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.
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.