This is my review of a MY20 Subaru Forester Premium. It’s a company car and I have put 10,000k on it in 9 months, over half of which is highway driving.
In summary, I am a bit disappointed. In isolation it’s not so bad, but I can’t help but compare it with my previous company car which was an Outback. I thought new platform, new engine, it has got to be better, right? For me, the Outback is a better car and if the Forester is any indication what the new Outback will be like then I would get the current model before its replaced in 2021. I sugg...est anyone deciding whether to get an Outback or Forester read the CarAdvice comparison between them. There is one issue that would stop me from buying one and why I am not really looking forward to living with it for another 3 years when the lease finishes. In 30 years of driving, I have never had a car that feels so uneasy and unsettled when you are trying to keep a straight line on the highway, and I almost dread cross-winds. It’s not an SUV thing, I have driven plenty of SUVs that were fine. For example, a 2005 X-Trail I had that was similarly boxy and upright was fine. There is something about the on-centre steering feel combined with the responsive chassis that means that I am constantly trying to correct to keep a straight line without over-correcting. I usually turn the lane keeping assistance off because that just makes it creepier. I try to ignore it and hope my brain’s auto-pilot will get used to it but it hasn’t yet. My wife was in passenger seat and asked if it was windy outside because the car was moving around, I said no that’s what I was saying about the steering. It may not bother everyone and other drivers may not notice anything wrong but I suggest at least test driving one on a reasonably long straight highway drive before buying. After one trip up and down the Hume it bugged me so much, I did some Googling on it. Other people have reported this steering issue if you search subaruforester.org, including one Australian owner who has returned the car several times in an attempt to fix it, including wheel alignments. I don’t think it can be fixed because it is just a characteristic of the vehicle, but there is a suggestion that a larger rear sway bar may help. The forums discuss this as a general Subaru thing, but I didn’t have any problem with the Outback. Occasionally a reviewer will mention something about the on-centre feel (CarAdvice again). I think the wheel alignment is fine (tyres are wearing evenly) and when you take your hands off the wheel it tracks true. It’s maybe a bit better in Sport mode because this adds more weight to the steering, but then the engine revs too high for normal driving. I have fitted a Perrin steering damper lock-down and this helps a bit. It doesn’t change the characteristics of the vehicle but I feel more in control when correcting the steering because it removes some of the spongy on-centre feel. Handling through corners is good and pretty sharp. I suspect Subaru have tuned the chassis for turning response at the expense of straight line stability. I am interested in other people’s comments on this. It’s a difficult and subjective area to pin-point because the driver is part of the control system.
Two weeks back i was travelling to Calga interchange from Wisemans Ferry Rd when car started to lurch when driven at about 80km/hr. Lurches were periodic. Then all warning lights came on including oil temp. Car only 12 months old and 3500km on clock. After allowing vehicle to sit for 10 mins i turned back on and drove slowly back to Sydney with eye sight system disengaged other warning lights on but oil light off. Took to dealer 2 days later but that morning eye system back and working. Dealer found no issue. Then a week later on a 10km trip ag...ain warning lights came on and car seemed to be stuck in a high gear. I limped home and struggled with little power to make driveway. Then gear lever would not move from DRIVE. After turning off power and restarting i was able to engage PARK. Today again taken to dealer and fingers crossed there are answers. Quite obviously there are transmission issues.
Purchased in July 2019.
I cannot live with this any longer
I purchased a 2.5iS in May 2020, thinking it would be my happy retirement vehicle, but have had nothing but annoyance from the CVT.
There is a jerkiness which nobody can give me a decent explanation for.
I have taken it back to the dealer 3 times, but feel that Subaru is trying to do a snow job on me.
2 branches of my dealer have done "CVT Relearns" but no change.
I have had up to 9 trained Subaru staff tell me that they have never heard of it, and then after they sent data to Subaru, I was told it was "A characteristic of the vehicle"
I have spoken to at least 50 other people who have similar age Subarus and none of them have experienced this.
I am seeking legal advice on Lemon Laws to get some form of recompense.
Purchased in May 2020 at Keystar Rothwell for $42,000.00.
A lot of fun
This is my third Subaru. I’ve had this model for about three months now and it’s been flawless. It’s very practical and Has great visibility out of the big windows. The engine is economical and has enough power when you need it. Im not a fan of the auto stop start which you have to manually turn off each time if you don’t want it on. There’s no way to permanently turn it off. However it’s not a dealbreaker for me I’m slowly getting used to it. I love the plush handling. Doesn’t corner like a sports car but then again it’s an SUV so it’s underst...andable. 99% of my driving is done On straight road so I like having the plush suspension. It’s very utilitarian with its Boxee shape which I really like. Makes you feel like just packing up and heading out. Lots of fun.
Purchased in June 2020.
Great, but one annoying problem, now resolved by my own investigation
My 2019 Forester has been great but for one minor annoying problem. Three times the tailgate has refused to open by any of the usual means, and I had to extract the groceries via the back seat. Once the tailgate opened of its own accord as I was about to drive off.
If you have had this problem then there is a cure. If you hold the opening button for over ten seconds, the tailgate will usually open, but this is no solution on a car that is less than one year old. Google is your friend.
There is a June 2019 USA Technical Service Bulletin to add...ress the failure of the tailgate to open by any of the usual devices. Most dealers do not have a clue therefore it is a good idea to supply the Bulletin to the dealer rather than just rock up at service and ask for it to be done. Don’t let the dealer tell you that the American vehicles are made there and ours are made in Japan, thus the bulletin is not relevant here. Of course for parts like this, they are common worldwide. It will not be a recall, it will be a repair on demand order. The link to the TSB issued by USA Subaru is below along with the repair part number. This will help you deal with the dealerships. Unfortunately our Aussie Subaru will not respond of its own accord, it needs a push from you. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10163005-9999.pdf
Purchased in May 2019 for $41,000.00.
After having owned a WRX the Forester took a little getting used to, but it is such a refined a driver friendly car that this was an eady transition.
It handles really well for such a high car, and the cvt is crisp and responsive. The adaptive cruise control is really well sorted and helps make commuting far more palatable. It is a perfect size for the teens in the family and is a very manoevorable car in shopping centres. It is engaging enough in the twisties and manages light off-roading consumately.
Purchased in November 2019.
Love this car
I use this car everyday for work and family and outings.
This car is brand new so it will be serviced yearly.
No issues at this point.
Fantastic car i would recommend it for all ages so comfortable and spacious .
Purchased in March 2019 at subaru sutherland for $43,000.00.
Love this car, I almost live in it.
I have owned this car since March and it has not skipped a beat on the road or off the road. Great safety features that suit me for long driving trips and goes really well off the beaten track.
Purchased in March 2019 at Cricks Highway for $43,000.00.
Navigation System Outdated And Not Current
2019 Subaru Forester
We purchased a new Forester in February 2019 from Liverpool Subaru. We are happy with the car with 1 major exception.
The in car navigation system is out dated and not reliable. I have checked the version of the navigation system and it is 2017. As we purchased the vehicle new in 2019 I would have expected the navigation system to be current. I was not told this was out of date and this may have had some impact on our decision as we were comparing similar vehicles.
We live in an estate and moved into our address in 2016...
Purchased in February 2019 at LIVERPOOL SUBARU.
Questions & Answers
Can you set the vehicle to auto lock at a certain speed or when the vehicle is put into drive? Having to remember to lock the vehicle after all these years of your previous vehicle doing this is taking a lot of getting used to. I don't like the idea of driving around with someone being able to jump into my boot or doors whilst stopped at traffic lights etc if I happen to forget to lock the doors..
Hi @ KSC, The Outback is currently our only model with automatic door locking. The Subaru Team.
Any truth in the rumour that Subaru Australia is enabling auto door locking again in new Forester for 2020?
Hi @ Grime, Thanks for getting in touch. There is no confirmed news at this stage that automatic door locking will be available in the next Forester but please keep an eye on our website for all new vehicle announcements. The Subaru Team. http://bit.ly/2NrKg8N
Just upgraded from a Subaru liberty 2015 (entry model) to a 2020 Forester premium. Very happy with the vehicle in general, however the radio quality and coverage is not great. I find that I need to source new stations frequently when driving, 40-60 Km is about the range. The liberty had a good range and sound. The vehicle supplier could not assist me with this issue. Learning all the new features and instructions was a daunting task and the manuals were difficult to follow. The best source of learning was from American and Canada u tube sites. Pity the car did not come with simple video instruction, it would have saved a lot of time and stress. Love the ride and cabin comfort and low road noise.
Hi @Bob B, Congratulations on your new Subaru! We're so glad to hear that you're happy with your Forester. All our retailers provide a free one month check and chat service for new vehicles where they can go through any concerns you have. We do appreciate your feedback about instructional videos which we will be sure to look into. Feel free to contact our Customer Relations Team if you have any other questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Subaru Team.
Sorry, I did contact the retailer about this issue and they could not provide me with an answer, this is why I contacted Subaru Australia.
Hi @Bob B, We're sorry to hear that your Subaru retailer was unable to assist. Just to clarify, have you contacted our Customer Relations Team already? The Subaru Team.
|Category||Midsize / Medium SUVs|
|Transmission||Continuously Variable (CVT)|
|Drive Type||All Wheel Drive (AWD)|
|ANCAP Safety Rating||5 Stars|
|Fuel Consumption||7.4 L/100km|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||63 L|
|Engine||4 Cylinder 2.5L|
|Max Power||136kW @ 5800rpm|
|Max Torque||239Nm @ 4400rpm|
|Country of Manufacture||Japan|
|Maximum Towing Capacity (braked)||1,500 kg|
|Maximum Towing Capacity (unbraked)||750 kg|
|Manufacturer Warranty||5 year(s)|
|Ground Clearance||220 mm|
|Release date||Sept 2018|
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