IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Forester stands out as one of the most practical, spacious, versatile, off-road-capable, and easy-to-see-out-of vehicles in its class.
Acceleration is mediocre, and the engine’s fuel-saving auto stop/start system (which can be switched off) is a bit clunky and slow to engage.
The specially trimmed Sport model gets sporty touches such as orange accent trim inside and out, black-finished 18-inch wheels, and steering-wheel paddle shifters.
WHAT IS IT?
The Forester is one of two compact crossovers that Subaru offers; the other is the Crosstrek, which is based on Subaru’s Impreza compact car. The Forester’s sole powertrain is a horizontally opposed 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 182 horsepower and is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and standard all-wheel drive. The model lineup ascends through base, Premium, Sport, new-for-2022 Wilderness, Limited, and Touring models. All come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, a suite of features that includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Other available safety features include reverse automatic braking and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist. Tourings come standard with Subaru’s DriverFocus driver monitor system, which is aimed at curbing distracted driving. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and a number of SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services (including remote engine start) via the MySubaru smartphone app.
All 2022 Foresters get new front-end styling. The roof-rail system is now a ladder-type design with increased load capacity, and Automatic Emergency Steering is a newly available feature. The new Forester Wilderness model gets unique trim and off-road-adventure-focused features such as a raised ride height, all-terrain tires, a front skid plate, and larger wheel-arch cladding.
The EPA rates the Forester at 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway. In Consumer Guide® testing, a Limited model averaged 24.2 mpg in an even split of city and highway driving, and a Touring averaged 28.3 mpg in 70-percent highway driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
There are other compact SUVs that are more dynamically engaging, but the Subaru Forester offers a broad model lineup that spans from basic to posh, and it boasts an especially impressive roster of available safety and technology features. The airy, spacious cabin and extra-wide rear cargo opening are key advantages as well.