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Is the Subaru Forester Reliable?

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When it comes to choosing a reliable vehicle for Canadian roads and winters, the Subaru Forester is often at the top of many buyers’ lists. Subaru has built a reputation for rugged, capable vehicles that can handle tough conditions, but how does the Forester actually stack up in terms of real-world reliability? To find out the truth, we analyzed hundreds of owner reviews and complaints from Canadians across the country.


Rather than relying solely on expert opinions or manufacturer data, this in-depth look at Subaru Forester reliability focuses on the experiences of actual owners. From the harsh winters of the Prairies to the rain-soaked coastal regions of British Columbia, Canadian drivers put their Foresters through punishing conditions year after year. Their real-world feedback provides valuable insights into how these SUVs truly hold up over time.


By digging into owner forums, surveys, repair databases, and other sources, we’ve uncovered the most common Forester problems faced by Canadians. We’ll examine issues like excessive oil consumption, transmission failures, and troublesome engine components. But it’s not all bad news – Forester owners also rave about the capability, comfort, and many positive attributes of these compact SUVs.


To give you the full picture, this reliability review looks at repair cost data, overall dependability ratings, and more to determine the ideal Forester model years to target (or avoid). With this information in hand, Canadian buyers can make smarter, more informed decisions when shopping for a reliable Subaru Forester.

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What Canadians Love About the Subaru Forester

When it comes to capable family vehicles that can handle the harsh Canadian winters, the Subaru Forester ticks all the right boxes for many drivers across the country. This rugged, compact SUV has earned a devoted following thanks to its excellent performance on snow and ice, spacious and practical interior, and standard all-wheel drive capability.

One of the standout features that Canadians rave about with the Forester is its surefooted handling and traction in wintry conditions. Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system comes standard, providing superior grip and stability compared to front-wheel drive crossovers. Combined with good ground clearance and winter tires, the Forester inspires confidence when driving through snow squalls and over icy roads.

Despite its compact exterior footprint, the Forester offers a surprisingly roomy cabin that is both comfortable for long journeys and versatile for carrying cargo. The spacious interior provides ample head and legroom for adults in both rows, along with a large cargo area that makes it easy to stow luggage, sports equipment, or a big Canadian Tire run. Thoughtful touches like rubberized cargo area mats and integrated roof rails add to its practicality.

Then there’s the standard all-wheel drive system that gives the Forester a key advantage over rivals that offer AWD as an option. Subaru’s symmetrical AWD provides better weight distribution and handling compared to truck-based SUVs with part-time 4WD systems. This gives Forester drivers welcome traction and control whether driving on dry pavement or in slippery winter weather.

 

Common Subaru Forester Problems Reported in Canada

While Subaru has built a reputation for reliable vehicles, the Forester is not immune to issues. Based on owner reports and expert analysis, some of the most prevalent problems Canadian Forester owners experience include:

 

Transmission Issues with CVT Gearboxes

Many Forester models equipped with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) have experienced shuddering, hesitation, and even complete failure of the transmission. This issue seems most prevalent in models from the 2009 to 2014 model years, with the CVT often requiring an expensive rebuild or replacement outside of the warranty period.

 

Excess Oil Consumption

A significant number of Forester owners across multiple model years have reported higher than normal oil consumption from their engines. This issue requires more frequent oil changes and top-ups, and in some cases leads to complete engine failure if the oil level is allowed to run too low before being addressed.

 

Numerous Check Engine Light Faults

One of the most commonly reported problems among Forester owners is the frustrating Check Engine light illuminating on the dashboard. This dashboard warning can be triggered by a multitude of issues, ranging from minor sensor problems to more serious powertrain or emissions system faults. Diagnosing and repairing the root cause often requires extensive troubleshooting by a qualified mechanic.

 

Average Repair Costs for the Forester in Canada

One way to assess a vehicle’s reliability is to look at the average annual repair costs owners face. For the Subaru Forester, owners in Canada can expect average yearly repair costs of around $619 according to RepairPal data. This places the Forester squarely in the middle of the pack for compact SUVs, with an average repair cost that is slightly lower than the $652 average across all vehicle models.

Compared to key rivals like the Honda CR-V ($365 annual average), Toyota RAV4 ($429), and Mazda CX-5 ($477), the Forester does tend to cost a bit more to maintain and repair each year. However, it significantly undercuts other compact SUV competitors like the Jeep Wrangler ($694 annually) and Ford Escape ($726).

It’s worth noting that these average repair cost figures can vary substantially based on the vehicle’s age, mileage, and how well it has been maintained over the years. While an older, higher-mileage Forester may incur higher annual repair bills, a well-cared-for newer model could have below-average repair costs in its first few years.

Ultimately, while the Forester isn’t the cheapest compact SUV to maintain and repair, its average annual repair costs are still quite reasonable compared to the overall vehicle average. With proper maintenance and care, Canadian Forester owners can keep yearly repair bills to a manageable level.

 

How Reliable is the Subaru Forester Long-Term?

While the Subaru Forester enjoys a reputation for reliability when new, its long-term dependability is more of a mixed bag according to owners and experts. Once a Forester passes the 100,000 km mark and goes out of warranty coverage, the probability of encountering problems increases.

Data from automotive research firms like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power shows that the Forester’s reliability ratings tend to drop as the vehicle racks up more miles and years on the road. Problems with the engine, transmission, electrical systems, and excessive oil consumption are more likely to surface.

On online owner forums, there are numerous complaints about major issues like head gasket leaks, transmission failures, and engine replacements needed on high-mileage Foresters, especially from the 2009-2013 model years. These repairs can cost Canadian owners thousands of dollars once the vehicle is out of warranty.

However, many Forester drivers also report getting over 200,000 km or even 300,000 km on the original engine and transmission with proper maintenance. Factors like climate, driving conditions, and previous owner care play a big role in long-term reliability. Avoiding certain problematic model years can also reduce the chances of premature component failures.

 

The Best Subaru Forester Years for Reliability

Based on extensive reviews from owners, automotive critics, and industry experts, certain model years of the Subaru Forester stand out as being particularly reliable and dependable choices for Canadian drivers.

The 2011-2013 Forester models are widely regarded as some of the best years for reliability. These vehicles earned top ratings from organizations like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power for their strong track record of dependability. Owners frequently praise the 2011-2013 Foresters for their robust build quality, lack of major mechanical issues, and ability to rack up high mileage with proper maintenance.

The 2014-2018 Forester generation is another highly recommended option for reliability. While these models did experience some minor issues like excessive oil consumption, they still earned above-average reliability verdicts overall. Owners of 2014-2018 Foresters report solid longevity and few significant repair needs when the vehicles are well-cared for.

Among the most recent models, the 2019 and 2020 Forester have quickly emerged as reliability champs based on initial data from owners and reviewers. These years benefit from Subaru’s latest engineering improvements and build quality enhancements. While it’s still early, the 2019-2020 Foresters are shaping up to be just as dependable as previous top model years.

 

Subaru Forester Years to Avoid in Canada

While the Subaru Forester has a generally good reputation for reliability, some model years are best avoided by Canadian buyers due to widespread issues and poor reliability ratings.

The 2011-2014 Foresters are among the worst years in terms of dependability. These models suffered from excessive oil consumption, with many owners reporting they had to top up the oil every 1,000-3,000 km. There were also many reports of failing head gaskets and timing chain problems with the 2.5L boxer engine. The CVT transmissions were another weak point, with complaints of shuddering, hesitation, and premature failure.

The 2008-2010 Forester models should also be approached with caution. These years had recurring problems with leaking head gaskets, as well as issues with the 4-speed automatic transmission. Electrical problems like failed window regulators were common too.

More recently, the 2019 Forester has been plagued with problems related to the new 2.5L engine and CVT transmission. Many owners have reported excessive oil consumption, with the engine burning through a quart every 1,000-2,000 km. There are also numerous complaints about the jerky and unrefined CVT operation. Early build 2019 models seem especially troublesome.

In general, the older Foresters from the early 2000s and the newest 2022+ models currently have the fewest complaints and highest reliability ratings from owners and experts. But for certain problematic years like 2011-2014, it’s wise for Canadian buyers to avoid that generation unless the price is significantly lower to offset potential repair costs.

 

Subaru Forester Engine and Transmission Reliability

When it comes to the reliability of the Subaru Forester’s powertrains in Canada, the engine and transmission you choose can make a significant difference. The Forester has been offered with several different engine options over the years, as well as both manual and automatic transmissions.

The base engine in most Forester models is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder “boxer” engine. This naturally aspirated engine is known for being relatively reliable, with few major issues reported by owners. However, some models did experience excessive oil consumption that required more frequent oil changes.

For those seeking more power, Subaru offered a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine in the Forester XT models. While this engine provided a nice boost in performance, it tended to be less reliable than the base engine. Turbo models were more prone to issues like failing turbochargers and intercoolers that could lead to expensive repairs.

Transmission choice also plays a role in Forester reliability. Models with the standard manual transmission tend to have fewer issues than those with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) that was optional on some model years. The CVTs used in Foresters have been subject to a higher rate of failure compared to the manual gearboxes.

Owners in Canada who opt for a used Forester with the manual transmission and naturally aspirated engine will likely have the most reliable drivetrain combination. The turbocharged engine isn’t necessarily unreliable, but does require more diligent maintenance and owners need to watch for potential issues like leaking seals.

 

Real Subaru Forester Owner Reviews in Canada

To get an accurate picture of Subaru Forester reliability in Canada, it’s helpful to look at reviews from real owners across the country. While professional evaluations provide valuable data, nothing beats first-hand experiences from those who drive these SUVs every day.

 

Positive Owner Reviews

“I’ve had my 2018 Forester for 4 years now and it’s been an absolute champ in the harsh Canadian winters around Ottawa. The all-wheel drive system is incredibly capable, and I’ve never gotten stuck even in deep snow. It’s also been very reliable so far – just basic maintenance like oil changes. Definitely lived up to Subaru’s reputation for me.” – Dave M., Ottawa

“We bought a used 2016 Forester 2.5i in Vancouver and have put over 80,000 km on it in 3 years with no major issues at all. Aside from an occasional check engine light that turned out to be a minor sensor issue, it’s been rock solid. The visibility, cargo space, and fuel economy have been great for our family’s needs too.” – Samantha R., Vancouver

 

Negative Owner Reviews

“I’m disappointed with my 2019 Forester’s reliability so far. At around 60,000 km, I started experiencing jerky shifting from the CVT transmission. The dealer couldn’t really fix it, just said it was ‘normal behavior.’ I didn’t expect transmission issues this early from a Subaru.” – Mike L., Toronto

“My 2015 Forester has been a great vehicle, but I’m concerned about the excessive oil consumption. I have to top it up every 2,000 km or so, which is very frequent. Subaru says it’s normal, but having to carry around extra oil and check it constantly is a hassle.” – Jill C., Calgary

 

How the Forester’s Reliability Stacks Up to Rivals

When assessing the reliability of the Subaru Forester, it’s helpful to compare it to other popular compact SUV models on the Canadian market. Two of its main rivals are the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, both well-respected for their durability and dependability.

According to data from Consumer Reports, the Subaru Forester has a slightly lower reliability rating than the Honda CR-V. The CR-V earned a 4 out of 5 for predicted reliability, while the Forester scored a 3. However, both models rate better than the average new vehicle.

The Toyota RAV4 is also highly rated for reliability, with a 4 out of 5 from Consumer Reports. It tends to cost a bit more for repairs than the Forester, but its reliability scores are among the best in its class.

J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study provides another data point. In the 2022 study, which measures problems per 100 vehicles in the third year of ownership, the Forester ranked about average among compact SUVs. The RAV4 and CR-V both scored slightly better.

Ultimately, while the Forester may trail its Honda and Toyota rivals slightly, it still has a reputation as a reliable and dependable vehicle when properly maintained. Its standard all-wheel drive, spacious interior, and capability in harsh weather give it added appeal for Canadian drivers.

 

Does Regular Maintenance Help Forester Reliability?

While no vehicle is immune to issues, following Subaru’s recommended maintenance schedule can greatly improve the reliability of the Forester over the long run. Regular oil changes, fluid top-ups, filter replacements, and inspections allow technicians to identify potential problems early and perform preventative maintenance.

Neglecting maintenance is one of the biggest contributing factors to premature wear and failures in any vehicle. The Forester’s flat-four Boxer engine requires specific maintenance procedures to avoid excess oil consumption and other issues. Keeping up with the maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual is crucial for ensuring long-lasting reliability from Subaru’s popular SUV.

Many owners who experience major problems with high mileage Foresters admit to postponing or skipping maintenance services. While the upfront costs of maintenance may seem high, the cost of repairing or replacing a prematurely worn engine, transmission, or other components is far greater. For Canadian drivers facing tough winter conditions, proper maintenance ensures the Forester’s traction, safety systems, and mechanicals are ready to perform when needed.

 

Reliability by Forester Trim Level in Canada

When analyzing Subaru Forester reliability, it’s important to consider the potential differences between trim levels. While the core components like the engine and transmission are generally shared across trims, there can be variances in reported issues or problem rates.

In Canada, the base Forester and premium trim models tend to exhibit very similar reliability patterns according to owner reports and expert analysis. These trims utilize the same naturally-aspirated 2.5L boxer four-cylinder engine and CVT gearbox found in most Foresters.

However, the turbocharged Forester XT models with their more powerful 2.0L engine can sometimes experience a slightly higher rate of issues compared to naturally-aspirated trims. The turbo engine introduces additional complexity and heat, which can potentially impact longterm reliability if not properly maintained.

That said, the difference in problem rates between the Forester XT and other trims is relatively minor for most model years. With proper care and adherence to the maintenance schedule, the turbo Foresters can still prove quite reliable for Canadian drivers.

Where more substantial differences can arise is with higher trim levels that add additional luxury features and technology. More complex infotainment systems, power liftgates, and advanced safety aids introduce additional potential failure points over base trims. But Subaru has developed a strong reputation for reliable electronics and multimedia systems in recent years.

Ultimately, while the turbocharged XT and top trims may show a slight reliability disadvantage versus base models, the differences are relatively small if the Forester receives consistent maintenance and care. For most owners, other factors like engine power or interior features are higher priorities than minor potential reliability variances between trims.

 

Subaru Forester Reliability for Canadian Winters

One of the standout strengths of the Subaru Forester is its capability in harsh winter weather conditions that are common across much of Canada. With standard all-wheel drive, good ground clearance, and winter-ready features, the Forester is built to handle snow, ice, and freezing temperatures with confidence.

Owners across Canada consistently praise the Forester’s sure-footed traction and stable handling on slippery, snow-covered roads. The standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system continuously monitors grip and automatically transfers power between the front and rear wheels to maximize traction. This helps the Forester maintain control and avoid getting stuck even in deep snow.

The Forester’s higher ride height gives it an advantage over sedan-based crossovers, providing better clearance to plow through deep snow without getting hung up. The vehicle’s rigid chassis and long-travel suspension also help it navigate over unplowed roads and rough terrain without issue.

Subaru equips the Forester with cold weather features that improve its winter reliability as well. Heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start are available to provide warmth and comfort. The flat-4 “boxer” engine design is also inherently resistant to deep snow buildup around the engine bay.

While no vehicle is impervious to harsh winter conditions, the Subaru Forester’s full-time AWD system, ground clearance, and winter-friendly features make it one of the most capable and reliable SUVs for tackling brutal Canadian winters. Just be sure to install a good set of dedicated winter tires for maximum control on ice and snow.

 

Tips for Finding a Reliable Used Subaru Forester

If you’re in the market for a used Subaru Forester, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a reliable model. First and foremost, pay close attention to the model year, as some years have proven to be more problematic than others. Based on owner feedback and expert analysis, the 2009-2013, 2017, and 2019 Foresters tend to be among the most dependable.

In addition to the model year, carefully consider the mileage. While Subarus are known for their longevity, high mileage examples (over 150,000 km) may be more prone to issues, especially if maintenance has been neglected. When possible, opt for a Forester with lower miles and a complete service history from the previous owner(s).

Speaking of maintenance, this is crucial for any used vehicle purchase. Ask to see records of regular oil changes, timing belt replacements (if applicable), and any other major services performed. A well-maintained Forester is more likely to provide reliable transportation. During your test drive, also have a mechanic you trust inspect the vehicle thoroughly, as they may catch potential problems you’d otherwise miss.

Finally, consider having a vehicle history report pulled to check for any past accidents, fires, or flood damage that could impact the Forester’s reliability down the road. With some due diligence and by heeding common problem areas, you can improve your odds of finding a dependable used Subaru Forester that will serve you well for years to come, even in harsh Canadian winters.

 

The Bottom Line on Subaru Forester Reliability

Based on analysis of owner complaints, expert reviews, and reliability data, the Subaru Forester scores about average for reliability compared to other compact SUVs. While no vehicle is perfect, the Forester holds up reasonably well over time with proper maintenance.

Owners report a love-hate relationship with the Forester. On the positive side, its standard AWD system excels in harsh Canadian winters. The cabin is spacious and versatile for hauling cargo. Handling and road manners are secure and confidence-inspiring. However, issues like excessive oil consumption, transmission problems, and an array of electrical faults detract from the ownership experience.

When shopping for a used Forester, Consumer Reports data suggests focusing your search on models from 2009-2010, 2014-2016, and 2019-2020 for optimal reliability. These were the Forester’s highest-rated years according to feedback from owners. Be wary of 2011-2013 and 2017-2018 models, which had below-average ratings.

Regardless of model year, arranging an independent pre-purchase inspection by a Subaru technician is highly recommended for any used Forester you’re considering. This can identify potential problem areas and provide negotiating leverage for a better price if issues are found. Also, research the specific vehicle’s maintenance history through records and carfax reports.

With reasonable care, a well-maintained Subaru Forester can provide years of faithful service for Canadian drivers seeking an affordable, capable AWD crossover SUV. However, buyers need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and do their due diligence to find one of the more reliable examples.

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Questions About Subaru Forester Reliability

The Subaru Forester has a reputation for being a very reliable compact SUV in Canada. According to Consumer Reports, the Forester has above-average predicted reliability and owner satisfaction compared to other small SUVs. Some of the reasons why Foresters tend to be reliable include the durable boxer engine, standard all-wheel drive, and a relatively simple design. However, no vehicle is perfect, so it’s still important to properly maintain a Forester.

Some of the most commonly reported problems with Subaru Foresters in Canada include:

 

– Excessive oil consumption – This mainly affects earlier 2.5L 4-cylinder engines. Regular oil level checks are recommended.

 

– CVT transmission issues – Earlier CVTs had some reliability problems but issues have improved in recent years.

 

– Check engine light coming on – This could indicate various minor issues like an oxygen sensor needing replacement.

 

– Rust and corrosion – Canadian Foresters see plenty of road salt which can cause rust if not washed regularly.

 

– Electrical gremlins – Problems like power windows/radio malfunctioning. Usually minor but annoying issues.

The worst years for Canadian Forester reliability include:

 

– 2016 – High rate of engine, transmission, and technology-related issues reported.

 

– 2015 – Similar issues as the 2016 models with engine stalling, premature brake wear, and infotainment bugs.

 

– 2008-2009 – Oil consumption and head gasket leaks were common in this generation.

 

– 2005 – First model year of the second-gen had kinks to work out. More problems than average reported.

 

In general, it’s best to avoid the first model year of a newly redesigned generation as early production issues tend to crop up.

The average annual maintenance and repair costs for a Subaru Forester in Canada is approximately $650. Foresters tend to cost slightly less to maintain than other compact SUVs. Some owners report spending as little as $400 per year while others spend over $1,000 if major issues come up.

 

In general, Foresters have affordable DIY maintenance requirements. Things like oil changes, brake pads, batteries can be changed easily at home if desired. More complex repairs involving the engine or transmission can be costly, sometimes over $1,000 at a shop if out of warranty.

Here are the average L/100 km fuel consumption ratings for Canadian Forester models:

 

– City driving – 9.9 to 11.4 L/100km

– Highway driving – 7.5 to 8.6 L/100km

– Combined average – 8.7 to 10 L/100km

 

The most fuel-efficient Foresters in Canada are the ones with the base 2.5L engine and CVT transmission. Fuel economy ranges from 8.7 to 9.4 L/100km combined in recent models. The turbocharged 2.4L XT variants consume more gasoline.

 

In real world driving conditions, many Forester owners report averaging around 9 to 10 L/100km in combined city and highway driving. Good winter fuel economy can be achieved with proper driving habits.

The average lifespan of a Subaru Forester in Canada is around 300,000 to 400,000 km. With proper maintenance and care, many Foresters exceed 400,000 km and last over 15 years on the road. Some examples of high-mileage Canadian Foresters include:

 

– A 2008 Forester with over 500,000 km still going strong

– A 2003 model reaching 480,000 km before being totaled in an accident

– Numerous 10+ year old examples with over 350,000 km still being used as winter beaters

 

As long as major issues like head gasket failure, transmission problems, and body corrosion are prevented or repaired, a Forester can reliably last up to 20 years. 300,000 km is fairly achievable if maintenance isn’t deferred.

The Subaru Forester is an excellent winter SUV for Canada thanks to its standard symmetrical all-wheel drive system. Unlike some competitors with front-wheel drive based AWD, the Forester was designed from the ground up for all-weather capability and control.

 

Key benefits for winter include:

 

– Superior traction and control in snow and slush

– Active torque vectoring to improve handling

– 8.7 inches of ground clearance to handle deep snow

– Heated seats/mirrors and good cold weather reliability

 

The Forester’s capable AWD system, ample ground clearance, and reliability in harsh conditions make it one of the top-rated winter SUVs every year. Test drives in snowy parking lots easily demonstrate its advantages.

Some of the best used Subaru Forester model years in Canada based on reliability, owner reviews and value include:

 

– 2019-2022 – Current 4th generation models have excellent predicted reliability.

– 2014-2018 – Solidly built with good tech availability. Well-priced used.

– 2010-2013 – Very reliable apart from some oil burning issues. Good used value.

– 2005-2008 – Reasonably reliable once head gaskets were redesigned after 2005. Inexpensive used prices now.

 

Foresters over 10 years old can still be economical winter beaters. Opt for newer models like 2014+ if you want better safety, tech and peace of mind. For used buyers trying to maximize value, the 2010 to 2015 models strike a nice balance.

All Canadian Foresters come standard with Subaru’s renowned active and passive safety technology including:

 

– Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with traction/stability control

– Seven airbags (front, side curtain, driver knee)

– Rear view camera from 2014+ models

– Available blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning

– Top Safety Pick+ rating (highest) from IIHS when equipped with EyeSight driver assist

 

Optional EyeSight driver assists includes pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane centering and sway warning. These innovative safety features earned the 2019+ Forester a maximum 5 star overall rating from NHTSA.

Most Canadian buyers are best served by the regular 4-cylinder Forester models. The turbocharged XT variants cost considerably more yet deliver only moderately better performance.

 

Reasons to consider the 4-cylinder over the 6-cylinder XT include:

 

– Better fuel efficiency – At least 1.5L/100km improvement in economy

– Lower purchase price – Around $5,000 cheaper for a similarly equipped Forester

– Proven reliability – Turbo motors generally have a shorter service life

– Sufficient power – 177 horsepower is enough for most buyers needs

 

The XT is a nice performance upgrade but comes with financial tradeoffs. Test drive both engines to see if the added cost and complexity of a turbo is worthwhile.

The veteran Subaru Forester remains one of the top compact crossovers in Canada thanks to its comfortable ride, spacious interior, excellent AWD capability, competitive pricing and good reliability.

 

It compares well to segment leaders like:

 

Toyota RAV4 – Very similar overall but RAV4 has better resale value. Forester has more cargo space.

 

Honda CR-V – CR-V edges out Forester for interior quality and comfort. Forester has better AWD system.

 

Mazda CX-5 – CX-5 is more stylish and fuel efficient. Forester has more cargo capacity and ground clearance.

 

Nissan Rogue – Forester beats Rogue for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings.

 

For Canadian buyers needing an affordable, safe, winter-ready compact SUV, the 2023 Subaru Forester remains a smart choice that can compete with the segment’s bestsellers.



The 3rd generation 2010-2013 Forester models strike an excellent balance of reliability, ownership costs, features and used prices. The updated 4th generation 2014+ models are also great choices but cost more. Other good years include:

 

Best Years Overall

 

– 2019 – 2022 – Latest tech and safety with improved infotainment

– 2015 – 2018 – Well-rounded packages with nice ride and interior upgrades

– 2013 – Top 3rd gen year before redesign. Reliable and good value used.

 

Best Years For Reliability

 

– 2022 – Current models have excellent predicted reliability

– 2015 – Issues from the 2014 redesign mostly resolved

– 2010 – This model year saw improvements over 2009

 

Best Years For Value

 

– 2012 – Near top reliability with lower used prices

– 2009 – Despite some issues, this year offers good used value

– 2005-2007 – Inexpensive replacement for older examples

 

No matter your budget or needs, there’s a Canadian Forester model year that’s right for you. Test driving different vintages highlights improvements over time while revealing that Subaru’s core qualities like reliability and AWD capability carry through each generation.



Canadian journalists and industry experts give high marks to the Subaru Foresters for its practicality, safety, value and winter weather capability:

 

The Globe and Mail – “The Forester sets itself apart with its adventurous spirit, standard all-wheel-drive and higher ground clearance, making it popular with young families who enjoy weekend getaways.”

 

Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) – “Among compact SUVs, the Forester leads when it comes to outright space and practicality. Large door openings allow for easy access too.”

 

AutoTrader.ca Expert Rating – “The Forester gets an overall score of 8.7/10 from over 50 Canadian owner reviews. Praised for its safety, reliability, interior space and value.”

 

CarCostCanada Awards – “Best All-Wheel Drive Vehicle” and “Best Family SUV/Crossover” won by Forester for providing outstanding capability and utility.

 

The Subaru Forester continues to earn praise from Canadian reviewers as a smart, uniquely capable SUV that emphasizes practicality and four-season versatility for active families.

The 2023 Subaru Forester starts at an MSRP of $30,995 in Canada for the base Convenience trim. With destination charges, taxes and fees, expect to pay around $35,000 for the cheapest new Forester.

 

Here’s a breakdown of MSRP pricing across the 2023 Forester Canadian trim lineup:

 

– Convenience – $30,995

– Touring – $35,995

– Sport – $37,995

– Limited – $39,495

– Premier – $42,295

 

Popular options can add $3,000 or more. For example, a well-equipped 2023 Forester Limited with EyeSight package retails for about $42,000 before taxes and fees in Canada. Those wanting more luxury can choose the range-topping Premier from $45,000.

 

Consider factory incentives and dealer discounts that can save you thousands when negotiating the final price of a new 2023 Forester lease or purchase this year.

Buying a Subaru Forester tends to be better financially than leasing in Canada. Reasons to buy include:

 

– Lower long-term costs without lease fees and mileage limits

– Build equity as it depreciates slower than leases assume

– Take advantage of reliability and keep 10+ years potentially

– Customize with accessories without lease restrictions

 

Leasing can make sense in some situations though:

 

– If you want a lower upfront payment and always newer vehicle

– To stay under mileage limits for business tax deductions

– If you only plan to keep 3 years and not worry about resale value

 

Run the numbers both ways while negotiating purchase quotes and lease offers. Buy a Forester if keeping 5+ years; lease if wanting lower payments but accepting mileage and condition restrictions when turning in.

Popular Canadian Forester accessories buyers recommend include:

 

Winter Accessories

 

– Block heater – Warms engine coolant in cold weather

– Remote starter – Starts and preheats vehicle from a distance

– All-weather floor mats – Contain slush and snow

– Cargo tray – Protects cargo area from wet gear

 

Convenience Upgrades

 

– Cross bars + roof rack – Increase cargo capacity

– Trailer hitch – Enables towing up to 1,500 lbs

– Auto-dimming mirrors – Reduce nighttime glare

– LED upgrade kit – Brighter interior lighting

 

Protection Accessories

 

– Hood deflector – Protects paint from debris

– Side window deflectors – Enable window ventilation

– Rear seatback protector – Safeguards seatback material

– Body side moldings – Shield doors from parking lot dings

 

Choosing useful accessories that match your needs and lifestyle helps maximize enjoyment of your new Forester for years to come.

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