Subaru's popular Forester continues to put function in front of form. It stands out from the crowd, resisting the contemporary trend toward making SUVs look like sports coupes with descending rooflines and curvaceous bodies. Instead, the Forester aces the fundamentals with a space-efficient design, large windows, and big square doors.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2001. Side air bags available from 2001, standard from 2003. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags standard from 2009.
Road Test

Subaru's popular Forester continues to put function in front of form. It stands out from the crowd, resisting the contemporary trend toward making SUVs look like sports coupes with descending rooflines and curvaceous bodies. Instead, the Forester aces the fundamentals with a space-efficient design, large windows, and big square doors. That recipe has resulted in the easiest access and the best view out of almost any vehicle, and one of the roomiest rear seats in the class, with copious head and leg room.

By adapting various fuel-efficient technologies, including using a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Forester delivers a class-leading 26 mpg overall and 35 mpg on the highway. Performance is decent from that standard 2.5-liter, 170-hp four-cylinder engine; an uplevel 2.0-liter, 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder XT version is available. Unlike most modern small SUVs, a manual transmission can be had, but only with the base engine and basic trim levels.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (250 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (170 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Subaru Forester owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Night time camera is not clear making it hard to see what is behind me"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"I think the backup/parking camera is not correctly aligned. When I rely on it to back into a parking space, I am always angled in, not straight in. Fortunately, I am old and learned to back in with both side mirrors, so I just ignore the backup camera most of the time."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
CD player

"Continuing intermittent fluctuations in volume."

Anonymous, OR (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"I wasn’t going to mention anything, but you wanted some- thing in the Subaru column. It’s not that the screen freezes It is just hard for me to work with and figure it out. Too much time my eyes are away from the road."

Susan M., MI (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"i did not have this problem before they replaced by nonfunctioning unit with a refurbished one, but now I do. Luckily, from what i can tell from online owners with same problem, mine always resolves if i turn off the car and turn it back on"

Julie S., TX (2018 Subaru Forester)

"4 or 5 times when brand new. Has not happened recently (last 6 months)."

William R., VT (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The display screen (and therefore the controls of the sound system) regularly freezes up. Sometimes restarting my iPhone clears the problem, but sometimes I have to stop the vehicle to turn off, and then turn back on the ignition to clear the problem. Dealer service manager reported problem was common but Subaru not addressing it."

Thomas G., VA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Hard to describe how flawed the entertainment screen is.. Barely touch the volume control and it randomally select another station and sometimes continually changes station. Randomally make calls from cell phones; often have to turn off cell phone to stop random dialing of numbers. Sometimes screen freezes without any user interaction. Want to change time; watch one of the many youtube videos produced by consumers to help with this problem. Dealer said they system is a proble which has redeisgned in the latest version"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"It is not really blank, one cannot read the MPH & RPM screen when it is very bright outside; i.e. one's speed is not available! The screen is shielded and has an inadequate light. The other screen (centered) is bright and clear."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Multitude of problems: * User interface is not intuitive - old fashioned, clunky * Apple Car play not available - it was on the 2018 Outback * Does not sync with my iPhone consistently - wants to keep playing same songs * Hard to find music on phone because the interface is too distracting when driving * Voice commands not always recognized * Bluetooth drops"

William S., WA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"When I start up the car, the bluetooth connects to my phone and plays random music, usually songs my kid loaded onto my phone in 2013 when he was in middle school. It also sometimes tries to connect to Pandora, which I don't have a subscription to. I've also had problems with the usb ports-- power goes in and out and I'm not able to charge my phone."

Anonymous, MD (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"in car audio is very bad overall. Speaker quality is so bad it will make you turnoff the sound system. (My base 2012 Camry has a better system) B/T pairing phone of more than 1 phone is confusing, full of interference and provides bad recption(at best). Phone software gets confused with more than 1 phone is paired- accepting phone calls on onedevice while playing music on speakers with the other-during phonr calls. So bad we purchased Bose phone device to use whilr driving(business vehicle)."

Kenneth R., NE (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The GPS system uses TOM TOM software and has been consistently wrong with location accuracy. Even locations that are established have been incorrectly mapped"

William S., WA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The car is located about 150 feet behind its actual position. This results in instructions to turn after passing the intersection."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It refused to book a route of more than about 150 miles, forcing me to book the trip in segments. For the most part it eventully resolved itself. However, in general I occasionally have problems programming it in that it won't recognize standard, well known streets or addresses. It's also difficult to select alternate routes if, for example, you want to drive around a city rather than through it."

Phyllis S., IN (2018 Subaru Forester)

"Starlink is horrible.. The GPS did not have names of streets, cannot be used in Canada, would direct me to incorrect/extensive routes, would black out in some areas. Subaru bought me a Garmin to replace the Starlink navigation system, and will no longer have Starlink in their vehicles"

Judith C., SC (2018 Subaru Forester)

"maps are not updated. GPS stops fiuncting from time to time. GPS gives wrong directions. inacurate traffic jam warnings. some inability to locate addresses"

Anonymous, PA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The accuracy of the GPS system is so unreliable I don’t use it. Instead I use Google Maps on my iPhone for directions."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Excessively alerts Traffic Jam Ahead. Probably correct less than 20% of the time."

Delbert R., CO (2018 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Indash system was replaced FIVE times in this past year and STILL isn't working properly. One time, the dealer replaced it with a different broken system. Does not give accurate location, out of date maps, thinks the car is located elsewhere. Constant problems."

Kathryn K., VA (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"When searching for a destination, the icon allowing one to find an address disappears. One has to stop the car, shut down the engine and all electrical systems, then reboot and restart the car to restore the icon. Very annoying on the highway (yes, there's a passenger using the NAV system)."

Anonymous, (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"We have been experiencing a malfunction in the GPS since we took possession of the vehicle. The GPS will intermittently show that we are travelling several streets west of our actual location The satellite continues to cycle to find our actual location. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it does not. It is an intermittent issue. It has been into the dealership on at least 6 or 7 occasions. They have replaced the antennae, wiring, and the entire unit, but they still can’t find the problem."

Jim D., ON (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Have only seen it once, by accident. Can't get to it, and dealership won't provide a tutorial."

Anonymous, WV (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Phone randomly connects and dials even when phone is not being used and put away. This is a safety issue when driving"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Pandora comes on at random times even when not selected. Actually takes over all phone source options (wired and bluetooth). Phone calls distrupt the Starlink app, e.g., Magellan Navigation, and it cannot return to what it was doing."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The pairing is inconsistent with respect to how long the pairing takes place."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The microphone for picking up my voice is terrible. People have difficulty hearing me when I use the bluetooth connection,and trying to dictate text messages almost never gives an accurate transcription. I've asked the dealer twice about it with no resolution."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester XT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Poor sound, difficulty pairing with iPhone, poor speaker quality....constant problems over the past year"

Kathryn K., VA (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"For some reason, the Bluetooth pairing does not work on a continuous basis. When I answer a call I am unable to hear the party. I am able to call the party back using my Phone and bypass the Bluetooth."

James A., IL (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The system sometimes refuses to disconnect one of our two iPhones in order to connect with the other one"

Thomas G., VA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"Display system overly complicated, super sensitive and prone to randomly change stations. This also applies to other items in electronic display. One should expect this since manfacturer provided 5 separate manuals which cover electronics. The also contradict each other on particular topic. Not sure who designed this system but it is a mess"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The radio had an issue where it just stopped playing any sources. It was an issue with the firmware and required a replacement be put in."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The radio screen would not display the backup cameraoutput"

F A., CT (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It cuts out intermittently on AM, FM & Satellite."

Shannon P., WA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Ongoing intermittent fluctuations in volume."

Anonymous, OR (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"radio would not change channels"

Anonymous, PA (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Sometimes unable to switch between AM/FM and Satellite radio stations; radio sometimes freezes."

Daniel T., NC (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The volume control self adjusts. It was explained that this was a feature but we had all the settings changed to NOT auto adjust and it still does it -- whether the car is running or not. Extremely annoying going from level chosen then can barely hear it and then loud again. Frustrating is understatement."

Anonymous, TN (2018 Subaru Forester)

"syrius radio stopped working..entire system had to be replaced and I lost use of the car for 2 days"

Rhonda B., NY (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"has sirius xm radio, stopped working, in the shop for several days, finally had to replace whole radio unit, and it became clear that it was not replace with a NEW unit, but rather a refurbished unit (was still logged into sirius under previous owner) and subaru repair corrected me when i said new radio. Still freezes but works"

Julie S., TX (2018 Subaru Forester)

"I can not tune more than 1 AM station and more than 1 FM station.. I can not turn the radio ON or OFF while the car was just turned on but is NOT moving--and once moving it becomes distracting. This is built into the system. My 2002 Subaru still works perfectly."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"HD radio very seldom get clear transmission from source. worse radio I have ever owned in any vehicle. I have owned 67 vehicles in my life!"

Steven R., OR (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Routine software updates

"The sirius radio needed a software update"

Anonymous, FL (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Software update fixes

"subaru is either unable or unwilliong to prvide software updates"

Anonymous, PA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Steering wheel controls

"Complex safety features include vehicle steering itself back into the lane when crossing a line and/or applying brakes when approaching another vehicle on cruise control. These are at first alarming when they engage on smaller winding roads and we disengage the features when not on a major highway."

Anonymous, BC (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"Car cannot understand wife or I very well. Have to repeat when calling hands free. Our 2015 Scion xB was perfect in this area."

Charles L., NJ (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The voice recognition is so poor I’ve given up using it"

Shannon P., WA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It probably works just fine--but I can't get the dealership to show me how to use it."

Anonymous, WV (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"front passenger sensor indicated error. Airbag may not be enable. Passenger may not have airbag."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"iSight cannot distinguish road ice treatment (chemical strips) from lane lines. Reacts to tar patch strips in road, when wet, like lane lines also. Reacts to narrow lanes on winding roads as if departing lanes."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"works some time, sometime not"

Anonymous, NC (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"some tim it works, some time no."

Anonymous, NC (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"A bird deposit caused the Eyesight system to malfunction. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT MY SUBARU AGENCY HAS ALWAYS BEEN VERY HELPFUL AND ARE DOING THEIR BEST. This causes many of the driver-assist functions to malfunction or to signal problems. The problem has been recurring with increasing frequency. At present the car has been in the shop for three weeks while they try various software and hardware solutions."

James D., IN (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Airbag sensor in passenger front seat not working properly. Also had to do with seat heater sensor (front passenger seat not heating or would barely heat). Sensor replaced with new under warranty."

Anonymous, TN (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"SRS light came on intermittently indicating that passenger airbag was not operating properly. Sensor/seat cushion assembly was replaced under warranty. No problems since repair."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The blind spot/rear cross-traffic sensors stopped operating after a car washing this winter. When they resumed working after a couple of weeks, they weren't working properly and eventually the dealer was able to fix the problem by resetting the system."

Jeffrey H., WI (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The rear voew warmomg system failed to operate twice in the past 3 months. The first time, the mechanic could not replicate the problem. The second time, we have photo of the message light showing the system had failed."

Cheri M., CA (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The passenger seat airbag sensor malfunctioned and I couldn't have passengers until it was replaced because it wasn't sensing passengers correctly. I was told that any electronic devices put in the seat could cause this. So you can't put purses with phones or bags with laptops or tablets and such in the seat."

Anonymous, KS (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Faulty sensor in the passenger seat, Was provided a loaner car until the seat assembly could be replaced."

William H., FL (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"In v very cold weather, Eyesight does not function at all. Once the car warms up. Eyesight functions normally"

Anonymous, MB (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It does not work in rain, or snow, or cold, or heat. In other words, it does not work when one might actually need it."

Anonymous, (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"All the areas in the previous page were discussed in the prior response. We are so sorry to have purchased the Eyesight package. It was a mistake."

J F., NH (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The eyesight package is unacceptable. There are four buttons on the dash related to lane movement. The many manuals total 1,129 pages and include any and all car models. Impossible to utilize easily or at all.the car automatically has buttons for AHA, Sirius, call Subaru for mechanical questions, call for emergencies, cell phone usage - none of which we have or will use. A total waste of dash space and distractions. Also, the many buttons are beyond being a distraction. Oh, we also get irregular warning beeps when we are within the lanes and nobody is around our car. No idea what they mean. And the cruise control is impossible to adjust easily if you want to increase or decrease your set speed. Finally, we will never willingly purchase the Eyesight package again. I turn off all the beeping controls when I start driving the car. Summary, the Eyesight package is more distracting to adjust when driving than using a cell phone or pulling on lipstick!"

J F., NH (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"About one month ago, when the car was eleven months old, the lane departure warning signal began to go off when I was not crossing a lane. Also, the dashboard light began to intermittently inform me that the system was not operating. I am going to the dealer soon and will ask that they check this on their computer."

Anonymous, CT (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Stopped working."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Sensor in front passenger seat failed, so passenger airbag was turned off when driving with passenger. Car was at the dealer for a month waiting for replacement seat cushion w/ sensor; Subaru provided a loaner car."

David C., VA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"not operational during bad weather when the car needed most. Visual sensor could not operate properly in incremental weather."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"swing the car from side to side abruptly instead of keeping the car in the middle of the lane."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Sensor in passenger seat was faulty"

Andrew J., KS (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Same car, same question. I do not know why I am getting two questions, since I only own one 2018 Forester"

Douglas S., CA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The AC compressor died. When it died, both AC and the heater died too. The AC compressor was replaced by the dealer under warranty, no cost at all. The dealer told me the company that made the failed AC compressor is no longer a supplier to Subaru due to high failure rate. The dealer said the new AC compressor came from a different manufacturer."

Douglas S., CA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Subaru replaced the system at no cost to us, but we were disappointed and inconvenienced to have this happen. We've owned many Subarus and never had anything like this happen before."

Anonymous, MA (2018 Subaru Forester)

"Some 2018 Foresters, including mine, were sold even though Subaru and dealers knew the compressor was defective! Of course, I only learned about this recently. Subaru offered free replacement. However, for Subaru to knowingly sell defective cars is qualitatively like Boeing knowingly selling defective planes. I no longer would choose a Subaru. I actually preferred my RAV4, but thought Subaru was a safer car. It wasn't. Just doesn't report defects."

Arnold F., PA (2018 Subaru Forester)

"A/C stopped producing cold air. Dealer replaced compressor next day!"

Anonymous, MA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"Does not heat car efficiently in winter. Local dealer checked car and denies any problem"

Anonymous, NL (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Air conditioning would not function. Heat was fine."

Anonymous, NM (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

"Fan relay failed in minus 20 degrees weather."

Anonymous, MN (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Condenser

"Condenser developed a leak and all refrigerant was lost. Subaru replace on warranty."

Anonymous, MN (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"AC just stopped working. Car is still under warranty. I brought into dealer and they diagnosed leak in condenser. Condenser is on order and they will schedule appointment to install when it arrives."

Anonymous, RI (2018 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"Does not heat car in winter"

Anonymous, NL (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"very little heat when temperatures are below -15 deg. C"

Anonymous, BC (2018 Subaru Forester XT 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The warm air duct going to the front passenger feet does not deliver warm air. All the air goes to the face and it is very uncomfortable. My husand took it to Dunning Subaru in Ann Arbor, MI to have it check. They could not fix it. He asked: Is this a design defect? They said yes. In cold days we use our 15-year old Ford Ranger."

Anonymous, MI (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"This was just park of the condenser failure."

Anonymous, MN (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"I get condensation on the front windows under certain humid conditions. Of course, it never happens when I take it in for service."

Anonymous, MD (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"wind noise due to leaky door seals"

Kenneth R., NE (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"There are a few annoying rattles from the dashboard."

Vincent F., TX (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"There is rattling coming from the sunroof. We've had the vehicle only 30 days and are planning to take it to the dealer to have it remedied."

Sandy L., FL (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Vehicle has at least two areas of the dashboard rattling when you hit minor bumps in the road. It is very annoying for a new vehicle, I have not ever experienced such noises on any new vehicle I ever purchased."

Donald R., IL (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Dash removed to reinstall gasket that. Still rattles horribly aft 3 tries"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Glove box area rattles. Driver's sun visor squeals when turned and silicone didn't help."

Terry L., OR (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattle in area of dashboard where it meets with windshield. I fixed myself by reading the Forester owners forum."

Michael C., MO (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattles in the dash. Been to dealer four times for repair. Still intermittently making noise. Trying to videotape when noisy to narrow the problem. If they can't fix, maybe well buy a new car."

Richard R., ON (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"I would expect squeaks and rattles when it gets older, but not in the first year. More so in the winter time."

Susan M., MI (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Dashboard rattle"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Annoying dash rattle in cold temperatures"

William B., AZ (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"All the windows rattled when fully up. Sounded like loose pieces jangling around behind the door panels. Returned to the dealer who, of course, couldn't replicate the problem. But they did apply silicone to all the door and window seals. It solved the problem! While I waited for my car to be returned, I did online research and found that many other car brands suffer the same problem and that silicone seems to do the trick much of the time. Still some minor rattles in the dashboard, but much more satisfied with the car now."

Darby G., MD (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"Experienced wind and road noise at high speeds."

Daryl M., MI (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"I needed replacement and my dealer is 2 hours away. I waited and they repaired it satisfactorily"

John C., NJ (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Control for side mirrors broke. Replaced under warranty"

Richard N., HI (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"One of the front running lights stopped working. Needs dealer replacement under warrenty"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

"The gauges don't light up during the day, only when headlights are turned on. Then the light is red."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"When the light switch is in auto it has to be dark for the lights to come on, if it is getting dark I cannot trust the lights to come on automatically."

Frank L., CA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire pressure monitor

"Car indicated a tire had low pressure (light illuminated), however all tire pressures were adequate. The dealership determined the tire pressure transmitters were working as designed, but the TPMS module or another component was causing the issue. The car has been in the service department for the last 8 days and the problem still isn’t resolved at the time of this survey."

Anonymous, AL (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wiper motor or washer

"Rear wiper did not turn on. Dealer fixed as the vehicle was under warranty"

Anonymous, SC (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"sparkles in windshield when sun at the right angle"

Anonymous, CT (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The cost of windshield replacement was enormous. The reason is because of the electronic sensors pointing through the window require calibrations and that is additional cost."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Defects in the glass when manufactured made it almost impossible to see when the sun was bright and on the horizon. Apparently air bubbles formed when made. This windshield was replaced but it took a long time and was a known problem."

Frank L., CA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Windshield cracked while car was parked. No sign of impact."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The rear tailgate made noise when opened or closed. The dealer said it was not screwed in tightly. (The left hinge that was attached to the car was sort of jumping). They screwed it down and it was fine. This happened at 9 months of owning the car."

Mary A., TX (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

"Both front seat windows shook and squeaked when trying to close the windows when the glass was wet, as due to rain. The electric window tracks were replaced on both windows under warranty."

Mary A., TX (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"When shifting the engine surges, and connection to the next gear is not smooth. Feels as if the car is going to stall. Complained to the dealer, was told that it is OK, but it is not OK"

Curtis H., NC (2018 Subaru Forester Limited 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"When accelerating from a stop the car bucks surges and feels like you are driving over small speed bumps until reaching a speed over 45mph."

Richard A., CA (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Slipping transmission

"the transmission has a strong delay when first put in gear. Byers or Subaru will not even look at problem says that is normal"

George G., OH (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The transmission often feels like it's not shifting appropriately. Service tech says this is due to the CVT and that it's normal. New car. Feels like slipping transmission. Do not feel comfortable driving around like that. How am I suppose to know there's a real problem if the slipping feeling is normal -- doesn't make sense. Disappointed and concerned."

Anonymous, TN (2018 Subaru Forester)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

"knocks from day one. doesnt seem to effect performance. Service Manager says not to worry because I have lifetime warranty. Not happy with that response. This engine should not start knocking at startup."

C B., FL (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"I have had to add oil 3 times in less than 1 year, in addition to regularly scheduled oil changes. I find this unacceptable. The service manager tossed it off as not important. I never had this problem with any of my previous Subarus."

Ginny P., NC (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Excessive oil consumption regardless of miles driven. Over 1 quart consumed per 6,000 miles. Dealer/service is aware of issue and have completed two consumption tests over last 15,000 miles. No actual solution exists,"

Pat L., CA (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Subaru dealership changed oil and put in a faulty plug. Vehicle was sitting idle for a month after that due to travel. After return from trip, found oil puddle under car. Filled up some oil and took car back to dealership, where they replaced the plug for free."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"My wife drives only local short trips. The battery charge was too low to start the vehicle twice because it was not being charged adequately."

Anonymous, MD (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Stability control (ESC)

"Serious problems with engine surging at start up and sometimes on thruway driving. Discussed with dealer. Was told the problemlies with transmission which was programmed by Subaru and which cannot be adjusted by dealer. They admit it is a problem. One service person said he had same problem and he gave up and traded in his Subaru.. Dealer said the problem is with a specific transmission which Subaru is aware of and is unwilling to fix."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transfer case

"I had increasing loud noises from under engine. It took 2 service visits to be repaired. Amazing and disconcerting because of the limited miles on the car."

Anonymous, OR (2018 Subaru Forester 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"The dealer found the alignment to be off after only 2,500 miles and got needed parts and repairs under warranty. No problems since."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Subaru Forester)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"steering too sensitive or not use to it."

Paul D., FL (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"There is a squirrelly feeling when driving straight. There is a feeling of disconnect where the steering wheel doesn't seem to be connected to the front wheels. Cold sweat , minor, inducing."

William G., NJ (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint chip came ff wheel well in less than 500 miles. I believe it came off the transport vehicle thus"

Thomas O., MA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint is chipping to the metal, in numerous area on the vehicle, and appears to have a very very thin layer of paint."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Subaru Forester Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The blue paint has crazed (looks like craquelure on an old painting) near all door handles. When I told the dealership about it (at the one-year check-up), I was told the paint was like nail polish and would act like nail polish. This seemed to be 1) flippant, and 2) not very helpful. The estimate to polish these scratches was $140!!! Of course, I did NOT do it, but am NOT happy. MY 21-year-old Honda Odyssey with four real doors did not have cracked paint!"

Anonymous, VA (2018 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"We drive mostly highway driving, not city. The brake usage was not extensive, and yet the brakes had to be replaced."

Anonymous, QC (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"At 3000 miles, the torque converter failed. The vehicle stalled whenever it downshifted. We needed to be towed. It took the dealer 3 weeks to procure and install a replacement. We rented a car in the meantime. Everything was paid for by warranty. Since the repair, the car has run well."

Susan S., NY (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"The engine started hesitating in the winter, lost power and was not drivable. It was in the shop for two months and under warranty."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel pump

"This seems to be a common issue which Subaru refuses to acknowledge (based on similar reports posted by others online for the 2015 to 2018 Forester XT). I have taken my vehicle in the the dealer multiple times since it was purchased new. We keep smelling an odor of fuel in the cabin after the engine has been run for a period of time. I believe fuel is getting into the oil and as the vapors dissipate in the engine compartment it's making its way into the cabin. 3 months ago the dealer finally said the high pressure fuel pump failed a pressure test. They theorized this was allowing fuel to get into the crank case and the oil. They replaced the HPFP and changed the oil and the problem initially seemed to go away. But within a month we began smelling the fuel odor again. There are numerous reports online from others having the same issue. I believe this is an issue that may be specific to the XT (turbo) model since the majority of the individuals reporting an issue seem to be driving that model. That's especially significant since less than 5% of the Foresters sold are XTs."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Subaru Forester XT 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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