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Discussion Starter #1
My Father in Law just purchased a 2018 Forester Ltd and I'm considering buying one now to replace my 2012 Nissan Rogue. Problem is I was burned by my Rogue when I had to replace the CVT at 96k miles. When I first began shopping I started with 2013's because Subaru had started using timing chains instead of timing belts which I prefer. I found a nice 2014 Forester with the upgraded pzev option and started checking out the rest of the specs. Long story short I found it had a CVT transmission, and Subaru had put out an extended warranty for 2014-2015 models.

My bottom line situation is this. I've got 15K cash in hand to buy a new car for a 2 hour a day commuter in snow country in the highlands of central PA. Should I avoid these 2014-2015 model years? Is a 2013 a preferred year to buy? I've found a 2013 Ltd that is a possible purchase, and a real clean 2012 Ltd, too. I know there may not be any definitive answer here but since I'm new to Subaru I thought I'd go straight to an owner's forum to ask what the consensus is amongst experience owners.

Thanks in advance for any help
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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679 Posts
My Forester was assembled in early 2013. Have done 70,xxx kilometres/44,000 miles about 15% of which have been towing a ~2,000 lb boat. No issues with the CVT. I had the fluid changed about 6 months ago and visually it looked the same as the new fluid.

The Subaru CVT is different to the Nissan/Jatco. It is a pulled chain (YouTube, 0:51s), not push belt (YouTube, 12m).
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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221 Posts
You can potentially worry about every single part of a car. But why borrow extra stress?

For every nightmare CVT story there are probably THOUSANDS of us who don’t say anything at all about the superior service our CVT’s have provided us...

(Subaru has extended the CVT warranty on several model years up to 100,000 if that helps)
 

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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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979 Posts
According to Consumer Reports, the reliability of the CVT is 4 or 5 out of five every year since 2011. There are other problems, but statistically the transmission is not among them.

Overall, 2013 and 2014 are 2, 2015 is 3, and 2016 is 4 out of 5 in reliability -- that is with 3 being average across all models for the year. As always with something like a 5 or 6 year old used car, the condition of the individual car will be what counts the most, as confirmed by a trusted independent mechanic you hire to inspect the car before you finalize the purchase. How the car was treated during its life so far will have more influence on its future than any statistical or anecdotal reputation it may have.
 

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2016 Forester 25i CVT
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183 Posts
If you buy a 2014 Forester you may want to take it for a test drive at minus 25 or 30 C. See the thread on here regarding the poor heater and cold Foresters. My 2014 was brutally cold and Subaru got me out of it into a 2016 model when I advised them I was taking them to arbitration as the heater could not be fixed.
 
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