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Subaru Forester 2005 4-door SUV
Trim Shown: Sport Utility
Subaru freshened the Forester, our Top Pick small SUV, for 2006. Exterior styling has been revised and the engines gained some power. The engine in the 2.5X makes 173 hp and the turbocharged engine in the 2.5XT Limited produces 230 hp. In our tests we found this car-based SUV/wagon has a compliant ride and handles well, with good steering feel. Braking is very good and the optional automatic transmission shifts responsively. Standard all-wheel drive helps in slippery road conditions and in moderate off-road driving. The front seats are firm and well-shaped, and the rear has been improved slightly. The square cargo space is very usable.

See Reliability page for the latest 2005 Subaru Forester recalls.

Safety Equipment

ABS available, standard from 2001. Side air bags available from 2001, standard from 2003. ESC available from 2007, standard from 2009. Head protection air bags standard from 2009.

Road Test

The Forester rides and handles like a good sedan. It also provides decent acceleration and good fuel economy for this class. The controls are well laid out and the interior is nicely finished. Access is easy and seat comfort is very good. Impressive...


  • Ride, agility, steering, fuel economy, controls and displays, crash tests.


  • Gated shifter.


2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (210 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (165 hp)