Subaru Forester Diesel Problems

What is the best family SUV for around $20000?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Sep 2020

While the Mitsubishi Outlander is spacious, reliable and easy to drive, our experience testing it against rival medium SUVs have found it to be noisy and a little too firm riding to be truly comfortable and relaxing. At your price point, there are better alternatives out there. 

Have you considered a Mazda CX-5? In petrol or diesel, we have found it to be a superior and more economical proposition, and is definitely quieter and more refined. Plus, the Mazda's all-wheel-drive system is more sophisticated and better at dealing with loose surfaces like sand.

A late-model (post 2014) S5-series Subaru Forester 2.5i petrol is far more economical than the earlier iterations, since it switched to a more efficient CVT continuously variable transmission. And there's also the 2.0D turbo-diesel which is economical. This, too, is a fine SUV on-road or for light off-road driving.

Finally, the Nissan X-Trail diesel is a roomy and capable choice, especially from 2017, when it received a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel to replace the older 1.6L unit.

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What model X-Trail or Forester should I buy for less than $19000

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Sep 2020

We'd recommend the Nissan T32 X-Trail Series II from mid-2017-onwards and Subaru S4 Forester (2013-2018), since they both make strong secondhand buys due to their reliability, economy, ease of operation, spacious interiors, practicality and strong resale values.

The reason why we'd buy the 2017-onwards X-Trail Series II is because it standardises Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). With the Forester, you'll need to skip the lower grades 2.0i-L (manual-only) and 2.5i-L (auto only) for the S and XT for that important safety technology Subaru calls 'EyeSight'. 

The X-Trail comes in front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, but the Forester is AWD-only. All automatics are of the continuous variable transmission (CVT) variety, which priorities fuel economy but can make the engine drone under hard acceleration. Subaru calls its CVT Lineartronic while Nissan dubs its version X-Tronic.

Our recommendation is to check the service and maintenance history of any car you buy, to ensure every interval has been met and carried out by a proper dealer or brand specialist. This is especially important with the Forester, as it is a slightly more complicated vehicle mechanically. Note that all Subarus of this generation require six-monthly service intervals, not 12-monthly ones like the Nissan, which might be an inconvenience. 

We'd steer clear of ex-rentals as they tend to have a very hard life (both models were popular with such agencies), though they're almost always the base X-Trail ST and Forester 2.5i-L grades that end up as rental fodder.

If you're thinking about diesel engined versions, the X-Trail in middle-range TL and up-spec TS guises switched from the earlier (2014-2017) Series 1's 1.6-litre turbo-diesel to a much more powerful and effective 2.0-litre unit, so that's worth remembering. In the Forester the 2.0D equates to the mid-level petrol models in terms of equipment levels.

Finally, we recommend a mechanical check-up to see that your potential used-buy has not been subjected to punishing off-road treatment. While both the Forester and X-Trail offer good ground clearances, they're not for off-road use, only light gravel, snow or trail driving.

We hope this helps. Good luck. 

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Subaru Forester 2015: Diesel particulate light flashing

Answered by CarsGuide 7 Jun 2019

To start you need to have the filter cleaned out by what it called a manual regeneration. It’s not a warranty issue. Take it to a Subaru dealer and get a quote from them. The reason the light has come on is that the car hasn’t been driven in a way that ensures the regeneration takes place automatically. It could be because of the way you drive it, or the way previous owners have driven it. When you talk to the Subaru dealer about regenerating the filter also ask about the way to drive it so the regeneration happens automatically.

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Subaru Forester 2018: Is the diesel ideal for towing a small caravan?

Answered by CarsGuide 26 Jan 2018

The diesel will do your towing easier, and will be more economical as well.

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Subaru Forester 2015: Petrol or diesel?

Answered by CarsGuide 7 Aug 2015

The salesman is right you really do need to run them over long distances to get the most out of them, and they can be noisy, although modern diesels are less so than old ones. You really need to do the maths on the running and servicing costs of the diesel versus the petrol to see which is best suited to your use. Diesels generally cost more to service, and they are prone to blocking of the diesel particulate filter if not used in a way that allows the automatic regeneration of the filter to happen. I would buy the petrol engine.

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Replacement for a Hyundai ix35

Answered by CarsGuide 15 Jun 2015

AM radio is a very low priority for most makers these days. They are far more focused on digital audio. It's great to see you got what you wanted for radio reception, even if it meant a change of cars and brands.

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Subaru Forester 2014: Is the diesel ideal for towing?

Answered by CarsGuide 23 Jun 2014

The Forester diesel has plenty of torque for pulling, so it gets The Tick from me.

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Subaru Forester 2010: Major problems with the diesel

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Apr 2014

We don't actually have 'Lemon' laws as such in Australia, so asking for your money back is problematic, particularly if the dealer and the carmaker is attempting to fix your car. Obviously your problem has escalated to the point you have called in the Office of Fair Trading to adjudicate, and that would seem to be the best course of action in this case.

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