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Subaru Forester

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  • Predicted Reliability
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2019 Subaru Forester Ratings & Reliability
Over its various iterations, Subaru has had a winning formula with the Forester. This popular small SUV delivers a combination of roomy interior, excellent visibility, commendable fuel economy, simple controls, comfortable ride, and responsive handling. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder combined with the continuously variable automatic transmission yielded 28 mpg overall, which is among the best in class. But acceleration isn't exhilarating, and the engine's noise isn't the most pleasant. The cabin is roomy, with a particularly generous rear seat and very easy access. The controls are simple to use, including the infotainment system that is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The EyeSight suite of forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist is standard.
2014 Redesign Year
Subaru Forester 2018
Few cars are as logical as the Subaru Forester, further reinforced by a 2014 redesign. Upright and boxy, big windows and thin pillars supply excellent driver visibility, while large doors deliver easy access. Rear seat room is spacious, and there is plenty of cargo space. Even with the standard all-wheel-drive, fuel economy from the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously-variable transmission (CVT) tops the class at 26 mpg overall; a manual transmission is standard. A turbocharged XT model is available, sacrificing some fuel economy, but delivering more effortless power. Handling is nimble enough and very secure, but the Forester isn't particularly sporty to drive. Ride comfort lost some of the cushiness of earlier Foresters, but it still offers decent isolation from road bumps. Indeed, luxury isn't part of the equation for this no-nonsense car. Interior furnishings are fairly basic and the cabin can be noisy. The standard cloth front seats come up short on support, but the optional leather ones are better. The 2014-2015 Foresters have either a rather rudimentary infotainment system or a particularly confounding optional navigation system. The Starlink touchscreen system introduced for 2016 brought Subaru into modern times, with full-featured connectivity that is much easier to use. Crash-test performance is impressive and the affordable EyeSight suite of safety gear adds forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking; we recommend getting this system.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2018 $19,450 - $27,475 $18,040 - $26,030
2017 $17,825 - $24,325 $16,385 - $22,935
2016 $16,550 - $20,600 $14,075 - $19,090
2015 $14,275 - $17,675 $11,715 - $15,895
2014 $12,125 - $16,325 $9,590 - $13,665
2009 Redesign Year
Subaru Forester 2013
Subaru's popular Forester made considerable gains with its 2009 second-generation redesign. Stability control and curtain airbags finally became standard, and a much roomier rear seat comfortably fits adults. Improvements in ride comfort gave the Forester perhaps the best ride of any small SUV, and handling is nimble and secure. Road noise is quieter than in earlier Foresters, but remains notable. Cabin fittings and controls are spartan but serviceable. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder provides adequate acceleration and 22 mpg overall. Look for effortless acceleration from the turbocharged XT version, but it only gets 20 mpg on required premium fuel. Performance and economy would be better without the antiquated four-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmission returns 24 mpg with the base engine. Comfort improves on higher-end models with their telescoping steering wheel and power-adjustable leather seats.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2013 $10,175 - $13,975 $7,630 - $11,295
2012 $9,025 - $12,350 $6,495 - $9,700
2011 $7,925 - $11,025 $5,385 - $8,390
2010 $7,100 - $9,000 $4,550 - $6,390
2009 $6,350 - $8,375 $3,820 - $5,795
2003 Redesign Year
Subaru Forester 2008
Practicality reigns with the Subaru Forester. Its boxy body supplies plenty of space, big windows for abundant visibility, and easy loading of people and cargo. Standard all-wheel-drive works well on slippery roads. Sharp steering makes the Forester agile to drive, and it rides very comfortably. Road noise grows old on long trips and the interior looks rather basic. Handling can be a bit tricky at its limits and only the turbocharged models offer stability control. Standard is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder providing good acceleration and 21-22 mpg overall. XT versions have a turbocharged four-cylinder that matches the acceleration of many V6s; expect 20 mpg on premium fuel.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2008 $5,600 - $7,950 $3,095 - $5,370
2007 $5,050 - $6,725 $2,565 - $4,195
2006 $4,750 - $6,025 $2,265 - $3,520
2005 $4,350 - $5,825 $1,940 - $3,320
2004 $4,025 - $4,900 $1,665 - $2,415
2003 $3,850 - $4,175 $1,510 - $1,785
Subaru Forester 2002
The Forester, new for 1998, is one of the better small car-based SUVs. It is derived from the good-performing Subaru Impreza, but the Forester touts a taller and roomier cargo compartment and more ground clearance. We find the ride compliant and handling nimble. Matched to a responsive automatic transmission, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine provides good acceleration. Like all newer Subarus, it has an effective AWD system. The rear seat is a bit cramped, but the cabin has lots of storage compartments.
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2002 $3,350 - $3,725 $1,210 - $1,410
2001 $3,100 - $3,550 $1,060 - $1,265
2000 $2,900 - $3,100 $935 - $1,060