2009 Subaru Forester SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Subaru Forester SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Subaru Forester Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Subaru Forester

  • Now more SUV-like than ever before, the 2009 Subaru Forester grows in useful ways while retaining much of the previous model's charm.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Standard all-wheel drive, spacious cabin with ample cargo space, comfortable ride, capable engines.

  • Cons

    Outdated four-speed automatic transmission, handling could be sharper.

  • What's New for 2009

    Redesigned for 2009, the Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV is bigger and more beautiful inside and out.

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Great for tall drivers

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car for 2 reasons 1. Head room,I'm 6'5 2. AWD Over all happy but a few issues to note 1.The car has an uncanny ability to suck in the exhaust from other vehicles, and it has nothing to do with the in cabin filter. 2.The design of the front seats. As the driver its almost impossible to reach under the seat to grab anything, and there is a cable that runs directly from the underbelly of the seat to the ground that eliminates passage. The passenger seat sits so low that even I feel like a kid in a car(I'm 6'5) 4.Rattles. have fun going back and forth to the dealer getting all the rattles in the body panels shored up while under warranty 5.Transmission issues at 70K mi 6.Sterio

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Solid car--not splashy

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this Forester used several months ago. I have driven 8500 miles. Here are a few observations: It is obvious the car is well built and, if maintained, will be around a long time. The mileage is fair. Hwy is 26.2 City is 21.5 The all wheel drive gives a nice feel in tight turns and in wet weather. The engine has some pep, but I do not use it as a sports car. The interior is somewhat spartan or utilitarian. It will not be mistaken for a luxury car. It is all functional. The seats are comfortable, but not for extremenly long travels.

1 of 16 people found this review helpful

See my last review "i

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Since April of this year, I have to downgrade my opinion of this car. On a recent trip (1200 miles), I found the driver's seat to be so uncomfortable that my lower back and legs were wrecked for several days afterwards. There is no lumbar adjustment which is a big negative. Gas mileage on the trip was a mediocre 26. My overall mpg for the life of the car is 21.3. I drive fairly conservatively, smooth starts and braking. This car has absolutely no power when the A/C is on which is a requirement here in the summer. Transmission is rough. The silver paint used on the interior is cheap and has flaked off. The center console is absurd. It's the bottomless pit.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Want to love this car,

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I like this car, but can't get excited about it. Overall handling is very good and the turning radius is the best of any small SUVs that I've driven. It's a very stable drive, and it's been good on rough roads and in the rain. I have no problem with the sound system as many others seem to have, but I'd love to have more power, the lack of which is sometimes downright dangerous when trying to enter the freeway or pass slow cars on the two lane roads in the desert where I live. The car has been fairly trouble free for three years, except for the A/C going out last summer in 100+ weather here. But Subaru took care of the problem and I have to say that they've been very good overall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Damn good car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

Bought my first Subaru because my brother and his wife said it was thee car to drive. Bought one and I really enjoy it. Neighbors love the looks. They always ask me about it. Live in upstate NY where winters are brutal. Forester will go through anything. Stock tires are not that good. When stopping in ice/snow car would skid too much. Also tail end slips out a bit in snow. Replaced them with Nokia all weather tires. Also had hood rust or chipping away situation. Dealer repainted roof. Same thing with side drivers door. They repainted that too. Love the back lift and fold down seats;very versatile. Back seat room is great, not a "fake" back seat but real room for adults. No rattles.

My chevy is more dependable

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC (2.5L 4cyl 4A)

I was sold the safety, resale value, and dependability. Well, within two month of purchase I had a cracked windshield, warranty did not cover the crack and it cost me $370 to replace. and now the car has a leak in the evaporator core and it costing me about $1000 to fix. This car barely 2 years old. My Chevy has 276k miles and still runs with original A/C. Never again will by a Subaru again!


Full 2009 Subaru Forester Review

What's New for 2009

Redesigned for 2009, the Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV is bigger and more beautiful inside and out.


The Subaru Forester has long been an offbeat entrant in the compact crossover SUV class; in fact, we weren't sure it technically belonged in that class. While some of its competitors featured jacked-up ride heights and butch aesthetics, the all-wheel-drive Subaru didn't sit that much higher than a typical station wagon -- and it kind of looked like one, too. Despite this quirky model's loyal following among folks in colder climes, Subaru decided it was time to tackle the segment leaders head-on. Enter the fully redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester.

Although it's still based on the same platform as the compact Impreza, which was itself redesigned for 2008, this new Forester can look the competition square in the eye. The 2009 Forester rides on a 103.0-inch wheelbase, some 3.6 inches greater than before. It's also 3 inches longer overall, about an inch taller and has more ground clearance. Combined with a more traditional SUV styling treatment, these changes give the Forester an unprecedentedly rugged persona, even if few owners are likely to put its middling off-road chops to the test.

The outgoing model's carlike handling has generally been retained, thanks to improved chassis rigidity, wider front and rear tracks and a new double-wishbone rear suspension in place of the old car's strut-based setup. However, don't expect the new Forester to corner like a sport wagon -- extra height and ground clearance along with increased suspension travel add up to lots of bounce and roll in corners. Happily, the trade-off is a compliant ride, and the compactness of the new suspension frees up extra space inside -- especially in the cargo hold. Rear legroom and overall comfort have also been dramatically expanded, and the new Forester sports a well-constructed and attractive control layout.

Overall, the Forester is a comfortable and practical people mover that looks like an SUV, drives like a car (albeit one that's tall and softly sprung) and offers the security of standard AWD. And although there are no major engine upgrades for 2009, the Forester's performance remains satisfactory. We're not sure why Subaru elected to offer the Forester with a four-speed automatic transmission instead of the company's five-speed unit, as this puts the redesigned crossover at a distinct disadvantage relative to top-selling competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. On the whole, though, the 2009 Subaru Forester has outgrown its quirky phase and looks like a legitimate contender for the compact crossover SUV crown.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV is available in three trim levels: 2.5X, 2.5X Limited, 2.5XT and 2.5XT Limited. The Forester 2.5X is equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, full power accessories and a four-speaker CD audio system with an auxiliary audio jack. The 2.5XT model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, roof rails, a sunroof, a tilt/telescoping steering column, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, reclining rear seats and a six-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer. The 2.5XT Limited throws in heated mirrors, automatic climate control, a power driver seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.

Optional for the 2.5X is the Premium Package, which adds 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a power sunroof and a reclining rear seatback. When equipped with the Premium package, the 2.5X is also eligible for one of two additional option packages. The all-weather package includes heated side mirrors, a wiper de-icer and heated front seats. Going with the 2.5X Limited gets you the all-weather package's equipment plus foglights, a power driver seat, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker CD audio system with a six-CD changer. There are no available options on the 2.5XT. The Forester 2.5X Limited and 2.5XT Limited, however, can be outfitted with a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

The Forester 2.5X is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. It's available with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. (L.L. Bean Editions come with the automatic only.) Forester XT models have a turbocharged version of this engine that churns out 224 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque. The automatic transmission is mandatory on turbocharged models. Every Forester is equipped with AWD. EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2.5X is 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined, the XT returns an estimated 19 city/24 highway and 21 combined.


Standard safety features on all 2009 Subaru Foresters include antilock brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2009 Subaru Forester is blessed with a more stylish but no less functional interior than its predecessor, with visually interesting contours complementing generally straightforward controls. Enlarged dimensions have given rise to a roomier rear seat, and the cargo area out back has broadened by more than 5 inches compared with the outgoing model. While the last Forester boasted maximum cargo volume on par with its Toyota and Honda rivals, its passenger compartment was somewhat cramped by comparison. This is thankfully no longer the case, rendering the new Forester a more well-rounded entry.

Driving Impressions

While the 2009 Subaru Forester offers an impressively compliant ride for this class, winding roads throw its soft suspension for a loop. Subaru knows that most drivers won't be hustling their Foresters through corners, so it has understandably prioritized comfort over canyon carving capability. To Subaru's credit, the Forester's composure over bumps and ruts is beyond reproach. Accurate steering and an excellent driving position round out the Forester's refined driving character.

Under the hood, 2.5X models measure up well against other four-cylinder compact crossover SUVs. Performance with the optional turbocharged engine is brisk, but less so than last year's manual-shift XT model, which drove like an Impreza WRX on stilts. The anachronistic four-speed automatic perceptibly blunts the performance of both engines.


Talk About The 2009 Forester

2009 Subaru Forester Discussions See all Started By

The 2009 Forester will be unveiled in Japan this Christmas and in the USA in January 2009. What will happen with the Forester 2008? Will the Forester 2008 and the Forester 2009 be sold during the year...

currently in my Family we own 3 Subarus 2007 forester, 2009 Outback and a 2011 legacy, The 2007 forester at 85,000 was noticed by dealer the head gasket was leaking oil and told me to monitor. Now at...

The maintenance guide for my 2009 Subaru Forester Premium NON Turbo under federal specifications recommends replacing the spark plugs every 30K miles for the NON turbo 2009 Subaru Forester is this rea...

Read more about the 2009 Subaru Forester

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