Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 83 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to become a first time Subaru owner via purchasing a 2014 Forester. My bottom line question is: can I get 200k miles out of this car through regular maintenance? Buying and selling cars every five years isn't an option for me and making my dollar stretch through investing in a reliable vehicle is key.
Is there a 200k club thread on those forum for this generation of Foresters?
 

·
Registered
Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
Joined
·
2,672 Posts
No reason why a 2014 Forester can't go 200k+ miles IF the previous owner(s) properly maintained it. If there is no documented record of such I wouldn't purchase it. Even with a great service record you should have a PRE-purchase inspection performed by a mechanic of YOUR choice, preferably one familiar with Subarus. BTW, engine oil consumption was an issue in the 2011-2014/2015 model years particularly those units with a manual transmission. How many miles are on the 2014 you're considering?
 

·
Registered
1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
Joined
·
837 Posts
My '99 A/T has 235,000 and counting. Have changed engine oil every 3000, tranny flush every 30 - 40,000.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
That was not the Forester's best year. Consumer Reports' reliability rating for the 2014 is far behind the Mazda CX-5 (5/5), the Toyota RAV-4 (4/5), and even the Chevy Equinox (3/5). Overall, for 2014 models, the Forester rates "below average (2/5)," with engine, climate control, and suspension issues being the worst (1/5).

Of course, as many will say, with a 6-7 year old car, the individual car is as important, if not moreso, than the statistics. But statistically (and as usual) when it comes to reliability over many years, Toyotas do seem to stack the odds in your favor. Also, since its introduction in 2013, the Mazda CX-5 has amassed an enviable record, with every model year still scoring "better than" or "much better than" average (4/5, 5/5), even the oldest.

The Forester has been less consistent, with scores ranging from 2/5 to 5/5 depending on the year. Worst: '13, '14, '17. Best: '18, '20. If there's a pattern, it's one of the Forester aging somewhat less well than its competitors. For 2009-2013, all years are uniformly "much worse than average" (1/5).
 

·
Registered
'14 Forester XT Touring
Joined
·
593 Posts
Welcome.
I get it, I'm a new-ish owner too. Long time Toyota fan boy, this is technically my 2nd Subaru. My previous car was a BRZ. I had zero mechanical problems engine wise, only real issue was the recall on the valves for only the 2012-2014's which Subaru paid for, zero money out of my pocket. Ran like a champ before and after. Had to let it go cause I need to carry more than 3 adults. 110k worry free miles was on the clock.

Before I jumped on the Subie band wagon I heard the infamous head gasket failure horror stories. While those stories where half true, it really only affected 3rd gen models. 4th gen like '14+ foresters have very low failure rates. Depending on who you ask.

That being said, if you take proper care of any car/truck they will last forever. The reality is you have to pay to keep the maintenance on older cars. Some people are not willing or can not afford those costs, which then leads to engine failure down the road. Typical snow ball effect.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
The differences between a 2014 and a 2015 are not very significant. The 2014 was the first year of the redesigned new model and was the first year the Forester got a CVT as automatic transmission. Some of them did suffer transmission problems, some had oil consumption levels that were considered high, and as a result, lots of them got replaced or repaired transmissions and new engine short blocks. I think there is probably a good chance when buying a used 2014 that it has a far newer transmission and short block which would be desirable.
In addition, I think there were some that had a recall for a defective rear spring, and some people had issues with their car infotainment units.
Just keep in mind that Consumer Reports and JD Power are making predictions about expected future reliability, time and reality may differ.
With regard to oil burning, the following is the clearest explanation of the issue and cause that I have heard. It is very relevant for the Subaru issues, even if he is talking about ....Toyotas.


The relevance for the OP is that it points out the key factor for engine longevity.
 

·
Registered
2021 Forester Premium CVT
Joined
·
124 Posts
My 14 went 166k before I traded it in. Had a valve body replaced at 59k and again at 163k before it was apparent that it likely was a faulty torque converter. I did cvt fluid changes around every 45k. I got into a new 2021 Forester instead of fixing it.

A few wheel bearings and broken CV axles. Engine consumed some oil but it was never an issue.
 

·
Registered
2012 Forester X Auto
Joined
·
2,280 Posts
Ostdarva

Buying any used car is a gamble.
Most people don't sell a car because it doesn't have any problems, so as @ForesterBill said, a great idea to get any used car checked out first.
How the car was driven and maintained will have a big impact to its reliability. I wouldn't consider a car without documentation.

As @rdclark pointed out, 2014 was not the Forester's best year, and it isn't hard to find agreement on it being a model to avoid.
Therefore, probably not the model you are most likely to drive without any problems, and some problems on a Subie can be very expensive.

If you are looking for a good economy car, an initial question should be, "Do you need AWD?"
Subarus are great in low traction environments, but this AWD capability comes with increased complexity, and a hit to the MPGs compared to a FWD.

Frankly, if you live in an area with a moderate climate and intend to drive primarily on paved city streets, there are better choices, because AWD won't provide much advantage.
On the other hand, if you have to drive in mud and snow like I do, the negatives are worth it, as a Subaru has one of the best AWD drivetrains.

Good luck to you on your vehicle hunt.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
Just keep in mind that Consumer Reports and JD Power are making predictions about expected future reliability, time and reality may differ.
Consumer Reports is showing actual data from hundreds of thousands of cars reported on directly by their members every year. Frequency-of-repair data for a 2014 Forester is from the actual 2014 Foresters owned by actual people, compared to other 2014 cars owned by other actual people.

The business about “predictive” reliability judgements applies when CR feels they have enough data about a newly-introduced model to say how reliable it might be, because, say, it’s largely unchanged from previous years that they do have hard data on.

What’s interesting about their data on older cars is that many of them will be individual cars that members have been reporting on since they were new, like I’ve been filling out the questionnaire on my 2015 Forester since we bought it in 2014. So if I have a major repair, it will contribute directly to the data pool on the 2015 Forester, and thus the trends on older cars can tell a very useful story.
 

·
Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
Joined
·
14,633 Posts
You won't get 200K out of a Subaru that you buy used....unless you have deep pockets. Subarus are very complicated vehicles even though they are the best. Look elsewhere.
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester XS
Joined
·
29 Posts
@adc I think the main issue is that because of the idea that Subarus are "Dependable" so the first owner typically drives the snot outta it, forgets oil changes, ignores the maintenance schedule, and then trades it in before the timing belt change came due. So the second/third owner is left putting it back together, and catching up on years of missed work.

I'm coming up on 100k miles of my own on a 2004 (84k -> 184k) and I've had Head-gaskets, a radiator, 2 CV axles, a fuel filler neck, a drive shaft, and blown vacuum lines and fluid lines ontop of the standard maintenance.. And I can see where each thing would have pushed someone to get rid of it as you're talking a hell of an expense each time on a car going on 20 years old, making parts harder to come by. If I had to pay labor on those things, I would have thrown the towel in years ago..
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
RdClark I kind of doubt they have hundreds of thousands of Forester owners actually reporting. Everything is behind a paywall, I do not believe they provide actual numbers, and individual results will vary.
JD Power is based upon predictions and the 2014 Forester does not make it into their top 10 list. If you follow them you are buying an FJCruiser, an Equinox, or even an Escape. Personally, I think your citing your ownership experience is more relevant.
I think a 2014 Forester should be able to reach 200,000 miles but it may be easier for one that has done lots of highway miles already in its short life vs the one that only has 14,000 miles on it currently due to it not being used much.
Sid51X's point is good about the original owner. However, I will also point out that lease numbers have been increasing, and by and large, people will do the minimum needed maintenance to maintain their warranty.
All that being said, I encourage the OP to test drive at least a few of them to get a feel for a good one, and to have a mechanical inspection done. If he can find a 2015 within his budget that looks good it may be a good move.
 

·
Registered
2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
The truth doesn’t care what you believe. Hundreds of thousands of cars (I didn’t say they were all Foresters; they are the cars their members own) are reported on every year. The data is real. They’ve been doing this for decades. They have accumulated, analyzed, and reported a lot of data in that time.

Yes, the detailed data requires membership, because a non-profit organization that accepts no advertising needs revenue from donors. It’s also a good way to insure impartiality.

I know we live in a time when people think all opinions are equal, and nobody is an expert. It’s what’s making America mediocre again.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
The data is real but cannot be examined nor is the methodology made clear. If you want to share specifics of what they wrote, please do so. I guess you must be right about the dumbing down of America when so many people decided to buy Subarus over the past decade despite Consumer Reports warnings about the ''sub quality vehicles''... If you look at sales figures they have only increased by 300% over the past decade.
 

·
Registered
Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
Joined
·
2,672 Posts
Obviously you don't read Consumer Reports! CR has been highly recommending NEW Subarus for at least a decade which has certainly contributed to Subaru's sales increase success that you cite. For example, CR positively influenced my three new Subaru purchases since 2010.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
I know they recommend Subarus, but no I am not a subscriber or reader. I was just struck by RDClark's statement that basically, all 2009 to 2013 were subpar, as well as the 14 and 17s. Somehow with 5 years of mechanically challenged vehicles, and a past reputation for bad head gaskets for 2000 era engines, their desirability increased.
 

·
Registered
Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
Joined
·
2,672 Posts
For 2009-2013, all years are uniformly "much worse than average" (1/5).
I was just struck by RDClark's statement that basically, all 2009 to 2013 were subpar
I just checked CR and the 2011-2013's actually scored a little higher from what I see. According CR's reliability history, the 2009-2010 is (1/5) but the 2011-2013 is (2/5). Still sub-par though. Those low scores don't surprise me with lingering HG issues in the early SH years and excessive oil consumption in the later SH years. That being said my 240k+ mile 2010 has been relatively reliable and even has the factory HG's with no evidence of leaking. But I probably pay more attention to preventative maintenance than the average owner who completes CR's questionnaires.

Is CR perfect? No. Is there a better source of automobile reliability, both historic and predicted? No.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Forester
Joined
·
1,219 Posts
I agree there is no better source. However, I do not fully understand what 1/5 or 2/5 really indicates other than supposedly sub-par. All I can say is that like yours I have a fairly high mileage SH that is running great, and I see tons of them around, and lots of anecdotes that owners like to keep them a long time.
 
1 - 20 of 83 Posts
Top