2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback
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The 4 Current Subaru Models That Top CR’s Used Cars That Burn Oil List

Which Subaru models burn excessive oil? Check out Consumer Reports' latest list of used cars to avoid that include four current Subaru models.
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Do some Subaru models burn excessive oil? Consumer Reports recently expanded its list of used cars that burn oil, and it includes four popular Subaru models. CR says you should be aware of the 2010-2015 Subaru Forester, 2010-2015 Subaru Outback, 2012-2013 Subaru Impreza, 2010-2015 Subaru Legacy, and 2010-2014 Subaru Tribeca.

Consumer Reports identified which automakers, engines, and model years owners report adding at least a quart of oil between oil changes. You can see the complete car brand and engine list here.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

Some older Subaru Boxer engines burn oil between changes. While it's not normal, some engines have had excessive oil consumption issues, and owners report adding a quart of oil every 1000-2000 miles.

2010-2015 Subaru Forester and 2010-2015 Subaru Outback

The Forester compact SUV and Outback midsize SUV are the automaker's two top-selling models. Some owners have reported to the NHTSA problems with head gasket failure. According to Consumer Reports, reliability data, and the NHTSA, oil consumption is also a potential problem you could face if you buy a used Forester or Outback with the 2.5-liter engine.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

In 2016, Subaru initiating a program to extend the original new car powertrain limited warranty coverage for excessive engine oil consumption on some vehicles to 8 years / 100,000 miles from the original warranty start date.

Those models were the 2013-2014 Legacy and Outback models with 2.5-liter FB engines 2011-2014 Forester with 2.5-liter FB Engine, 2015 Forester (manual transmissions only) with 2.5-liter FB engines, 2012-2013 Impreza and XV Crosstrek with 2.0-liter FB engines, 2014-2015 Impreza and XV Crosstrek (manual transmissions only) with 2.0-liter FB engines.

In an earlier report, CR says the 2010-2012 Subaru Outback 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine is also listed to burn excessive oil. Subaru discontinued the 3.6R model in the Outback and Legacy for the 2020 model year and introduced the all-new 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine. There have been no problems with the new engine.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

2012-2013 Subaru Impreza

According to CR, the Impreza sedan and hatchback compact car is also plagued by poor reliability and says the 2.0-liter engine "has a propensity for oil consumption." The Impreza was included in the extended warranty program listed above, but all affected models will now be out of warranty.

2010-2015 Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy sedan used the same 2.5-liter engine as Forester and Outback and was the only engine option in Legacy models of this vintage that tended to burn oil. The worst of them are now out of warranty.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

2010-2014 Subaru Tribeca

Subaru discontinued the Tribeca SUV after the 2014 model year. The Tribeca also used a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine available in some Outback trims with oil consumption issues listed above. CR's reliability data shows that about a quarter of Tribeca owners complained of oil consumption for a few years.

Why do some Subaru engines burn excessive oil?

An earlier CR report says oil consumption issues surfaced after federal fuel-economy standards became more demanding. The mandates forced automakers to make trade-offs in engine design that would increase fuel efficiency but, in some cases, had an adverse effect on durability.

Has Subaru corrected the oil consumption issue?

According to Consumer Reports, there were significant improvements in the four Subaru models listed above after the 2014 model year. Owners reported they were not adding oil between regular service appointments in 2015 and newer models. You can see the chart below how Subaru engines have improved after the 2015 model year.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Consumer Reports - the percentage of owners reporting adding at least a quart of oil between oil changes

Reports say the Japanese automaker redesigned the 2.5-liter engine in the Forester and Outback in 2012. Some 2012-2015 Subaru Forester models could still have the older engine design before the automaker completely changed to the next-generation 2.5-liter Boxer engine used in current models.

In Consumer Reports annual surveys, owners now report zero problems in 2019 and newer Subaru models. New car shoppers will find the 2021 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Outback, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek 2.5-liter engine, and Crosstrek and Impreza 2.0-liter engines fuel-efficient and reliable.

You Might Also Like: The Top-10 Car Brands In Customer Satisfaction - New Study Says Subaru Is Now #2

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


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Comments

I drove my 2011 Outback for 103,000 miles and it used no oil. The best car I ever owned. I gave The car to my granddaughter and the record continues. I followed Subaru's maintenance schedule to the letter.
Drove a subaru forester 2015 XT for 4years and it was tuned up to 260 hp. I drove really speedy. No oil consumption whatsoever. Really a good and reliable car.
Same here! Drove a 2014 Forester XT 80,000 miles in 6 yrs. No oil consumtion whatsoever.
I drove an 11 Outback 6 cylinder 80000 miles with no problem. Current owner now has 125000, no oil usage
I have a 2015 Subaru Forester and use synthetic oil. I have watched for excessive oil consumption for several years ever since it was first identified. Absolutely none. This has been a very reliable car. No repairs. Changed the battery. I plan to keep it for years to come.
2020 Impreza Sport manual transmission. Needs oil in between each service.
Just bought '13 XV Crosstrek to replace a '14 that was totaled in a crash. I had the '14 for about 8 months and I noticed some oil consumption but wasn't overly alarmed. The '13 has 120k miles on it ('14 had 150k) and it goes through a ton of oil. I just did an oil change and 600 miles later the oil light is on. I'm using Quaker State 0W20 high mileage full synthetic with a Wix XP filter. This was it's first oil change since I bought the car but I added oil to it at least 3 times before the oil change. If I have a serious problem, what are my options? Reading up on this it sounds like any extended warranty coverage expired at 100k. Has anyone else dealt with this and what was the resolution?
Perhaps we should identify Subarus not from the year they were made, but from the prime mechanical shortcoming that was in effect for that era. The head gasket era. The excessive oil consumption era. The bad transmission era.
Quisiera saber si se encuentra agencia aquí en CDMX y que modelos están disponibles muchas gracias por la información