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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently a college student in Missouri and I drive a 2010 honda fit w/112k miles on the clock. I have been given the opportunity to move out to Denver for an internship this summer, and was also looking into getting a different car in the near future. I love my fit, but there are a few downsides to it: it is low on power, it's an automatic, it always bottoms out on driveways/uneven parking lot exits, it can't transport that much weight whenever I want to move somewhere, no traction control, etc. I have always wanted a car that I could do some light-moderate off roading with, and I really like the 2009-12 foresters because there are a bunch of easy and cheap mods out there to make them more off road capable. I just worry that if I get a 2009-10 then it will have head gasket problems (the one I would be buying would have 100-140k on it since my budget is around $7500) or that if I get a 2011-12 then it will burn a lot of oil. I was mainly wondering if any of you guys have foresters from those years with high mileage, and if you have had any of the "common" problems that come with owning an ej25 or fb25. I also just feel like I could do a lot more exploring in colorado with all wheel drive and some ground clearance than I could with my fit. I am a college student, so unexpected repairs are something that I would really prefer not to have to deal with. I would be buying one with the 5MT.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,103 Posts
You hit the nail on the head. I would stay away from the EJ. If ou go with the 2012 the oil issue is warranted up to 8 years of 100K miles. You might want to check with the Subaru dealer and ask if it exceeds those parameters what will they chip in to the cost of repairs. Sorry to be negative.

Forster is the best of road vehicle but it comes with a price. Welcome to the board!! Let us know.
 

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2019 Sport CVT
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823 Posts
My ‘12 with the FB25 is at 90k miles or so, have not had any excessive oil usage. I always watched it like a hawk and threw in a half quart when needed maybe 5 times over the last 8 years. So they are not all oil burners. Same with my ‘13 Crosstrek, no issues.

On the other hand the EJ will need headgaskets
 

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2011 Forester X Limited, 2007 Impreza Outback Sport SE 5MT
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Alternatively, if you get one that has documentation of head gasket repair, an earlier one could be a good buy too. Same with a later one that has had a documented short lock replacement, with the added bonus of not having to worry about a timing belt
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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3,187 Posts
Due to the way the boxer engine is, it can be tricky to work on to do some simpler maintenance tasks, such as spark plug change, valve cover gasket changes etc.

If you have somewhere you can work on the vehicle and tools and time - a 3rd gen Forester isn't a terrible idea, that is ofcourse if the shortblock has been replaced on the FB or the headgaskets have been replaced on th EJ engine.

How far off road do you want to go ? The 3rd gens have a few toys like traction control that requires trips to a dealer/fancy code readers if it goes wrong.

If you want to go offroad, I would look at something older and far more mechanically simpler that doesn't keep you trapped going to the dealer etc to read diagnosis codes, especially if the vehicles you're looking at have eyesight
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also, as much as I have heard about ej253's having head gasket problems, I know a few people with 2000-2012 subarus that have never had a problem. My grandparents have a 2012 outback with the ej and 185k miles but they haven't had a single issue with it, so I wonder what percentage of ej25's actually have issues :unsure:
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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It appears the 3rd gens don't come without their own problems, even with the FB engine :(
Not the first thread I've seen with a potential head gasket failure with an FB either :(
 
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