With the cost of used cars rising, if you are shopping for a previously owned Subaru Forester, you want a dependable vehicle. There are some models to avoid, or it could cost you a lot of money in repairs. The most expensive repairs on an older vehicle are an engine rebuild and transmission replacement. Consumer Reports lists eleven cars most likely to need an engine rebuild.
CR lists the eleven cars most at risk for expensive engine repairs, ranked in order starting with the one with the highest problem rate. They are the 2014 Kia Optima, 2013 Kia Sorento, 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2012 Subaru Forester, 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, 2011 Audi A4, 2011 Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain, 2015 Ford Mustang, 2013 BMW X3, and 2015 Volvo XC60.
The 2012 Subaru Forester is the number five most likely vehicle to need an engine rebuild. CR says the typical mileage for this to happen is between 81,000 to 129,000 miles.
According to Consumer Reports, some Subaru Forester owners chronicled their problems with oil consumption. One said: "Oil consumption was measured, proved to be excessive, and the engine block was replaced (by Subaru). This did fix the issue."
Do Subaru vehicles have an oil consumption problem?
Torque News has documented Subaru's oil consumption problem in certain engines. The vehicles affected most seem to be 2011-2014 Forester (2.5-liter engine), 2013 Legacy (2.5-liter engine) 2013 Outback (2.5-liter engine) 2012-2013 Impreza (2.0-liter engine) and 2013 XV Crosstrek (2.0-liter engine).
A class-action lawsuit was filed against Subaru of America (SOA), and the Camden N.J. automaker agreed to settle the oil consumption lawsuit filed against them in 2014. SOA agreed to extend warranties and reimburse owners for certain out-of-pocket costs from the alleged defect causing their vehicle's engines to use excessive amounts of oil.
Did Subaru fix this problem in newer engines?
Starting in 2012, reports say the Japanese automaker redesigned the 2.5-liter engine in the Forester and Outback and has fixed the problem. Some 2012 Subaru Forester models could still have the older engine design before the automaker changed over to the next-generation 2.5-liter Boxer engine.
If you are looking to buy an older Subaru Forester, Outback, or Impreza, make sure you have a certified mechanic check the vehicle and ask the owner for maintenance records. If the car has been serviced regularly, it's far less likely to need expensive engine repairs.
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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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