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2017 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I m a new member from Pacific Northwest and i signed up here because I m seriously considering buying a Subaru Forester 2014 or 2015 model. I am going to buy either Premium or Limited model

I apologise in advance if my post is one of many already here but I did a brief search and couldnt find answers for 'all'. If theres posts out there already please let me know.


I have always been a fan of Honda and Toyota. I currently have a 2003 Accord and put 156k miles on it with only one issue of replacing starter and thats it!
To me they represent holy grail of quality and reliability.

Numerous "award" articles of Forester, has piqued my interest in it.
So I am thinking of taking a plunge with Subaru. However I dont want to base my decisions simply on media articles

I would like to know first hand from owners how reliable are these Foresters.
This will be my commute vehicle as well as weekend getaway 'truck'. I dont mind putting 30k into a vehcile that will at least last me at least 10 years without major issues
Typical mileage will be approx 15k miles per year

I m a young outdoors guy and hence I need a small crossover SUV to replace me Accord. I m also considering RAV4 and CX5 but whatever i google or youtube seems to give glowing reviews for Forester.


From what i have read, gasket issues seem to common with Forester? However are these still common in 2013 and onward models ?

Anything else out there in terms of reliability that i need to be wary of ?

Also should i go with 2014 or 2015 model ? What are major differences between them and is it worth getting Limited over Premium models ?
How expensive are forester parts i.e brake pads, air filters and any other parts that gets changed on regular basis.

I m trying to get a sense of how expensive are Foresters to maintain and service.
Any other tips or insights will be appreciated

Cheers
 

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2014 2.5i Premium 6MT
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check out truedelta.com for a different approach to gathering data on car reliability. So far the 2014 Forester scores well, but they only have 10 cars participating in the survey.

I encourage everybody to join truedelta.com and add their own car(s) to the database. It takes only a couple minutes a month and members have access to much richer data they can use to compare vehicles.

I am not in any way involved with truedelta. I'm just a fan and have logged my vehicle data with them for years.

Perhaps forum moderators can reach out to truedelta and invite them to solicit forum members in order to improve the data available to everyone.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Headgaskets are no longer a cause for concern on the 2.5 liter engine like they used to be.

Now the main "problem" some owners see (since 2011) is oil consumption. A few 2014s had this issue, but a revised ring pack was implemented in late 2014. Hopefully this fixed the problem, but I would suggest a 2015 model to make sure you have the latest improvements for the engine.

Other than the oil consumption issues, the Foresters are very reliable and maintenance costs should be low. Oil changes are easy to do yourself if you don't mind, because the oil filter is mounted on the top of the engine and easy to access compared to most vehicles.

You can see the 2014 Forester's suggested maintenece schedule here: 2014 Subaru maintenance schedule and new car break-in period

Note that for 2015 they reduced the OCI to 6,000 miles rather than 7,500, possibly to minimize oil consumption problems.

Perhaps forum moderators can reach out to truedelta and invite them to solicit forum members in order to improve the data available to everyone.
The people from Truedelta have been here seeking reliability updates since 2007. Their latest update was 6 days ago... :biggrin:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f62/seeking-info-forester-reliability-11691/
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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Its unlikely that the statistical reliability of the Forester will match that of a Honda Acord. But neither will an Acord match the driveability of a Forester. The Forester is a complicated vehicle including the engine which is unproven. Subaru has experience with the CVT but its long range reliability is unknown.

I personally have some misgivings about long range reliability of the vehicle. I love my 08 but after much over 100K the old EJ engine typically gets expensive. If you want the best AWD vehicle in its class go with a Forester. If you desire extreme reliability and a friggin boring vehicle you might want to go with CRV.

Had I have the last year and a half back I would have sold the 08 and probably bought a RAV4\4.
 

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This was a concern of mine before placing my order for a 2015 Forester. Consumer Reports rates it above average on reliability JD Power rates it lower I think 2 or 3 on their scale of 5. But everybody I know that has a Outback or Forester says it is a great vehicle no major issues. A matter of fact I was talking to someone who just traded in their Outback after 8 years and 225k miles and got another one.

I usually buy Toyota but last car was a Honda I keep saying I am going to keep a car until 200k but I never do usually maybe 100k so I am not too worried. Only thing seems the Subaru will need more schedule maintenance our Toyota and Honda requires oil changes every 10k Subaru 6k except the Turbo which seems to be around 3k if driven hard.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Here a while back Subaru actually beat Honda and Toyota in resale value. That in my opinion is a glowing reflection in itself on the maintainability and reliability of the vehicles. This is especially considering Subarus tend to be in more challenging environments and weather.

Now this was Manufacturer in general and not specific models, but Foresters have always been a top selling model for Subarus and for good reason.

In general a large majority of people with 2014s (NA & 2.0ls) have been very happy with their cars, but feel free to start a couple of polls to give you some quick feedback.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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I was in a similar situation myself. I have owned Toyota's exclusively since 1975. Save several minor glitches, which Toyota rapidly fixed without incident, all of them have been basically 'bulletproof'.
I really wanted another Toyota but it came down to the fact they had nothing to offer for what I wanted. The RAV4 simply can't compare to the Forester for overall utility, less ground clearance and horrible sight lines. The CRV had the same shortcomings along with being too feminine looking IMO. I had recommended the Forester to my sister several years ago and she has an '07 and a '12. She abuses vehicles and has had no issues with either one so I decided to take the plunge. I have a 2014 2.5i Premium and so far (8 months - 4500 miles) have no regrets.
That said my '96 4Runner is coming up on 18 years old and 200k miles and if they made the same model today (not the butt ugly 2014) I would have jumped at another one (My nephew's getting mine as soon as he passes his road test). It has aged magnificently and looks and runs like it's almost new. Do I expect to get 18 years of trouble-free use out of my Forester, probably not. I suspect that unlike Toyota once you breach the 8 year mark the Subie will become noticeably less reliable than a comparable Toyota. That's not an knock on Subaru as much as praise of Toyota's reliability over time.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring cvt
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Faced similar issues before I bought my 2014 2.5 na forester. After owning eight Hondas (still own two, a CRV and an Accord) I decided to trade two others that were my personal cars (an Accord Coupe and a Honda Pilot) for a single, new compact SUV.

After shopping Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Subaru I settled on the Forester, which is my first ever. The main problem I had with the other vehicles was the compromised visibility in the new models, and the re-styling away from utility. My Hondas over time have been superb, and I would have gladly bought another CRV for myself if the vehicle hadn't been changed so much in recent years. I liked the drivetrain a lot and the 2.4 engine has been around forever with few problems. But, as an old guy I need to be able to see out the back, and the Forester was (and is) the best of the best for visibility, seating position, and vehicle access. Otherwise I find it utilitarian and somewhat odd in design, but not offensive. Electronics are dated, ride is choppy but not too bad, and interior is O.K., but not great.

Where I had questions was the Forester drivetrain, which was unfamiliar to me. CU gave it a great big thumbs up, and after many considerations I bought the vehicle. I like it overall just fine, but the CVT is not to my liking (this would be a massive understatement), and the engine is slightly underpowered for the vehicle. Not just this one, any CVT gives me a big pain, as it turns out. Just hate the way they drive. Didn't know how much I would hate it until I gave the vehicle over 10,000 miles of driving, and the verdict is in. A big razz for me, but others like it fine. When I complain about it on this forum I get a whole lot of posts essentially telling me I'm crazy, but it is what it is.

On reliability, I had cold drivetrain jerky operation problems with the CVT during the first 5,000 miles or so, but that has gone away. A portion of new owners also have this, others don't. CU has noted some significant reliability problems with Foresters a couple of years ago, but initial ranking for the 2014 model is very high.

In the long run, I honestly expect the Forester to be pretty good, but not as reliable as my Hondas, as IMO it is a more complicated vehicle. A good friend with an Outback just had a $1200 axle problem at 60K (just out of warranty, he said), but who knows what will happen with a particular vehicle.

Good luck.

EJ
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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When I complain about it on this forum I get a whole lot of posts essentially telling me I'm crazy, but it is what it is.
Correction: You get a whole lot of posts telling you that you are crazy for doing nothing about it. If you hate it so much, trade it in. All you do about it is complain on here, and it gets really old really fast.
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring cvt
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Correction: You get a whole lot of posts telling you that you are crazy for doing nothing about it. If you hate it so much, trade it in. All you do about it is complain on here, and it gets really old really fast.
Are you a moderator or just spend your life on the Forum on patrol for heresy? As such, do you allow personal attacks on OP, or just do it yourself when you feel so inclined? I was making a comment about the subject of the post, and reliability of the vehicle, which I posted. No personal attack at all on anyone else, and I was making light of it all, or so it seemed to me. If you don't like what I posted, the kindest remark I can make is too bad.

And, not that it is any business of yours, but I did visit the dealer today and have the manager and sales staff drive my vehicle and I went over my concerns with them. I drove another Forester and an Impreza to see how those CVTs performed. Actually, the Impreza did less "rubber banding" than did the Foresters, but all are pretty similar. If I can afford it, I'll get rid of the Forester and buy a non-CVT vehicle of some kind, but it may have to wait due to finances. The dealer staff opined that "they all drove the same" if they had a CVT, and that Subaru was going to CVT nearly all of their vehicles in the future.
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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The dealer staff opined that "they all drove the same" if they had a CVT, and that Subaru was going to CVT nearly all of their vehicles in the future.
I would say adding the turbo helps the CVT so they do not all drive the same, but I do agree that Subaru is going to CVTs in all their vehicles. This is evidenced by the WRX having a CVT option and the 2015 Legacy is CVT only... they even got rid of the MT option.

It is the future, and the future is here. They have been around long enough that kinks have been worked out for the most part and reliability is much improved from their earlier implementation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for providing answers to my questions!

After reading about CVT, I realized a very important thing I should have done first - to actually test drive a CVT Forester ! I have just been looking in person and reading online but now I will go drive one.

Not that I m flush with $$ or like to waste them away, but as long as it will last me 10 years / 150k, I m satisfied with that.

And sorry to be ignorant but the CVT premium version comes with the option for heated seats but these are cloth seats right and not leather? For some reason I equate heated seats with leather



Again i appreciate all the quick responses everyone gave!

Cheers
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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Yes, the Forester can be had with heated seats in the Premium as long as you order it with the 'All Weather Package' a $500 option on the CVT model, standard on the stick model. It also includes heated mirrors and front windshield area by the wipers and yes the heated seats are fabric on the Premium.
Anyone considering any car should absolutely test drive it with the power train they expect to purchase it with. Driving is a very subjective experience and expectations vary greatly from one person to another. One man's love can easily be another's dread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Yes, the Forester can be had with heated seats in the Premium as long as you order it with the 'All Weather Package' a $500 option on the CVT model, standard on the stick model. It also includes heated mirrors and front windshield area by the wipers and yes the heated seats are fabric on the Premium.
Anyone considering any car should absolutely test drive it with the power train they expect to purchase it with. Driving is a very subjective experience and expectations vary greatly from one person to another. One man's love can easily be another's dread.
Thanks guys for the info and your opinions.

Today I went for a test drive at Renton Subaru here in Seattle.
They didnt have any 2015 so i drove 2014

I must say in my opinion the CVT and its feel complain i have read online was not an issue for me at all. But that's subjective like many say. I am not adrenalin junkie so i guess maybe that's another reason.

I did feel engine being louder then usual when stepping gas all the way to get that oomph to change lanes. Although it was no slouch.

I have made up my mind that I will get Limited primarily because of interior look of the cloth in Premium model. I would have probably bought the gray metalic 2014 Limited they had in stock but its interior leather color was beige /creame ivory which i dont really prefer

When i go to build 2014 Limited gray metallic from Subaru site the only option i see for interior color is Platinum Leather. Is Platinum leather color "beige" / creamy ?
This means for 2014 gray metalic I cant get any other interior color but beige?

But when I build a 2015 Limited gray metalic model on Subaru site, it gives option of Gray leather. Although I dont know if it really is gray or creame

I know these are aesthetics and many people dont care, but hey this is my first new car and since i get to "order" one I might as well be picky huh ;)

I will go few other places to test drive before starting talk on prices.
I have yet to decide on 2014 or 2015.

They told me if I ordered 2015 it will be about 2 months before delivery
 

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Thanks guys for the info and your opinions.

Today I went for a test drive at Renton Subaru here in Seattle.
They didnt have any 2015 so i drove 2014
....

When i go to build 2014 Limited gray metallic from Subaru site the only option i see for interior color is Platinum Leather. Is Platinum leather color "beige" / creamy ?
This means for 2014 gray metalic I cant get any other interior color but beige?

But when I build a 2015 Limited gray metalic model on Subaru site, it gives option of Gray leather. Although I dont know if it really is gray or creame
I just bought a 2014 limited at the end of February in Jasmine Green. This comes with the Platinum leather. My last two cars have had black leather interiors and I would have gone with black again, but my wife wanted the lighter color. Now that we have it, I'm really glad that we went with it.

The platinum gives a brighter feeling to the interior (plus it will be a bit cooler in the summer). The platinum is a light gray, but it does have a bit of a beige/cream tone to it, which warms it up and makes it a MUCH nicer color than other gray interiors that I've seen and disliked (e.g., Honda CRV, GM grays). I'd advise you to find one to check out on a lot somewhere. I think you'd like it.

I doubt they've changed the color for 2015 - just calling it gray now on the site instead of platinum--maybe they figure people don't know what platinum means. LOL

John
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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BTW - I have a 2003 accord too (EX V6 - silver with black leather). While it has been a great car overall (175K on it), I just had to put $2500 into it for numerous repairs/maintenance items. I had to have the entire radio unit replaced when it failed (luckily under warranty as I recall it was $1200. I also had to have the transmission replaced when it failed at about 120K. So while Honda are good reliable cars, they all have their problems.
 

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Not sure if you the OP asked about the reliabilty of the 2014-2015 Forester or all MY Foresters.

But if asking about the 2014, it is way, way to early to know the realiability of the vehicle.

I will have mine one year on April 11th, has it been reliable? Yes, 110% so. But it's only one year and 14K miles.

Come back in 2019 and ask about the reliability of the 2014 Forester :icon_wink:
 

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2017 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for the insight on platinum leather. Its not a major hang up but i can go with the platinum leather with gray metalic model if no other is available.

Does anyone have a picture of how the sport grill looks on a forester?
I saw few links in the forum here and on internet. They are close ups. I would like to see what one looks like from a distance. Also can i swap the standard grill with the sport grill in future if i want to or can i only get it during the initial order?
 

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Here's the sports grill on my '10. It's an after market item, so you can change it at any time.
 

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2017 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here's the sports grill on my '10. It's an after market item, so you can change it at any time.
Thanks! that definitely gives a better idea on how it looks.

I have decided to get 2015 model sometime in June or July
 
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