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A black 2021 Subaru Forester is shown from the rear at an angle while it drives down the highway after the owner searched 'Certified Pre-Owned Subaru Forester'.

Your CPO Guide to the Best-Selling Subaru Forester

Did you know that 97% of Subaru vehicles sold over the last decade are still on the road today? This is an astonishing statistic that Subaru is proud of, and rightly so. But, more importantly, it adds a new level of confidence to your search for a Certified Pre-Owned Subaru Forester. Why? Because it demonstrates the esteemed quality the Subaru brand exemplifies.

Subaru vehicles will serve you for many years and many miles ahead, and the Forester is one of Subaru’s most popular nameplates. This compact crossover SUV exudes versatility and capability. First introduced in 1997, the Forester shares a platform with the Impreza and seamlessly combines the sedan’s smooth handling with greater capability—and more room for passengers and cargo. So, what can you expect to find when shopping for a Certified Pre-Owned Forester? Also, what are the perks of shopping Subaru’s Certified Pre-Owned lineup? It’s time to find out!

#1. Only the Best Foresters Make the Cut

Subaru holds every model to a higher standard, but this is even truer on models with the Certified Pre-Owned badge. For a Forester to earn its Certified Pre-Owned sticker, it must be less than five model years old and have fewer than 80,000 miles on the odometer. By setting age and mileage restrictions, Subaru guarantees the quality of every Certified Pre-Owned Forester without limiting your options. So, for example, budget shoppers can find a 2017 Forester with every feature they need just as easily as someone looking for the latest tech will find that and more on a newer, 2021 Forester with a Certified Pre-Owned sticker.

A green 2019 Subaru Forester is shown from the front at an angle while it drives through snow.

#2. Thoroughly Vetted and Quality Guaranteed

A Forester that meets Subaru’s age and mileage standards has only completed the first round of qualifications. The Forester must then pass a 152-point comprehensive safety inspection and reconditioning process in the hands of factory-trained technicians. During the inspection, technicians look over every aspect of the Forester, from verifying its VIN and accessing its Carfax vehicle history report to looking at the brake pads, tires, and more complex components—like the powertrain and drivetrain.

Because Subaru operates on transparency, every Certified Pre-Owned Forester comes with a Carfax vehicle history report and the detailed inspection report. Why is this important? The Carfax report gives you more insight into the Forester’s ownership and maintenance history, title issues, and accident involvement. In addition, the inspection report shows you any resolved issues from the reconditioning process. These reports engineer confidence in your purchase and reflect Subaru’s factory-backed guarantee for every Certified Pre-Owned model.

#3. 100,000 Miles of Factory-Backed Coverage

Subaru goes even further to give you confidence in your purchase and peace of mind on the road. Every Certified Pre-Owned Forester comes with a factory-backed 7-year or 100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty—with a zero-dollar deductible! So what does a zero-dollar deductible mean for you? You get to keep more of your hard-earned money in your wallet, reducing the financial overwhelm that accompanies most unexpected vehicle repairs.

This peace of mind goes further with Subaru’s available extended warranty coverage plans. For example, the Certified Pre-Owned “Classic” Plan runs seven years or 100,000 miles and includes roadside assistance. It covers nearly 1,000 major components on your Forester, including the engine, transmission, suspension, and air conditioning. Should you break down on the side of the road, the plan also reimburses you for towing and rental car expenses.

Subaru’s Certified Pre-Owned “Gold Plus” Plan is the most comprehensive coverage available and offers the same coverage as the Classic Plan, plus many other perks. For example, the Gold Plus covers hundreds more parts, likening it to Subaru’s bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage on new models. In addition to reimbursing you for a rental car and towing expenses, the Gold Plus Plan also reimburses you for lodging and meals should your Forester break down when you’re out of town. You’ll also enjoy access to travel assistance, trip routing, and a retailer locator service that helps you find Subaru dealers around the country.

#4. STARLINK to Keep You Safe on the Road

Subaru introduced its STARLINK Safety and Security suite in 2019, meaning you’ll enjoy this perk if you purchase a Certified Pre-Owned Forester from 2019 or newer. The suite equips the Forester with an extra set of eyes, enhancing your visibility and actively minimizing the potential for collision when you’re in the driver’s seat. For example, Foresters outfitted with the suite include an Automatic Collision Notification that constantly watches traffic ahead to alert you for potential collisions—so that you have plenty of time to respond. Other tools include Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Remote Services, Vehicle Diagnostic Alerts, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, and STARLINK Concierge.

Why is STARLINK important when you’re behind the wheel? Your Certified Pre-Owned Forester comes with a one-year trial subscription to STARLINK, which gives you greater control over your Forester from the palm of your hand. For example, you can access your Forester via the MySubaru app on your smartphone, where you can set speed, boundaries, and curfew alerts for your teen driver. Additionally, you can use the app to remotely start the engine and control the climate, ensuring that your Forester is ready to go when you walk out the door.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of STARLINK is how it serves you in your time of need. In case of an emergency, the Automatic Collision Notification saves valuable time by reaching out to a STARLINK Customer Care Advisor, who can immediately route emergency personnel to your location. SOS Emergency Assistance works similarly, but instead of automatically calling for help when the airbags deploy, you can call for assistance by pushing the red SOS button in the Forester’s overhead console.

What happens if your Forester is stolen? STARLINK is there for you even when the unthinkable happens. Using the MySubaru app, you can reach out to a STARLINK Customer Care Advisor who can locate your Forester using GPS technology, sending the local police straight to your vehicle. Beyond these extreme situations, you’ll find STARLINK is also incredibly practical and allows you to check the condition of your Forester; review tire pressure, fuel level, and more. You can also access health reports, which helps you stay on top of routine maintenance like oil changes.

The brown interior of a 2021 Subaru Forester is shown from the passenger door opening.

Certified Pre-Owned Never Looked So Good

Subaru gives you plenty of reasons to shop for a Certified Pre-Owned Forester. Quality is guaranteed, as Subaru holds every model to higher standards, thoroughly inspecting and vetting them for quality and operability. When you shop for a Certified Pre-Owned Forester, you know that you’re getting a best-selling SUV with Subaru’s seal of approval.

So, where should you start your search? Foresters built since 2017 meet the age requirements for Subaru’s Certified Pre-Owned program, but it doesn’t mean every model is guaranteed to make the cut; mileage plays a prominent role, remember? Because of this, we encourage you to start your search for a fifth-generation Forester, which debuted in 2019.

Other things I love about the 2019 Forester: this model introduced the Subaru Global Platform, lending to a more rugged exterior design and a more spacious interior. Along with the new platform, Subaru updated its popular 2.5-L BOXER engine, making the 2019 Forester (and every subsequent model) more powerful, capable, and fun to drive. Additionally, these models feature cutting-edge technology like the EyeSight Driver Assist and DriverFocus technology, which add exceptional value to the Forester. These features ensure you take home a better-equipped SUV for a fraction of the cost.