2009 Subaru Forester SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Subaru Forester SUV

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Subaru Forester Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

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    Outdated four-speed automatic transmission, handling could be sharper.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

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (12 total reviews)

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

The car i really wanted

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/All Weather, Premium Pkg, VDC (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I decided on a Subaru Forester after extensive research, and bought a 2009 model new. It had flaws in the beginning- the ipod adapter didn't work well; the stereo in general was not very impressive, the driver's seat was uncomfortable, the mpg was consistently on the low end - but I didn't regret my purchase until the big problems started at just 29K miles, within weeks of the bumper to bumper warranty expiring. Between 29K and 38K miles the car has had the engine coil replaced, the brakes replaced and now the transmission. It's not my driving, either - my last car went 9 years and 80K miles without a single repair and I've never spent this much in repairs on any car in 20+ years.




No regrets

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/All Weather, Premium Pkg, VDC (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Had the Forester for 1 year and had no complaints. Manual version cannot get stuck in snow. I drove it 60 miles in three feet of snow with the wife and son. only time I stopped was to help a guy in a Jeep (not joking). Others have complained about 23 MPG. Get real, remember its an SUV and its AWD. My wife and I have had 2001 Forester, 2002 Forester, 2001 WRX, 2006 LGT and 2009 Forester. 2009 Forester has twice as much room compared to the 2001- 2002. Great design and made of quality parts.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Impressed first time subaru owner

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/All Weather, Premium Pkg, VDC (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I am a first time Subaru owner and have been very impressed with this vehicle. I drive an average of 30k miles per year and have not experienced a single problem with this car (knock on wood). PZEV is not noticeable and it is nice to be able to reduce emissions so effortlessly! 28mpg on average (20% city/80% highway) mostly at 75-80 mph in the mountains, goes anywhere (deep snow, snow packed roads and ice) and it is comfortable. The 5-speed manual is essential as the non-turbocharged automatics are sluggish. Have had it on mild off road trails and the clearance/traction combination is great. As long as you take it slow, it will make it with flying colors!




Nice vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/All Weather, Premium Pkg, VDC (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Read many reviews before purchasing our 2nd Subaru, saw many great plus several poor ones but purchased anyway. We are very pleased with the Forester; great ride, rear seat wide and deep enough for our 3 growing boys, fuel economy much better than advertised (24 mpg city so far even with less than 100 miles on it) with MT. Seems to me that most complaints involve the turbo models and the 4AT transmission so avoid those and this is a GREAT vehicle. Looks very sharp equipped with the rugged package. Invoice pricing at start nice change from most dealers even in this economy who still think they can ask for sticker!




Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/All Weather, Premium Pkg, VDC (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

I've never owned a Subaru before and I can see why most people who own them think they are great. I can't say anything bad about it and with the snow that we have had in the midwest this winter, I am very impressed by how well it handles deep snow. I have owned several Jeeps and it is every bit as good in the snow as any Jeep I have ever owned, but with much better fuel economy. This is the best suv bargain out there.




2009 forester

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5X 4dr SUV AWD w/All Weather, Premium Pkg, VDC (2.5L 4cyl 5M)

Like most people today we did a lot of on-line comparison shopping looking for a new car. After several weeks we decided on the Subaru Forester and we are more than happy with our choice. The car is ultra quiet. At an idle I could barely make out the engine noise at all. on the road and at speed the Forester is amazing quiet except if you roll a window down. With the automatic fuel consumption/ miles per hour monitor you can see the gas mileage you are getting. We did a side by side comparison of driving with and without the cruise control. We are now big believers in cruise control even for short jaunts. The interior is more than roomy and has lots of over head space for my 6'4" frame.



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.

Introduction

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.

Safety

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

Read more about the 2009 Subaru Forester

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs