Best & Worst Years Subaru Forester: Top Picks & Avoids

Hey there! We’re here to talk about the Subaru Forester, a tough and safe SUV that’s been around since the ’90s. We know each year’s model is different and affects how the car runs, its safety, and how much it costs to keep. Our team wants to help you spot the best and not-so-good years of the Forester. So, if you’re looking to buy one, we’ll help you pick a winner. Let’s jump in and find your dream ride!

Subaru Forester Generations

Let’s take a journey back to when the Subaru Forester first hit the roads. Picture it: the late ’90s, when this cool, compact SUV started winning hearts with its tough all-wheel drive – a big deal for a family car back then. Folks loved it for taking on snowy streets and muddy trails without a hitch.

As the years rolled by, the Forester grew up. Each new model brought nifty upgrades that made driving safer and comfier. It got roomier, too, so your dog could tag along for the ride with space to spare.

Generations Get Better

Here’s how the Forester stepped up its game with every new set of wheels:

  • First Gen (1998-2002): The original tough cookie. It drove like a car but played like an SUV.
  • Second Gen (2003-2008): Got fancier with comfier seats, extra elbow room, and airbags to keep you safe.
  • Third Gen (2009-2013): Looked sharper and drove smoother. Even had a turbo option for a zippy ride.
  • Fourth Gen (2014-2018): Turned heads with its sleek look and kept you safer with fancy tech to watch the road.
  • Fifth Gen (2019-Present): Riding in style got real quiet and cushy. Plus, it’s packed with smart stuff to keep you connected on the go.

With every new Forester, Subaru made sure you got a ride that’s not just about getting from A to B – it’s about having a blast doing it, with all the latest tech and comforts you could want. That’s how Subaru keeps the Forester at the top of its game – by always giving you more of what you love.

Subaru Forester Best & Neutral and Worst Years

Looking for a Subaru Forester? We’ve got the scoop on which years are hot, which are not, and which are just right. We check out how tough they are, any big problems they’ve had, what other drivers think, and what the car experts say.

How We Pick the Good and Bad Years

We look at four things to decide if a Forester year is good or bad. First, we see how long they last and how well they run. Next, we check if there were any big recalls – that’s like the car being called back to fix something serious. Then, we listen to what people driving them say about their cars. Lastly, we see what car experts who test and know lots about cars think about them.

What’s a Neutral Year?

A neutral year is when the Forester is just okay. It’s not the star of the show with the best features, but it also doesn’t have big problems. These years are good for you if you want a Forester that does its job without costing you too much or giving you headaches.

Understanding which Forester years are great, just okay, or ones to skip helps you pick the best one for your money. And remember, taking good care of your car, no matter its year, helps it last longer and stay strong on the road.

Best & Worst Years for Toyota Sienna

Best & Worst Years for Subaru Forester 1st Generation (1998-2002)

First Generation Forester Highlights

Back in the late ‘90s, the Subaru Forester showed up and wowed everyone. It was like a car but could handle rough roads like a champ, thanks to its always-on all-wheel drive. People loved sitting up high in it, and it had a strong safety game, making it a solid pick against other SUVs out there.

The Top Picks of the 1st Gen

We’ve looked around, and the 2001 Forester is the winner for us. It got a better engine that year, which meant it was stronger and lasted longer without much trouble. Subaru also made the inside nicer and added some important brakes that help you stop even on slippery roads. If you want a Forester from these years, 2001 is your best bet.

The Not-So-Great Years

Now, for the ones that didn’t do so hot. The 1998 and 1999 models had a couple of oopsies. They had to call some back because parts could rust or the airbag might not work right, which isn’t great. If you’re thinking about getting one of these, make sure you check its history. You want to know it’s been taken care of and is safe to drive.

So, there you have it! The 2001 Forester is a solid choice, but it’s smart to think twice about the 1998 and 1999 models. We’re here to help you find a Forester that’s safe, reliable, and won’t let you down.

What’s New in Subaru Forester’s 2nd Gen (2003-2008)

If you’re into Subaru Foresters, you’ll want to know about the cool stuff they added in the second generation from 2003 to 2008. We got stronger engines that make the SUV zip faster, especially the turbo ones that really kick it up a notch. Safety got a big boost with better airbags and a tougher body that keeps you safer in a crash. The inside got snazzier too, with a nicer look and comfier seats. Plus, they threw in some fancy tech for music and stuff, and made the Forester look sharper on the outside.

The Best Years: 2006 and 2007

Now, let’s talk about the best times for the second-gen Forester. The years 2006 and 2007 were stars because they hardly ever broke down. These Foresters drove smoothly and kept folks happy. They even got a thumbs-up from the safety experts at IIHS, making them a top pick if you’re all about staying safe on the road.

The Bumpy Years: 2003 and 2004

But hey, not every year was a smooth ride. The 2003 and 2004 Foresters had a couple of hiccups. Some had leaky head gaskets, which can be a pain to fix. There were also some gripes about the wheel bearings and air conditioning not doing their job right. Subaru stepped up, though, and fixed these issues by calling back some cars and fixing them up at no extra cost to make sure everyone stayed safe and didn’t have to worry too much.

Best & Worst Years Volkswagen Jetta

Best & Worst Years for Subaru Forester 3rd Generation (2009-2013)

The New Tech of the 3rd Gen Forester

When the 3rd gen Forester hit the streets in 2009, it brought cool upgrades. We saw a new engine that saved on gas and made the ride smoother. This Forester was roomier and had better safety stuff like airbags and stability control, keeping you safe on the road.

The Top Picks of 3rd Gen

Let’s talk about the best of the bunch: the 2011 and 2013 Foresters. They’re stars for staying out of trouble and keeping drivers happy. Subaru fixed up the engine and made the all-wheel-drive even better, so these cars are ready for adventure and won’t let you down.

The Bumpy Ride Years

But hey, not all years were smooth sailing. The 2009 and 2010 Foresters had a few hiccups. They were thirsty for oil and had some engine headaches. If you’re eyeing one of these, just remember they might need extra TLC and cash to stay on the road.

Best & Worst Years for Subaru Forester 4th Generation (2014-2018)

4th Generation Design and Performance Enhancements

We saw a big change in the Subaru Forester from 2014 to 2018. It looked cooler and drove better. Subaru made sure it had a strong build and it came with a top-notch safety feature called EyeSight. This tech watches the road for you and helps prevent crashes. People really liked this new stuff and felt safer on the road.

Best Years of the 4th Generation and Their Successes

Let’s talk about the best of the best. The 2016 and 2017 Foresters were the stars. They had it all: good looks, smooth driving, and solid safety. These years won awards for keeping you safe, like getting a gold star from the safety teachers, the IIHS.

Worst Years of the 4th Generation and Reported Issues

Now, every family has its not-so-shiny moments. For the Forester, it was the 2014 and 2015 models. Some had trouble with the transmission—that’s the part that helps shift gears smoothly. And they drank oil like it was going out of style. Subaru had to say sorry and fix these issues for free.

So, if you’re looking for a used Forester, think twice about those years. Always check if the car was taken care of with regular check-ups. Remember, a well-loved car will keep you happy on the road for a long time!

Best & Worst Years Honda Odyssey

Best & Worst Years for Subaru Forester 5th Generation (2019-present)

The Latest Tech in the New Forester

Let’s talk about the newest Subaru Forester, which hit the roads in 2019. This SUV is packed with cool gadgets to keep you safe, like a system that helps you stay in your lane and another that stops the car if a crash is coming. It’s also built to be kinder to the planet, running cleaner and smoother on a super strong frame that Subaru calls their Global Platform.

The Top Picks

If you’re eyeing a recent Forester, you’ll want to high-five the 2021 model. It shines with its smart headlights that turn when you do and a safety boost across all versions. It’s the star of the show for being quiet on the road and comfy to sit in, making it a favorite for families and adventurers alike. Subaru keeps making the Forester better every year, so you’re getting the latest upgrades with this one.

The Ones to Watch Out For

Every family has its black sheep, and for the Forester, it’s the 2019 model. Some drivers weren’t happy with the screen inside and a few small issues here and there. But don’t worry, Subaru listened and fixed these problems fast. So if you’re looking at a 2019, just know these little quirks might pop up, but they’re mostly all sorted out now.

We’re here to give you the scoop on which Subaru Forester might be your best buddy on the road. Picking the right year can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your ride and how well it holds its value when it’s time for your next adventure.

Subaru Forester Average Resale Values

What Makes a Subaru Forester Keep Its Value

If you’re thinking about how much your Subaru Forester might be worth when it’s time to sell, remember a few key things. A car that doesn’t break down often, like a Forester, usually keeps its value better. If your car hasn’t driven a ton of miles and looks good inside and out, you’ll likely get more money for it. Also, the newer your Forester is, with all the latest bells and whistles, the more people will want it, which means you could sell it for more.

How Different Foresters Stack Up

When we look at older and newer Foresters, the fresh ones with cool updates usually cost more to buy used. But don’t count out the older ones just yet! Some of the tough, older Foresters are still worth a good chunk of change because they’ve proven they can handle the long haul without too many hiccups.

The Years That Keep the Most Coins in Your Pocket

We’ve checked out the numbers, and here’s a quick tip: the Forester models from the last few years before a big design change tend to stay valuable. That’s because you’re getting a car that’s almost as good as new without paying top dollar. Keep an eye out for those gems!


Choosing the right Forester year is no small task. Weigh the pros and cons of each model year carefully. Look at what features matter most to you and check how different years stack up. Our advice? Go for a year that hits the sweet spot between modern features and proven reliability. Remember, the best Subaru Forester for you is the one that fits your needs and keeps going strong mile after mile.

Let’s not forget, even the best Subaru Forester needs regular care. Stick to a good maintenance routine to keep your ride in top shape. It’s the secret sauce to making any Forester, new or old, last longer and perform better. Trust us, a well-kept Subaru is a happy Subaru.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *