The Subaru Forester is a solid choice in the segment. It rides very comfortably, handles responsively, and it has decent fuel economy and adequate acceleration. The interior is well-put-together, but looks basic. The cargo area is square and useful, but backseat leg room is tight. The availability of electronic stability control in only one model (the Sports 2.5 XT version) is disappointing.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Forester handles very well, maneuvers and brakes well and accelerates quickly once the overdrive kicks in, even though we have truck tires."

Stan S., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Good: For a 12 yr old car, it handles exceptionally well. Hard braking yields quick stops with no tire skidding noises. Even on wet pavement, light to moderate acceleration is very good in straight-line and in cornering (tires never spin). Corner is very good, despite suspension that has gone soft (12 yr old car), there is not a lot of body lean during cornering at moderate speeds. Handling feels balanced with only minor amount of under-steer during hard cornering on wet pavement. BAD: There is a 2 or 2.5 second delay after maximum peddle effort to either merge into a highway or change lanes (I do not have a turbo). After this delay, more power is felt, but it is still feels insufficient to confidently merging into a highway or changing lanes."

Wilson M., BC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"good acceleration to pass a slow poke."

Emily F., NY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Very stable good acceleration. Wind noise. Is notacible on long drives, nd the seats are not comfortable on those trips"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Still has its giddy up"

Anonymous, CT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"He gives me the get up and go when I need it. My 6-disc player died and I miss being able to play my favorite music. I am waiting for a single disc player to be installed. I love my Forrester and will keep driving him until I can't!"

Priscilla M., VT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The steering is lacks feedback, but when the turbo is on boost the acceleration is brisk."

Christopher S., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Adequate & responsive power. Steering is precise, car does not wander. Handles very well."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Acceleration is adequate. Great in the city. A bit slow when passing on the highway. The Subaru Forester is probably the most drivable vehicle we've every owned. Handling is great. Easy to steer and stay within lanes on the highway."

Anonymous, MO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"handling"

Anonymous, TN (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Drives like a sports car, looks like a family car."

Harold H., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Very good acceleration and handling."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"runs like a top"

Dan H., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The Forested handles turns, highway ramps like a dream. Accelerates smoothly and holds the road beautifully"

Anonymous, FL (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Drives with consistent power and handling. EXTREMELY stable on ice & snow, even in acceleration. Corners tightly and in control."

Anonymous, AK (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Slow acceleration but handles well. Braking is not very good."

Anonymous, CT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Visibility from driver position. Handles well. Moonroof leaks only complaint. Been fixed twice with no luck. Expensive to fix and wasn't fixed."

Anonymous, MT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I have had problems with transmission since about 2000 miles"

Bruce S., MO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The turbo takes this car out ahead of most when you need it."

Ralph W., NV (2006 Subaru Forester)

"seats comfortable. acceleration and brakes very quick to respond. Not fond of the floor shift,would prefer steering wheel shift handle"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Great handling in all weather."

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I ca pretty much take this car anywhere a Jeep can go. I just wish it had a lower low gear."

John L., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Not bad for a small engine"

Thomas L., CT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Handles exceptionally well in snow and on icy roads, handles well around curves and corners. I live in a mountainous area and I feel much safer in this vehicle when driving in the winter."

Anonymous, OR (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The expensive repairs I had to have after it was paid off."

Anonymous, KY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Maneuvers well in tight spaces--our go to vehicle when knowing we will be in very urban driving conditions or tight parking areas. Accelerates well, and is fun to drive."

Wendy H., IN (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Crisp and accurate cornering."

Anonymous, MD (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I live in the northwest and do get snowy and icy roads in the winter. I have never been stuck or had to put on chains to drive safely."

DIXIE T., OR (2006 Subaru Forester)

"good acceleration and 4 wheel drive"

JOHN R., IL (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Brakes became an issue, but at high mileage/high time owned"

Anonymous, MA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Handles and drives squat as if glued to the road; very reassuring handling. Compares to the handling of a Mercedes Benz."

GEORGE J., ON (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Acceleration is very good. However, there is always a delay when you stomp on the accelerator and actually start to accelerate. This can be hazzardous when you expect the car tto accelerate quickly. If you accelerate slowly there is no problem. When the turbo kicks ion you use a lot of gas!"

KEN R., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Probably best handling car I have owned. I love the all wheel drive. Great in snow and very good on ice."

CLARENCE S., TN (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I really wanted to mention the horrible gas mileage. Given the size of the vehicle, it's horrible. It makes me not want to drive it anywhere."

PETER S., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I had a serious accident sipping down a highway highway devider, over a four lane highway,up a hill that bordered the Tri- State tollway and ended up, up right."

Anonymous, NC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It's not peppy, and it's not luxurious, but I live in a very rural area and do a significant amount of driving off-pavement. In the winter, these roads go mostly unplowed. This Forester is capable and secure in most driving conditions I encounter short of deep mud or snow drifts which would require true off-road tires and low-range 4WD."

TRINA P., ID (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The oil leaks that always seem to appear around 10 years on Subaru engines are a nuisance and expensive to fix, I would think they should fix this problem."

BERNARD D., NE (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The automatic transmission "grabs" sometimes."

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Handling is good, but acceleration could be improved"

NORMAN G., NY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Its 2.5l all wheel drive boxer engine is fun to drive. Though it had ECM recall, it has good enough acceleration and delight to drive. Leaning at heavy curve is obvious but fun driving experience covers every minor issues."

Anonymous, GA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The only problem that I have with this car is that it's handling is a little too quick on the highway. It is what I would call a little twitchy. At freeway speeds two small a wheel movement results in to large a response. This is great for nimble performance but tiring on long highway drives."

WALTER G., MA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Too much wind noise"

WILLIAM F., MO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Excellent performance for this type of vehicle"

C R., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I have grown to like the acceleration for a 4 cylinder SUV. It handles very well in winter weather. I feel that, but for icy roads, I can drive in any weather condition."

JOSEPH K., PA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It handles very will in my ND climate have never been stuck in snow"

GWEN K., ND (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Handles great and feels secure when cornering."

Anonymous, ON (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The car HUGS the road. Very safe and manageable accelerationl Awesome control. Love Subaru I borrowed my girlfriend's Subaru years ago for a short highway trip and bought one 6 months later."

CATHY G., OR (2006 Subaru Forester)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"The only thing that we find to be not to our liking is the noise that is generated from the drivers side window. We have been unable to remedy this and it is a nuisance on the highway."

Anonymous, OR (2006 Subaru Forester)

"seats are comfortable, but adjusting driving position for driver's seat is not easy. Ride is firm, but very good. No problem with noise"

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Reliability good ground clearance, practical"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are too firm, ride is a little harsh, and it's kinda noisy on the highway."

William H., CO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I think being low to the ground has caused more noise. I do know newer mod3ls seem to b3 built higher and maybe not as much noise. These seats are not as comfortable as the Outback. And I realize the Outback is not as old as the Forester."

Anonymous, AL (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Having the extra ride height and higher profile tires make for a comfortable ride on some of California's poor roads even with the modest wheel base."

Christopher S., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are fine for every day local driving. They are less comfortable on extended trips."

Anonymous, MA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Hard and noisy ride. Lots of outside noise."

Catherine S., NV (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Drivers seat okay but I use a pillow for added comfort and smoother ride; a bit too noisy"

Peter G., CT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Front seats on a long trip are not great. Road noise and ride are good for this type of car."

Steve P., SC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The seats are comfortable. I have injured spine for which I have to use extra cushion for support. Now that I have hearing aids I find the road noise loud. The loose suspension allows the car to lean too much on corners."

Ralph W., NV (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Leather seats, both front and back. Front has heated seats, outside mirrors and wipers are heated. From drivers seat is a power assisted seat, forward and back, can raise you up and down. This LL Bean model is the best. Fun to drive, I would never change. It turned to 300,000 miles and going onto the next plateau. No problems!"

Priscilla M., VT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are hard and not comfortable."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Wind noise Headlights leaked cost $1000.00 for new headlights."

Bruce S., MO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"12 years old and the road and wind noise can be horrible"

Anonymous, CT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It's loud. Wind noise is ridiculous when on a highway."

Heather J., GA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Noisy at interstate speeds"

Anonymous, FL (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The driver's seat is very low with no way to raise it- I have to sit on pillows. The seats themselves have little lumbar support and are very uncomfortable- like sitting in hole. Noisy ride- noisy with air rushing in and and outside traffic noise."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Harder seats than the Honda Accord."

Anonymous, KY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"front leg room is marginal for tall people"

Anonymous, NM (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I love that I don't have to pull myself up to get into the seat, yet I still ride higher than in most sedans. And I find it much more comfortable than the Mazda 3, although my husband feels the opposite way. The only other vehicle that was as comfortable was a 1997 Land Rover Discovery, but in hindsight, this might be just as comfortable."

Anonymous, AZ (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are comfortable and easy to adjust. Ride is reasonably comfortable, but the noise may be higher than desirable, especially at high speed."

Chia C., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Well-designed for seating comfort , and easy entry. Now becoming a bit noisy at higher speeds because insulation of doors and windows has aged."

Anonymous, MD (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Very comfortable for my wife (small sized). Not as comfortable for average size persons on longer trips."

Anonymous, PA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Seats are very uncomfortable. only one seat style available. Very uncomfortable on long trips."

Robert S., PA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Road and wind noise are quite noticeable."

Anonymous, ME (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Something about Subarus there is always more wind noise around windows then other vehicles....even when all windows are fully up."

Anonymous, WV (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Car is noisy driving. I usually have to turn the radio up at high speeds and then down when I slow down."

Anonymous, IL (2006 Subaru Forester)

"seats are supportive for long rides"

Anonymous, MD (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Noises I can't pinpoint have developed, like rattles and clinking mostly from (I think) inside. I bought new tires two? years ago after having an in repairable flat. At the time AAA changed the tire he disconnected the 4wheel drive. After the new tires were on I noticed a high-frequency vibration when in motion. They rebalanced the tires, then replaced the tires and referred me to the dealer for remedy. The dealer reps drove the car but claimed they couldn't feel the vibration. They told m"

MULFORD M., KY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Could use more leg room for the back seat passengers."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I like all the luxury items on the car.....heated leather seat, sun roof, practical mats, storage. It is a little small for passengers but usually it is just me."

Anonymous, TX (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The manual adjustment of the driver's seat height would be extremely inconvenient if there was a second driver. A tall person is very uncomfortable in this vehicle. Even with the passenger seat as far back as possible their knees are at the glove compartment. The back seats are even worse. There is also strong wind noise from the driver's window. although no wind."

ALICE O., GA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Seats, have to use a gel cushion for a 3 hours ride or more."

Anonymous, QC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It's very noisy when driving. It makes it hard to hear a conversation or the radio."

ELIOT S., VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It doesn't take long to reach a comfort level in the dead of winter ad the dog days of summer. It's very reliable in snow and when I use it off road when hunting deer."

JOSEPH K., PA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Wind noise around the windows from seals that don't work properly."

RUSSELL G., OR (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The only thing that drives me crazy about the car is the head rest. It pushes my head forward. I would like them to restyle the head rest so I can sit up straight."

Anonymous, ME (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The seat upholstery is leatherette (advertised by CarMax as "leather") which is uncomfortable to sit on. Fabric would be a lot more comfortable. The noise of the running engine inside the passenger compartment is a little louder than I would prefer. Climate control has been excellent."

MARGOT D., VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It's difficult to see the instruments in daylight"

NORMAN G., NY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"As the car has aged the noise from the windows from the wind is now like driving in is like riding in a wind tunnel. I do not have this issue in my 2001 model. The headlights have had to be replaced due to discoloration which really made driving at night dangerous. The mirror has the automatic dimming for headlights behind and has had to be replaced twice. I do regular maintenance such as oil changes. I do not do the "recommended" work suggested at the dealership service dept. Repairs and servic"

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"There is a lot of wind noise with this car especially at higher speeds."

LEIGH M., GA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Excellent lumbar support. Drivers seat is very easy to adjust to your body contour and works well."

THOMAS D., ME (2006 Subaru Forester)

"this year model has little leg room in the back seats. when fitting a child car seat in the back we have to move the front seats up. also there is a lot of wind noise in this vehicle."

INFOSOURCE A., GA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I get a Lot of wind noise on the highway. I have had to replace both headlight assemblies at great expense because they both leaked and had water in them."

BRUCE S., MO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"rough ride"

Anonymous, MI (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The car is very noisy at highway speeds. Otherwise it has been good until recent problem with steering rack and pinion."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Noisy interior, seats not very comfortable."

Anonymous, SC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The car s VERY noisy."

Anonymous, NC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It seams like every 6 months I have a $1000 repair I have put more money into this vehicle then I paid for it.( $13,000 in 2012 with 40,000 miles.) I would get rid of it but I have so much into it. Now it need new shocks - another $2,000. It never ends!"

GWEN K., ND (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The seats are awfully uncomfortable. The "lumbar" support is a joke. While the size & style of the Forrester is perfect for us, if it were not for seat cushions and back supports, I would have had to sell this vehicle in the 1st of my 10 years of ownership."

Anonymous, MI (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Front seats were very hard and uncomfortable for any longer rides. We had an upholster rebuild the seats with softer padding."

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Forester)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"The car has been basically trouble-free for the thirteen years we've had it. It has held up well and that gives it a recommendation for being a good value."

Anonymous, OR (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Excellent reliability and good value for the price."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I feel this has been a very reliable car - good value for money. I've got a car that is lasting longer than I expected."

Leslie K., MO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Very safe vehicle."

Anonymous, FL (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The car has remained reliable for almost 13 years. It still looks good inside and out, and still handles very well."

Anonymous, MD (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Reliable -- a very good value; stood up well for many years and still an excellent vehicle"

Peter G., CT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Outstanding value. Other than the issue with the head gasket which has been remedied it is a wonderfully reliable car"

Steve P., SC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I got good value for my money, though in a snow storm 4 years ago my brakes seemed to seize up and I ran into a telephone pole. it scared me. same thing can happen if i drive too many times on a dusty road in the summer. put the foot on the brakes and they sputter."

Emily F., NY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Very satisfied with how long the Forester has kept running."

Anonymous, VA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Reliable vehicle, requiring very little beyond normal maintenance."

Anonymous, PA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It's a very reliable, basic transportation car that my wife uses for hauling big dogs around, driving on dirt roads to hiking start points and getting to/from work destinations."

E D., RI (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It was exactly what I wanted and needed. 1.a vehicle that I could get my mother in and out of when she was unable to assist physically if it was too high and unable to stand from if it was too low. 2. a vehicle that could transport multiple dogs as well as people. 3. a vehicle that I could put a wheelchair in and out of without lifting over the ledge of a trunk. 4. a bonus is that I can take it on roads that aren't paved without worry, to a great extent. Finally 5. we bought from a friend o..."

Anonymous, AZ (2006 Subaru Forester)

"This car was a great buy and it just keeps on delivering. Comfort, low maintenance cost, and it looks good.,"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Great value and driving experience"

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"A best buy."

Anonymous, NM (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Liked the all wheel drive, was worth the price."

Anonymous, KY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"At the time of purchase, we were pleased to get a vehicle with a great reliability and safety record along with all wheel drive for under $20k. Not too mention it is fun to drive, maneuvers well in tight spaces, and the radio sounds great."

Wendy H., IN (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Car is very reliable. Have not had any mechanical issues with the car except normal wear and tear. Gas mileage has been a little disappointing however. Car is great on snow."

Marvin P., CO (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Keeps on running"

Thomas L., CT (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I found that the 2006 did not live up to the quality of the former subaru that I had owned. It had required more repairs than I was comfortable with."

Anonymous, KY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I have spent too much money on repairs over the 11 years I have owned it"

Anonymous, AZ (2006 Subaru Forester)

"No problems"

EILEEN M., NY (2006 Subaru Forester)

"It's very reliable, and sustains it's value."

Anonymous, WA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I got exactly whatI paid for. Inexpensive, reliable all weather transportation."

DENNIS F., OR (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Well-made and well-appointed vehicle for the price. No major issues over 12 years ownership. Still stylish. Brand keeps winning pride-of-place by various auto rating agencies."

GEORGE J., ON (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Four wheel drive is really good in snow. Check Engine light on due to faulty sensor or cat converter."

Anonymous, MA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"Too many problems with the engine -- head gasket failed, fuel pump failed"

DAVID D., AZ (2006 Subaru Forester)

"for the price the car has been great"

Anonymous, MD (2006 Subaru Forester)

"good"

RICHARD M., BC (2006 Subaru Forester)

"I like all wheel drive. I like it's amount of ground clearance."

Anonymous, NH (2006 Subaru Forester)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Its a perfect size. Sadly the newer models have been inflated to much larger than I'm looking for. the smaller/midsize SUV seems to be going extinct."

CATHY B., CA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"The 2006 Forester is a little boxy."

Anonymous, MA (2006 Subaru Forester)

"oops--upholstery in light colors watch out..."

Anonymous, MA (2006 Subaru Forester)

Would you buy this car again?

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Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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