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 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    Outdated four-speed automatic transmission, handling could be sharper.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 (24 total reviews)


Like the turbo for passing...

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

i've had my used 09 Forester XT (~57k miles) for about 2 months now. Took it cross country (+10k miles) completely loaded inside, on top with car top carrier and behind with hitch carriage. Gas mileage so-so (23-24 mpg). my previous car's 6 cyl engine did better with gas, but had nothing on this Forester when it comes to needing a little get-up-and-go on highway and in mountains. 2 problems: front head rest and noise. Turned front head rest around to reduce neck fatigue. Noise - my dog used to be an awesome road tripper, until we got this car. She is unable to relax as long as the car is in motion. It's so bad, i'm considering selling just for her well-being.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 year update

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

Have owned now for almost 2 years, and still am impressed by what a sound, competent SUV this is. Through 2 winters now, tracks like a goat-no way to get it stuck, and rain is irrelevant due to great visibility, wipers and traction. Body quality is high also-survived a nine inch wide, 12 foot long tree branch falling on it and grape sized hail without a dent or scratch. Plenty roomy (I'm 6'4" and comfortable front or back) and practical (carried everything I ever asked it to, much more than CR-V or RAV). Turbo makes it a VERY competent performer, and I think the handling is a great compromise between comfort and performance. Critics need to keep in mind that this is a Subaru, not an Audi




New turbo subie owner

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

7 mo/7000 miles, so far so good. Almost bought a RAV4 V6, but didn't like paying extra for accessories and hated RAV4 looks. However, would have bought a V6 Forester if available vs turbo-4cyl. While the car is fun, sometimes it seems it can't decide whether to downshift or use turbo, so performance is jerky with some lag at times. Could be due to 4spd auto tranny (or my driving style, which is avg to a little aggressive). MPG is ok, 20-23mpg avg, with up to 25 seen during a recent 1000 mile trip. I installed aftermarket oil temp and turbo gauge b/c I like to be more informed about engine status vs silly idiot lights. However, I still think its the best small SUV on the market, no regrets.




One year past now, like

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

Have had the XT for one year now, 14,000 miles, and like it a lot. Nothing has gone wrong. Ride comfort is excellent, very fun and nimble to drive, gas mileage OK at 22.2 overall. Would have liked a finer quality interior. I made the front seats comfortable with memory-foam seat cushions topped by sheepskin covers. Love the cargo space and visibility, turning circle, cornering ability, power. So far, so good!




Saab owner becomes subie owner

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

I bought this as a safe city car for my wife and teenage daughter to share. We are very happy with our purchase. I have read here about the imploding turbo engines on these. I have discussed this with my service manager. He said that early VIN versions did indeed have that problem, but that this has been worked out. Hope so! This is a perfect size for us, and fits four people very comfortably, with five in a pinch.




Great all round package

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

Just got my first Subaru Forester last month. The acceleration is fantastic for an SUV. A bit disappointed in 4 gear transmission, would have expected 5 fwd minimum. Great overall comfort and performance; I would highly recommend.



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