In-depth reviews

Subaru Forester hybrid reliability & safety

The Subaru Forester e-Boxer hybrid boasts class-leading driver aids and a great crash safety rating, but there's no spare wheel

Subaru Forester e-Boxer hybrid
Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Reliability & safety rating

4.5 out of 5

£34,820 - £37,820
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol
Euro NCAPAdult protectionChild protectionSafety assist
5 stars (2019)97%91%78%

The Subaru Forester hybrid has outstanding driver aids included as standard, from a system that monitors your attention level to a semi-autonomous mode and multi-camera parking and manoeuvring aids. It also did very well in Euro NCAP crash-testing, but our only niggle is that you can’t fit a spare tyre anywhere, which is a shame on a car that’s quite likely to see some rough roads.

Subaru Forester hybrid reliability & problems

The Forester’s hybrid powertrain is relatively new, so it's difficult to comment on long-term reliability issues. However, the 'boxer' petrol engine itself is well established as a very reliable motor and Subaru as a brand fares extremely well for dependability in the Driver Power customer-satisfaction survey. A three-year roadside assistance programme is included within the UK.


The Forester comes with an impressive array of safety kit called Subaru ‘EyeSight’. The system features lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition and traffic-jam assistance, which all combine to make a very good semi-autonomous driving mode.

The car will even alert you when the vehicle ahead has pulled away in traffic if you haven’t noticed, and will brake, accelerate and steer to take the stress out of town or motorway roads, even if you must always have your hands on the wheel and be paying full attention. It can also tell where your eyes are looking and might bong a warning if it thinks you’re not paying attention, which is very clever, although can feel very nannying. It's also not infallible, as wearing sunglasses can confuse it.

We love the side camera in the Forester; this beams the view of the front wheel onto the upper screen in the dashboard, making it easy to see any big rocks in a muddy track, or to avoid a kerb outside the school. Finally, there's a full suite of airbags including a driver’s knee airbag, as well as two sets of ISOFIX child-seat fittings in the back seats.

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