Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester Reviews

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Overall Rating3.5 out of 5
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The Subaru Forester is a compact crossover SUV. Read more Subaru reviews to learn about other models.

Subaru Forester Reviews

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Reviewed April 22, 2020

I hope to save people from heartache and financial loss with my story. Subaru engines appear to be highly questionable from head gaskets to excessive oil consumption and instead of a recall they just extend warranties a little bit. In 2016 there was a class action lawsuit against Subaru for the very issue I had - excessive oil consumption & engine failure **.

In January of 2020 I purchased a used 2011 Subaru Forester in Ohio with 56,600 miles. 42 days and 1,800 miles later, while on a trip back from Philly had issues in Maryland. Two different mechanics looked at the vehicle (one that specialized in Subaru's) and found the engine failed, there was no oil left, no evidence of an oil leak and therefore the engine was burning oil at a crazy rate. The vehicle had just gotten an oil change at the dealership before I purchased it. Eventually I came across the class action lawsuit against Subaru and how Subaru extended the original warranty to 8 years / 100,000 miles. So obviously this is what happened to my vehicle.

Since it was only a couple months past 8 years old, and well under 100,000 miles, I called Subaru of America to see if they could do anything to help me out. They refused to even consider helping me since "there was not an oil consumption test completed by an authorized Subaru dealership before the engine failed". Like a car burning through all of its oil in 1,800 miles and 42 days wasn’t enough of an oil consumption test!. When I asked to speak with a manager they said that was impossible. If you want the adventure of being stranded in the middle of Maryland for 3 days at a Best Western Hotel go with Subaru. If not, learn from my mistake and buy a Toyota, Honda, Ford or anything else.

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Reviewed March 2, 2020

Add my name to the many very dissatisfied with Subaru vehicles, and unfair treatment by customer service. My Forester failed the oil consumption test, and now I need a new engine at 125,000 miles - never received notification about vehicle defect and class action extended warranty. Subaru should pay to fix these defective cars that customers buy in good faith. I was told it was my problem that my Forester showed engine damage past the warranty, and my problem that I never received the notification they claim to have sent, even though I was the original owner, my address was current, I even was employed by my post office as a mail clerk, bought the car new, purchased extended warranty, did all maintenance servicing, and had oil changed every 5,000 miles, and brought car in for airbag repairs when I received notice. Had I been sent notification, I would have immediately brought car in for inspection within the warranty time frame.

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Reviewed Jan. 25, 2020

I purchased a brand new 2012 Subaru in 2011 (my first Subaru). Up until last summer at 102,000 miles I loved it, then all went downhill. I took it in to the dealership for an unusual noise and was told it would need a new short block engine as it was 3 quarts low on oil. How can that be I asked since not one single dash light had come on during this time. Well when did you last have the oil changed he asked and I replied that he could check in his system since the dealership did my oil changes.

3 quarts low in 2700 miles... $5300 later I still pressed for an answer as to why none of my dash lights warned me and was told it was due to a failed oil pressure gauge. Like I said I believed in Subaru but now get a little nauseous at the Subaru Love ads and say a little prayer when I leave for work that I will get there. Just mad at myself that I have spent another 1/4 cost of a new vehicle instead of getting rid of it then. To be clear I did all my required maintenance from my purchase, but in the end it cost a lot.

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Reviewed Dec. 29, 2019

There's a reason you see so many Subarus on the road! When we needed to replace our long loved Ford Edge, we assumed it would be with another Ford. Then, we tried the Subaru with the "eyesight" feature and we were sold. I also have an issue with my back and the seats were a perfect fit.

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Reviewed Dec. 28, 2019

Very good for snow and off road terrain, huge cargo space, however underpowered to a fault. Main problem so far is that driver’s seat is very uncomfortable, and steering wheel does not extend sufficiently, either your legs are bent or your arms uncomfortably stretched, otherwise, serves the purpose.

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Reviewed Dec. 27, 2019

Major work needed to be done at 80k. Engine reseal with cams and something else. Right now the transmission sounds bad and I need need new shocks and struts before I get tires. I bought this car 2011 and expected no major work until 150k. Very disappointed.

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Reviewed Dec. 26, 2019

This is the third Forester I have owned, and by far the best. Added safety features are great, and driving this Forester is an absolute pleasure. As far as looks go, I had no intention on upgrading from my 2016 Forester, but once I saw the new 19 Sport, just had to have it.

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Reviewed Dec. 25, 2019

Great car. All wheel drive. No problems. Well made to last for long time. This is my second Subaru. Drove thru many snow storms in Rochester NY with no problem. Great color and still shines. 2012 model. Very little maintenance. Bought it as a pre-owned vehicle with low mileage and fantastic warranty. Would highly recommend this car.

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Reviewed Dec. 24, 2019

I love my 2010 Forester, however, the pick up is weak. I cannot accelerate as quick as I would like to, especially in scary situations on the highway. Subaru puts 4 cylinders in their cars to save on gas, and I understand that, but my car is a little slower than I would like. I have taken this vehicle all across the country. I have done a lot of off-roading in the Nevada, Arizona and California deserts as well as the mountains in California, New York, Utah, etc. It did very well on rough, icy and muddy roads. I actually lived and slept in this car for a while. Surprisingly comfortable! I love my Subaru. I put over 50,000 miles on it since I bought it used back in 2017. I will definitely consider a newer Forester when the time comes to purchase another car.

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Reviewed Dec. 23, 2019

I have had several Foresters and it is the only car I will buy. It is average on gas, but it is good in the winter weather which is very important to me. I like the way it drives and that is a highly rated safe car.

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Reviewed Dec. 22, 2019

Love some features, hate some features. The adaptive cruise control is excellent. It works from a dead stop up to the speed the driver has chosen. Driver information messages are awful. The only display for a second or two. A chime lets you know there is a message, but by the time you look down to see it the message has already disappeared.

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Reviewed Dec. 21, 2019

This is my fourth Subaru. I've owned two Outbacks and two Foresters. Each one I've owned has given me excellent service, with no problems whatsoever. I am especially pleased with the safety features on my 2019 Forester Limited. Mine has Eyesight front collision prevention, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, rear collision prevention, and blind-spot monitoring. The 2019 Forester is larger than its predecessors, peppier, and gets better mileage. How do they do this? Subaru clearly listens to its customers, and this is reflected in each year's improvements. My only complaint in previous models was the turn signal clicker. I often couldn't hear it over traffic noise or the sound system. Subaru fixed this with the 2019 models. I can hear it, even while playing the excellent Harmon Kardon sound system, and it's not obnoxious. Just loud enough to tell me that my turn signal is on. It's this attention to detail that will keep me a loyal customer.

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Reviewed Dec. 20, 2019

I love this car as it makes me feel safe. It is easy to drive, has ample leg room and is high enough for me to get in and out with ease. I also like the fact that it is a very safe car with an internal frame that makes for a secure feeling. My wife drives one as well and she was t-boned by a large pick up and escaped unscathed. It also offers substantial storage and carrying capacity. I would recommend this vehicle to any one.

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Reviewed Dec. 20, 2019

Four months into ownership, 2nd Subaru. Fuel mileage great. Sometimes phone connection is slow on bluetooth. There is no really center console space for stuff. Seat belt connections are too low. I had to buy extenders so I could reach them. They are okay if you are short and move your seat forward, but if not they are between the seat and center console and hard to get to. Also, the door pockets could be just a tad deeper say another 1/2 inch of space so you can actually get stuff and your hand in there.. Also, the fabric floor mats that come with the vehicle are junk. Make them better or remove them from the price. However, they did come with great plastic floor mats which are the only ones I use.

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Reviewed Dec. 19, 2019

Well designed but not as intuitively ergonomic as my prior RAV4. Good mileage, optimal sizing, excellent safety features. Consumer Reports review basically nailed it. Dealer made the buying process unnecessarily drawn out. Website did a good job on hardware options but poor on software. Biggest hiccough so far, setting the clock - I couldn't figure it out, dealership had to call tech support. Now I'm stuck with daylight savings time setting.

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Reviewed Dec. 18, 2019

The Forester drives like a Cadillac. The interior is very roomy, and Subaru's Eyesight safety system and AWD come standard on all models. This vehicle is rated 5 stars out of 5 stars for crash safety by the NHTSA. Also gets an average of 28 mpg which is also #1 in the subcompact SUV category. Consumer Reports gives the Forester a rating of 84 out of 100 which is one of the 3 highest-rated vehicles they have rated. Great Value. Warranty is average. Would buy again!

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Reviewed Dec. 17, 2019

This is my 9th or 10th Subaru, and everyone just gets better! The safety features are phenomenal! The Eye Sight Package lets you know if you're drifting out of your lane, and helps control the car to keep you on the road. It drives well in the snow, and even ice too! The 2020 Forester has more leg room in the back seat and a lot more space in the cargo area! And the price is right too!!! I love this car!!

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Reviewed Dec. 16, 2019

I live in Denver, CO and my 2008 Subaru Forester has kept me going through up to 11 inches of snow. Subaru is the most seen vehicle make and I think of it as the state car of Colorado. Mine is paid off and the maintenance even for a ten-year-old car is not more expensive than a monthly car payment. Gas mileage is ok – about 20 miles per gallon. I recommend finding a reliable auto mechanic shop (I specifically recommend ATR), because the reason I gave the company overall a 3 rating is because the dealer servicing is horrible. I’ve had either an overcharge issue or a timing issue with every Subaru dealer I’ve used in Denver – one of them can’t seem to tell time.

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Reviewed Dec. 15, 2019

Subaru makes a wonderful product! The Forester handles so well that It's hard to tell that I am driving an SUV. Very comfortable for long trips as well. My Ins. rate went down! This is due to the safety ratings on the Forester. My previous vehicles cannot compare. (One was a Honda).

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Reviewed Dec. 14, 2019

I've complained several times about oil consumption, always being told, a Qt in 3000 mi. is acceptable, not to me. On vacation of 2500 miles, used over a gal. oil, tested at dealer, Ends with engine (short-block) being removed R&R under warranty, that removes a lot of negative I had before of the pancake 2.5L Leaker from low sloppy machinist specs for 2013.

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Reviewed Dec. 13, 2019

This all-wheel drive car makes me feel absolutely safe on the road, regardless of weather or road conditions. I understand that gas mileage is not the best, due to the all-wheel drive technology, but I love this car anyway. It has great visibility, great comfort (heated seats are my pet luxury), and ample room for passenger/driver comfort.. The fold-down split-rear seat offers excellent cargo room--not to mention the standard roof-rack and that is combined with a car that isn't a monster in size or driveability.

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Reviewed Dec. 12, 2019

I have owned a Subaru Forester since 2010 and this cars are very reliable, good on gas mileage, safe on the roads. The interior is modest and simple but it works for daily usage. I’m happy with this Subaru Forester and looking forward to update soon with a newer one.

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Reviewed Nov. 25, 2019

I bought my third Subaru Forester in March of 2017. From the moment I bought it, I knew it had no heat on the floor. I would get in the car with snow on my feet and it wouldn’t even melt off. I complained and complained, went to a different dealership, I called corporate, all to no avail. Of course it only bothers me in winter, but still, I’m paying for a lease that is not even worthy. I cannot get anyone at Subaru to listen to me help. It’ll be the LAST Subaru I ever buy.

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Reviewed Nov. 13, 2019

2008 and 2017 Foresters - on the 2008, various $ problems ** right after 30,000 miles, and then electrical system - dashboard warning icons problem - indicators stay on even though there is not a real problem, just with the system. Too expensive to bother fixing. Made the repeat mistake of buying a 2017 forester. At 10,000 miles, battery died. Dealer said it's because I do not drive enough. Huh? I drive several times a week, but apparently have to do long rides to keep battery going. They replaced the battery and "Adjusted" the computerization to accommodate low-mileage drivers. Then, the "Security" icon started blinking constantly at 11,400 miles. Could not use the fob to open the door - now on the way to dealer again re: "Calibration"- of what? Electrical system? New fob? What? No more Subarus for me!!!!

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Reviewed Nov. 8, 2019

Subaru 2010 Forester limited: purchased with extended warranty which ended April 2017. In 2018 the head gaskets developed a leak which the dealership informed us it was a common occurrence with all Subarus at or around 60,000 miles. Ours had 63,000 and it would cost between 3,500 to 3,700 dollars to replace. We had it done at a Subaru only mechanic shop for 2,500. Now here we are November 8, 2019, took in our forester for oil change (always every 3,600 miles) we let the mechanic know that just yesterday we are noticing a slight fluttering noise. He has just finished checking it out and has informed us we need a new short block engine due to rod wear. The estimated cost at 5,200 to 5,500 dollars. Our Forester has 80,000 miles and has been maintain to exact manufacturer's specifications! Maybe this vehicle is not exactly a lemon but, it is certainly sour grapes! Never buy a Subaru!

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Reviewed Oct. 27, 2019

Subaru offers a 100,000 warranty on these cars, knowing the transmission will go out around then. Ours went bad at 108,000 and they offered us nothing. Now stuck with a broke down car and needs a $9000 new transmission. Shame on you Subaru for even releasing these cars!! Wife & I we’re both avid Subaru drivers and supporters... After this experience, will NEVER buy or recommend Subaru to anyone!!

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Reviewed Oct. 23, 2019

I have a 2014 Subaru Forester. Seriously, not happy as I have been complaining about putting 1 to 2 quarts of oil in between oil changes since it hit 60k miles. It now has 108k miles on it. It would reach 2.5k miles after an oil change and my oil light would come on. It also has a burning smell whenever I park. Of course nobody can tell me why and when my husband called Subaru, someone had the gall to tell him it is normal to add oil between changes.

We take very good care of this vehicle and make sure all maintenance is done on a regular basis. I drive over 2 hours a day and once a month I drive to other states, sometimes across country to the East Coast. So we make sure the vehicle is in top shape because I do not want to be stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with no help in sight. It is a serious safety concern for myself.

Having to add oil and be vigilant about monitoring my oil levels is a serious problem. What is sad is that Subaru is not addressing the full problem as they should because if I, as a consumer, had known of this issue I never would have owned a Subaru. Any engine that burns oil between changes should be addressed and fixed at the automaker's expense, not the consumers. If a car burns oil early in its life, as mine has, it will burn even more as it ages. If I have to add oil between regular vehicle maintenance, that means the costs due to excessive oil consumption adds up in addition to the expense of the routine oil changes. That is not fair to the consumer.

I feel like I have been misled from the beginning. I mean seriously, why was I not notified of the oil consumption issue these vehicles have? Why was I being told "that's normal" to be adding oil when obviously it is not. Of course Subaru service personnel did not mention to me the oil consumption issue or the lawsuit until after my vehicle was over 100k miles. Every single one of them told me there was nothing wrong.

Also, why do I have to go to the dealership and ask them about a brake light switch recall on the vehicle. I never received any notification about a recall, not in the mail and not by anyone at the dealership. I bring my vehicle there regularly to have maintenance, it is the only place I take my vehicle, so why would they not tell me about the recall or at least check for one? I was told my vehicle had a recall on it by my insurance company. Seriously, USAA had to tell me there was a recall, not Subaru. When this vehicle was purchased it was the #1 vehicle in safety and quality. That is why my Dad purchased it, instead of a Toyota, and gave it to me. He made that decision based on Consumer Reports and reviews. That was the first time ever that he bought something besides a Toyota.

I really love my car, but this is a deal breaker for me. Not sure I want another Subaru. My last car was a Toyota Sienna. I put over 230k miles on it, took it overseas for 6 years and drove it on the German Autobahn all the time and across the country several times. Even drove it in Kazakhstan a third world country for 2 years in negative 20 degree weather. Never had to add oil, ever. My car before that was a Toyota Matrix. I put over 140k miles on it and never had to add oil to it, ever. I gave that one to my younger brother. The car before that was a Toyota Prius. I put over 270k miles on it, traded it in on for the Matrix. Again, never had to add oil to it, ever. The hybrid battery did go bad at 138k miles, but Toyota stood behind their product and replaced the battery, no charge to me.

The vehicle before that was a Toyota Camry. Put over 250k miles on it. Never had to add oil to it either, ever. You see where I am going with this? Not sure I want to buy another Subaru even though my son has bought 2 vehicles from Subaru within the last 3 months based on the fact that I now own a Forester and I was considering buying another Subaru (Ascent) after a sales rep called my son and offered $10k for my Forester if I bought a new Subaru. I turned him down because my husband and I really thought I would get over 300k miles on it. Very disappointed with Subaru.

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Reviewed Oct. 18, 2019

I bought a new 2013 Subaru Forester in 2012. After owning it a very short time I noticed a leak on the garage floor. Took it into the dealer and they said I had a cracked block. Took them a long time to replace it. Good service at the dealer as I always took it in as called for in the warranty. A couple of years later once again they detected another cracked block. The rep from Subaru happened to be at the dealership and they again replaced it. I frequently had times that the I could not get the key out after I parked. Had to turn the steering wheel hard back and forth as I tried to get the key out.

Twice the car totally stalled. I could not use the brakes, shift or control the car at all. It finally rolled to a stop. The last time it happened I was terrified. The same thing happened and I rolled onto a curb and hit a light pole which stopped the car. If I hadn't hit the curb and light pole I would have rolled into into 5 o'clock traffic. I could not get the car started so had to leave it at the building where I had been for two nights. Of course the lights because I could not get the key on were on so the battery was dead. Had it jumped took it to the dealer. I refuse to drive a death trap again!! This car only has about 25,000 on it. What I do now?

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Reviewed Oct. 13, 2019

Motor is shot at 112,000 miles due to oil consumption problem. Never a service bulletin or any type warning about the oil consumption Problem. 2011 Forester. Bought new. Never again will I buy a Subaru. They should at least cover the cost. Customer service is a joke!

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Reviewed Oct. 2, 2019

I own a 2016 Forester XT and I never had any issues at all. Very dependable and solid built SUV. Handles good. Accelerates good. Overall I recommend buying this year model. The only visits to dealer had been routine oil and filters change.

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