2015 Subaru Forester SUV Review, Pricing & Pictures | Edmunds.com

2015 Subaru Forester SUV

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Review of the 2015 Subaru Forester

  • Competitive fuel economy, a spacious cabin and available turbocharged power make the 2015 Subaru Forester a solid pick for a small crossover SUV.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

    Roomy interior; admirable fuel economy; availability of a stout turbocharged engine; standard all-wheel drive; great safety scores and available advanced safety features.

  • Cons

    Finicky touchscreen interface; base engine is raucous at higher rpm.

  • What's New for 2015

    The 2015 Subaru Forester receives minor feature changes, including a standard rearview camera on all models and larger 18-inch wheels for the 2.5i Touring trim.

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Transmission lacks proper low gears

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This is our fourth Forester. The 2015 version is typical in ride and noise levels. The x-mode is a notable addition for low speed difficult conditions. However, for descending in dry, wet or reasonable snowy conditions the transmission is very poorly designed. The L shift is not adequate for good control and there is no L2. Excessive use of the brakes is required for control. The x-mode is not useful in these conditions because it cuts out over 25mph and it is necessary to slow to 12mph to restart it. If you live in a hilly or mountainous area this vehicle may not be suitable for you. We are disappointed and will trade it in for another manufacturer.



11 of 11 people found this review helpful

Love my subaru!

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

This is my first Subaru vehicle, and I am very satisfied with the car! It has surpassed my expectations (not an easy thing to do.) It is very comfortable, quiet, and handles better than I expected for a small SUV. The CVT transmission is quick to respond. Performance for the 2.5 litre engine is better than expected. Fuel economy is better than stated by EPA, averaging 27-30 MPG in mostly city driving.



7 of 13 people found this review helpful

Early warning to potential buyers.

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

Want to warn potential buyers of two issues, either of which makes us regret we got this car. First, the ride is rougher than a Model T rumble seat. Yes, I've been there. Every road you thought was smooth turns into an uncomfortable roller coaster ride. I don't know what the car's designers were thinking. Second, using a thin pillow on the rock hard passenger seat disables the air bag. The manual's answer is for people who need a pillow to sit in the back seat. So, hopefully not, but if your mate has a medical issue, they're supposed to ride in the back seat. The 2007 Forester we traded in was a far superior vehicle. Test out the '15 on various roads!



13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Exactly what i need

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

I keep seeing reviews of this car, saying that it is too spartan. To be honest, I only need that and nothing more. There are things that regardless of money, you simply can't find anywhere else aside from the Forester and those things are: easily the best visibility of any vehicule I've ever driven; best AWD system, best fuel economy for an AWD compact SUV, best safety rating in its class, among the most spacious compact SUV, having among the biggest panoramic sunroof. For those reasons alone, I'm extremely happy with my purchase! Honestly, I don't want to pay more for a name or for gadgets that would not make a difference if there's a snowstorm outside and that I needed to go somwhere.



16 of 16 people found this review helpful

Our second xt , just

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

We've had this car for 8 weeks, bought to replace our 2004 XT. It's astounding how far technology and design has improved. The car is so much more comfortable than the 2004 , especially for 4 passengers. The Forester greenhouse has been preserved, which makes it one of the easiest cars to drive. The Eyesight system , with adaptive cruise control, object detection and automatic speed reduction works extremely well and very smoothly. The ride is a bit hard, not unexpected in a AWD small SUV with lots of ground clearance and sport rims and tires. The touchscreen MMI is simply awful...I cant believe Subaru fell short on this while doing so well on everything else.



4 of 6 people found this review helpful

2015 2.5 touring no navigation

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT)

Anticipated buying a Rav4 since I am Toyota guy. My wife drives a 2011 Forester so I was not considering another Forester. I was so disappointed with the Rav4 and the CRV still has visibility issues ( and no BSM), I decided to give Subaru another look. What a difference between the 2011 and the new Forester. Subaru engineers improved almost everything except visibility which is still terrific even though it is a larger vehicle. The one thing that did not improve is ride quality. The new model rides more like a SUV than the 2011 but has better seats and a fairly quiet cabin. Gas mileage agrees to sticker which is terrific. We have had no issues with either of our Foresters.



Full 2015 Subaru Forester Review

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Subaru Forester receives minor feature changes, including a standard rearview camera on all models and larger 18-inch wheels for the 2.5i Touring trim.

Introduction

A year ago, Subaru redesigned its Forester crossover SUV, adding sharper styling, a roomier and nicer-looking interior and enhanced fuel economy. The 2015 Subaru Forester is essentially unchanged, but that's not an issue as this is still one of the better choices for a small crossover this year.

Part of the Forester's fuel economy secret is its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), replacing the conventional automatic in the previous model. But the standard manual transmission is more efficient, too, boasting six speeds instead of five for improved cruising efficiency. As usual, the Forester also comes in turbocharged XT trim, which offers impressively quick acceleration along with a still respectable EPA fuel economy rating.

The Forester's interior design is nothing special, but it does provide ample room for bikes, tents, canines and other tools of the trade among Subaru's loyal fans. Safety is another draw with the Forester; it boasts near-perfect crash test scores as well as an available low-speed frontal crash mitigation system, which is a feature more commonly found on luxury cars than affordable family crossovers such as this.

Understandably, though, Subaru isn't the only automaker offering a quality crossover at this price. The Ford Escape and 2015 Mazda CX-5 handle better on-road and have nicer interiors, while it's tough to beat the all-around appeal of the nicely packaged Honda CR-V. If it's off-road credentials you're after, the Jeep Cherokee is certainly worth a look. Given the high quality of the competition, we certainly recommend shopping around. But if you're looking for serious space and standard all-wheel-drive traction, the 2015 Forester is an excellent all-around solution.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Subaru Forester is a compact crossover available in six trim levels. The 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited and 2.5i Touring all come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, while the 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Standard equipment on the 2.5i includes 17-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a color multifunction display, a rearview camera and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and iPod/USB connectivity.

The 2.5i Premium adds 17-inch alloy wheels and roof rails (optional on the base 2.5i with CVT), rear privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof, a 10-way power driver seat (with power lumbar adjustment), a rear armrest with cupholders, reclining rear seatbacks and a six-speaker stereo system with HD radio. An All-Weather package (heated side mirrors and heated front seats) is standard if the manual transmission is specified, but it's an extra-cost option with the CVT.

The 2.5i Limited makes the All-Weather package standard and adds automatic headlights, foglights, an adjustable-height power rear liftgate, a rear roof spoiler, automatic climate control, an upgraded instrument cluster, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a cargo area tray.

The 2.5i Touring throws in a premium eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control and a one-touch folding rear seatback.

Moving to the 2.0XT Premium brings all the equipment of the 2.5i Premium, plus the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and CVT, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust outlets, the All-Weather package, a rear roof spoiler, alloy pedals, an upgraded instrument cluster and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 2.0XT Touring offers the same upgrades as the 2.5i Touring.

Optional on the Premium (except with the manual transmission), Limited and Touring trims is a 6.1-inch touchscreen navigation system with voice controls, satellite radio and Aha smartphone app integration. The Limited trim's navigation system includes the Harman Kardon audio setup. All of these trims are also eligible for the Driver Assist Technology package, which integrates adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and pre-collision braking functions.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2015 Subaru Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive. The 2.5i Touring, 2.5i Limited and all 2.0XT models have an additional driver-selectable mode that optimizes various functions to improve traction on slippery surfaces. These models also include hill descent control.

The 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard for the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium trims, with a CVT optional. The higher trims are CVT-only.

The EPA rates CVT-equipped 2.5i models at 27 mpg combined (24 city/32 highway), a laudable achievement for an all-wheel-drive crossover. If you get the manual transmission, the numbers drop to 24 combined (22 city/29 highway). In Edmunds testing, a CVT-equipped Forester 2.5i Limited accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds, which is about average for a base-engine AWD crossover in this segment.

More performance is available if you choose the 2.0XT. Its standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder churns out 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and comes only with the CVT. In Edmunds testing, a Forester 2.0XT Touring accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, a quick time even for a crossover in this class with an upgraded engine. The 2.0XT could also impress on the fuel economy front; the EPA estimates 25 mpg combined (23 city/28 highway), though our test vehicle struggled to match these numbers in real-world driving. The other downside is that the 2.0XT can tow just 1,500 pounds -- same as the base Forester.

Safety

Every 2015 Subaru Forester includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and a rearview camera. Lane departure warning, frontal collision warning and a frontal collision mitigation system with automatic braking are available via the Driver Assist Technology package.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Forester 2.0XT stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet, a good number for this class. A Forester 2.5i (with the 17-inch wheels) made this same stop in 126 feet, which is a little worse than average.

In government crash tests, the Subaru Forester earned a top five-star rating for overall protection in crash tests, with four stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Forester a top score of "Good" in the moderate overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, roof strength and head restraint/seat tests. The IIHS also gave the Forester's optional frontal crash mitigation braking system a top score of "Superior."

Interior Design and Special Features

The various textures and accents dispersed throughout the 2015 Subaru Forester's interior deliver enough visual appeal to keep pace with other affordable crossovers. But make no mistake: The Forester maintains the simplicity of Subaru's design philosophy. Aside from three large climate control dials and steering-wheel-mounted multimedia controls, there's not a lot going on here unless you add the optional navigation system. Unfortunately, that system's touchscreen interface comes up short in terms of both graphics and functionality when compared to today's best.

Where the Forester shines is in its refreshing focus on functionality. Elevated stadium-type rear seating enhances thigh support and affords a better view, while the Forester's rear legroom is only about an inch shy of what you'll find in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan. This sense of space is reinforced by a huge cargo hold that yields 74.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. That's nearly 4 more cubic feet than the Honda CR-V, which has traditionally been at the head of this class. The caveat is that you'll need to stick to the base model if you want the big number, as models with the panoramic sunroof drop to 68.5 cubic feet due to a lower roof height.

Driving Impressions

The 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i won't set any speed records with its 170 horses, and although the CVT performs well for the breed, it still lacks the responsiveness of a good conventional automatic. Still, this powertrain's impressive fuel economy gives it an edge over most rivals. If you've got the need for speed, the 2.0XT's turbocharged engine delivers some of the quickest acceleration times found in this class.

In normal use, the Forester serves up a comfortable ride with either the 17-inch or 18-inch wheels. Subaru loyalists will be pleased by the noticeable reduction in road and wind noise for this generation. However, while the 2015 Forester's handling is stable and composed, there are no sporting pretensions here. Rather, this crossover trades on its extra dollop of off-road capability, which comes via generous ground clearance and a driver-selectable "X Mode" that maximizes traction in the dirt.

Talk About The 2015 Forester

2015 Subaru Forester Discussions See all Started By

ilan5
ilan5
06-18-2014
I'm planning for a Forester 2015 and I got an offer for it with the cost of $ 26,500 with all weather package, all weather floor mats, cargo try and rear bumper cover....


Kirstie_H
Kirstie_H
07-08-2014
Welcome to Edmunds discussion dedicated to 2015 Subaru Forester leasing questions....


ilan5
ilan5
06-19-2014
I'm planning for a Forester 2015 and I got an offer for it with the cost of $ 26,500 with all weather package, all weather floor mats, cargo try and rear bumper cover....



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