UPDATE (June 2017): Still losing oil at the same exact rate as before having the head gasket replaced. I honestly wonder whether the dealer, SUBARU OF RICHMOND, every respected the head gasket at all. Either they did not, or the car had a serious design flaw. Also, had the dealer, SUBARU OF RICHMOND, replace the front disc brakes when they they did the head gasket work. The brakes are now wobbling when braking set high speeds. UPDATE (Sept 2016): Subaru gave me a $500 coupon to help defray the cost of replacing the head gasket (the dealer, SUBARU OF RICHMOND, told me after doing tests, that I paid for, that was the reason I was losing oil). I had the head gaskets replaced (both sides), for $1,500 total. The short story is, I AM STILL LOSING OIL AT THE EXACT SAME RATE!!!! About 1 quart per month. My very first Subaru is a 2010 Subaru Forester. Overall I had been impressed with the performance of the car, however I was just recently told by Richmond Subaru that the reason I am losing oil is a blown head gasket, which will cost $2,400 to replace. After doing some research I have come to understand that this is fairly common with Subarus. Less than a year ago I replaced the timing belt and had other maintenance done that cost several thousand. I am not in the habit of spending this much money on a car in regular maintenance fees. Previously I have owned Hondas and Toyotas and have been quite happy with them (over 300K miles on an Odyssey!), but based upon reviews I thought I would give Subaru a try. I suspect this problem has been occurring for some time. I once noticed at an oil change that my oil was low. I thought this was a slip on my part in filling to the proper level previously. Now I think it was the head gasket all along, and this was at about 50k miles, possibly still under warranty. I find it silly that Subaru engineers have continued to design engines with this problem, and that Subaru dealers are unwilling to help. When I found out I had this issue, the Subaru salesman told me, "...since I know of the issue now I can't give you a full trade in value. My suggestion is that you see what CarMax is willing to give you." If Subaru cannot help with this situation I will have no choice but to abandon Subaru as a brand choice and move on.
* Present Car: 2010 Subaru Forester XT (Turbo Charged) Limited edition; 4 Speed Automatic Transmission (Fast on pickup and powerful on torque) Premium Fuel ONLY: 15 MPG @ 20-30 MPH City (stop & go) 20-25 MPG @ 30-60 & 65-80 MPH 30-33 MPG @ 60-65 MPH; 4 cylinder Uses a Timing Belt * Prior Car: 2009 Subaru Forester X (NON-Turbo Charged) Limited edition PZEV; 4 Speed Automatic Transmission (Slow on pickup and weak on torque... dangerous on pulling out!) 15-30 MPG (Reg (best), Plus, Premium Fuels) 4 cylinder Uses a Timing Belt The "Limited" is the top end model and comes with a near-complete package of options as standard. Most of the negative reviews I've read are from non-turbo Subaru owners. I would never buy another non-turbo car OF ANY KIND again for the reasons mentioned above... no power and too slow on pickup and top end. However, if you think the pickup is ok and you want the fuel efficiency, get the X version. If you study the 0-60 second reviews on every car, you'll see that there are [presently] only 2 ways to get to 60 mph in under 7 seconds... 1) Natural Aspirated with +400 HP (Burns lots of fuel... 18-5 MPG) 2) Turbo Charged with +225 HP (Best fuel consumption... 28-15 MPG) I haven't experienced the oil burning issues others have complained about... perhaps they had the inevitable lemons. After doing a very thorough research on all SUVs, I am convinced there is no better car than Subarus (w//Turbo) you can buy for it's price. The only other SUV I'd consider is a Porshe Macan... but you pay over 4x the price. Both 2009 and 2010 Foresters handled superbly on wet, slippery roads BECAUSE OF the synchronized all wheel drive. Anybody complaining about poor handling of Subarus in inclement weather [while All Wheel Drive is engaged] needs to learn how to drive CORRECTLY. The drive train of Subarus is impeccable and the main reason I went with it... Centered/Balanced/Low Mounted Boxer Engine; Synchronized All Wheel Drive make this vehicle VERY easy to control on any surface... There is no better vehicle to drive on slippery surfaces than Subarus. Driver's Seat "Limited" version: Leather 8 way power control; Does not wear out unless you carry a THICK WALLET IN YOUR BACK POCKET! Very comfortable for 5'2"-6'5" Ht. Both front seats tilt all the way back for taking naps on long trips... Some individuals may find the arm rests in the way in this position, but still not much of a detriment. Passenger Seat: Mechanical Lever Adjustment. Rear Seats: Are comfortable enough for average height people. Rear Cargo: Rear seats fold down all the way flat (unlike many other top end SUVs), making it excellent for loading items and camping out if need be. NAV system: Screen is 6" diagonal... not large enough to view comfortably. Does not dim enough at night time making it annoying to drive while on. Boot up is too slow if turned off. There are better after market models with 7" screen (fits perfectly if the NAV-Headunit is compatible with 2008-2013 Forester models) that are much cheaper. Warning! : Do not buy any Kenwood! The 2010 Subaru Forester XT (Turbo Charged) Limited edition is the best car I've ever owned. However, it's recommended to change the Timing Belt around 100k miles ($1100). 2011-present now have a Timing Chain which doesn't need to be changed so soon. Nevertheless, there are some complaints about how they are mounted, but that is to be seen from other owner's reviews. The only other engine Subaru makes with a Timing Chain is their 3.6 Liter, 6 Cylinder Engine; But that was only put in their Outbacks.
Subaru Forester 2010, 57K miles - the heat shields in the exhaust are losing their insulation, so the tin shields rattle against each other. Was told I would need to replace entire exhaust to fix. Not covered by extended wtty - why make an exhaust system that falls apart after 2 years, and can't be easily fixed? why is this "my problem?" It is Subaru's poor design, should be their money to fix! Has anyone else had the dealer fix this problem for you or found an easier solution? The tinny rattling noise drives me crazy!
After 6-7 months of research, I bought a new Forester 2.5X (basic). It is a compromise: will use it as a family car + getting to trail heads via back roads. After 3 weeks and 600 miles on asphalt, it started rattling at relatively low speed, like 20-40 mph. The last time I had a car rattle like this was when I was much younger - and it was a a small Soviet-made piece of junk, much different from a cute new Forester. The service department reduced the rattle but it is still there. They gave me a replacement Forester that rattled at least as loud as my own. The rattle completely spoils the joy one expects form a new car. In addition - relatively poor gas mileage in a city (we drive it gently)
Evidently this is a systemic problem with Foresters. I sure do wish Edmunds had told me that before I plunked down $25K on this car. Anywho... Now I'm stuck with a $5K repair on a car that's barely six years old with 65K miles. Never again, Subaru.