The new Forester represents a big update over previous year models, including a whole new, longer platform. The car comes in a variety of trim levels, from the base 2.5X to the top-of-the-line 2.5XT Limited, which gets a turbocharger and navigation as an option. None of the other trim levels get the navigation option, and most are stuck with a four speaker stereo.
Subaru made its reputation with all-purpose vehicles good for a variety of weather and road conditions. The Forester comes with standard all-wheel-drive, and boasts 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Its front and rear angles of departure are close to 25 degrees.
Although the 2.5-liter four cylinder engine's 170 horsepower doesn't move the car around particularly fast, it does offer good economy. We got 28.5 mpg on one road trip. The 2.5XT trim levels of the Forester add a turbocharger, producing 224 horsepower.
Versions of the Forester made to comport with California Air Resources Board regulations earn a partial zero emissions vehicle, or PZEV, rating, meaning they create very little smog-creating pollutants.
Instrumentation is very simple in the Forester, with just a speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge. The monochrome LCD on the instrument cluster only shows odometer readings, but a center display shows trip computer information, such as fuel economy.