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The 6 Most Reliable 10-Year-Old SUVs - CR Says Avoid A 2012 Subaru Forester

Is the 2012 Subaru Forester a reliable vehicle? See why Consumer Reports says they would not recommend the ten-year-old model.


What are the most reliable and fuel-efficient ten-year-old SUVs? And should customers buy a 2012 Subaru Forester? According to a new study from Consumer Reports (by subscription), they would not include the 2012 Subaru Forester in its ten-year-old most reliable SUVs list.

Consumer Reports says they picked models known for strong reliability and fuel economy and vehicles that are the most likely to provide years of relatively trouble-free service.

2012 Subaru Forester, specs, pricing, safety, fuel mileage

CR’s six most reliable SUVs

For the 2012 model year, Consumer Reports recommends the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Toyota 4Runner, Lexus RX, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot.

What’s wrong with the 2012 Subaru Forester?

Consumer Reports says the 2012 Forester gets a 2/5 in overall reliability. The Forester scores low in reliability because the 2.5-liter Boxer engine could need a rebuild or replacement, and the cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain, or timing belt are potential weak spots.

2012 Subaru Forester, specs, pricing, safety, fuel mileage

What do 2012 Forester owners say?

The 2012 Forester gets an overall owner satisfaction score of 2/5. Owners give the Forester a 62/100 in the driving experience, 46/100 in comfort, 70/100 in value, and 58/100 in styling. Sixty percent of owners said they would purchase that same vehicle again (considering all factors; price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc).

What are the 2012 Forester strong points?

The 2012 Forester compact SUV comes standard with all-wheel-drive, 8.7-inches of ground clearance, and a heavy-duty raised four-wheel independent suspension, including double wishbone rear suspension. The 2012 Forester earned a Top Safety Pick score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

What is the 2012 Forester fuel mileage?

In EPA testing, the 2012 Forester gets an estimated 21/26 city/highway and 23 combined mpg with the 2.5-liter engine and automatic transmission and 21/27 city/highway and 23 combined mpg with the 5-speed manual transmission.

What are the best used Forester years?

Consumer Reports ranks the 2006-2010 low in reliability. The 2011- 2019 Forester model years have average to good reliability, and the 2020-2021 models have better than average reliability.

Is the 2022 Subaru Forester reliable?

The 2022 Subaru Forester is the number one overall ranked compact SUV by Consumer Reports. CR says, “We expect the 2022 Forester will be more reliable than the average new car.”

What should shoppers do if they are shopping for a used Forester?

Take the time to have the 2012 Subaru Forester or other used model year inspected thoroughly by a mechanic you trust. It could save you time and money.

You Might Also Like: The Subaru Forester Model Year Most Likely To Need An Expensive Engine Rebuild

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


Todd (not verified)    August 11, 2022 - 6:32PM

Have a 2021 ascent touring.Having an intermittent chirping sound from under the hood as well as hesitation when stepping on accelerator? Any clues?