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Need help deciding on the best year of a USED Forester

sebentincsebentinc San RafaelPosts: 1
edited January 6 in Subaru
Getting married. Need to sacrifice one of my Jeeps ('99) and get a family car that seats four and is good for camping and traveling. Haven't got a clue as to how to go about this. What is the best year in the early teens? Why?

Comments

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 124,844
    sebentinc said:

    Getting married. Need to sacrifice one of my Jeeps ('99) and get a family car that seats four and is good for camping and traveling. Haven't got a clue as to how to go about this. What is the best year in the early teens? Why?

    While I'm not an expert on the Forester, there is a regular poster on these forums who is.

    @xwesx - this one is right up your alley. Can you help?

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    edited January 7
    Oh sure, I may be able to do that!

    I suppose it is likely a matter of what you want and what you can afford.

    There are three generations of Forester offered during the last decade (e.g., 2010+). During that time, and aside from appearance (which I'll not mention again since the third generation, 2009-2013, is indisputably the nicest looking), here are some major changes that happened:

    1. MY2011: Subaru introduced the FB25 engine to replace the EJ25. The EJ25 is known to eat head gaskets, which is most often manifest as an external oil leak that will start slow and work its way up from there. In some cases, it can also suffer an internal coolant leak, and this can lead to overheating and warped heads. Despite this, the cars are quite reliable. The FB25 engine suffered some issues with oil consumption during the "early" model years (I hear that 2011 through 2014 are all susceptible). My current 2013 had this problem. However, there was a lawsuit over this, and there is now an extended warranty, etc., in place to deal with affected vehicles. If you're looking at these years, read up on it!

    2. MY2014: Subaru replaced the 4-speed automatic with a CVT automatic. As with prior generation, manual transmission available on X and Premium trims only, but now a 6-speed vs. prior 5-speed. Addition of some optional features on higher-end cars "X-MODE" and "Eyesight." Tuning changes for steering and handling response, particularly in the XT (turbo) version.

    3. MY2019: Subaru dropped the manual transmission (I think they may have limited it to only base (X) version in MY2017 or 18) as well as the XT (not related - XT is auto only since 2009). Additional steering and handling adjustments, and reintroduction of the "Sport" trim (visual modifications only). X-MODE and Eyesight standard across the board.

    Some various notes on trim differences: For the X model, no tinted glass, roof rails became standard again in 2011 (late 2010MY), and no panoramic roof. ALL OTHER TRIMS have all of this stuff. So, if you don't want a pano roof, you MUST go base. There are some wheel differences, but they are all alloy except for MY2010, when base used steel wheels and covers. Bolt pattern is 5x100 for all, and wheels are fully intercompatible (min wheel size 16" to clear the front brakes).

    The passenger compartments are very similar throughout these years. Modernization of the "infotainment" system did not happen with any earnestness until MY2014, though all these years have an auxiliary jack, and there was USB port functionality beginning MY2012/13. Through 2013, backup cameras were only available on vehicles with the "technology package," and were not standard until 2017 or 2018.

    Cost-wise, Subaru vehicles tend to hold their value. If you end up looking at anything newer than MY2017 and about 40-50,000 miles, you should cross shop it with new (consider Heuberger in Colorado for price comparison) and then decide if the savings are worth it.

    What else would you like to know?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    As far as BEST year? Gosh. Now you got me (but you asked for it!). My personal preference is third generation, 2009-2013. I had a 2010 Forester from new, Premium trim with manual transmission. I did some light modification on it, with heavy duty King springs, a tiny lift in the rear, and a class III hitch. With these, I would fit it with a cargo tray and could put a lot of weight on it with no handling or fuel economy penalty.

    We once drove it on our "transcontinental" trip, which took us about 12,600 miles over five weeks. We drove from our home in Fairbanks, Alaska, over to Montreal, down to Massachusetts, then all the way over to the Oregon coast (with lots of stops between), before returning to Fairbanks. Good times.

    I'm not going to call it the best choice for such trips, but it is a fun choice. Not uncomfortable, lots of cargo space to fill, and capable of whatever little diversion catches your interest.

    Due to a collision that killed it just shy of 110,000 miles about two years ago, we now have a 2013 Forester, purchased used but otherwise identical to the 2010 ( I swapped over the mods from the other car to this one, so they really are the same as one another). It is similar, though I prefer the torque curve on the EJ25 engine to the FB25, that may just be my preference and a trait associated with the manual transmission. Also, the steering is heavier on the 2013, though not in a bad way. It just feels... stout, I guess.

    I have never considered a newer one for two reasons: 1. I HATE the look of them, and I would hate to spend money on a car that I can't stand to observe. 2. This is a perfect vehicle for a manual transmission, and they phased it out. As they phased it out, they also phased in their suite of electro-nannies, and I also HATE electro-nannies!

    Oh, and I had the head gaskets replaced on the 2010 at about 96,000 miles. I also had the oil consumption issue on the 2013, and that resulted in a replaced engine block just this last September. So far, so good on both counts (though the poor '10 only gave me another 12,000 miles or so before it's life was over due to that collision).

    However, don't let my biases color your opinion.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    I hope that @sebentinc was able to sort out his vehicle situation well. Come back and let us know how things went or are going, and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • danny111danny111 Posts: 8
    @xwesx I am in the market to buy a used car. How is the driver seat in the Forester for long drives? I haven't had time to go to Car Max or a dealership, but my big concern is seat comfort. I am open to any other car/suv/trcu as well. Thank you so much.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,153
    danny111 said:

    @xwesx I am in the market to buy a used car. How is the driver seat in the Forester for long drives? I haven't had time to go to Car Max or a dealership, but my big concern is seat comfort. I am open to any other car/suv/trcu as well. Thank you so much.

    Well..... define "long."

    On the 2010, I found it to be okay for a long day of driving, but my body grew tired of it after more than that. And, we took it on a Transcontinental trip, so we had lots of days of long hours back to back to back. The 2013 seats are a better mix of comfort and support, plus more adjustment options on the passenger seat. I put a 1,200 mile day in on it a few days after buying, and it caused me significantly less fatigue.

    They have nothing on my Q7 in terms of comfort, but, for the class, I find them pleasant.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
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