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2010 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Limited

Subaru creates good, sensible power trains for its cars, and standard all-wheel-drive inspires confidence for snow and back-country trips, but the company is woefully behind the cabin tech curve.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 14 James Martin/CNET
Subaru updated its Forester small SUV last year, modernizing many elements and offering a navigation system for the first time one few trim levels. This Forester 2.5XT Limited is the top-of-the-line.
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Although not a hard-core off-road vehicle, the Forester's front end is designed to handle steep approach angles. This model is also marked by a big hood scoop, which feeds air to the turbocharger.
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Subaru offers the Forester in turbo and nonturbo versions, the turbo denoted by the T in the trim name. With that turbo, the 2.5-liter four cylinder boxer engine puts out 224 horsepower.
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A good feature for cold climates, heating elements sit on the windshield right where the wipers rest. On an icy morning, those heating elements will free up the wipers to do their work.
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A small SUV, the Forester isn't particularly tall, yet has plenty of room inside for four passengers and cargo.
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As with all Subarus, all-wheel-drive comes standard on the Forester. This all-wheel-drive system intelligently moves torque around to the wheels that need it most.
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Although the Forester doesn't look big, and drives like a smaller car, the cargo area is quite large.
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A panoramic sunroof comes standard with the Forester.
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Although not a luxury car, the cabin of the Forester feels well-made. As this is the Limited trim car, the seats are covered in leather, and the drivers seat is power adjustable.
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Subaru integrates buttons neatly on the spokes of the steering wheel, with audio controls on the left and cruise control on the right.
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The Forester's trip computer shows mileage on the instrument cluster, but average fuel economy in a display at the top of the dashboard.
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The automatic transmission only has four gears, limiting flexibility in power delivery, but saving weight.
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An auxiliary input for the stereo is mounted in the console.
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The stereo's music sources include satellite radio, six disc in dash CD changer that can read MP3 CDs, and the auxiliary input.

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