Consumer Reviews Summary
15 of 21 (71%) customers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
2013 Subaru Forester Overview
The Forester has been one of Subaru’s most popular models with buyers appreciating its shorter length and lower price compared with the Outback. The five-seat compact crossover features the automaker’s all-wheel drive system and counts the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 among its competitors. For 2013, Subaru adds Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, steering wheel audio controls, iPod control, and a USB port as standard features across the six-model lineup.
With the current generation, Subaru pushed the Forester’s styling away from a boxy wagon and toward the sleeker lines of other car-based crossovers in the category. With nearly 9-inches of ground clearance, the Forester appears capable of taking on all but the most ambitious off-pavement trips. Headlamps sit high and back from the nose and fog lamps are recessed into the lower fascia away from brush or obstacles. Standard exterior features include roof rails, a hood scoop on turbo versions, and 16-inch wheels with 17-inch rims available. Other options include chrome exhaust tips, rear spoiler and high-intensity discharge headlamps.
Subaru offers two engines with the Forester, one turbocharged and the other normally aspirated. The latter is a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter, flat-four cylinder engine with 174 pounds feet of torque and mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Those seeking more oomph can opt for the 224-horsepower, turbocharged, flat-four with 226 pounds feet of torque, which pairs with the four-speed automatic. The AWD systems differ depending on which transmission is fitted. Automatic equipped models feature Subaru’s Variable Torque Management system, which tracks various conditions to determine how much power is sent to either end. Manual transmission AWD uses a viscous coupling that reacts to wheel slippage. Hill start assist is standard with the manual gearbox.
With the normally aspirated engine, the Forester returns EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with either the five-speed manual or the four-speed automatic transmission. Despite not having the five- or six-speed automatics typical of its competitors, the Forester’s fuel economy is comparable, although the Honda CR-V AWD is 3 mpg thriftier on the highway. Step up to the turbo engine and economy slips to 19/24 mpg city/highway.
The Forester’s interior highlights include a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt steering wheel, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and manual climate control. Navigation, rearview camera, automatic climate control and a power moonroof are among the options. Most of the sophisticated features are restricted to the upper trim levels. Driver and front passenger seats are height adjustable.
The Forester shares much of its platform with the Impreza, so not surprisingly it earned a 2012 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Among the standard features are Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamic Control, stability and traction control, antilock brakes with emergency braking assist, seatbelt pre-tensioners and active head restraints. The crossover is fitted with six airbags: front, front side-impact and side-curtains with rollover sensor. In the event that a rollover is imminent, the sensor triggers the seatbelt pre-tensioners and side-curtain airbags.