2015 Subaru Forester SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 Subaru Forester SUV Review

2015 Subaru Forester SUV
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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 Subaru Forester SUV

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

  • 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.

    2015 Subaru Forester Video Review

Reviews from owners of the 2015 Subaru Forester SUV

Average Consumer Rating (See all 87 reviews) Write a Review


Riding a camel

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester

This SUV sways with high wind and if your in an emergency situation where you have to slam on your brakes, it cruises and does not work well. I've experienced stepping on the brakes and feel like the wheels are riding on stones, but those brakes are 10-10....? For this rating, why would people need to provide author age, gender, or kids under 12?



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

2015 fotester red ,poor exterior finish

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester

I bought my second Subaru knowing it would be reliable and hold some value. I chose a 2015 Forester. Color is a newer Subaru deep red. Mechanically the car has been as advertised so far. I am new to the CVT transmission but Subaru is not and they seem to have it right. My complaint is with the paint job. I have a 20 year old Ford truck that has less chips in the paint. The paint on this vehicle is the thinnest and poorest quality of any vehicle I have ever owned. This Subaru is the newest vehicle we own and with only 10,000 miles on it, looks older than any of our other vehicles. Thank you Subaru for eleminating another brand from the vehicles I would purchase! I will have to get rid of this one while I can still get something out of it and will never own another.




Subby

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester



6 of 8 people found this review helpful

Great car but heating system could be better

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester

We have owned our 2015 Forester for over a year, and have generally been very happy with our choice. Gas mileage is close to 30 mpg, which seems great for this size car. Front seats are comfortable, though the ride is considerably more bumpy for those sitting in the rear. Our only complaint is the heating system. We live in New England, so we need heat! The heating system is quite noisy at any setting above 1 (fan speeds are 1-4), and there doesn't seem to be much warm air coming out of the vents at floor level, so feet can be cold. Thank goodness we got the package with heated seats! My husband noticed that there is cold air blowing in through the glove compartment, so he improvised some insulation there. Subaru would do well to make some improvements in the heating system.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

2015 subaru forester overview

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Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester

My wife and I test drove the; Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Escape. In honesty the smoothness of the ride is probably tied for second with the Rogue losing to the Rav4. Does that mean its a bad ride? No! The Forester has a stiffer "sporty" suspension system but it was much better than the Escape and CR-V. The interior of the Forester is really great with materials and comfort of the seats front and rear. The outside noise isn't too bad to be honest, but I would say it could be a little quieter. There is plenty of space for all individuals. The sound system really is pretty nice especially since it wasn't upgraded or anything. The Forester has a lot of pep for a four cylinder engine with decent power to accelerate when you need and takes hills really well. When it comes to space within the Forester there is plenty for cargo and seems like tons with the back seats folded down. Whats super great is the minimal blind spots! You have such a wide back window and side windows with almost no obstruction to your vision and the side mirrors are located on the door to enhance viability of your surrounding. Subaru did a really good job on the Forester with safety (Look up the crash tests on YouTube if you don't believe me) compared to all other CUV's. Standard AWD is a great feature especially for those with crazy winters. My biggest "gripe" If we want to even call it that is the infotainment system. Talk about a pain having to put each contact from your phone in one at a time, yeesh. Most cars sync with your phone once your in the vehicle. Overall, the Subaru Forester is comfortable especially on long drives. Has great get up when its needed. Gas mileage is good! HWY from Southern California to Phoenix got me 32.9 mpg and back was 33.4 mpg (don't hear me complaining about that. Also we love how in the Forester there isn't an "ECO" button that chokes and compromises the car like the Nissan Rogue, Subaru just made a fuel efficient vehicle with decent power. Sound System is great! If you haven't at least test drivin' it to expand your options, you should as my recommendation. Yes we're at 11k mileage with a ways to go, but hey reliability right? EVERY company has a lemon once in a while, but I have talked to a LOT of longtime Subaru owners and they have all stayed Loyal and loved their cars except 1.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Need leg warmers =)

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru Forester

our first subaru was a 2010 forester and we were quite happy with it so we bought a new 2015 forester and almost every thing is fine except 2problems.. 1. kinda minor,, the clock, blue tooth for phone and other tech stuff is complicated for non-tech person of age =( 2. when riding in the ohio winter weather and the heater is on , from the knees down to my feet,, both sides passenger and drivers side it feels like there are holes in the "fire wall" as our legs are COLD..... I am very disappointed with our dealer service department because they tell us there is nothing wrong.. well I assume they have it in a service garage and not out on the road moving,, so of course the mechanic (in the heated garage) can not feel a problem.. I will call and have to drop it off again for them to look at,, very inconvenient for us as we both work,, this is our 2nd forester and our son is on his 3rd subaru sedan in 5 years... I just wish there service department and the subaru company them selves would take these things serious before we get our next one.... Any one else having these problems ??????? our first



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Full Expert Review: 2015 Subaru Forester

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 25 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.

SPONSORED CONTENT
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Subaru Forester Suv in VA is:

$54.25 per month*
*Disclaimer

Talk About The 2015 Forester

2015 Subaru Forester Discussions See all Started By

ppmd
ppmd
06-12-2015
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring (CVT) 4dr All-wheel Drive...


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


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....



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