Subaru has made a business out of catering to the needs of outdoor enthusiasts with practical crossover-style vehicles that get good fuel economy and come standard with all-wheel drive. The Forester is a key part of that legend.
Caption by / Photo by Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Unlike the latest Outback model, the Forester maintains SUV-like looks. Its large windows provide good visibility all around and a high roof line makes for comfortable seating inside. It's a five-passenger configuration with a cargo area in the rear.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Subaru only offers a couple of engine choices for the Forester, both with four cylinders. The standard engine displaces 2.5 liters and produces 170 horsepower. The car can be had with a direct-injection 2-liter turbocharged engine making 250 horsepower.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The rear seats fold down to maximize cargo space, bringing it up to 74.7 cubic feet from 34.4 cubic feet. A rubber floor mat makes the interior easy to clean.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
In Touring trim level, the Forester gets leather, power-adjustable seats. An All-Weather package comes standard at this level, too.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
With the boxy shape, the rear seats offer plenty of headroom and good outward visibility.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Subaru uses an electric power-steering system in the Forester, but in feel it's virtually indistinguishable from a hydraulic system.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The EyeSight option adds adaptive cruise control. A button on the steering-wheel spoke lets you set the following distance.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The Forester has an upper LCD showing fuel economy and other vehicle information. This display shows the vehicle's current fuel economy, and can be used as a coach for more economical driving.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Subaru has embraced continuously variable transmissions, the automatic option for the Forester. With no fixed gears, the transmission constantly seeks the best ratio for fuel economy given the current driving conditions.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system shows up on a small touch screen, and resembles a portable navigation device in look and behavior.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system incorporates real-time traffic data to plan routes around problems.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Aha integration with the head unit gives you some connected features, including audio, social media, and limited location search.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The Bluetooth audio-streaming source brings in meta tags, showing artist and track name.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The Forester includes HD Radio, with easy access to multicasts.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
For sound settings, the Forester includes a seven-band graphic equalizer, allowing some fine-tuning for music playback.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Updated: