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 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    Outdated four-speed automatic transmission, handling could be sharper.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 (13 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


I love it!!

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

First time Subaru owner. I was shopping around for a a new fresh SUV. Rav4 and CRV were on top of my list till a friend recommended I look at the Forester. I told him the wagon? He said no it's got a whole new design and rated #1. Test drove the LL Bean Ed. and loved it from the start. My wife kept smiling at the salesman. Well we went home with it that same day. Now my wife and I fight over it.




Dissatisfied

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

This is the 7th Subaru that I have either owned or leased (5 owned and 2 leased) and this the worst experience I have had so far. The initial concept is good, but the end product definitely needs improvement. I drive 30,000 miles a year in MN. Poor windshield wiper design (front and back), build quality needs to be upgraded (had a water leak in the vent system and now I have major mildew problems. Poor placement of heated seat switches, auxiliary outlet plug, and IPOD plug. Heat is either off or on with poor modulation. Poor design on center storage/cup holders. Needs a five speed transmission; hunts for gears all the time. Buy an Outback. Forester missed the mark, at least for now.




Decent vechile, fun to drive

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

Have been driving this vehicle for about 3 months and have all the options except navigation and have been satisfied with the drive I had on local and highway. Decent MPG about 25 on an average. The SRS audio doesn't seem to work as expected no help from the dealer as well. Haven't experienced any rattling as some complained. Nice to drive and good control on the road. Overall a Satisfied Subaru Forester patron.




7 month review

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

So I've had my Subie (1st time Subie buyer) for 7 months now and here are my thoughts. Overall, I love the vehicle. It handles very well (haven't had any snow yet to test the all-wheel) and is quite roomy. The only "problem" that I've had thus far is the paint on the plastic in the interior doesn't stick to the plastic. The paint literally wore off of the driver's door handle from my knee resting on it while driving! This occurred only after 3 months of ownership. The dealership immediately ordered a new door handle and handled the issue w/ the utmost professionalism. Problem is, when the car is out of warranty, I'm stuck w/ the problem. The silver paint scratches off very easily.




Best auto i've ever purchased

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

I did a lot of research and test driving when my wife and decided to purchase a new vehicle. After months of searching I was at the end of my rope and about to settle on Ford Escape. Then I saw an ad for the new 2009 Forester, at first I thought who the heck drives a Subaru? Out of desperation I went to the Subaru dealership sat down in the LL Bean addition and fell in love! Right away you realized how much roomier the Forester was than other small SUVs and the lumbar support was great for my back. I took it for a test drive and was sold. It handled great (love the AWD) the moon roof was huge!




Lov my 2009 forester

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

Just an outstanding Crossover and I had an 1999 Forester and what a difference 10 years makes. Getting much better mileage over the 99 and only thing I miss is the cup holder in the dash as no place to grab an 8 oz. coffee cup. Guess I need to look for something. Large moon roof super and enjoy driving the 2009. No issues.



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
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs