2013 Subaru Forester Consumer Reviews

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2013 Subaru Forester
3.9
Average based on 21 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 21 reviews

Call this one "Trusty"

by from Portland, Oregon on August 16, 2012

I like Subarus. I got my first one in 1985, and I have been driving them ever since. I live in Portland, Oregon where a lot of us drive Subarus. Portland can be wet (most of the time) and sometimes sn...
I like Subarus. I got my first one in 1985, and I have been driving them ever since. I live in Portland, Oregon where a lot of us drive Subarus. Portland can be wet (most of the time) and sometimes snowy. I know my new Forester is going to end up being as well loved for its winter work as my GL 10 and my '97 Outback. I took it out to the Coast on a maiden voyage of about 325 miles. It performed flawlessly through the Coast Range, hugged the curvy Highway 101 on the North Coast and sped me through the Tillamook Forest on a hot day with the air conditioner on high. It has great visibility. The boxy shape of the Forester is there for a reason. You can see out of it. I looked at the CRV but they charge a bundle for a camera to see out the back. I just look in the mirror in the Forester. It has big windows not a wall in back. I am short, and I love the 10 position driver's seat. I sit high in the Forester because of the ground clearance, but I can get the seat to elevate as well. The consequence is that I am able to see the edges of the car. So many cars just fall away outside the windshield. Where's the edge? You can't see it while driving. In the Forester, you can. Another plus is that the cab sits forward on the wheel base. There isn't a lot of car in front of the wheels to maneuver. This makes getting in and out of diagonal parking spaces, or tight places in parking garages easy. Cross-overs have grown tall lately. If you have ridden around in a car lately, this is probably all too apparent to you. Well, the Forester is 65" tall. It too has grown tall. I guess that the good thing about this is that you hold your own with the other cross-overs that cost two or more times as much as the Forester. These features make me feel safe in the Forester. It is also nice to step out of the Forester instead of rolling out of a lower car. My previous history with Subarus have made me a loyal fan. I looked at other makes this time finding the Toyota RAV 4 and the Honda CRV the most similar. Both are substantially more expensive. The RAV 4 is much smaller and the CRV is part-time four-wheel drive. I chose the Forester for its all-wheel drive, its ease of handling, and driver visibility. The price was right as well. I am happy with the car.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great visibility

by from Nebraska on December 5, 2012

I sat in many SUVs before I bought one, and the Forester has THE BEST VISIBILITY by far !! As the driver, you can glance to the right and back and see other cars, people, and obstacles really well. It...
I sat in many SUVs before I bought one, and the Forester has THE BEST VISIBILITY by far !! As the driver, you can glance to the right and back and see other cars, people, and obstacles really well. It's due to the shape of the rear side and back windows AND the fact that the glass is untinted. I hate both backing up and changing lanes, and the Forester makes both much easier. I'm delighted with this car !!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

2013 Subaru Forester Premium 2.5X

by from Cheyenne, WY on December 23, 2012

Just bought our new Forester and I could not be more pleased. This is a great all around SUV and suits every one of my needs and then some. The room in this vehicle is awesome, from the people room to...
Just bought our new Forester and I could not be more pleased. This is a great all around SUV and suits every one of my needs and then some. The room in this vehicle is awesome, from the people room to cargo hold there is no lack of space. I am not a small guy (6'2" 250+) and I have loads of room in both front and back seats. I traded in a 08 Suxuki SX4 AWD that I loved, but so far the Forester is better in every way. As far as value, I went with the premium with the 5 speed manual to stay in the mid-low 20s and still have a lot of the features to make it livable. This is the one of the only vehicles in its class you can still get a manual with, mind you. Haven't had it long so I can't speak to reliability yet. Gas milage has been right on par and I expect it'll go up as I break it in. The ground clearance and AWD make it perfect for a Wyoming outdoorsman like myself. The traction this thing has is outstanding, it plows through 10" drifts, no problem. After this Forester, I'm sold on Subaru for life.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Not Blown Away but Not Disappointed...

by from Minneapolis, MN on November 21, 2014

The '13 Forester XT I purchased was the result of a compromise between my wife and I. I wanted the sportier WRX, she just wanted us to have an SUV for trips and whatever. Anyway, I got a great deal on...
The '13 Forester XT I purchased was the result of a compromise between my wife and I. I wanted the sportier WRX, she just wanted us to have an SUV for trips and whatever. Anyway, I got a great deal on it and liked the AWD system and came to my own conclusion that for the price it was the best value out there at the time. 1.75yrs later and here's how I feel: COMFORT I really feel like - at least compared to it's closest rivals the Subaru is the same. They all feel like what they are, for the most part, entry-level crossover vehicles. I will say that one thing I preferred about the Subaru is it feels like visibility was better than competitors and that may have also made the cabin feel less cramped? Maybe just me. Tech is pretty much in line with competitors. EXT AND INT DESIGN/STYLING The styling is fine to me but not edgy at all. It seams Subaru doesn't want to risk losing any of the business of the older crowd and if you are paying attention this seams to be a large chunk of Forester owners. It's safe, moving on... PERFORMANCE Here's the deal, yes it's turbo charged. It has (240?) some horsepower but it is not a race car. It actually handles corners well for a vehicle it's size though and I believe it has just enough power to avoid disappointment but not a horse more. Gas mileage is the only thing I wished was better, however on one trip I managed to get 28mpg hwy which is much better than the advertised number; running premium, of course. RELIABILITY Not a lot of experience here. Just oil changes, 1 tire rotation and I believe there is a recall that needs to be addresses yet (breakline corrosion?). So pretty much as expected. I will mention that like some had posted on forums, I am on my 3rd windshield. Number 2 and 3 are Safelight brand - not sure about quality of those but they all seam to attract rocks and as a result rock-chips.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Happy with overall vehicle

by from Twin Falls, Id on October 5, 2012

We've had this car for little over a month. It has been reliable and am very happy with it's over all performance. AWD is a must in our area. I am impressed with the gas mileage and the handling of th...
We've had this car for little over a month. It has been reliable and am very happy with it's over all performance. AWD is a must in our area. I am impressed with the gas mileage and the handling of this particular vehicle.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Generally Disappointed

by from Northern Colorado on July 5, 2013

I have been fortunate enough to buy a lot of new vehicles in the last 20+ years, and I have to say that my new Forester ranks in the bottom percentage of the cars that I have owned. The suspension is ...
I have been fortunate enough to buy a lot of new vehicles in the last 20+ years, and I have to say that my new Forester ranks in the bottom percentage of the cars that I have owned. The suspension is "clunky" for lack of a better description, and the drive train is excessively noisy even in town at 30 to 40 MPH which I think is particularly aggravating. There is a constant rumble that reminds me of a car that I drove in college with the U-joints going bad. I have been back to the dealer for evaluation, but am told the this is normal for the Forester. The interior is cheap with too many hard plastic surfaces that affect driver comfort. The four cylinder engine is not smooth, and my gas mileage has only been in the 21 - 22 MPG range. The sound system is mediocre at best, and the small speakers in the door posts are especially poor. I have owned my Forester for eight months, and I am already thinking very seriously about trading it for a different vehicle. I don't want this review to sound like a rant, so let me add that I live in Colorado and I did find the car to be sure footed during the snows of last winter. In that regard the Forester did live up to the advertising. However, for me personally, that does not compensate for the constant noise of everyday travel.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Love it!!!!!

by from Washington on October 3, 2012

What more can i say!!! Love it. I like that it sits higher off the ground. Roomy interior my husband even feels comfortable and isnt bumping his head getting in and out. Nice smooth ride. All weather ...
What more can i say!!! Love it. I like that it sits higher off the ground. Roomy interior my husband even feels comfortable and isnt bumping his head getting in and out. Nice smooth ride. All weather package is great. A lot of extras my last car did not have and not all the much more in cost great value........
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

reality check

by from New York on April 25, 2013

This is just for informational purposes. The 2013 may turn out to be a reliable vehicle. However to the person who wrote why would anyone buy anything else I suggest you do a search on "Subaru Head Ga...
This is just for informational purposes. The 2013 may turn out to be a reliable vehicle. However to the person who wrote why would anyone buy anything else I suggest you do a search on "Subaru Head Gasket Problem". Even Consumer Reports (who love Subaru) finally admitted in the April edition that '03-07 Subaru's have a high incidence of failure. This was supposed to have been corrected after 2002 but as the cars keep aging the goal posts keep moving. A Subaru technician told me it is inherent in the design. Subaru came out with a "conditioner" that you add to the anti-freeze that is supposed to prolong the life of the gaskets. If I were being cynical I would say that Subaru made this a mandatory requirement so that the gaskets would just squeak over 100,000 miles at which point a Subaru of America rep will tell you that "we think at some point the customer needs to take possession of their car". Guess who a rep said that too. The first failure I experienced was right at 60,000 miles when the transmission pan started leaking. At 65,000 miles the crank seal started leaking oil. That seal is in the engine and took 4 hours of labor to replace. At 90,000 miles the valve cover gaskets and spark plug seals had to be replaced. Now? Guess what needs replacing at costs approaching $2000. This is an '04, by the way. Subaru has introduced a redesigned boxer engine in this car. It has separate cooling passages for the block and heads which is supposed to help address the head gasket issue. Time will tell. A word to the wise. I just don't know how many competitive brands need major engine work at 100,000 miles and I am including the domestic brands. Anyhow, it is worth doing the search. Good Luck!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Subaru rocks!

by from Saint Louis, MO on December 21, 2012

We recently have been looking for a family vehicle, and had kept an open mind about all brands. We had looked at the Ford Escape, Chevy Equinox, VW Tiguan, Honda CRV, Toyota Rav and Highlander. The Su...
We recently have been looking for a family vehicle, and had kept an open mind about all brands. We had looked at the Ford Escape, Chevy Equinox, VW Tiguan, Honda CRV, Toyota Rav and Highlander. The Subaru was hands down the best auto for the money - the sunroof is huge, the performance and sportiness is that of the VW, the reliability is great, and the size and comfort is perfect. For the cost, the performance, and the symmetrical all wheel drive (safest vehicle on the road, beat Volvo) I do not know why anyone would buy any other car brand. Subaru we love you! Keep up the great craftsmanship. Can't wait to go back and get myself a Legacy.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Third times a charm

by from Arlington Heights, IL on November 12, 2012

This is my third Subaru and I'm loving it. Have received countless compliments on the exterior style and color (Sage Green).
This is my third Subaru and I'm loving it. Have received countless compliments on the exterior style and color (Sage Green).
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?