In terms of the exterior, there have been a few reports that the OEM windscreens can crack quite easily. Obviously it generally only happens when small rocks or pebbles hit the the glass.
However the problem is, some aftermarket windscreens can play havoc with the safety cameras and sensors, requiring any replacement windscreen to be an OEM part. The problem with that is that, for some owners, the windscreen may crack multiple times.
There are a few sporadic reports of the electric windows being faulty or not working at all.
And there are a few complaints that the Reversing Camera can be very unclear at night.
Inside there are reports that the airbag indicator light can turn on sporadically.
Also that the air conditioning can be faulty or fail all together due to issues with the compressor. The repair for this requires much of the dashboard to be removed and this will become expensive.
The A pillar is known to rattle and the seat belt can squeak where you clip it in. The good news is a pool noodle cut to size fixes this.
And most concerning for left hand drive markets is that there have been reports of Steering Problems, specifically a loss of power steering, harshness or rattles. The good news is there has been a recall addressing this and these problems haven’t seemed to effect Foresters in right hand drive markets.
Mechanically, if you had asked a mechanic or service technician 10 years ago, are Subarus reliable? Most would’ve said yes, they’re not too bad. But ask a mechanic these days you’ll most likely get a different answer.
Over the years things like, head gasket issues, CVT transmission complications, and wheel bearings failures have just become way too common.
The FB25D (the direct injected version from 2018 onwards) so far isn’t too bad in terms of reliability, however it is early days.
Oil consumption has been an issue as have oil leaks. Also being direct injection, they are prone to clogged up inlet systems so Subaru’s upper cylinder cleaning process (which is basically a spray-in chemical cleaner), is now needed more than ever. Interestingly, Subaru have been doing this for years.
Gone is the timing belt of the older generation Foresters so overall serving costs are much lower.
There’s not a great deal of information around about problems with the FB20 mild Hybrid, which doesn’t really mean they don’t have problems.
Currently in Australia they simply have not sold as many hybrids when compared to non-hybrid and this can lead to a whole other set of problems related to poor or non-existent ongoing factory support and availability of parts in the long term.
The CVTs yes, are still problematic with many issues with shuddering, noisy operation and catastrophic failures even at relatively low mileage.
From 2019 onward in Australia Subaru have a 5-year warranty so many of these problems are still covered. Plus, even outside of warranty periods, Subaru are still covering some issues with the CVTs however that’s not going to be the case for ever.
If you have this generation of Forester or you’re looking at buying one, you can mitigate the likelihood of CVT failure by ignoring the “fill for life” recommendations and serving them at least very 50,000km.