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 224 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/24 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    Outdated four-speed automatic transmission, handling could be sharper.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 (10 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Three years of ownership

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

I recently sold my 2009 XT Forester. When I bought the subaru I was passionate about it like most Subaru owners. Love- that’s what makes a Subaru right… We recently sold the car after owning it for three plus years. Likes- the sleek design, fun to drive. Dislike- poor MPG, small fuel tank, and overall carrying capacity. With the Turbo model you have the same size fuel tank as the regular non turbo- the problem is your mpg is only 22 to 23 mpg, I’m not sure what the size of the tank is but its insufficient and requires filling up on a regular basis. Road trips would require extra stops to get gas- I’m not exaggerating- it’s a real design problem. The panels on the outside of the car




I wanted to love my

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

The car was great in the beginning, but then it slowly began showing signs of poor craftsmanship. After 3-4 months, my brakes kept on squeaking. The engine is very loud at start-up. At my 1 year anniversary, with 20,000 miles on it, my engine gave up (rod knock). The engine was replaced, but I'm now very hesitant to even drive it normally, knowing that it had already broken down with normal use (I don't race it... even if I wanted to, the "turbo" is not meant for that purpose). I don't think spending over $30k on a car with AWD, and a "turbo" that is not going to knock my socks off by any means is worth the money. Go buy yourself a Toyota or Honda V6 instead.




Turbo engine trouble

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

Apparently the 2009 2.5 liter turbo engine has some metallurgic problems. Our engine began making loud banging sounds on a road trip after just 4,000 miles on it. Worked fine prior to this catastrophic breakdown. Subaru will be replacing the engine with hopefully a correctly produced engine.




My subi review

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

Wife and I bought the 09 XT LTD w/navi. about a month ago. So far we are extremely pleased. Only a little frustrated with the dimming of the navi system while underway. I don't like someone else deciding what tasks I can perform safely and those I can't. Other than the navi dimming, we are both very pleased with our new Forester and only 2 weeks after we bought it is when Motor Trend named it their sport utility of the year against some of the stiffest competition on the market. We drank the kool aid... and became Subaru owners... come join us. Build quality seems excellent, owner satisfaction is ranked well, safety and comfort is A-1, if you like the looks then jump in.




Engine failure

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

I had my Forester XT limited for about 4 months and had driven it about 6,000 miles. I really liked the car, but the engine died on a family vacation. It now needs to be replaced. It is all under warranty, but it still is an inconvenience It also makes me feel uneasy about the engine from now on, even if it is brand new. I had heard and read so many positive things about the Subaru boxer engine that this shocks me.




Great ride... but

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Vehicle: 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/VDC, Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 4A)

I've owned Nissan Sentra before this Subaru-expected big difference; can't compare with other SUVs like CRV and RAV4 because I didn't test-drive them (my mistake,just relied on reviews). Murano has more power (the price is too much though), but Forester is quieter. After about 2 weeks of use, I started hearing this annoying rattle by the dashboard. I also hear a "thug" in the back (right side) the moment it runs after parking. I will have the dealership look into it. It's frustrating to get stuck with the noise for years. Also, I've been reading great MPG from owners; the highest I've got so far is 18.3-based from the dashboard monitor, mostly highway 60-65 mph.



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

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs