Used Subaru Forester 2008-2013 review

Advice for buyers

(2008 - 2013)
Used Subaru Forester (08-13)
Review continues below...

What should I look for in a used Subaru Forester 4x4?

It is important to look in all the usual places such as kerb damage to alloy wheels: stains, rips or tears in the seat fabric: scuff marks on plastic trim pieces; it is also worth checking for off road damage.

The Subaru Forester is more likely than most to be taken off the beaten path, and while it has underbody cladding to protect vital components; damage can still be done. Look for odd dents under the car; check that the exhaust hasn’t been knocked off its hangers and that the car isn’t caked in mud underneath. If it is left there, it can trap water and lead to rust.

Used Subaru Forester (08-13)

What are the most common problems with a used Subaru Forester 4x4?

If you are thinking of purchasing a diesel model, check that the previous owner has taken the car on frequent motorway journeys to ensure that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) can regenerate, as this process is only triggered at high speed. A clogged-up DPF can be costly to replace.

Other potential problems with the DPF-equipped cars come if it has been shut off part way through regeneration. The result is contamination of the oil system with fuel, which leads to the oil level rising gradually over time. This can cause damage to the engine, if it hasn’t already, so it’s worth getting the car checked out if you notice the oil level rising.

Is a used Subaru Forester 4x4 reliable?

Subaru usually puts in a good showing when it comes to reliability and the brand was placed 10th overall out of 32 car brands surveyed, according to our latest data. This generation Forester wasn’t included unfortunately, but the latest version came in sixth place, just behind rivals such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

If you would like to see the full reliability list for large SUVs, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.


Used Subaru Forester (08-13)
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