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im going to be looking at 2 xt forresters very soon. Both are withing 5 miles of each other. 2015 and 2017. What would be the better of the 2 years? Any issues for each year? Thank you for your time.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT w/ S & S#
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What does "both are within 5 miles of each other" mean ? That the owners live 5 miles apart or 5 miles from you? Or the mileage on the vehicles is essentially identical?

I think the mileage on the vehicle and the asking price would be critical things to know before one would make a suggestion as to which to purchase.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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Trim lines and transmissions?

If the 2015 is a manual transmission it may be prone to oil consumption. I believe these were the units that Subaru identified as such:
Automatic / CVT Transmission:
2011-14 Forester (below VIN *529004)
Manual Transmission:
2011-15 Forester (below VIN *543650 )

The 2017 will have a quieter interior but will also have the acoustic windshield which some here believe are more prone to cracking.

For changes that occurred with the 2017 model year, see "NEWS AND UPDATES AND WHATS NEW ON THE 2017s" here:
2017 Subaru Forester research webpage

{EDIT} Just realized you're looking at the XT's, so disregard the oil consumption issue which I don't believe applies to the turbo engines.
 

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You may also want to read about the changes that came to the 2016 model year, most of which were carried over into model year 2017:

2016 Subaru Forester research webpage

For example, the 2016 (and 2017) has a bigger/better head unit.
 

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2017 Forester XT CVT (High Torque)
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im going to be looking at 2 xt forresters very soon. Both are withing 5 miles of each other. 2015 and 2017. What would be the better of the 2 years? Any issues for each year? Thank you for your time.

Significant improvements were made to the 2017 model year. Sound insulation and quieter glass, better stereo, LED brake lights, and tuning of the CVT (although the 17 has fake shift points always, which not everyone likes). In addition to these features, Touring only models get LED headlights and steering responsive fog lights, and torque vectoring (wish my Premium had that). Also the EyeSight was improved for 17.

So the difference between the 15 and 17 is not insignificant, and the difference is even bigger on Touring models.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Like others mentioned, 2017 is improved as expected and I would appreciate torque vectoring, slightly quicker steering and LED lights. Obviously, this is very personal preference bit I don't care about sound isolation in Subaru and different infotainment system.
But there are 2 important things that I like more in 2015 XT.
For me, 2015 XT has better Si Drive programing, I and S mode are full CVT and S# is stepped but with the same ration spread as I/S in manual mode, 1st and 6th/8th "gear" are identical. So if you drive in S#, you have all the benefits of more aggressive torque curve (and gas pedal tip in) but you can still cruse in 8th "gear" and be relatively efficient. Only I mode in D is slightly taller than 8th in S#, but not by much.
For 2017 XT, Si Drive lost full CVT option (both I and S modes are stepped after certain percentage of gas pedal) and S# has 8th steps that are much shorter (but 1st is still the same) and 8th gear is more like 5th in I/S mode.
Therefore, when cruising at constant speed, S# makes no sense.
Second thing is very personal but while 2015 XT is not easy on eyes inside/out, it still looks slightly better to me that later models with it's slightly simpler wheels (still ugly) and less fake chrome inside (on vents for example in 2017 that has reflection on side windows). I know I am minority but I also like more simple look of 2015 non-NAV head unit vs more modern 2017.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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im going to be looking at 2 xt Forester very soon. Both are withing 5 miles of each other. 2015 and 2017. What would be the better of the 2 years? Any issues for each year? Thank you for your time.
as noted above, pricing and miles would help in recommending.
The 2017 will have a bit nicer interior, better integrated head unit, will be quieter and has a few other upgrades depending on trim level.
I personally think its slightly easier on the eyes than the 2015 , although I like the wheels on the 2015 better.

I got a 2018 XT Touring and like it a lot. I think the upgrades of a 2017 vs a 2015 were significant in the creature comfort variety, with the head unit upgrade form 2016 onward being a noteworthy. But it all comes down to $$. I'd pay more for a same spec 2017 compared to 2015. How much, I dunno.

I think once you look at them and drive them, you should have a decent opinion. No 2 used cars are really the same condition wise either.
 
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