Home Automotive AdviceCar Problems and Reliability How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last – How Many Miles?

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last – How Many Miles?

by Jordan Harris
How Long Do Foresters Last

Are you interested in purchasing a new or used Subaru Forester and you are asking yourself how long do Subaru Foresters last? If that is the case and you want to learn more on this topic, then you are at the right place because, in this article, there will be a lot to cover.

When it comes to purchasing a car, doing well and thorough research is really important. You just don’t want to leave things to chance and hope for the best. Since there are hundreds of models out there and each of these models has different generations. And each of these generations has some problems that trouble it.

Some cars are more problematic, while some of them are less problematic. And your task is to find the right car for you and purchase a model that does not have major issues that can get really expensive to fix. And this is why we are here to help you to learn more about the Forester and its problems.

First, we are going to learn what is the Subaru Forester and we will also learn some about the reviews of this model. Then, we will cover the specs of the current generation of the Forester and see in which specs this model is offered.

After that, we shall cover the problems with the Subaru Forester, the reliability, and we will answer the question of how long do Subaru Foresters last. So, if you want to learn more about the Forester, follow along.

Subaru Forester

Now before we dive into more complex topics and learn about how long do Subaru Foresters last, let’s learn more about the Forester. Let’s learn more about the general concepts of this vehicle and its main characteristics that make a Forester. People are struggling to understand this and we need to further elaborate on the topic.

So, what is the Subaru Forester? Well, the Subaru Forester is a compact crossover SUV built by Subaru since 1997. But what is a compact crossover? A compact crossover is basically an SUV that is built on a unibody platform and falls in the compact class of cars. Compact cars are rather small and practical.

How Long Do Foresters Last

Genuinely, the Forester is based on the same platform as the Subaru Impreza, which is an economy car sold by Subaru. The Forester basically uses the same powertrain as the Impreza but the difference is that the Forester has an increased ground clearance and an overall bigger presence on the road since it s built to be an SUV.

The earlier generations of the Forester mainly resembled a jacked-up station wagon. But with the last three generations, Subaru decided to change that and increase the ride height of the model and also to give it a bigger presence on the road.

So, the all-new Forester is a proper SUV that can even handle some off-road duties. And this is the case because this model comes in an AWD or all-wheel-drive layout from the factory (if you’re curious whether are all Subarus all-wheel drive).

This is really good if you intend to drive your Forester off-road and want to spend some time on the trail.  But how long do Subaru Foresters last? More about that, we are going to cover it in a bit.

Subaru Forester Review

Let’s now cover a review before we dive into how long do Subaru Foresters last. Reviews are really important for you to make a decision about whether to buy a new or even a used car.

This is the case because reviewers basically explain everything you need to know about the car, including the positives. And most importantly the negatives.

There are a lot of reviewers out there that praise certain models and bash some really good cars. And this is why you should always try to find a reputable source a reviewer that basically tells about all the positives and all the deal breakers of a certain vehicle.

And this is why we decided to include a review done by the Savagegeese channel since we follow them for a very long time and they never disappoint when it comes to car reviews. But how long do Subarus generally last? More about that, we will cover it in a bit. Now let’s move on to cover the specs for those who don’t want to watch videos.

Subaru Forester Specs

Now let’s dive into the specs of the Forester before we learn more about how long do Subaru Foresters last. Knowing the specs is really important when you are buying a vehicle.

What is worth noting is that the Forester is in its fifth iteration. There are five generations in total that were released on the market with the latest model introduced in 2018 with the 2019 model year being the first production year of this new generation.

As you can see, the model is not that new and is a few years old. This model similarly to its predecessors is based on the same platform as the Subaru Impreza. The Impreza is a compact economy car that Subaru sells. And this model is just as popular as the Forester.

But unlike the Impreza that is produced in the US, the Forester is manufactured in Gunma, Japan, and then it is imported into the US. And the Forester is quite popular here in the US. On average, it sells about 170,000 units.

Which is a really respectable number. But how long do Subaru Foresters last? More on the answer to this question we will cover in a moment.

Dimensions, Size & Practicality

Let’s discuss the dimensions, size, and practicality. Before we dive into how long do Subaru Foresters last? What are the dimensions of the Forester?

As we noted previously, this model is based on a compact car platform. So, even though it is an SUV, it is one of the smallest ones out there. It falls in the same category as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

The wheelbase of the model is 105.1 inches and the overall length is 182.1 inches. The model is 71.5 inches wide, and 68.1 inches tall.

In terms of ground clearance, we can say that this model is quite good. It has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches. But if you go for the Wilderness off-road package, you get 9.2 inches of ground clearance. It’s definitely among the highest ground clearance SUV models out there.

The curb weight of the model also varies from 3,449 lbs up to 3,588 lbs. The weight usually depends on the model and the overall specification of the vehicle.

In terms of practicality, the model gets about 28.9 cubic ft of space when the rear seats are up. But if you fold them down, you will free up space of 74.2 cubic ft. Which is really nice to have, especially if you want to go somewhere to camp and you need to carry a lot of luggage.

But how long do Subaru Foresters last? More on that, we are going to find out more in a bit.

Subaru Forester Engine & Transmission

Now let’s discuss more about the powertrain options before we learn about how long do Subaru Foresters last. What are the powertrain options that are included in this Subaru Forester?

How Long Do Foresters Last

What is unfortunate when it comes to the Forester, is that there is only one engine available. And this is the Subaru 2.5-liter boxer engine. This engine is the FB25 engine. What is good about it is that it implements direct injection, which makes it really efficient and able to deliver good fuel economy.

The engine makes about 182hp and 176lb-ft of torque. Which is plenty for a model of this size. The transmission used in this model is a CVT that is equipped with an overdrive option. But what about the fuel economy of this model? More on that next before we cover how long do Subaru Foresters last.

Fuel Economy

Another really important aspect when it comes to the Subaru Forester is the fuel economy. And when it comes to fuel economy, we can only say good words.

And the numbers tell all about it. The Forester gets about 26 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. Which makes it a really good performer in this aspect.

It is not as close to the CR-V. But it is nearly there and it makes the purchasing decision a lot easier for people that consider the two options to go for the Forester. But remember that these are the EPA numbers. These are also known as lab numbers.

The real-world numbers can be a bit lower because you are not driving into a lab environment with perfect road conditions. And how long do Subaru Foresters last? More about that, we will cover it in a bit.


Another thing to discuss about the Forester before we learn about the problems and how long do Subaru Foresters last is the safety aspect. Can the Forester be considered to be safe? And, does it prove whether are SUVs are safer than sedans?

Well, this model was crash tested by the IIHS. Which is one of the two governing bodies in the US when it comes to safety along the NHTSA.

And the most recent generation of the Forester performed particularly well on their tests and got “Good” scores on most of the tests. Except for the moderate overlap test where it got a “Marginal” pass for the 2021 model and the side test where it got ”Acceptable”.

What is strange, is that the previous 2019 model performed better and got “Good” scores on most of the tests. IIHS probably has updated its tests and increased the benchmark a little bit. So, this is the probable reason why we are seeing worse grades on the updated tests compared to the original ones.

Nevertheless, the Forester got the Top Safety Pick+ award for the 2022 model year.

Subaru Forester Value

And the last thing that we would like to cover when it comes to the Forester before we learn more about how long do Subaru Foresters last is the value of the Forester. How much does a new Forester cost?

The Forester has an MSRP price of $27,620. This is the price for the base model with the least equipment. If you want something more capable, for example, the Limited, you will have to pay about $34,300. The off-road Wilderness trim is $35,245, and the Touring which is the most expensive trim starts at $37,720.

If you are into used cars and you want to get something pre-owned, you can get yourself a 2017 model for example for about $15,000. But honestly, we wouldn’t always recommend a used Forester. And in the following chapters, we are going to find out more about why this is the case before we learn how long do Subaru Foresters last.

Problems With Subaru Forester

Now let’s move on and discuss more about the problems with Subaru Forester and learn more about the problems that trouble this model. There are some serious issues with these engines that Subaru uses that you have to be aware of.

And trust me, you just don’t want to miss any of these problems. There are many complaints from owners on all of the model years about issues that are basically repeating themselves, it doesn’t matter if we are talking about a first generation of the Forester or the last one.

And more in detail we are going to elaborate on next before we learn how long do Subaru Foresters last, so follow along.

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last: Subaru Forester Engine Problems

Now let’s begin with the engine problems before we dive into the topic of how long do Subaru Foresters last.

And honestly, when we are talking about Subaru we can say that there are a lot of engine problems. Subaru engines are not known for their longevity and reliability. These Subaru engine problems include a myriad of issues, most notably the Subaru oil consumption issues, not to mention the Subaru head gasket problems.

This is mostly due to the design of these engines. These are all boxer engines. On a boxer engine, the pistons are laid out flat. The engine design is very compact and delivers a low center of gravity. But gravity usually takes a toll on these engines.

The most frequent components that suffer from this are the head gaskets and valve cover gaskets. Subaru engines leak a lot of oil from the outside, and not only oil but also coolant. Hence, why most owners are constantly concerned about the Subaru head gasket replacement cost.

And Subaru engines are very prone to overheating and warping out the heads. Replacing the head gaskets on these engines is a very normal procedure because they overheat like crazy. Especially at higher mileage.

And not only that, but these car engines are also burning a lot of oil in the process and are prone to oil starvation. This is a situation where the rod bearings do not get enough oil and simply lock up and the engine is basically trashed.

So, there are the main concerns. Blown head gaskets, oil leaks, oil consumption, overheating, and oil starvation. And what is interesting to note is that all of these engines on the Forester are prone to this. It doesn’t matter if you get the newest model or an older version.

Still, new cars do not develop these problems immediately. And if you plan to purchase a new Forester, you will not regret about it in the next 10 years.

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last: Subaru Forester Transmission Problems

The second biggest problem with the Forester that we are going to cover before we dive into how long do Subaru Foresters last is the problem with the transmission.

This is a very common problem in newer model years that use the CVT automatic. These transmissions can be very unreliable as well. If you’ve checked out our Subaru CVT transmission problems guide before, you might know what we’re talking about. So, you definitely have to be aware of this.

They do not fail. But can produce a lot of symptoms like surging, jumping, lurching forward, buckling, shuddering, and whining. And eventually, whenever they develop too many symptoms, you will have to either replace the transmission or rebuild the transmission if you want to sort the problem out.

These problems often appear in models that are produced from 2014 onward. Models with classic automatics or manual transmission are far more reliable than these CVTs. But how long do Subaru Foresters last? More on that, we will learn next.

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last: Other Miscellaneous Problems

And the last set of problems that we are going to cover before we learn how long do Subaru Foresters last are the miscellaneous problems.

These problems include suspension problems. For example, the 2014 model can break coil springs pretty easily. With 19 complaints on this topic on carcomplaints.com. This problem is also present in the 2015 model as well.

Electrical problems are also very common. And most of these models suffer multiple of these issues simultaneously. There could be warning lights on the dash for no reason, the radio not working, cruise control failing, Bluetooth doesn’t work on 2015 models

And on the newer 2019 models, there are issues with parasitic loss draining the battery all the time, tailgate failures, and windshield chipping or cracking. And these are some of the many issues found in this model. But how long do Subaru Foresters last? More about that, we will cover in a moment.

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last: Subaru Forester Reliability

When it comes to the Subaru Forester’s reliability, we can say that the reliability of this model is pretty average. It is not the greatest and also not the worst car in the world. As long as you’re diligent about the best model years for the Subaru Forester and the Subaru Forester model years to avoid, you’re good.

And when you put things into perspective and compare this model with the CR-V and the RAV4 in this aspect, the Forester is really far behind. For more comparisons, we’ve previously compared the Nissan Rogue vs the Subaru Forester, as well.

These vehicles are reliable as new. But as they age, their reliability scores fall apart since they develop many issues with the engine and transmission on newer models. This is why we recommend going for a new model instead of a used vehicle.

Or if you can find a used model, make sure that the model is below 100,000 miles. If you want more tips on how to navigate the market for a used SUV, do check out our guide on the best used SUV under $5000, the best used SUV under 15000, as well as the best SUVs under 30000, and the best SUV under 40000.

But how long do Subaru Foresters last? More on that next.

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last

Now let’s see how long do Subaru Foresters last. And when it comes to the longevity of these cars, we can say that they on average last anywhere between 150,000 and 250,000 miles.

How Long Do Foresters Last

The amount of miles that you can expect from these models really depends on the maintenance that you give the car and also the preventive maintenance that you do.

If you notice that you lose some oil or you notice oil leaks and overheating, it is important to act quickly on these engines. Since if you leave them like that, they will develop a ton of problems and you will basically have to replace the engine.

So, tracking the health of the engine in your Subaru is really important in order to get the most out of it. If you’re keen to get a used example, you could also take a peek at our write-ups on the common Subaru Forester problems, and the 2011 Subaru Forester problems, as well as the 2017 Subaru Forester problems.

How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last: In Conclusion…

In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the Subaru Forester. First, we learned what the Forester is and why this model is so popular. We discussed the specs, MPG, safety, as well as the current value for a new and used model.

Then, we discussed the model problems and learned about the engine, transmission problems, and other miscellaneous problems that this vehicle has. Lastly, we learned how long do Subaru Foresters last.

FAQs About How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

How Many Miles Does A Car Last

Any new car should at least last 150,000 miles. Some cars can even last for 400,000 miles. While some break down after they cross 150,000 miles. This is the case because not every engine performs the same. Some engines are more prone to problems than others and fail sooner than other better-engineered engines.

Is 200 000 Miles On A Car Bad

200,000 miles is a serious mileage for a car. Especially if it is a gas-powered engine. Gas-powered engines unlike diesel, last fewer miles. So, before buying a 200,000-mile car, make sure that the engine is in perfect working order and that the engine has compression. A compression check is mandatory on these worn-out engines.

Is 300 000 Miles On A Car Bad

300,000 miles is close to the end of the lifespan of an engine. Some engines do not even last for this amount of miles. So, before buying one of these, you should definitely consider if you have the budget to do an engine swap since this engine will definitely require replacement sooner or later.

What Country Makes Subaru

Subaru is a carmaker from Japan. Their models are assembled in Japan and also in the US. In fact, the vast majority of cars sold in the US by Subaru are produced domestically in the US.

Are Subarus Reliable

When they are purchased new, we can say that they are very reliable. But they don’t age particularly well. They develop problems with the engines. Like overheating, oil leaks, blown head gaskets, and even engine failure.

Are Subarus Expensive To Fix

They are not expensive cars to buy but they are expensive to fix. Since the problems are quite serious with these engines. They often require machine work on the cylinder heads since in most cases they overheat. And this is an expensive procedure that can cost thousands of dollars for the whole job.

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