appalled that this all occurs within the span of 2 weeks being in their care, they have to gall to charge me for service and parts that are under their legal duty to pay. Federal law and their own warranty booklet states that defective catalytic converters and other ECM parts are covered until 80,000 miles (I have 75K at the time of writing). Now they tell me to call Subaru of America to make a case for myself.

After this most recent nightmare episode, I'm beside myself. I am truly left out to dry by my car, their dealerships, and the company that doesn't stand behind their product which has been plagued by numerous accounts of malfunctions. SOA is closed for the holidays, and I needed to vent. I'd like to hear if anyone has had similar experiences and how they got help. I'm desperate for a resolution to this car.

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2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 19, 2018

My brother bought a 2014 Forester, which I really liked, so I bought a 2017 Forester. This car and service has been a complete disappointment. It started after my first oil change/maintenance visit. The car started to have loud vibrating noises coming from the dash and the trunk. I took it in for a second service visit. I mentioned the noise, they said they would look into it after the oil change and tire rotations. I was optimistic. After, they said they fixed the issue. 20 minutes into my drive, the noises came back. I also noticed that they did not rotate the tires, even though they assured me they did. I know this because I had a oil/grime smudge on the front passenger wheel, which was in the same location after the “rotation.” I also checked the oil. To my surprise, it was quite dirty and definitely had not been changed. I brought the car back, the service manager seemed concerned and assured me they would take care of it.

Once again, a day after driving it, the loud vibrating noises came back. At this point, I contacted corporate Subaru. They basically told me that they couldn’t do anything and that if I wanted my vehicle serviced, to take it to another location. At this point, the key fob would randomly not work, and the car battery would die. I took the car to another location. At first, it seemed like they would do a better job. They told me that they welded the columns in the trunk back together and that it was a known issue. They said they checked the battery and the key fob, that both were good.

The noises came back about a week later. The car would also randomly die and need to be jump started almost daily. During each visit, I would email corporate Subaru. They basically have done nothing. They said they would escalate this and reach out to me. It has been 2 months now and I have heard nothing from them. I have sent multiple emails requesting a call, I have tried calling many times. Each time I call, I get put on hold after asking for a manager. Each time, I wait on hold for at least 20-30 minutes and then get conveniently disconnected. I am glad Subaru’s real reputation is coming out and making people realize how bad they really are.

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3 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 30, 2018

Our 2018 Forester has numerous instances where it is difficult to start the car because of the ignition steering interlock. When this happens one has to twist the steering wheel VERY hard while turning the key. In some cases it took two people. One twisting the steering wheel; the other turning the key. Our dealer tells us "the car is working as designed". I would not recommend this vehicle.

9 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 4, 2018

We've dreamed of owning this car for years. It has fulfilled all our expectations. Easy to drive, many convenient features, good gas mileage, great warranty features.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 2, 2018

2016 Subaru Forester purchased December 2015. I noticed a paint defect on hood of my Forester and was instructed to speak to the Body Shop Manager. I believe the defect existed on the car when delivered new and has only gotten worse. My fault that I didn't report it earlier. It is obvious that the defect was not caused by an external factor such as a rock chip or any other droppings. Body Shop Manager refused to remedy the problem despite the 3 year bumper to bumper warranty still being in effect (he says paint is not covered). In my opinion it should be covered since it was a defect from day one and could not be attributed to any other external factor. Joseph Subaru does not stand behind its product. I will no longer recommend Subaru or this dealer.

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 22, 2018

I bought a 2015 Subaru Forester in 2014. I now have 73,000 miles on the car, mostly highway miles. I have been happy with the car until this month. The weather hit 80+ degrees and I turned on my air conditioner. Alas, hot air came out. I took it to the Subaru dealership and when I explained the problem, I was informed that this is a "usual" thing to happen with the Foresters. After a $120.00 diagnostic workup, I was told that indeed there was a leak in the system and the job would cost about $1100.00 to fix unless I had a warranty. Alas I had one but it ended at 70,000 miles. A 2015 forester, only 3 years old should not have this problem. I no longer have faith in Subaru, sorry, this is my last one. For those of you buying a Forester, get a longer extended warranty, you will need it.

5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 21, 2018

This is the second Forester I have purchased. They very reliable and rigid. We love the customer service at the dealership, love the eyesight and safety features. It gets great mileage as we travel a lot. We take it to the outer banks and the all wheel drive option is perfect. I like the heated seats, luggage rack, large sunroof, all wheel drive, great leg room both front and back, black interior a definite plus. It's large enough but not too big. I wish it had larger cargo space in the rear, interior lights, glove compartment light. Rear USB ports would be a definite plus. A bigger screen on the backup camera would be nice. Having a cargo cover included would be nice instead of purchasing separately.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 17, 2018

I changed from an Infiniti to a Subaru Forester. I needed to save gas money with increased costs and it worked when I purchased this vehicle. I get more bang for my buck. The car handles the snow really well. And the heat works great too. The large windshield helps me see everything. But I wish the exterior and interiors were more modern and up to date with the current trends. Also, there should be more compatibility with cell phones - Bluetooth, charging ports and cell phone stands.

4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 16, 2018

The Subaru Forester is one of the most reliable, if not the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned, experienced. It has been a jewel for me, traveling... home and abroad. It is a well-built vehicle. It has almost 400,000 miles on it, and is running like a champ. Knock on wood. Great fuel economy. It was given to me by a family member, who maintained it well with taking it to the same dealership she purchased from. They have been very kind to her and have made her happy in maintaining a relationship with Subaru. I will be purchasing another brand new Subaru when the opportunity arises. I will have additional transportation, yet will always keep a Subaru in my arsenal. Improve the fuel economy though because the using gas situation, is quite played-out. I would personalize the exterior of the car: customize it to add more depth, enhance the vehicle's sleekness.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 15, 2018

I love the height the SUV gives me. Easy to park and back up cam makes it even easier. Handles smoothly and good handling in snow. All wheel drive gives me the confidence to venture out after a snowstorm. I feel safe when traveling with my children. Fold down seats are an amazing feature that makes me love the space in the car. Great trunk space but I would include netting to keep my groceries in place. Not interested in paying more for added features like sunroof or GPS but Iove my backup cam though.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 14, 2018

When I ready to buy a new car, I'd wanted to continue with a Saturn. But they were no longer being made so I turned to Subaru because of its reputation. The way it is built includes some renewable resources. The engine design is more balanced than standard engines, which should make it run better longer. Handles the road well, gets good gas mileage, and can carry odd sized things. It's also got good safety features. The seat fit well for sitting and seeing for lane changes. But I wish there was a way to make the moon shade to pull either way to get more light but block the sun. Haven't mastered the hands free phone, but that's likely my issue than a design flaw. But overall completely satisfied with my Subaru.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 13, 2018

My 2006 Subaru Forester is a great car with very little maintenance. It performs great on snow and ice, economical, fun to drive, very good safety rating, looks great, drives nice, smooth ride, and low repair costs. Also, high resale value and safety bags in side doors and front panels. However, it does not have an onboard computer, GPS, and WIFI connection. And it's a basic car, frame sits fairly low to the ground, wish the car sat up higher from the road.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 12, 2018

I love my 2018 Subaru Forester. This is my second Forester bought brand new and I also owned a preowned Subaru Legacy. I prefer the Forester as I like the ground clearance and the ease of getting in and out of it. Though my Forrester does not have all the luxuries of the Legacy in the model I purchased, I feel the ride is as smooth or smoother than the Legacy and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

I don't need a lot of fancy luxuries and was looking for safety and reliability which I know I have from past experience. I got the ground clearance I wanted and needed and the backup camera. It is Bluetooth equipped and has a cd player. Room for my dogs and the ability to hide cargo are the only other wants I really needed and they made sure I could handle the financing. I would change the light colored cloth seats though. I was unable to afford the protection package and I plan on owning this car for years so will have to purchase seat covers, at least for the immediate future.

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4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 9, 2018

I have owned Subarus for many years and I love my Forester. It is durable, has all wheel drive for snow in Massachusetts, it is roomy and comfortable. Most importantly I feel it is a safe car.

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Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 8, 2018

2009 Subaru Forester with only 35,500 miles. Constant recalls and mechanical issues. However, great customer service from the dealership. The newer models have greater mechanical reliability.

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 7, 2018

Fuel efficient, roomy, comfortable, top safety awards, low maintenance, AWD, second one I have owned, feel safe in this Subaru Forester. Bluetooth sync with phone makes for hands free driving. Easy to use touchscreen.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 6, 2018

Subaru Forester 2017 is a great car with the safety features such as lidar, all wheel drive, etc. Great producer of these cars. The Subarus have built a following among consumers.

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Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 5, 2018

I have a Subaru Forester 2010 with 100,000 miles on it. I really like it for its reliability, the way it handles in snow. I wish it were another color as I have trouble finding it in parking lots, and I think the front could be better designed to hold necessaries... It is a basic model, gets about 24 mpg...and frankly, it can't be beat.

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Rated with 5 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 4, 2018

This Subaru Forester is the second new car I've bought. Wanted to buy American but had nothing but very bad luck with the T-bird I bought. I worked on night shift for 40 years and really wanted a dependable car -- this Subaru is it! The only servicing I've had done is regular maintenance and the dealership in San Rafael is outstanding and for a single woman really helped me out and guided me as to what was needed and when. So glad I bought the car. It's a 2002 and I still love it.

5 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 3, 2018

I got a Subaru Forester last summer. I live in a lake-effect snow belt where storms and large snow-fall is legendary. This was my first winter driving my Subaru and it was amazing. I got through piles of snow, blizzards where I was plowing snow with my vehicle on the interstate, and never got stuck. I felt very secure and wish I had always owned a Subaru.

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 2, 2018

While it is hard to beat a Subaru Forester in winter driving conditions, they are a "finicky" vehicle. Subaru almost insists that you follow their maintenance schedule which is grueling if not quite expensive.

6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 1, 2018

The Subaru Forester is quiet and comfortable, holds everything we need to put into it, and gets great gas mileage. The electronics and radio controls on the console and on the steering wheel are great as well.

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 1, 2018

Subaru Outback - well-made, thrifty, roomy with excellent driving visibility. Enough power in its 4 cylinder engine to pull up to 2700 tongue weight (Forester tops out at 900 lbs). 4 cylinder is about 250 lbs. lighter than the 6 cylinder. Buy the 4 cylinder. Economy varies from 25 mpg in city winter traffic, to 39 on the open highway in summer. Great balance and traction in slippery weather conditions. Best car on ice I've ever driven. Convenient controls and smart night lighting. Excellent ground clearance and intelligent design, well executed. Kudos Subaru!

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 30, 2018

I've had this Subaru Forester for 15 years and I've loved every single minute of it. Not a single major problem. Comfortable, well equipped. When I start looking for a different car this is the one I would consider first.

3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 29, 2018

I just moved to a mountain community where I was warned that I should have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. I hadn't expected to get another car, but when my former car died, car shopping was mandatory. I began on CarGuru and spent weeks looking at Subaru Foresters. I've had many people tell me how great a Subaru is. When I found a few, and went to drive them, I was sold, even before the test drive. They are AWD and are not cumbersome, or too big. The size of my Subaru is really a perfect size for me. I love the way it drives around the curves of the mountains.

I love that the rearview mirror shows me what direction I am travelling. I'm not sure how well I'll be able to keep it clean since it is a tall SUV, and I can't reach the full size of the windshield to clean it, nor can I reach the roof of the vehicle for washing. Other than the tall size, it is easy to maintain and I have loved every mile it takes me. I have been getting 29.4 miles per gallon, which is more than I expected for an SUV.

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2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 28, 2018

Wish the Bluetooth radio on Subaru Forester was friendly. Gets too touchy. Otherwise awesome Car and handles great. Easy to get in and out and no blind spots. Free oil change for 2 years and great service.

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Rated with 3 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 27, 2018

Based on excellent reviews, I bought a used 2001 Subaru Forester. I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED! Repairs are expensive. A lot of the trim & features such as cup holders break compared to a Toyota that I had years ago prior to this Subaru. The rearview mirror & the headlights fogged over so badly that they had to be replaced; also the compass beneath the mirror stopped working. Temperature gauge on the dashboard suddenly stopped registering correctly or engine heat not being controlled right so that not enough engine heat is retained in the engine to run efficiently -- not corrected by replacing thermostat. Was told I would have to replace the whole dashboard & instrument panel to possibly correct. Mechanism to open the moonroof broke. Most frustrating is that despite trying several Subaru dealerships for repairs, NONE of them have technicians who can use reasoning skills to diagnose or figure out a problem!

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Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 27, 2018

In this tundra like zone, having a reliable 4 wheel drive vehicle (Subaru forester 2016) is important (to me). As I travel, I see other cars off the road waiting for tow trucks while I travel safely and securely.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 26, 2018

This is our third Subaru. We love these durable, good looking vehicles. They handle well and perform well whether it's a short errand to town or a long distance drive for an out of town wedding. As a Realtor I need a reliable vehicle and my Subaru Forester fits perfectly.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 26, 2018

Subaru Forester all wheel drive is of the best cars I have owned. High seating and comfort level. High gas mileage and glides like a sled on ice. Automatic bells and whistles sounding off to keep you abreast of any changes on the road when driving.

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Subaru Forester Company Information

Company Name:
Subaru Forester
Website:
www.subaru.com
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