Subaru Forester e-Boxer Problems

Subaru Forester e-Boxer seems to be a reliable car. At least based on the 15 months ownership and 18 000 of driven kilometers. Car has many great features but is it a perfect car? All cars have features that could be different. Here are the top 9 issues, problems or features that could be better on the Subaru Forester.

1. e-Boxer GPF issues

Some of the e-Boxer owners have reported GPF issues, including myself. This means that the gasoline particulate filter (GPF) has too much soot and needs to be “cleaned”. Warning light is illuminated in the dashboard and gives a signal to the driver that a certain type of driving is needed, in order to start the regeneration process to clean soot from the filter.

According to Subaru, the system incorrectly estimated soot level and therefore gave warning too early. They have improved the software and most of the cars have been updated already during the first scheduled maintenance. Results are promising. Not a single warning since the software update (in my case).

2. Fuel tank capacity

Small fuel tank capacity applies to the e-Boxer version (i.e. Subaru Forester hybrid). Non hybrid variants have bigger tank capacity. E-Boxer has 48 liters capacity opposed to non-hybrid 65 liters fuel tank.

Small capacity means shorter cruising range. Especially if you drive a lot short distance, when the fuel consumption is naturally higher. Steady cruising helps a bit with the range.

3. Leather quality

Leather quality seems to be quite poor in the Forester. Driver’s seat leather gets baggy in no time. Only reason for this I can imagine is that the leather could be better.

4. Bluetooth connectivity issues

Some have reported issues with the bluetooth connectivity between their smartphone and Subaru’s Starlink system. E.g. Xiaomi MI A2 lite seems to be a problematic model and dealership could not find another reason than that the phone is not supported by the system. However many other phones connects fine without any issues. E.g. Samsung models seems to work fine. As well Apple iPhones works great. Also Android Auto and CarPlay via cable does not have any known issues.

5. Smartphone placement

Storage for the smartphone could be better. There is a place in front of the gear switch, but the place is quite small. E.g. iPhone 11 Pro is too big to fit properly. Phone is always a bit sideways there.


6. Engine performance

Engine performance is adequate for everyday driving. There is enough power to pass slower traffic or when you need to merge to the highway. However when using all of the power reserves, the engine sounds a bit stressful. Same stressful sound occurs when driving a deep long uphill.
There could be a bit more power and torque, so the engine could perform a bit more sophisticated in those situations.

7. Driveline in some situations

In general, the driveline works very smoothly. However there are few situations where it could be smoother. This happens in the city driving mostly in the following scenario. If you need to re-apply acceleration. E.g. the car in front of you first moves but then slows down and moves again. So in that case it is possible that you move, lift off acceleration but then re-apply gas. In this situation the car feels a bit jerky.

8. Cup holder placement

Cup holders are a bit of an awkward place to reach out for a coffee cup easily. These could be more in front to have better access.

9. Armrest

It is not possible to adjust armrest position. For some reason Subaru has decided to have it in fixed position. At least sliding armrest would be a good upgrade to the upcoming models. There is also just enough cushion in the armrest but I wouldn’t complain if it would be even more softer.


Despite of the listed items, Subaru Forester is a really great car. It has so much features to love! E.g. armrest position may awkward for me but it may not be awkward for somebody else. GPF would be a real problem but now once Subaru has the updated software available, it might not be a problem anymore actually.


  1. Just ordered my 2020 Forester e-Boxer to use mostly short driving and delivering goods. I hope the fuel tank capacity will not make me crazy. And the fuel consumption. I already have a diesel Outback -17 which is the best car i ever owned, and a 2006 Outback 2.5 AT which will be saved for my kids to use.

    While testdriving the e-Boxer i got 10 ltr/100 when -18c and most city or high speed motorway. And i got 7.5 /100 when driving calm in the countryside at -8c.

    Great blog by the way! 🙂 // Tomas, Sweden

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This blog has been quite positive about the e-Boxer, purely because I like the car very much. However I wanted to highlight some things that would need improvement either I have personally noticed or then reported by other users.

      If I got it right, you do not have yet your car but the order has been placed? What trim level and color you are getting?

      And thank you for the valuable feedback!


  2. I now have the car in the family since 3 days 🙂
    And we also have a 2017 Subaru Outback 2.0 diesel, perfect for towing our caravan and long distance trips since consumption for that car is 6 ltr/100km, and with 1700kg caravan below 10 ltr/100km.

    The Forester is a white with trim level “Active” and tow bar, studded winter tyres, protection lists sides and back and rubber mat for rear trunk. MY2020 since i got a good price on it because it has been on the road for 20000km during last year. It seem like the price when new a year ago was very high , and they have lowered the price here in Sweden during the year. Around 42.000 EUR with all equipment and tires when new, and now similar is around 37.000 EUR.

    My biggest concern is that the fuel tank is too small and that, in combination with the consumption will make it useless to tow caravan with. But so far it is a great car in all other aspects! 🙂
    And i will anyway tow long distance with the diesel Outback.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your initial experiences. Glad to hear that you are happy with the new car. True, it is expensive car but I think Subaru delivers also good value for the money. As said Forester is not perfect but but it has many great features to love.

      If you do towing, let the blog readers to know what kind of impact it has to the consumption. I do not do that type of activity so I have no experience of caravan things 🙂


  3. We are having horrible, debilitating GPF issues and it is not a software problem. Subaru refuses to pay for the replacement of the filter, claiming that it is not a technical issue covered in the warranty, saying that we should be driving our car differently. Uh… no. The next call is to our lawyer.


    1. I’d like to listen more about it. I am very much unsatisfied with my 2020 Forester e-boxer and I was told exactly the same by the dealership


      1. A short outline of the issues that I have now that I’ve done about 10 000 km. (Though mine is an XV e-boxer 2020 I believe its the same). The known issue with GPF in my case was solved (hopefully) by a software update in Feb 2021.
        An new issue I started experiencing now that it is summer is with the air conditioning – It is very weak and does not maintain the temperature that I set – at 28C outside I’ve set 23 and it hardly maintains 25 on long distance drive.
        Also a rattling noise started from the exhaust when driving on pavement – I suppose It come from a small metal plate that “protects” the car body from the hot exhaust. I’ve had this annoying issue with my 2 previous cars but at a far greater mileage – about 150 000 km.

        At the end of June I will have my 1st year service and will update you.


  4. Hi,
    With a bit of delay – I got my first year service in early July at Subaru Bullgaria.
    The cost was 470 BGN (about 230 EUR).

    The dealership service did not find the reasons for the above mentioned issues. The hotter the weather is (35-40° C for the last 2 months) the better the AC works – turned out it only laggs when the outside temp is very close to the one set, so it might be more related to my expectations for a quick reaction and the teperature tolerance that it works within.
    Neither they found physical reasons for the rattling noise from the exhaust – next time I will convince them to drive the car and not only inspect it while it’s still.

    As a conclusion I would say the dealership does not “believe” that there might be issues with the car so early so they did not do their best to inspect thoroughly – I guess this is their typical approach.


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