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2005 Forester X automatic
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm the proud owner of a 2005 Forester with 225k miles; would love to replace it with a newer one eventually, but am leery of the new direct injection engine (carbon buildup) so have been thinking about looking for a 2017-2018.

A local Subie dealer has a lot of late-model inventory but about 1/3 of their used vehicles for sale are manufacturer buybacks

I found the below:

Out of 276 pages of listed vehicles, about 32 pages are Subarus; 5 pages are Toyotas; and are 50 pages are VWs. Subaru comprises about 4% of the North American market vs 14% for Toyota.

I appreciate the durability/simplicity/ease-of-maintenance of my '05 but wonder if it's harder to find the same with a newer vehicle. Any sense of whether quality control is an issue, or if Subaru simply has a very low threshold to buy back vehicles when consumers aren't happy? In any case, I assume that it'll be harder to DIY maintenance and repairs on a modern vehicle vs my '05.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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152 Posts
''In any case, I assume that it'll be harder to DIY maintenance and repairs on a modern vehicle vs my '05.''
Nope, pretty much the exact same thing, and you can use the very same tools.
As for the lemons, I guess we can conclude that there is a higher possibility that you will have a lemon Subaru than a lemon Toyota, but we are talking very low numbers. We can also conclude that if you find one you like you will keep it for a while. If they have recertified and repaired the vehicle, I would drive a hard deal but I would not be overly concerned. Good luck in your search.
 

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2007 2.5XT Limited 4EAT
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294 Posts
All manufacturers have the potential to build a lemons. I don't think Subaru is any different in this respect. I have also noticed that there does seem to be a higher relative amount of complaints/issues with their newer models, but this is likely just growing pains, and new model gremlins. It does seem to be significantly higher than the older models, however. Though most issues seem to stem from the DI fuel system, CVT, and the unnecessary "safety" gadgetry. Most likely these issues will be sorted come the next gen. If not, it will begin to hurt Subaru where it counts. If you want to compare apples to apples, the rate of recall/lemons is about on par with the rest. If you consider that VW and Toyota sell about four times as many cars in the US. It seems higher due to the small relative numbers of cars produced.

Cars are cars. Finding a trustworthy dealer and service department are the real crux, because they will all have problems, eventually.
 

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2011 Forester XT Touring
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13 Posts
Could it just be that Subaru is more willing to just take the buy backs in NJ than Toyota? Subaru America is headquartered in NJ isn't it? I'm just saying they may have non-obvious reasons. In general, I would not expect Subaru to be any more likely to have buy backs than any other car company. FWIW: I tried to get VW to take back my 2000 Jetta under the NC Lemon Law, and they fought back very hard. They even sent a factory rep from Michigan to oversee the repair to the engine computer which liked to go into limp mode at the drop of a hat.
 

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2005 Forester X automatic
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hi all, thank you for your perspectives, very greatly appreciated. Perhaps our regional dealership where 1/3 of used inventory is buybacks is buying these up en masse to resell. There is another dealership a few miles from my house but I am afraid to take my vehicle there for service. "Your rear differential oil is dirty," they said, about 50 miles/5 days after I replaced the oil myself. Was quoted $350 to replace the oil filter O-ring so I did it myself in 10 minutes.
 

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I'm the proud owner of a 2005 Forester with 225k miles; would love to replace it with a newer one eventually, but am leery of the new direct injection engine (carbon buildup) so have been thinking about looking for a 2017-2018.

A local Subie dealer has a lot of late-model inventory but about 1/3 of their used vehicles for sale are manufacturer buybacks

I found the below:

Out of 276 pages of listed vehicles, about 32 pages are Subarus; 5 pages are Toyotas; and are 50 pages are VWs. Subaru comprises about 4% of the North American market vs 14% for Toyota.

I appreciate the durability/simplicity/ease-of-maintenance of my '05 but wonder if it's harder to find the same with a newer vehicle. Any sense of whether quality control is an issue, or if Subaru simply has a very low threshold to buy back vehicles when consumers aren't happy? In any case, I assume that it'll be harder to DIY maintenance and repairs on a modern vehicle vs my '05.
The long list of Subaru lemons probably has something to do with Subaru's HQ in Camden. My 2019 Forester lemon (read about it here and here & pic below) was not purchased/registered/titled in NJ but it's on the list you linked to. And FWIW, it was not easy for me to get SOA to take back my vehicle even when they were legally required to do so.

526912
 

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2005 Forester X automatic
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Wow, thanks for sharing! Beautiful vehicle, sorry to hear that it didn't work out. If you google the VIN, I wonder if you can see if the car ended up getting resold.
 

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2011 Forester 2.5X Automatic
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104 Posts
New automotive technology is like a new version of Windows ...best left to stew for awhile while all the glitches get worked out. I am definitely convinced the best way to buy a "new" car is to by an used car. I bought my 2011 Forester 2.5X Premium at the three year old point. I scored it from a Subaru Dealership.

My advice is simple; bag worrying about "buy back" cars and new engine technologies and CVT trannies and score yourself one of the previous gen Subarus ...in particular the 2009-2013 M/Y Fozzies. IMHO these are some of the nicer newer body styles and 2013 was the last year for the 4EAT 4-speed automatic (2014 was the first year for the CVT). The only issues that apparently haunt this generation of Fozzies are the oil consumption complaints and, possibly, head gasket issues. The oil consumption issue is, from what I have gleaned, caused by the use of less than ideal piston ring oil scraper rings. The oil scraper rings use a spring (in combination with the actual ring) providing less tension than previous oil rings. This was/is to reduce internal engine friction and therefore boost fuel mileage. Subaru is sort of redefining the new "norm" in oil consumption for their vehicles; the use of the "weaker" scraper springs plus the requirement for 0W20 oil has resulted in "normal" oil consumption rates much higher than prior engines. The 2011 M/Y featured the new base engine which puts out a bit more HP and a broader, flatter torque curve (ideal for use with an automatic and the eventual CVT). From a maintenance standpoint the timing belt has been replaced with a timing chain ...so no worries anymore about timing belt longevity and the big cost hit at 100K to replace it. The timing chain needs zero maintenance for the life of the engine.

The XT was still available in the '09 -'13 M/Y's so if your looking to score a turbo motor it was still available.

After living my my Fozzie for the past five years, I have experienced zero issues with the car. My oil consumption only seems to bump up a lot when we take road trips with a lot of interstate driving; and that's not all that bad. I have the 4EAT tranny and the only thing I've done to it is have the fluid swapped by the dealership; works great and you can keep the CVT in my book. I've done the rear brakes myself and gotten new tires for it. Plugs have been swapped and a thorough fuel injection cleaning has been done. The car is great. It rides and handles way better than any high CG vehicle ought to and it comfortable on long trips.

So I'd just skip the latest Subies (and anyone with a CVT tranny) and, just like a new version of Windows ...wait about 3-4 years ...at least ...before you pull the trigger on a new "upgrade".
 
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