Subaru Forester Review & Features

2018 Average MSRP
$26,899
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$2,848
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2018 Subaru Forester
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Car News

2017 Subaru Forester Starts at $23,470

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey — The updated 2017 Subaru Forester compact SUV will start at $23,470, including an $875 destination charge. It arrives at Subaru dealerships in late summer.

The pricing reflects a $225 increase over the base 2016 Forester.

The top-of-the-line 2017 Subaru 2.0XT Touring model is priced at $35,170, including shipping, for a price increase of $525 compared to the 2016 model.

These new prices go along with a number of updates made for 2017. A new grille, fascia, bumper and headlights differentiate the exterior styling, while Subaru's "EyeSight" suite of safety technologies has been upgraded with improved sensors and a new lane keeping assist system that will guide the Forester back into its lane if needed. A new Sepia Bronze Metallic exterior color has also been added to 2017 Touring models.

The 2017 Forester is equipped with a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard for the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium models, with a continuously variable transmission available as an option. Fuel economy figures also ticked up for 2017.

Key Forester rivals include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Jeep Cherokee.

Edmunds says: The 2017 Forester gets a modest price increase, but its upgrades should mean shoppers won't mind paying a bit extra for this recommended compact SUV.

Subaru Forester Review

The Subaru Forester debuted back in the late 1990s as one of the first compact crossover SUVs. It had the rugged style of a traditional SUV but shared its basic engineering with Subaru's Impreza sedan and wagon. That combination gave it nimble road manners but standard all-wheel drive for greater traction in inclement weather or for some recreational off-road fun.

Current Subaru Foresters have evolved along with the crossover species. They're now larger and roomier and have more features and better-appointed interiors. Subaru design is still relative conservative, with subdued cabin decoration and upright exterior styling. New or used, the Forester offers easy maneuverability, sure-footed handling in any weather and solid build quality.

Current Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is available in six trim levels that are generally divided into models powered by a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) four-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and those powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter version rated at 250 horsepower. While 2.5-liter Foresters are available with a six-speed manual transmission, most buyers will choose the optional continuously variable automatic transmission. All models equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo engine come with the automatic.

The 2.5-liter engine is available in four trim levels ranging from a base model through Premium, Limited and Touring editions. The turbocharged engine is available only in Premium and Touring models. The base Forester is decently equipped, but go with the mainstream Premium trim level for alloy wheels, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, a rearview camera and a power driver seat. Moving up to the Limited and Touring will get you features such as a power liftgate, leather upholstery, a navigation system and additional advanced driver safety features.

In reviews, we've found the Subaru Forester one of the more capable models in its class. Forester 2.5i models provide respectable power, and the 2.0XT is one of the quickest small crossovers you'll find. On-road handling can be lackluster, but the Forester's off-road abilities are among the best in the class. We also like the Forester for its roomy cabin and high fuel economy with the 2.5-liter engine.

Used Subaru Forester Models
The current Forester represents the fourth-generation Forester, which was introduced for 2014. Compared to earlier Foresters, this generation is a bit roomier and more fuel-efficient. Only minor changes have occurred since, but be on the lookout for improved touchscreen technology in the 2016 models and a more thorough refresh in 2017 that included more advanced driver safety aids and revised exterior styling.

The third-generation Subaru Forester was produced between 2009 and 2013. It was the first Forester that was more like a crossover SUV than a tall wagon. Where the second-generation Forester was still awkwardly gangly in its appearance and a bit too small for many families, the third one was more appropriate for North American markets and consumers. It felt like a grown-up SUV.

The third-generation Forester came in multiple trim levels. The 2.5X had a 170-hp four-cylinder engine paired with either a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission. The XT models got a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine rated at 224 hp, and the automatic was standard. Like all Subarus, all third-generation Foresters were all-wheel drive.

The base model was decently equipped with power accessories, cruise control, air-conditioning and Bluetooth. Stepping up to the Premium trims added items such as alloy wheels, a sunroof and reclining rear seatbacks. The upper Limited and Touring trims carried equipment including xenon headlights, a rearview camera, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, automatic climate control, a navigation system and an upgraded stereo.

This generation of Forester had crisp steering and a tight turning circle, which made it maneuverable in close quarters. It also benefited from Subaru's renowned basic off-road abilities and one of the most comfortable rides in the segment. The 2.5X was pretty slow, though, so look for a turbocharged 2.5XT if you can. Note that both had below-par fuel economy.

The second-generation Subaru Forester was produced from 2003 to '08. Although it didn't look much different from the previous version, improvements included more interior room, a stiffer body structure, a revised chassis and more standard feature content.

Performance for the second-generation Forester ranged from adequate to exciting. Most Foresters sold from 2003 to 2005 came with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 165 hp, while the 2004 and '05 XT models featured a 210-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. This model was a hoot to drive, especially when fitted with the five-speed manual gearbox. From 2006 and later, the standard Forester engine made 173 hp, while the turbocharged XT version swelled to 230 horses.

Originally, this Forester came in base 2.5X and upgraded XS trims, with the XT (later XT Limited) arriving for 2004 and the XS L.L. Bean trim for '05. The latter was a bit fancier thanks to some extra features and special styling details. The XS was replaced a year later by the X Premium Package, followed for 2007 by new models known as Sports X and Sports XT. Despite all these trim name changes and additions, the XT never wavered from being the more powerful and better-equipped Forester.

In reviews, our editors praised this Subaru Forester for its peppy performance, classy cabin and sharp handling. Consumer comments were mostly favorable as well, with many owners noting the vehicle's comfortable seats, the sure-footed nature of the AWD system, generous stowage and large moonroof. Downsides to this model include sluggish response from the automatic transmission, more road noise than expected, and a stiffer ride than in many competitors of the day.

The first-generation Subaru Forester bowed in 1998. With SUV-like styling cues on its tall wagon body and the confidence-inspiring grip of its all-wheel drive, the original Forester was an instant hit. Performance from Subaru's 165-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine was snappy for the time, and back then, it packed the most power you could get in a small SUV. Other strong points for the original Forester include comfortable seats, plenty of storage options, impressive crash test scores and composed handling that shamed its rivals of the day, including the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

As this generation ran toward its end point (2002), it received improvements such as upgraded engine performance (the torque rating went up) and additional luxury appointments (including leather seating).

Subaru Forester Cars for Sale

2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$37,905
Special Offer See special offer Stohlman Subaru of Sterling(3mi)(4)
2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$38,335
Special Offer See special offer Dulles Subaru(7mi)(4)
Dealer Notes

Check out this 2018! It delivers style and power in a single package! A turbocharger further enhances performance, while also preserving fuel economy. Top features include cruise control, a power rear cargo door, lane departure warning, and 1-touch window functionality. It features an automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and a 2 liter 4 cylinder engine. Our knowledgeable sales staff is available to answer any questions that you might have. They'll work with you to find the right vehicle at a price you can afford. Stop by our dealership or give us a call for more information.

2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$37,708
Special Offer See special offer Stohlman Subaru(15mi)(8)
2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$38,145
Special Offer See special offer Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg(17mi)(9)
2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited
NEW 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited
MSRP$34,137
Special Offer See special offer Brown's Manassas Subaru(19mi)(62)
Dealer Notes

This vehicle won't be on the lot long! Stylish and sophisticated, this SUV grips the pavement with authority! All of the premium features expected of a Subaru are offered, including: leather upholstery, a blind spot monitoring system, and remote keyless entry. It features all-wheel drive versatility, an automatic transmission, and a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine. Our aim is to provide our customers with the best prices and service at all times. Stop by our dealership or give us a call for more information.

2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$38,311
Special Offer See special offer Fitzgerald Subaru(20mi)(5)
2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2018 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$38,311
Special Offer See special offer Herb Gordon Subaru(29mi)(9)
Dealer Notes

2018 Dark Gray Metallic Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring AWD 2.0L 4-Cylinder DOHC 16V Turbocharged Intercooled Lineartronic CVT 4D Sport Utility Factory MSRP: $38,311 27/23 Highway/City MPG *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Pricing and incentives may vary if vehicle is leased. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.

2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$37,804
Special Offer See special offer Subaru of Winchester(38mi)(5)
Dealer Notes

All the right ingredients!! This kid-friendly 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring, with its grippy AWD, will handle anything mother nature decides to throw at you! This is the vehicle for you if you're looking to get great gas mileage on your way to work. Optional equipment includes: Popular Package #2, Aero Cross Bar Set, All-Weather Floor Mats...

2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$38,278
Special Offer See special offer Sharrett Subaru(40mi)(0)
Dealer Notes

Tired of the same dull drive? Well change up things with this dependable 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring! One of the best things about this Forester is something you can't see, but you'll be thankful for it every time you pull up to the pump!!! Special Financing Available: APR AS LOW AS 0%** Extremely sharp! All Wheel Drive!!!AWD* Optional equipment includes: Popular Package #2, Remote Engine Starter for Push Button, Cargo Cover - Power Rear Gate, All-Weather Floor Mats...Standard features include: Leather seats, Bluetooth, Remote power door locks, Power windows with 2 one-touch, Sunroof - Express open/close glass, Heated drivers seat, CVT Transmission, 4-wheel ABS brakes, Compressor - Intercooled turbo, Air conditioning with dual zone climate control, Audio controls on steering wheel, Traction control - ABS and driveline, Driver memory seats, Memory settings for 2 drivers, Multi-function remote - Trunk/hatch/door/tailgate, Power heated mirrors, Tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 8-way power adjustable drivers seat, Heated passenger seat, Passenger Airbag, Head airbags - Curtain 1st and 2nd row, 2 liter flat 4 cylinder DOHC engine, 250 hp horsepower, 4 Doors, All-wheel drive, Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 27 and EPA city (mpg): 23, Heated steering wheel, Front fog/driving lights, Tachometer, External temperature display, Boost gauge, Clock - In-dash, Rear spoiler - Lip, Knee airbags - Driver, Transmission controls on steering wheel - Gear shift controls, Trip computer, Satellite communications - STARLINK, Overhead console - Mini with storage, Power Activated Trunk/Hatch - Power liftgate...

2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
NEW 2017 Subaru Forester 2.0XT Touring
MSRP$38,278
Special Offer See special offer Heritage Subaru Catonsville(42mi)(5)
Dealer Notes

Popular Package #2 (Auto-Dimming Mirror w/Compass & HomeLink, Blind Spot Detection, Exterior Auto-Dimming Mirror w/Approach Light, and Rear Seat Back Cargo Net), 4.11 Axle Ratio, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 8 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio: SiriusXM, Automatic temperature control, Blind Spot Sensor, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, Cargo Cover - Power Rear Gate, CD player, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency communication system, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest, Front dual zone A/C, Front fog lights, Front reading lights, Fully automatic headlights, harman/kardon 440W Amp & Speaker System, Heated door mirrors, Heated Front Bucket Seats, Heated front seats, Heated steering wheel, Illuminated entry, Knee airbag, Leather Shift Knob, Low tire pressure warning, Memory seat, MP3 decoder, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Overhead airbag, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Perforated Leather-Trimmed Upholstery, Power door mirrors, Power driver seat, Power moonroof, Power steering, Power windows, Radio data system, Radio: Subaru Starlink 7.0 Multimedia Plus System, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear seat center armrest, Rear window defroster, Rear window wiper, Remote Engine Starter for Push Button, Remote keyless entry, Roof rack: rails only, Security system, Speed control, Split folding rear seat, Spoiler, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, Turn signal indicator mirrors, and Variably intermittent wipers. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, freight (see below for specific charges), any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Freight charges: $860 (BRZ, Impreza, Legacy, WRX); $915 (Crosstrek, Outback, Forester). Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.