Pros: Improved fuel economy over previous generation; Large windows all around make for excellent visibility; generous passenger room both front and rear
Cons: Middling acceleration with base engine; CVT transmission exacerbates engine noise; wind noise; some lackluster interior materials
CG Says: The redesigned fourth generation of Subaru’s all-wheel-drive compact sport-utility vehicle arrives for 2014 with new styling, slightly larger dimensions, new powertrains, and a number of first-time features. Forester remains competitive by adding passenger and cargo room, and bringing in features like hill-descent control and the optional EyeSight system with pre-collision braking and lane-departure warning. Performance of the 2.5-liter engine with the CVT doesn’t peg the thrill meter, but the new transmission and reduced aerodynamic drag help improve what were already good fuel economy numbers. Starting prices for most 2.5-liter models are still under $25,000. Turbocharged XTs have more pleasing performance, but cost more to buy and feed with no gain in utility.