I traded in my 2010 Lexus IS 250 AWD sedan for the sporty 2.0XT Touring Forester and really like it. I did a ton of research on it prior to buying via Internet reviews and YouTube videos. We are mostly Toyota people only because I have never had issues with their vehicles and reliability is hugely important to me. We have a great local dealer in Parker Subaru so I knew I would have a great dealer experience just as I always had at Parker Toyota. The car drives really nicely and I chose the turbo motor because i liked the overall look vs the other trim models and like the zip when I need it- my Lexus had a v6 so this engine is more zippy like my Lexus was. I elected not to add eyesight only because I didn't want to spend anymore on my Forester and decided to get that option on my next Subie as the technology continues to get refined but I got all the other options on my new ride and love the Harmon Kardon stereo upgrade. My wife has a 2015 RAV4 but I have never cared for those even though I'm a big Toyota guy. I still think my new car looks, drives, and just feels more solid than the RAV. I am adding chip repair and also added oil changes to my deal so i won't have to shell out $80 on synthetic oil changes every 5-6k miles on my lease. I chose the Quartz Blue Pearl and absolutely love the color along with the 18" rims and more aggressive front grill on my trim. I initially was going with a new Honda CRV Touring but glad I went with the Subaru- it seems like a more stout vehicle for the Northwest roads and weather here in North Idaho. I have a buddy with a 2014 Forester he bought new and it has the Eyesight and he sure loves that feature. He just started selling Subarus over in Seattle and speaks highly of the feature although he is in a bigger city with lots of traffic and I'm not which is also why it wasn't as important to me but wanted to mention it for other shoppers considering adding Eyesight. He couldn't say enough good stuff about why it's a cool feature to have.
My wife bought this in Oct '15. She drives it 95% of the time. I have my own set of wheels. June '16, we drove this Forester on a 4,000 mile road trip, of which I drove 80% of the time. Prior to the trip, the odometer had 2,300 miles on it. Drove from Minnesota - North Dakota - Calgary, SK, CA - Jasper, AB - Lake Louise, AB - Banff, AB - Coeur d'Alene, ID - Jackson Hole, WY - Gillette, WY - Big Horns, WY - Black Hills, SD - across SD to Minnesota. I say all this to let you know I tested this in all types of terrain, from sharp mtn. curves/grades to long drawn out flat lands.
My take on this vehicle:
> Blue Tooth usage. Recipients of my calls complain of my voice being "tinny" & broken up.
> Sky light - wind buffeting when fully opened - 2 rectangular openings in the wind deflector were way to noisy, had to put duct tape over these openings to quiet down the noise.
> Looked into deflector mounted to roof. It covers too much of the opening. Sits in such a position so as to accumulate water in the 2 corners. Don?t accelerate too fast after a rain fall, else a shower you?ll get.
>Skylight doesn?t shut automatically when turning off vehicle. - In it?s fully opened position, too much air hitting leading window edge, causing loud reverberation. This happened before the duct tape and after I put it on.
> Rear passenger windows - no option to adj. all the way down - don't have small kids.
> Driver?s window - automatic function cannot be deactivated.
> Vehicle profile - can?t take cross winds well, alot of buffeting back-n-forth. Had hard southerly winds constantly as we crossed over ND/SA/AB, Canada.
> Passenger air bag light - cannot shut off this indicator when no front passenger in seat. Annoying to have on.
> Driver sun visor - should be able to slide on its? shaft, extending out so as to cover driver side window better from sun. My Chevy Silverado does this quite well.
> Rear hatch in open position - why is there no light on the hatch door to shine down, rather than the cheap side light mounted 12" off floor on the side panel? Cargo/Luggage covers this light. This IS THE ONLY light in the rear area! This is way too dark, especially in low/unlit areas.
> All door jamb faces should have a light reflector when in the open position for safety. Most vehicles don?t have this feature, duh???
> Steering/braking/fast maneuvering in a critical situation was most impressive. At 60 mph, on a 2 lane HWY, no shoulders with deep ditch both sides, all most hit a fast moving bull moose coming outta the ditch. Rear hoofs were 12? from driver's corner of the front bumper. Luckily, no on coming vehicles.
> Acceleration, braking, cold winter starts, low gear usage, sound system, use of dash board amenities, engine compartment access & maintenance, etc. were all acceptable.
> Steering is very "tight", response is quick.
> Braking is very good
> Gas cost was $300 @ 30+ mpg. average. I kept sharp records on this road trip expense.This is a 4 banging Boxer engine.
> Dash area, where electric port located below center radio, the storage area is too low profiled. It should be higher to give more storage area.
> Front driver/passenger windows, in full opened position, allows way too much air into faces of driver/passenger. Suspect outside rear view mirrors to be the cause of. I had to keep the windows 3/4 way up to block this irritating wind.
Conclusion: I?ll keep driving my Silverado. Ya know, for the money spent on this vehicle you?d think Subaru would spend a couple extra dimes into design/manufacturing to eliminate these piddly annoyances. They spend way to much advertising money to make you think the Subaru is a feel good car, which it is to a point. Subaru, put the extra moo la boo la into common sense design.
First of all, I am writing this review keeping in mind its for a CUV and not a sports car.
A traded a 2010 Honda CR-V for my 2016 Forester 2.5i. I also test drove a Honda CR-V, HR-V, and many Subaru models and trims
Since I already own a sporty car, my purpose for buying the Forester was practicality.
My reasons for picking and loving the Forester over other choices:
- Quality of material are superior. The seat fabric feels better and more durable than on the CR-V. The plastic trim feels really nice and is soft-touch in most places. The switch gear (knobs) are very solid. The doors, door panels and seat frame are solid.
- The 2.5 boxer engine and CVT provide much better acceleration than my old CR-V. Its on par with the new CR-V but it handles better.
- Visibility is outstanding. I feel much safer being able to see around me so well 360 degrees. Most CUVs have poorer visibility.
- Subaru AWD is best in class. The OEM tires are mediocre, but that is true of most OEM tires.
- Storage space is excellent - on par with the CR-V.
- Cabin tech is much better than I was used to. I paired both my wife's and my iPhones. You can set it up to automatically connect to either phone when do so manually when the car starts. I use Apple Music and have steering wheel control of Apple Radio, playlists, albums, etc. Pandora integration is also excellent. It all works over BT or over USB - your choice.
- Handling is better than I expected. I drive a very rough, windy road for a few miles each day. The suspension tracks very well and inspires confidence.
- MPG is very good. I used to average 24.5 mpg with my 2010 CR-V. In the first 1000 miles I average 28.5 mpg with the Forester. I expect that to get better after break-in, with warmer weather and summer gas.
- My dealer was great. I asked them if I could get heated seats added to the base model. They took care of getting them installed (after-market). Considering the Subaru's TMV and my trade, they didn't charge me anything for the upgrade.
And a few cons:
- With the base Forester I got manual seats. I wish they were more adjustable.
- Subaru could have provided more storage nooks in the dash
Considering the passenger volume, cargo volume, great CUV mileage, and quality, the Forester is a steal.
I have owned 3 other new Subaru vehicles including the WRX, Outback, and the Impreza. The 2016 Forester is the only AWD in its class that can be equipped with a tow package and a manual transmission. This is one of the main reasons for purchasing. I am a die hard manual transmission guy and automotive enthusiast. I like the room, fuel economy, and overall versatility of the forester. I do not like the slow throttle response when accelerating and when releasing the accelerator between gear shifts. This is a byproduct of electronic throttle control calibration. I do not like the inability to turn off stability control. There is a mystery button on the gauge cluster left over from another model that does nothing when pressed. My main dislike is that I cant buy a new manual transmission forester with navigation. this makes no sense. I would have purchased the XT if it came with a manual transmission.
The climate control in the Premium Forester has very clunky rotary dials that have course graduations making it difficult to find a comfortable setting.
The handsfree phone microphone system is very bad. Everyone that I call using either my I phone or Android say that I have an echo.This is a common problem on all three of my late model Subarus.
The LCD display between the tachometer and speedometer looks like it is from the 1980s. My other Subarus have color LCD screens with gear indication and cruise set points displayed as information here. Even my 2015 base model WRX has many more tech features than this higher trim level forester. Since the instrument panel for the Forester, WRX and Impreza is basically the same, I do not understand why they don't have the same features.
The Dealer Service network is small for Subaru which makes some things aggravating. Also, most labor rates at Subaru shops are 20-30% higher than the GM and Ford shops. This does not make sense to me either.
I came from a 2007 Honda Civic LX, I looked, and test drove most of the main players. I tried the CRV, Rogue, Tiguan, CX-5, and the Outlander. I had it narrowed down to these. I had previously owned Ford, KIA, and Hyundai products..never down that road again. They all had their strong points, but after you take all those and combine them, you end up with the Forester. I love the styling, and the ride. The only downside is the poor OEM tires. The Yokohama Geolanders, well they just suck. Besides the tires, I love the layout and the functionality inside. I find the seats are comfortable (I've had back surgery). No excess noises or rattles. The stereo is nice with the bluetooth connectivity, and the USB ports inside the center console. If you are looking for a comfortable CUV with a can do attitude, check out the Forester.
**8 month update. I have 14k miles on it now, loving it even more.