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2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my search for a 2014/2015 2.5i Limited, I recently came across a '14 advertised by a used car dealership within two hours' drive of me that caught my eye. I've never owned a Subaru; what I know about the 4th generation Forester 2.5i with CVT I've gleaned through reading postings here. I'd welcome input/advice about whether this particular vehicle might be worth my pursuing further.

The vehicle has 154K mi. The asking price is $9,500.

The CARFAX report reveals: One owner; no reported accidents; purchased new in Jan 14 and sold at auction in Oct 18; and purchased, registered, serviced and inspected all in the capital area of New Hampshire. Its last emissions inspection was done in Dec 17, at 118K mi, and the vehicle passed. This reads to me like the original owner drove the vehicle a lot (26,500 mi/yr) for its first three and a half years and then probably traded it in. The dealership that accepted it as a trade-in probably then sold it at auction, given its high miles. The original owner very well may have worked in sales or commuted daily for work to parts far away, which is not uncommon for income tax-stingy residents of New Hampshire to do.

Edmunds TMV for this make, model, trim level and model year without optional equipment installed is $13,190, if in "outstanding" condition, $11,914, if in "clean" condition, and $8,749, if in "average" condition.

The vehicle's online ad claims: "Looks great, runs great!" and clean inside and out, with a smooth-shifting CVT and a properly functioning engine with no issues. The tires supposedly have 75-percent tread remaining and the brakes and battery are reported to be in "great condition." The accompanying spread of pictures taken of the exterior, interior and engine compartment show a clean car that's in quite good shape. The only body issues I noted appeared to be cosmetic and are apparent in the attached photo. I could see that the vehicle is equipped with at least a couple options: auto-dimming rearview mirror with integral compass and rear bumper guard.

No recalls apply to this vehicle, according to https://www.subaru.com/vehicle-recalls.html/.

The vehicle's VIN ends in EH509820. A forum member's post indicated this VIN might be in the group that has had engine oil consumption issues.

There's a Subaru dealership just down the road of the outfit selling this vehicle. Maybe I could arrange to have them perform a pre-purchase inspection. Would they likely be able to tell whether the CVT, torque converter and other major mechanicals are problematic?

I'm looking for a reliable and dependable 4th generation Fozzie with the normally aspirated engine and of the Limited trim level. The vehicle would be used by a new driver in the family. And, unless she takes it to college in a couple years, it might get handed down to the next in the family to get behind a wheel.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i CVT
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200 Posts
You have some issues to consider before making this move. First, a CVT at 153k may just keep going, or it may not, but you can't rebuild it for a thousand if it does, you are looking at another six grand or more.
Dealers can do an inspection and tell you exactly how many mm you have left on the brake linings. Better find out.
Any maintenance records?
When were the spark plugs last done, were their oil changes on time?
There must be no leaks-none! Especially the CVT chain housing.
The oil burning issue usually only involved the manual trans, but no guarantee without a warranty here, either.
In sum, I would not do this myself. But if you love the car, they you need to check out the above, and they need to give you a one year warranty. If you are fine that long you may be able to keep going for some time.
 

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2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve read of significant engine issues with the 4th generation, including the 2.5i, such as excessive oil consumption. I’ve also read about the engine cutting out, but isn’t that confined to the XT?

I’ve also read of significant transmission issues such as the vehicle bucking/jumping/lurching when attempting to accelerate, especially when fighting gravity on the climb. There are also reports of clutch slippage. And then there’s the spectacularly catastrophic failure of the CVT....

For the 2.5i, are there certain VINs that are problems, or are all 2.5i’s affected?
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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935 Posts
And then there’s the spectacularly catastrophic failure of the CVT..
Where did you get this from? I haven't see reports here of this being a general problem. Some issues with oil leaks, but not the CVT destroying itself. Last time I checked I could find only one instance of a chain breaking. It was in a low mileage, relatively low power 2.0 L NA which suggests it was just bad luck.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium
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1,308 Posts
I’ve read of significant engine issues with the 4th generation, including the 2.5i, such as excessive oil consumption.
The oil Consumption was mainly the 2014s. The 2015s with manual transmission were affected, but 2015+ with the CVT one were not.

Where did you get this from? I haven't see reports here of this being a general problem. Some issues with oil leaks, but not the CVT destroying itself.
My CVT blew up twice at 19k and 23k. With CVT it was either no problems at all or the things grenaded themselves. It was most common in the 2014-2015 models both 2.5 and XT.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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I wouldn't be able to bring myself to pay that much for any vehicle with nearly 150K miles on it.

I wuoldn't have any concerns about making 200K miles. Worse that happens is maybe you have to add oil or replace the transmission at some point.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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My CVT blew up twice at 19k and 23k. With CVT it was either no problems at all or the things grenaded themselves. .
But in both your instances the CVTs continued to work, the problem being, "major movement delay when the gas pedal was pressed. It took around 45-90 seconds for to to start moving". This suggests an actuator or electronic issue, not the OP's, "spectacularly catastrophic failure", which I take as a part such as a snapped chain destroying all the components around it when it fails.

Subaru CVTs seem to be much more reliable than many 5-10 speed conventional autos, which work much harder than their older 2-4 speed predecessors, and dual clutch transmissions.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium
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But in both your instances the CVTs continued to work, the problem being, "major movement delay when the gas pedal was pressed. It took around 45-90 seconds for to to start moving". This suggests an actuator or electronic issue, not the OP's, "spectacularly catastrophic failure", which I take as a part such as a snapped chain destroying all the components around it when it fails.
Even small issues can be seen as catastrophic failure due to replacement parts not being available and per Subaru the only way to repair the CVT is total replacement.

I wish CVTs could be repaired like traditional transmissions, then it would be much less expensive to keep it going when small issues arise instead of being force by Subaru to replace the entire thing.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT. (6MT, in my Heart) :-)
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I have a 2015 2.5i, and have oil consumption, so I have to top it up once in a while. Still, for 2015 - Really?

I also had the CVT recall done, and got a replacement. Dealer wouldn’t/couldn’t tell me if it was new or rebuilt.
Had had all kinds of hesitation before, and almost-stalling scenarios, while in the middle of an intersection. That has mostly been rectified with the replacement cvt. Still get a slight hesitation here and there, but not enough to affect safety, thankfully.
Anyway, it has all left a sour taste in my mouth for Subaru. The rest of the car is fine.
Wish they would do away with the CVT.


Am really questioning if my next car will be another Subaru. Seriously considering a few other make/models.




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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT. (6MT, in my Heart) :-)
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Even small issues can be seen as catastrophic failure due to replacement parts not being available and per Subaru the only way to repair the CVT is total replacement.



I wish CVTs could be repaired like traditional transmissions, then it would be much less expensive to keep it going when small issues arise instead of being force by Subaru to replace the entire thing.


In Canada, if cvt fails out of warranty, I am looking at a $7-10,000 repair bill, through the dealer,
Or about $5,000 from an independent shop, putting in a slightly used cvt from Japan.(guarantee’d to be an under 50,000 km part.)


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2019 Forester Touring
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1,359 Posts
I’d welcome other Subie experts’ opinions on this.
Not an expert in any way, but here are some observations:

150K miles on ANY vehicle makes it a crap-shoot.

If the previous owners religiously maintained the vehicle, then the odds go up in your favor. Without any service history, it’s purely a gamble.

And, even with superlative maintenance, there’s always the risk of “sudden failure” of any part, which usually happens with no warning whatsoever.

On the other hand, $10K isn’t a phenomenal amount to spend on a modern vehicle, either, so it’s not like you’re betting your kid’s future here.

So, at the end of the day, if the VIN doesn’t put the vehicle in “problematic” camp, you just have to decide if the cost is worth the risk.
 
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