Here Are The Top Subaru Forester Best Years and Most Reliable Used Models

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When it comes to finding a reliable and safe compact SUV, the Subaru Forester is an excellent choice.

Throughout its years on the market, this vehicle has earned a reputation for outstanding performance and durability.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve gathered information on the best years to consider when looking for a Subaru Forester.

These top choices include the 2019 to present models, renowned for their state-of-the-art safety features and stylish design.

Another well-regarded option is the 2005 Forester for its durability, making it perfect for first-time car owners or as a secondary vehicle. Note, not all Forester models are worth buying.

best years for the Subaru Forester

Best Subaru Forester Years

When it comes to owning a Subaru Forester, there are certain model years that stand out as top choices for their reliability, safety features, and overall performance.

In this section, we’ll guide you through the best Subaru Forester years and provide a brief explanation of what makes each year exceptional.

Top Choices of Model Years


As one of the earliest Forester models, the 2000 Subaru Forester offers a solid foundation for the SUV line, providing you with reliability and a spacious interior.


These model years marked the second generation of Subaru Foresters, which saw significant improvements in terms of safety, dependability, and performance.

It’s no surprise that you might enjoy owning a Forester from this time period as it offers a rugged design and user-friendly features.


The third generation Forester continued to impress, with the 2012 and 2013 models standing out as prime choices due to their robust engines, comfortable interiors, and impressive fuel efficiency.

These years offer you an ideal balance of performance and practicality.


If you’re interested in a vehicle with advanced technology and safety features, the 2016 Forester is an excellent option thanks to its EyeSight driver-assist suite and stellar safety ratings.


The fifth-generation Forester, which began with the 2019 model, offers a spacious interior, numerous standard safety features, and Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight technology.

The 2019 Forester provides you with an IIHS Top Safety Pick and a family-friendly driving experience.

Although the specific year you choose should be based on your personal preferences and requirements, these model years have proven to be reliable, safe, and enjoyable options for Subaru Forester owners.

Remember to always test drive and thoroughly research before making a decision on your perfect Forester.

best model years for Forester SUV

Why Choose a Subaru Forester

As you consider purchasing a car, the Subaru Forester stands out as a top choice in the compact SUV category.

In this section, we will explore some reasons for this, including reliability, performance factors, safety features, and more.

Reliability and Performance Factors

A key reason to choose the Subaru Forester is its impressive reliability. The Forester boasts a long-lasting engine and robust transmission, ensuring a dependable vehicle for years to come.

Some of the best model years to consider are the 2016 and 2019 Foresters, as they offer excellent overall performance and dependability.

The Forester’s 2.5L engine, combined with Subaru’s iconic all-wheel-drive system, provides a balanced driving experience. Plus, you’ll enjoy better fuel economy than many other SUVs in its class.

Safety Features and Ratings

Safety is a critical aspect when choosing a car, and the Subaru Forester excels in this area.

The Forester has been consistently praised for its comprehensive suite of advanced safety features, such as airbags, cruise control, and a robust cabin protecting occupants in the event of a crash.

It has also achieved top safety ratings in various crash tests.

Some standout safety features include Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which offers:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Pre-collision Braking
  • Lane Departure and Sway Warning

Moreover, the Forester’s high ground clearance and all-wheel-drive capability enhance its safety by providing better traction and handling, especially in challenging driving conditions.

With its solid reputation for reliability and an extensive list of safety features, the Subaru Forester remains a top pick for anyone seeking a dependable, practical, and secure compact SUV.

As you continue your search, feel confident knowing that the Forester offers a fantastic balance of performance, safety, and versatility to suit your needs.

Buying a Used Subaru Forester


When looking for a small SUV with sporty handling and a rugged design, the Subaru Forester is a solid choice.

Among the best years to consider are the 2003-2005 models, with the third-generation Forester (2009-2013) also being a top safety pick. However, be cautious of the worst model years, such as 2010 and 2014.

The first-generation Forester (1998-2002) offers a low design that makes the SUV tough yet easy to drive. It features a DOHC engine but be mindful of the reported problem of the head gasket blowing.

In the second-generation Forester (2003-2008), you can enjoy an aluminum hood and a 2.5L H4 engine. Beware of broken coil springs, which may have occurred in this generation.


  • Research the trims: Familiarize yourself with different trim options before making a decision.
  • Inspect for common problems: Be aware of issues such as head gasket failures or broken coil springs and have the used Forester inspected before purchasing.
  • Check safety ratings: Look for years that have been awarded top safety picks, like the third-generation models.
  • Read user reviews: Consult reputable sources like Edmunds to get a sense of owner satisfaction with specific model years.

While searching for your perfect used Forester, keep these tips and considerations in mind to find a reliable vehicle that suits your needs.

Which is The Best Forester XT Year?

If you’re looking for the best Forester XT year, there are a few standout options to consider.

One popular choice is the 2016 model, which has been praised for its reliability and quality features. This year offered impressive performance and a comfortable driving experience.

Another great option is the 2021 Forester XT. With its advanced safety features and modern technology, this model stood out in the line-up.

It provided a balance between a powerful engine and impressive fuel efficiency.

In the end, the best Forester XT year depends on your preferences and requirements. Consider not only the model year but also the overall condition, mileage, and service history when making your decision.


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