2017 Subaru Forester

2017 Subaru Forester
MSRP range
$22,595 - $34,295
2017 Subaru Forester


  • Airy interior with plenty of room for adults in both seating rows
  • Impressive fuel economy for an all-wheel-drive crossover
  • Optional turbocharged engine provides spirited acceleration
  • Above-average off-road ability


  • CVT may seem less responsive and refined than a traditional automatic
  • Doesn't feel as sporty around turns as some rivals
  • Cabin design and materials aren't especially noteworthy
  • Maximum tow rating isn't particularly robust
Subaru Forester years

Which Forester does Edmunds recommend?

The standard 2.5i is well equipped for its very reasonable price, but there's better value to be had for not much more. The next rung up the ladder is the 2.5i Premium, and it's a standout in the Forester lineup considering its feature content and price. You can certainly get additional luxuries if you want them, but we think the Premium represents the best bang for your buck. The turbocharged 2.0XT versions are pricey, but owners who drive on hilly or high-altitude terrain will appreciate the extra performance.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

Like many crossovers, the 2017 Subaru Forester offers a roomy cabin and good fuel economy. But it's also an adventurer, with a powerful optional turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and plenty of ground clearance for off-road excursions.

Though crossovers are all the rage now, the segment was a blip on the radar until about 20 years ago when vehicles such as the Subaru Forester came onto the scene to split the difference between family sedans and high-riding SUVs. Today's Forester has ridden that wave of popularity to become one of the best-selling vehicles in Subaru's lineup, and the changes to the 2017 model illustrate why. The upgrades range from mild but noticeable exterior styling revisions to newly available safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and reverse automatic braking. Extra sound-deadening measures have been added for more refined cruising, and the new Saddle Brown leather interior on the Touring trim adds a touch of luxury in this traditionally pragmatic segment.

At heart, however, this remains the same Forester that's been with us since 2014, which is generally a good thing. Most Foresters will be equipped with Subaru's continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which improves fuel economy significantly but might take some getting used to if you're used to a traditional automatic. Of course, every Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive — a Subaru hallmark — and if the base four-cylinder engine doesn't get your heart pumping, there's an optional turbocharged engine that produces the quickest acceleration in this class. We're also fans of the airy cabin and excellent visibility afforded by the Forester's large windows, and there's plenty of space for both people and cargo. Even though the crossover segment is thick with compelling choices, the 2017 Subaru Forester can stake a legitimate claim to leadership.

2017 Subaru Forester configurations

The all-wheel-drive 2017 Subaru Forester is a five-seat small crossover SUV that offers a bit more off-road prowess than others in its class. Six trim levels are available: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring. The 2.5i models come with a 2.5-liter engine, while the more expensive 2.0XT models use a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. All-wheel drive is standard on every Forester. Subaru also offers a few option packages that help bridge the gaps between certain trim levels.

Like its name implies, the base 2.5i is powered by a 2.5-liter engine (170 horsepower, 174 pound-feet) matched to your choice of a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Standard equipment highlights include 17-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seatback, Bluetooth, a driver information display, a rearview camera, a 6.2-inch touchscreen with Subaru's Starlink technology interface, smartphone app integration and a four-speaker sound system.

Optional for the base 2.5i (with the CVT) is an Alloy Wheel package that includes 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and automatic up/down front windows.

Those items come standard on the 2.5i Premium, which further adds rear privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof, a power driver seat, a rear armrest with cupholders, reclining rear seatbacks, automatic climate control, a larger 7-inch touchscreen, voice commands, Starlink Safety Plus telematics (emergency assistance, automatic collision notification and various remote services), and an upgraded six-speaker sound system with satellite 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 All-Weather package opens the door to the EyeSight safety package, which adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. A version of this package is available with foglights and an adjustable-height power liftgate.

The 2.5i Limited comes with the All-Weather package, the CVT, foglights and a power liftgate. It further adds automatic headlights, an upgraded driver information display and leather upholstery.

Optional for the Limited is a package that bundles navigation with an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The Limited's EyeSight package includes the upgraded sound system, navigation, all features from the Premium's EyeSight package, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high-beam control and reverse automatic braking (to prevent collisions while backing up).

At the top of the 2.5i line is the 2.5i Touring with 18-inch alloy wheels, the adaptive LED headlights, upgraded side mirrors with integrated turn signals, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, the upgraded sound system and one-touch folding rear seatbacks. EyeSight is again optional on the Touring.

If you want more power, there's the Forester 2.0XT Premium. It has all the equipment of the 2.5i Premium plus a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 hp, 258 lb-ft) paired with a CVT. Other XT-specific features include 18-inch alloy wheels, larger brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, additional selectable driving modes, shift paddles, the All-Weather package and the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Note that the EyeSight package is not available on this model.

The 2.0XT Touring offers the same upgrades as the 2.5i Touring, and its EyeSight package includes the same features as with its non-turbocharged counterpart.

Auto-dimming mirrors are optional for all Foresters. All CVT-equipped Foresters can be ordered with a remote engine start feature.

Trim tested

The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the  (turbo 2.0L flat-4 |  CVT automatic | AWD).


Thanks in large part to the XT's 250 horsepower, the Forester is arguably the best-performing vehicle in this class. When combined with confident braking, on and off-road handling and multiple driving modes, the Forester is clearly a jack-of-all-trades.


With 250 horsepower on tap, the Forester XT is definitely a quick SUV. Of the three driving modes (I, S and S#), S# is the most responsive, delivering immediate throttle response and rapid access to the turbo's ample power. The CVT "shifts" needlessly in every mode.


Around town, the brakes are friendly and easy to modulate. There's ample stopping power from the surprisingly grippy tires but also a fair bit of dive. Disconcerting was the lack of response from the CVT after a panic stop, causing the car to creep and stumble for a few seconds before moving away.


Around town, the brakes are friendly and easy to modulate. There's ample stopping power from the surprisingly grippy tires but also a fair bit of dive. Disconcerting was the lack of response from the CVT after a panic stop, causing the car to creep and stumble for a few seconds before moving away.


Thanks to the surprisingly grippy tires, you might forget you're in a Forester until the considerable body roll sets in. Even with the hot motor, the XT is still an off-road-biased SUV. That said, you shouldn't shy away from twistier roads; the Forester can navigate them confidently.


Of the three drive modes (I, S and S#), S strikes the best balance for everyday driving. It allows quick access to the wide powerband without being too sensitive. The CVT works best when cruising and can become needlessly overactive to speed variations, even with the XT's broad engine powerband.


With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Forester easily has the edge over other SUVs in this class. The driver-selectable X-Mode includes hill descent control and the ability to shift power between the front and rear wheels to make the most of slippery surfaces.


The Forester's comfortable cabin and quiet ride make the case for taking this SUV out of the city and onto the open road. The ride is good across all surfaces, and most everyone will be able to find enough room and creature comforts to stay happy for hours at a time.

Seat comfort

The seats in the Forester are broad, flat and fairly soft. With 10-way power adjustability, most drivers are sure to make themselves comfortable. Rear passengers have more than enough headroom and shoulder room, and the seat cushions are comfortable for longer trips.

Ride comfort

With a more off-road-biased suspension and tires with taller sidewalls, the Forester offers a smooth and relaxed ride over most surfaces. The trade-off lies in the body roll, which can be surprising and is more than you'll get from most of its competitors.

Noise & vibration

Road and wind noise is sufficiently low at all speeds, and the Forester XT has the makings of a good long-distance cruiser. Over broken pavement most vibrations are well-damped, but the unique buzz from the four-cylinder engine can't be totally eliminated from the steering wheel and pedals.

Climate control

Simple rotary controls are clear and easy to use, and they're a welcome find in this very menu-driven interior. Ventilation is straightforward and adequate for cooling the large and airy cabin.


There's nothing exceptional about the Forester's interior, but it shows the efforts Subaru has made to bring this SUV up to par with its competition. The overload of screens and redundant menus, along with an unusually high seating position, are the only real marks against it.

Ease of use

Only the climate controls and a few of the buttons on the steering wheel are straightforward. Between the two multifunction and center touchscreens, there's redundant information, mismatched graphics and too many menus that generally distract the driver.

Getting in/getting out

Wide-opening doors make getting in and out of the Forester easy, and thanks to the generous ground clearance, stepping into a seat is one fluid motion. The back seats are just as easy to access, and this would be a good car for people with limited mobility.

Driving position

The driver's seat is almost uncomfortably high and cannot be lowered to a position that feels more natural for driving. All the dashboard controls, as well as the steering wheel, sit quite low in relation, giving you the feeling that you're perched on top of the car rather than seated in it.


There's good space inside the Forester for both the front and rear seat occupants, with plenty of headroom and shoulder room to spare. Even the massive sunroof doesn't impinge on headroom.


The somewhat awkward high seating position does lend itself to a confident view of the road. There's good visibility out the sides and rear as well thanks to the Forester's tall greenhouse. The side rearview mirrors are generous and helpful in tight quarters.


Though some of the materials could be a bit nicer, most of the surfaces that fall to hand are soft-touch and nicely grained. The Forester feels solid and well-built even if the doors feel a little thin. The level of fit and finish is high, and the leather seats are of good quality.


Practicality is definitely one of the Forester's strong suits. With plenty of room for day-to-day items, there's also no shortage of space for larger bags, groceries or camping gear. But all that practicality comes at the expense of accommodating larger car seats.

Small-item storage

With generous door pockets front and rear, there's plenty of room for larger drinks and small items for all passengers. The center console storage is more than adequate for cellphones and sunglasses.

Cargo space

There's generous cargo space with the seats up, and with the seats down the Forester can swallow a lot of gear. It's unfortunate that with the seats folded, the load floor isn't completely flat; otherwise it would be hard to fault. A power-operated liftgate is available.

Child safety seat accommodation

Contrary to the space adults may find in the back seat, there's not much room for larger car seats to fit behind either one of the front seats without moving them forward a considerable amount. LATCH anchors are clearly labeled.


Like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Forester is rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds. A similarly equipped Ford Escape can tow up to 3,500 pounds.


Though the new center display is a welcome step forward for Subaru both in terms of resolution and usability, the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a big disappointment. Subaru's own suite of safety features is very comprehensive and has improved since the previous year.

Audio & navigation

The new, high-resolution 7-inch touchscreen display's graphics are much improved and easy to understand; the touchscreen responds quickly to inputs. Volume and tuning knobs are also welcome features. The 440-watt, eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system is more loud than it is refined.

Smartphone integration

Critically, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported. Bluetooth connectivity is simple enough, but we did experience some intermittent issues with Bluetooth audio not being recognized

Driver aids

An updated version of Subaru's EyeSight includes adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, lane keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic braking and blind-spot detection. Headlights that steer with the front wheels are also standard in Touring trim.

Voice control

Android phone users will have to manage with Subaru's standard voice controls, but Apple users can take advantage of Siri Eyes Free for better voice control over the infotainment system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Subaru Forester.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Brand New 2017 Forester
Rick J,07/09/2016
I have been in the market for a small SUV for a while now. I have driven all of the major players - CR-V, CX-5 and the Forester. I am a long-time Honda person. I liked the CX-5 but it was a bit more cramped inside and the visibility was not as good. The CR-V drove well and had the best CVT behavior but just left me a bit uninspired due to its bland nature. I drove the 2016 Forester and liked it - I have two other family members with Foresters who love them. I found out the 2017 model with a mild refresh was on its way so I waited until they took the first one off the truck at my local dealership (Cannon Subaru in Lakeland is great!). I test drove the 2017 back to back with a 2016 they still had on the lot and the difference was significant as far as solidity, smooth ride and much quieter ride. The new infotainment system was intuitive and easy to use with volume and tuning KNOBS along with a touch screen - compared to the the CR-V's system (a disaster of confusing touch screen with no knob controls!) and the CX-5 which had the frustrating center toggle knob - the Subaru system is much better. The sound quality of the non-upgraded stereo is adequate - meets or exceeds the others in this category. The Forester drives very smoothly and has a solid, quality feel inside and out. The AWD system provides an extra level of stability to the handling. The only small issue is the CVT. Subaru has tweaked the CVT for the 2017 model to attempt to smooth its operation and it is better but still takes some adjustment - this is my first CVT equipped automobile - it is just a different feel and takes adjusting how you drive to a more easy application of the accelerator which gives smooth, linear acceleration (and surprisingly fast!) but driving aggressively with lots of slamming the pedal down - like I was used to doing with the normal automatic equipped small Honda engine automobiles - results in a much worse driving experience with the CVT - I am adjusting and think I'll enjoy the smoothness once I drive a while. If you have never owned a CVT vehicle, I suggest a good test drive to see if you like it - although, your choices are becoming slimmer as most of the major manufacturers are switching to the CVT for its MPG advantages as they attempt to meet the new government requirements. Overall, I would highly suggest you put the 2017 Subaru Forester on your list if you are looking for a solid, reliable, safe small SUV. ***UPDATE...been driving my Forester now for about 6 months...overall the car is good but one glaring thing has come to light....the powertrain is dismal after a while...the CVT shudders and hesitates at odd times and just is not smooth no matter what you do. I have not been able to adjust to it to drive smoothly....there is a surge when you begin acceleration and then the "fake" shift points kick in...they are not well timed. And the incredibly ANNOYING shudder that happens as if the CVT belt is slipping...it happens at different speeds and even when cruising on the highway. I've mentioned it to my dealer and they say others have complained with the 2017 but not really any explanation. My advice, take this car on a long test drive and really pay attention to the CVT behavior - especially in low speed driving conditions - it will only get worse once you buy it and drive it....other than that, the car handles well and is comfortable and practical but if you are picky about smooth driving, skip this one. ***Update 2: After much research and chats on online forums for the Forester, I finally spotted a post about the shuddering CVT issue and the fix that one owner got at his dealership - It was a recently released TSB software update from Subaru - I printed a copy with the TSB number and took it to my dealer and asked to have the update done to my Forester - they did it and the shuddering is GONE - simple fix. I test drove a 2018 out of curiosity and it did not shudder so it appears Subaru has fixed the issue but if you have a 2017 model that shudders, demand to have the software update #11-175-17
Not your father's Forester
Ken Schory,01/05/2017
I have long thought of the Forester as a rather frumpy-looking car with inferior interior materials and ergonomics (my basis for comparison is my beloved 2005 Outback 2.5 XT Limited with a manual transmission). But my 2017 2.0 XT Touring edition of the Forester (with EyeSight) blows away those perceptions. While the exterior design is more purposeful than elegant, I do not find it objectionable, and the interior is a pleasant, rewarding place to pass the miles. In fact, I opted for the Forester over the Outback 3.6R Touring because I prefer the Forester's interior design and ergonomics as well as its performance and handling, which are more responsive and lively (the Outback is nice, but it's comparatively sedate). I find the build quality of the Forester to be excellent and its aesthetics appropriate to its go-anywhere character. Ingress and egress are excellent and outward visibility is superb, in contrast to competitive vehicles that have huge blind spots in the rear quarters. The Harmon Kardon audio system is very pleasing, and EyeSight does what it's designed to do, very well. The front seats are comfortable, but I wish they had a little more lateral support (because the Forester handles so well) and I wish the passenger seat provided adjustability (preferably powered) of height and lumbar support -- significant shortcomings in a vehicle of such overall quality. Also, the tailgate opens and closes rather slowly automatically, but it's quick and easy to do so manually, which I usually do. I initially had serious reservations about going to a CVT, and those reservations were confirmed when test-driving competitive vehicles, but Subaru has implemented this technology extremely well, and I'm very happy with it, in conjunction with SI-Drive. I highly recommend this vehicle for anyone who values function and usability over style, and people of all ages (I'm a "senior") who lead active lifestyles and appreciate a vehicle that's versatile, fun to drive, well built and safe. Yes, the price of this vehicle (loaded, with an extended warranty) approaches $40K, which might strike you as a lot to pay for a Forester, but forget your impressions of previous models; a lot of improvements were made for 2017 (sound deadening, torque vectoring, front-fascia design, steerable LED headlights, interior materials and appointments, etc.), and I consider the 2.0 XT Touring edition of the Forester to be a good value in comparison to competitive offerings. Note that I am still quite new to this car, but after some 1,500 miles, I am so enthusiastic about it that I couldn't wait to post a review. I plan to update this review at a later date if anything changes, although I believe these comments are pretty solid. UPDATE: I now have over 22,000 miles on my Forester and can confirm that the above comments remain accurate. At the same time, I would like to add a few details that might be useful to potential buyers. I live in the "flatlands," but I've taken a 3,600-mile road trip to Colorado, where Subarus seem to be the "state car," since there are so many of them there -- and for good reason. The Forester handled mountain highways and rocky, steep, muddy, unpaved back roads with aplomb. It's no Jeep, so it's wise to take the rough spots gingerly, but the high ground clearance, X-Drive, S# (Sport sharp) mode, short hood (for good visibility), tight turning circle, and generous approach and departure angles worked beautifully and inspired confidence. With 8 (simulated) gear ratios in S# mode, the CVT provides fine control of engine braking going downhill, and is easily adjusted with the paddles (usually with the transmission in Manual mode). While I find S# mode a little fussy in flat country, I've come to be a great fan of it under more demanding driving conditions. While every previous car I've owned had a manual transmission, and it took me a while to adjust to the CVT, I can say now that I've become a great fan of Subaru's implementation of this technology. I've read some criticisms of it, but I have not had any of those concerns with the high-torque version of the CVT that is paired with the 2.0 XT engine. I also found that the 2.0 XT engine, with its twin-scroll turbo and direct injection, has plenty of power for high-altitude (i.e., thin-air) mountain driving. In short, of all the competitive vehicles I've tested, I consider the Touring edition of the Forester 2.0 XT to be the best blend of "sport" and "utility." It may not have the sexiest exterior styling (I wouldn't call it elegant), but I find it tasteful enough and appropriate to how I use it; its build quality, affordability, performance, handling, ergonomics and versatility carry the day. I keep looking for excuses to get in and drive it. I wouldn't recommend tackling the Rubicon Trail with a Forester, but this is one great car for anyone who has an active lifestyle and enjoys exploring out-of-the-way places.
First Forester
Art Martz,09/09/2016
This is the first Subaru that I have owned. I was looking for a small SUV and I had done a lot of research on them and I was impressed with the Forester. I have had the Forester for almost a month and her are of my observations: Ride: Smooth, quiet and stable; Acceleration: Quick, better than expected; Instrumentation: Excellent; Interior quality: Excellent; Visibility: Excellent with huge windshield and large windows all around; Sunroof: Largest I've ever seen; Car quality: solid as a rock; Safety: There isn't a safer car on the road; Seating comfort and space: Excellent; Cargo capacity: Copious; Gas Mileage: I averaged 33MPG for the first 1000 miles. The Forester is not as swoopy looking as some of its competition but is still a handsome well built compact wagon like utility vehicle.
2017 XT Touring w Eyesight - Fun to drive
Was considering the 2.5L normally aspirated engine and but I am so glad I got the 2.0L Turbo. This SUV is quick and fun to drive with a 0 - 60 in 6.3 seconds. Those reviewers who have said it is not I doubt actually own one or neglected to read the owners manual which describes how to use the SI Drive system to choose Sport Sharp mode for maximum driving fun. I know it was a struggle for me to find one to test drive since only 10% of Foresters shipped are turbos. I have had the Forester XT for over a month and have not regretted a single day of driving - in sun, rain, snow, sleet and really bad ice. Nothing stops it. See the SubaruGlobalTV channel on YouTube for the development videos for this current generation Forester which detail how the engineering is brilliantly executed in a well thought out design (Why? Subaru Episode....). I got the Eyesight package and really appreciate all of the features. Only disappointment is the Navigation system but it is bundled with Eyesight. There are so many features in the 2.0XT Touring trim level with Eyesight that I would insist on having in any future vehicle - adaptive cruise control, lane sway warning, lane keep assist, pre-collision braking/throttle management, adaptive LED headlamps, reverse automatic braking, X-mode...the list is extensive. If you are fortunate enough to get the Touring with turbo, add optional Eyesight and are willing to wait for a custom order (in my case, 3 months), you will not be disappointed! To top it off, Subaru was offering very competitive financing (0% at 36 mos or .9% at 48 - 63 months) and deals at or below invoice are common.
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Features & Specs

26 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
170 hp @ 5800 rpm
26 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
170 hp @ 5800 rpm
26 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
170 hp @ 5800 rpm
26 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
170 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all 2017 Subaru Forester features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Forester safety features:

Incline Start Assist
Prevents the vehicle from rolling backward on a hill for several seconds after the brake pedal is released.
EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
Helps prevent accidents by adding features such as lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking.
Reverse Automatic Braking
Helps reduce collisions by applying the brakes if a vehicle is detected crossing the Forester's path while in reverse.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

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More about the 2017 Subaru Forester

Vehicle Overview
Although the 2017 Subaru Forester doesn't represent a full redesign, Subaru has introduced a number of changes aimed at keeping this crossover fresh. For one thing, we're down a "Con" from last year thanks to the newly available blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, while the optional EyeSight safety package adds upgraded cameras for improved accuracy as well as — except on the Premium trim — reverse automatic braking and adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams. For another, all Foresters are treated to mild but noticeable exterior styling revisions, along with extra sound-deadening measures for more refined cruising. You can even specify a "Saddle Brown" leather interior on the Touring trim, a nod to the growing demand for luxury in this traditionally pragmatic segment.

At heart, however, this remains the same Forester that's been with us since 2014, which is generally a good thing. Most Foresters will be equipped with Subaru's CVT, which improves fuel economy significantly but might take some getting used to if you're coming from a traditional automatic. Of course, every Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive — a Subaru hallmark — and if the base four-cylinder engine doesn't get your heart pumping, there's an optional turbocharged engine that produces the quickest acceleration in this class. We're also fans of the airy cabin and excellent visibility afforded by the Forester's large windows, and there's plenty of space for both people and cargo.

If you're shopping for a small crossover SUV, the question isn't what's wrong with the 2017 Forester, because the answer is "not much." Rather, it's a question of priorities. The Honda CR-V is exceptionally well-rounded and always a perennial favorite with consumers. It's a similar story with the Toyota RAV4, though its fuel economy isn't quite as good. If you want a sportier driving experience, the Mazda CX-5 remains our top pick, while the new 2017 Kia Sportage delivers distinctive style, good value and a comparable two-engine lineup. But with its various upgrades this year, the 2017 Subaru Forester can stake a legitimate claim to leadership, even with such distinguished rivals to consider.

Performance and MPG
All 2017 Subaru Foresters come standard with all-wheel drive. The 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring 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 2017 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 28 mpg combined (26 city/32 highway), slightly improved for 2017 and laudable numbers indeed for an all-wheel-drive crossover. The manual transmission is a bit less fuel-efficient. 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.

Stronger 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, which is exceptionally quick for this type of vehicle. The 2.0XT also looks good on the fuel economy front at an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined (23 city/27 highway), but 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.

Antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and a rearview camera are standard on all 2017 Subaru Foresters. An upgraded traction control system (X-Mode) with hill descent control is standard on all CVT-equipped models for 2017. Additionally, the 2017 2.0XT Touring with EyeSight inherits an advanced active torque-vectoring system from the high-performance Subaru WRX and WRX STI, promising more neutral and accurate handling in corners.

The Starlink Safety and Security telematics system, which is standard for most Foresters, includes emergency assistance, automatic collision notification and various remote services (door unlocking, vehicle location services, stolen vehicle recovery and alarm notification).

The EyeSight safety package is offered on all but the base Forester, but it comes in a couple different permutations. When added to the 2.5i Premium model, its safety items include a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking. When added to the 2.5i Limited or 2.0XT Touring, it also includes reverse automatic braking (to prevent collisions while backing up).

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 made this same stop in 126 feet, which is a little longer than average.

Additional Information
The 2017 Subaru Forester isn't all-new, but it is freshly tweaked to remain attractive in an increasingly crowded marketplace for compact crossover SUVs. And a few of those changes may just be significant to sway your purchase choice.

First among the tweaks is the newly available blind-spot monitoring system that was notably absent from the option sheet last year. Beyond looking out at the blind spots, the system also includes rear cross-traffic alert. The optional EyeSight safety package fortifies all that with an improved camera and adds reverse automatic braking and adaptive LED headlights (with automatic high beams). Of course, all this can vary by trim level, so use Edmunds.com's purchasing tools to optimize the Forester for your needs.

Although this is fundamentally the same Forester that was introduced for 2014, the styling has been refined for 2017. The nose has been redesigned with a new bumper cover framing a new hexagonal grille, and the headlights now feature a black inner bezel and distinctive C-shaped illuminated element. And the wheels are new too.

The interior itself is now muffled by additional sound-deadening material, and there's a Saddle Brown leather interior option on the Touring model. Even in this most utilitarian of market segments, buyers demand the option of some indulgent luxury. Your dogs will love Saddle Brown leather, right?

Always a solid performer supported by Subaru's reputation for long-lasting quality, the Forester can be tailored to practically any taste. As is true with most of Subaru's lineup (the BRZ sports coupe is the only exception), it's available only with all-wheel drive, but there are two engine choices. The base engine is a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter flat-four with horizontally opposed cylinders — just like in an old VW Bug or new Porsche Boxster. Amazingly Subaru still offers this engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but most Foresters will be equipped continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

2017 Subaru Forester Overview

The 2017 Subaru Forester is offered in the following submodels: Forester SUV. Available styles include 2.5i PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i Touring PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl CVT), 2.5i PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), 2.5i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6M), 2.0XT Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT), and 2.0XT Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT).

What do people think of the 2017 Subaru Forester?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Subaru Forester and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Forester 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Forester.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Subaru Forester and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Forester featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 Subaru Foresters are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Subaru Forester for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2017 Foresters listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $33,873 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Subaru Forester. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $500 on a used or CPO 2017 Forester available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2017 Subaru Foresters you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Subaru Forester for sale - 8 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $24,164.

Find a new Subaru for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $20,349.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Subaru Forester?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Subaru lease specials