Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Forester

Pros: Respectable fuel economy for the class; 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 Subaru Forester has few changes for 2018. Subaru’s Active Torque Vectoring, which enhances handling, is now standard on the top-line 2.0XT Touring. EyeSight safety system is now standard on 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Touring models. Also, a 2.5i Black Edition is a new model with unique interior and exterior trim. Forester is a crossover compact SUV. A 170-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder powers 2.5i models, while a 250-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is in 2.0XT versions. The 2.5-liter engine is paired with a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic transmission. The turbo 2.0-liter is only offered with a CVT. All-wheel drive is standard. Though it feels a bit more “car-like” than many compact SUVs, Forester offers competitive passenger and cargo room, along with welcome available features such as hill-descent control and Subaru’s 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 that powertrain delivers good fuel-economy numbers and adequate power. Plus, the starting price for 2.5-liter models is still well under $25,000. Turbocharged XTs have more pleasing performance, but cost more to buy and feed with no gain in utility.

The Facts
Class Compact SUV
Body Style(s) 4-door wagon
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Subaru
Nation of Manufacture Japan
Base Prices 2.5i: $23,710
2.5i Premium: $26,610
2.5i Black Edition: $26,610
2.5i Limited: $30,310
2.5i Touring: $34,005
2.0XT Premium: $30,410
2.0XT Touring: $37,005

Base Engine
2.5-liter 4-cylinder (2.5i)
Horsepower
170
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)
EPA City Range (mpg)
22-26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
28-32

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (2.0XT)
Horsepower
250
Std. Transmission
continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
23
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
27