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 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • 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    Outdated four-speed automatic transmission, handling could be sharper.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 (3 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Don't touch my baby!!!!!

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

I love my 2009 Forester LL Bean Edition, we have gotten a consistent 25 mpg and have had zero issues in the almost 3 years we've had it. We have three reasonably big dogs who fit easily in the back with the seats folded down (and lots of rubber matting!!) and have driven for over 12 hours at a time with the dogs extremely comfortably! I love the "driving for dummies" addition of letting me know my tires are low which has eliminated the need for me to check them and the heated seats are a gem! The driver's seat is my favorite, I can raise it so I can have a panoramic view as I drive and it's sleek design makes it easy to park even in tight spots.




Close to 19k miles in

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

First time Subaru owner; may go back to Toyota. Two months after the purchase felt like wheels were spinning on two occasions. Finally at 15k transmission is gone. Dealer wanted to charge $90 for transmission flush. Threatened them to call Subaru of America and only then they agreed to replace tranny for new one. A/C had intermittent problem that showed up shortly after I bought it. Had to get Subaru of America involved to get dealer to provide loaner car and keep the Forester overnight to try to duplicate problem. Disappointed with the service received at dealership for a fairly new car under warranty. Makes me wonder what's next? Wife thinks I bought a "LEMON". Have Subaru phone # on hand.




So far so good

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

I bought the 2009 LL Bean w/nav to replace my 2004 XS premium. The 2009 is much quieter at highway speeds and the seats are more comfortable. I have only put 100 miles on the 09, but I did put 83,000 on the 04 (yeah I know, still new for a Subaru). Some pluses over the 04 are rear seat legroom, power driver seat, navigation, auto stick, VDC, side airbags, good looks, although I liked my ugly/unique 04. One problem, I can't understand why there is still only a 4 speed automatic. The vehicle is quiet enough but the RPMs are still high. I think the vehicle with a 5 or 6 speed would get gas mileage in the 30s. Imagine how many people would buy it. Gas in NY is over $3.45 (regular).



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

2009 Subaru Forester Discussions See all Started By

clayj
clayj
04-23-2013
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...


batman47
batman47
12-23-2007
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...


raptor_118
raptor_118
04-19-2012
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...



 

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