Subaru Forester
Subaru Forester
Subaru Forester

2021 Subaru Forester

Pros: Excellent passenger and cargo room; abundance of standard safety features; nice ride/handling balance

Cons: Lackluster throttle response; observed fuel economy fails to match EPA estimates; engine stop/start system is a bit clunky

CG Says: The 2021 Subaru Forester gains standard steering-linked LED headlights with automatic high beams. The Limited model gets a 7-speed manual mode for the CVT automatic transmission. This feature was previously only on Sport and Touring trims. With its 2019 redesign, the Subaru Forester gained more horsepower, a bit more interior room, and new technology and safety features. Rear-seat legroom grew by a little more than an inch and cargo room was increased by 1.4 cubic feet. The sole powertrain is a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter horizontally opposed “flat four” engine paired with a CVT automatic. The more powerful 2.0-liter turbo engine offered on the previous-generation Forester is no longer available. Like almost all Subarus, the Forester has standard all-wheel drive. Also standard is EyeSight, a suite of safety features that includes forward collision warning and mitigation, lane-keep assist, lane centering, adaptive cruise control, and Lead-Vehicle Start Alert, which beeps to let you know if the vehicle ahead of you in traffic moves away from a stop and you don’t. Available only on the topline Touring model is Subaru’s new DriverFocus system, which gives visual and audible warnings for driver drowsiness and inattention. Other available features include reverse automatic braking, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, steering-linked adaptive headlights, hill-descent control, and panoramic sunroof. Despite a somewhat lackluster powertrain, the redesigned Forester builds on the strengths of the previous-generation model. It packs even more room inside its sensibly sized exterior dimensions, gains several desirable new features, and maintains the pleasant ride/handling balance of its predecessor. If you prefer a compact crossover SUV that’s a little bit more on the “car-like” side, the Forester should definitely be on your shopping list.

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 Base: $25,845
Premium: $28,445
Sport: $30,445
Limited: $32,445
Touring: $35,945

Base Engine
2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Std. Transmission
Avail. Transmission
EPA City Range (mpg)
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)

2019 Subaru Forester Sport
2021 Subaru Forester Sport
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 5

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 5
Side Crash - 5
Rollover - 4

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