Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.

Subaru Forester

2019
Overall Score
Subaru Forester 2019 4-door SUV
  • Road Test
    N/A
  • Predicted Reliability
  • Predicted Owner Satisfaction
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 which is also 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. The Forester is super sensible but short on pizzaz.
All Ratings & Reliability
2014-2018
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 N/A N/A
N/A
2017 N/A N/A
2016 $17,500 - $23,450 $15,125 - $21,575
2015 $15,675 - $20,050 $13,210 - $18,060
2014 $13,775 - $18,475 $11,290 - $16,390
2009-2013
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 $11,725 - $16,150 $9,195 - $13,495
2012 $10,400 - $13,550 $7,845 - $10,895
2011 $9,150 - $12,975 $6,635 - $10,335
2010 $7,700 - $9,675 $5,165 - $7,065
2009 $6,725 - $8,875 $4,210 - $6,260
2003-2008
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 $5,900 - $8,500 $3,405 - $5,905
2007 $5,175 - $7,100 $2,705 - $4,555
2006 $4,825 - $6,375 $2,355 - $3,855
2005 $4,425 - $6,050 $2,000 - $3,550
2004 $4,100 - $4,975 $1,750 - $2,500
2003 $4,075 - $4,450 $1,660 - $1,960
1998-2002
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 $3,800 - $4,175 $1,535 - $1,835
2001 N/A N/A
2000 N/A N/A
2019
  • Road Test
    N/A
  • Predicted Reliability
  • Predicted Owner Satisfaction
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.

Unlock for immediate access to ratings.

Become a Member
2014-2018
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.

Unlock for immediate access to ratings.

Become a Member
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2018 N/A N/A
N/A
2017 N/A N/A
2016 $17,500 - $23,450 $15,125 - $21,575
2015 $15,675 - $20,050 $13,210 - $18,060
2014 $13,775 - $18,475 $11,290 - $16,390
2009-2013
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.

Unlock for immediate access to ratings.

Become a Member
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2013 $11,725 - $16,150 $9,195 - $13,495
2012 $10,400 - $13,550 $7,845 - $10,895
2011 $9,150 - $12,975 $6,635 - $10,335
2010 $7,700 - $9,675 $5,165 - $7,065
2009 $6,725 - $8,875 $4,210 - $6,260
2003-2008
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.

Unlock for immediate access to ratings.

Become a Member
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2008 $5,900 - $8,500 $3,405 - $5,905
2007 $5,175 - $7,100 $2,705 - $4,555
2006 $4,825 - $6,375 $2,355 - $3,855
2005 $4,425 - $6,050 $2,000 - $3,550
2004 $4,100 - $4,975 $1,750 - $2,500
2003 $4,075 - $4,450 $1,660 - $1,960
1998-2002
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.

Unlock for immediate access to ratings.

Become a Member
Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2002 $3,800 - $4,175 $1,535 - $1,835
2001 N/A N/A
2000 N/A N/A