Best Year for Used Subaru Forester – Top 3 Recommendations

Subaru has a wide selection of vehicle models, making it one of the most popular car brands in the world.

The Forester lineup gained much popularity among several models for its efficient performance. This vehicle lineup gives the owner a sense of community. According to the ratings of consumer reports and customer reviews, Forester is one of the most reliable SUVs in 2021.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly reliable vehicle, a used Forester would be great. But all used Forester doesn’t come with the same quality. You need to know the best year for a used Subaru Forester before making a buying decision.

Continue reading this comprehensive guide.

Is a Used Forester a Safe Car to Drive?

Subaru is one of the most reliable brands when it comes to safety features. Many Subaru model years have received the Top Safety Pick title from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Subaru uses all the latest safety features in the Forester lineup, such as Subaru Eyesight. A used Forester also delivers the best performance when mandatory safety and protection.

However, it would be best to choose a newer used Subaru Forester rather than investing in an older used Forester.

Best Year for Used Subaru Forester?

2016, 2018 and 2019 Subaru Forester years are marked as the best used years. These models feature reliable functionality and amenities, making them the best SUVs in the Subaru Forester lineup.

Best Year for Used Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester 2019 SUV: Reviews, Pros & Cons

Excellent off-road driving, comfort and opulence – the 2019 Subaru Forester is a perfect balance of these features. It comes with an eye-catchy appearance, both interior and exterior.

Moreover, this lineup is a complete package of the latest technology, making it superior to its class.

The 2019 Subaru Forester lineup features;

  • Sport trim
  • Premium trim
  • Base trim

In this lineup, Subaru first introduced the sport trim lineup. Subaru SUV enthusiasts showed their outstanding interest in sports trim levels.

Sadly, sport trim is pretty rear because it was the first of its kind in the Subaru Forester 2019 Generations.


  • Ample cargo space
  • Spacious cabin and legroom
  • Comfortable seats
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Improved interior styling


  • Cracked windshield

Also Read: How Comfortable Are Subaru Forester Seats – An Honest Review

Subaru Forester 2018 SUV: Reviews, Pros & Cons

The 2018 Subaru Forester Lineup has the most impressive exterior in its lineup. For this reason, it receives the most stylish SUVs title based on Consumer Reports.

The interior of the Subaru Forester 2018 is much more spacious to give utmost comfort to the driver and passengers. Enough legroom offers ultimate comfort on long rides.

Users of other Subaru Forester models asked for the wider window. Thanks to the manufacturer because they manufactured the Subaru 2018 Forester with a wide window. This way, the driver and passenger get an excellent view.


  • Ample legroom and headroom
  • Family-centric SUV design
  • Standard 2.5L 4-cylinder engine providing 170 HP
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Manual transmission
  • Fuel-efficient
  • AWD drivetrain
  • Sophisticated infotainment system


  • Average cabin design and material quality

Subaru Forester 2016 SUV: Reviews, Pros & Cons

Do you want to enjoy the prestige of the Subaru Forester but have a tight budget? No worries, buy the 2016 Subaru Forester and join the Subaru family.

This lineup can provide the required comfort according to the driver’s and passengers’ preferences. More importantly, it comes with premium features and an affordable price tag.

The driver and passenger will enjoy the luxury of Subaru while inside the cabin of the 2016 Forester. Advanced safety and drive-assist features ensure safe riding regardless of the terrain types.


  • Premium-styled cabin
  • The standard touchscreen infotainment system
  • A powerful engine under the hood


  • A manual gearbox is unavailable

Which Used Year Model of Subaru Forester Is the Best Value?

When you want to buy a used Subaru Forester, buying the 2017 generation would be the best value. Why? The 2017 Subaru Forester generation has all the features of the 2020 Subaru Forester. On top of that, it offers 15% savings. 

Benefits of Buying Used Subarus

Used Subaru Forester offers several benefits, making them value for the money. Here are a few benefits of buying a used Subaru.


Subaru Forester models hold their value for an extended period than other vehicles, and depreciation is unavoidable. Many times, investing in a new car is a waste of money. 

However, in terms of buying a used car, the vehicle holds expected resale value and price most of the time. As a result, rather than wasting depreciation, it would always be best to invest in a used car. Thus, the vehicles hold their true value as the initial deficit is gone. 

Lower Insurance

The insurance cost of a used car is far less than a new car. Subaru Forester models are also no exception in this case.

You will pay an incredibly low insurance bill per month when you buy an already used car.

A used car helps you save more money instead of spending more. Also, you can invest the saved money on something else which is necessary for your life.

Subaru has Established Reputation

Undoubtedly, a Subaru dealer will want to maintain the reputation of the models. So, they will never lie about the user model’s maintenance, errors, and accident history.  

While another dealer of used vehicles may lie about the vehicle’s history because they might not bother about the brand reputation. 

So, true information will surely give you peace of mind since you can also read reviews of other customers. 

You can rest assured that you are buying the best used Subaru.

What to look for when buying a used Subaru

More than 40 million used Subaru Forester is sold in the USA every year. When buying a used Subaru, looking for a few factors is mandatory. You may have a poor quality Subaru Forester without considering these factors. 

Check the Subaru Forester Year

Different Subaru Forester generations offer different advantages. Not all used models offer benefits. There are a few models which need to be avoided without fail.

Some models are equipped with advanced features, have a roomy interior and eye-catchy exterior. The 4-generation Subaru Forester lineup (2014 – 2018) interior is much more spacious, and fuel economy is also better than in other generations. 

Avoid buying those generations which received several recalls compared to others.

Learn the Mileage

The mileage of a car tells many things about the vehicle. Most vehicles cover more than 12,000 miles/year. By learning the mileage of a used Subaru, you can understand its wear and tear. 

You will love to know that Subaru Foresters deliver great performance up to 250,000 miles. More importantly, a well-maintained and perfectly serviced Subaru Forester can deliver superior performance. 

Make Sure to do a Test Drive

Whatever Subaru Forester generation you select, don’t forget to do a test drive. Through the test drive, you can feel the vehicle and reveal many things regarding the performance of your selected used models. 

What to Expect from Your Used Subaru

You can expect the below factors from a used Subaru


A recent study of CarTalk showed that the chance of experiencing major problems by a Subaru generation is only 2%. This means, 98% time, a used Subaru Forester offers reliable performance. 

Long-lasting Performance

Subaru is a long-lasting vehicle that 10 years old Subaru Forester will deliver highly reliable performance. Even Subaru Forester’s mileage is high. Subaru Forester runs roughly 250,000 miles without showing major problems.

Also Read: How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last – Accurate Resource & Tips

How much are you saving by buying a used Subaru Forester vs. a new one?

A certified pre-owned Subaru Forester warranty coverage costs more than $18,000, allowing you to save $15,000+ on a new Forester.

Meanwhile, if you don’t want to buy a pre-owned certified Subaru program, the warranty coverage cost will be $16,000+. In this case, you will save more money on a new Forester. 

Let’s look at the below chart to learn more about the savings.

YearNew Car Price (Avg.) $Current Listing Price (Avg.) $Mileage (Avg.)Difference Between Used vs. New ($)Savings %

Should I buy a used or a new Subaru Forester? 

Without any hesitation, you can buy a used or new Subaru Forester because you will get the below benefits,

  • Fantastic value
  • Reliability
  • Safety
  • More cargo and carrying space
  • Affordable price range

You can invest in either a used or a new Subaru Forester with the above benefits. Moreover, you will never regret buying a used or new Subaru Forester for its impressive performance on different terrains.

What Are the Best Years for The Subaru Forester?

You can invest in the below years without thinking twice because they are ranked as the best years for Subaru Forester.

2008 Subaru Forester: It is equipped with a 2.5L engine, providing amazing performance on the road.

2021 Subaru Forester: This Subaru Forester year comes with an excellent infotainment system and an easy-to-use feature.

2013 Subaru Forester: This year would be the best option for you if you are looking for turbocharged variants. 

2020 Subaru Forester: State-of-the-art technology and user-friendly design make it one of the best Subaru Foresters.

2007 Subaru Forester: It has a 2.5L engine for amazing performance under the hood.

2006 Subaru Forester: Durably built and designed to last for many years without compromising the performance.

2005 Subaru Forester: 2.5L engine, premium quality interior and airbags make it more exceptional than other generations.

2010 Subaru Forester: This 2010 Subaru Forester is a great option for a family tour.

Source: Four Wheel Trends

Which year should Subaru Forester you avoid? 

A few generations of Subaru forester need to be avoided when planning to buy a used Subaru. 

  • 2014 Fifth-generation Forester: Fragile windshield is the most common problem.
  • 2011 Fourth-generation Forester: Faulty ignition, not deployed passenger seat airbags are the most common complications
  • 2010 Third-generation Forester: Due to oil leaking from the valve seals, this generation received 140 complaints
  • 2003 Second-generation Forester: NHTSA received 100 complaints regarding fuel smell inside the cabin.
  • 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 First-generation Forester: Failure of rear wheel bearings, blown head gasket are the common problem of this generation

Source: Vehicle History

Are Subaru Forester SUVs Reliable? 

As per Consumer Reports and J.D. Power, the reliability rating of the Subaru Forester is 84/100. 

Also, the 2016 and 2018 model has a high-reliability rating. Additionally, the ownership satisfaction rating is 5 out of 5. 

Although, the 2016 and 2018 Subaru Forester has some concerns in the cooling and airbag systems.  

So, before buying the 2016 and 2018 models, it is essential to check the maintenance report to understand whether the concern is resolved. 


Subaru has a reputation for manufacturing high-grade, dependable and safe cars. It is one of the trusted vehicle brands around the world.

The brand claimed that “97% of Subaru vehicles manufactured 10 years back are still on the road and performing efficiently.”

Hopefully, the above discussion gives you a clear idea of the best year for a used Subaru Forester. Although Subaru Forester offers different problems, proper and regular maintenance will ensure error-free performance.


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