How To Get a Budget-Friendly Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester is a popular compact SUV known for its all-wheel drive, reliability, and safety features. Whether you’re in the market for a new or used model, there are several strategies to secure a Subaru Forester at a reduced price. This comprehensive guide outlines effective steps to find and purchase a Forester that fits both your budget and lifestyle needs, backed by current market data and practical advice.

Understanding the Market for Subaru Foresters

Before diving into the purchasing process, it’s important to understand the pricing trends and demand for the Subaru Forester. New models start around $25,000, with higher trims and features elevating the price. Used models vary significantly in price, depending on the year, condition, and mileage.

Step 1: Define Your Requirements

First, determine whether a new or used Subaru Forester is more appropriate for your needs. Consider factors like warranty, the latest technology, and the condition of the vehicle. If budget is your main concern, a used Forester typically offers more value, as it avoids the initial depreciation hit new cars face.

Step 2: Research and Compare Prices

Use online platforms such as Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and TrueCar to research and compare prices for both new and used Subaru Foresters. These sites provide insights into average pricing, which can help establish a baseline for negotiations or identify particularly good deals.

Step 3: Search for Incentives and Discounts

For new Foresters, check for incentives and rebates directly from Subaru or local dealerships. These can include cash-back offers, low-interest financing, or lease specials. For the used market, look for certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles, which often come with an extended warranty and have been inspected for quality.

Step 4: Explore Diverse Buying Channels

Expand your search to various channels:

  • Dealerships: For both new and CPO vehicles, visiting local dealerships can provide opportunities to test drive multiple models and negotiate pricing.
  • Online Marketplaces: Websites like AutoTrader and are excellent for comparing prices and finding used Foresters in your area.
  • Auctions and Wholesale Dealers: These can offer lower prices but come with higher risks, so they may be more suitable for those with automotive knowledge.

Step 5: Timing Your Purchase

Timing can significantly affect pricing. The best times to buy a car are typically at the end of the month, quarter, or year when dealerships are striving to meet sales goals. For new models, consider purchasing when the next model year is being introduced as dealerships will be eager to clear out older stock.

Step 6: Inspect and Test Drive

Whether buying new or used, always inspect the vehicle and take it for a test drive. For a used Forester, it’s advisable to get a pre-purchase inspection from a trusted mechanic. This can prevent expensive surprises and provide negotiating power if issues are discovered.

Step 7: Negotiate the Best Deal

Use the information gathered from your research to negotiate confidently. Be prepared with facts about the vehicle’s value and don’t hesitate to walk away if a deal doesn’t meet your expectations. This is often when the best offers are made.

Step 8: Finalize the Purchase

After agreeing on a price, review all paperwork carefully. Ensure that the terms, warranties, and any verbal agreements are clearly stated before signing. For new cars, double-check that any dealer-installed options are necessary and correctly priced.


Purchasing a Subaru Forester requires careful planning and research but can result in significant savings, especially if you are flexible with timing and prepared to negotiate. By following these steps, you can drive away in a Forester that meets your needs without straining your finances.