2021-subaru-forester

Overview Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive and adventuresome image apply perfectly to the Forester compact SUV. Although it seems to be a competitor for the brand’s Outback station wagon in terms of functionality and size, the Forester offers a more SUV-like driving position, larger windows for better outward visibility, and a bit more ground clearance. The cabin of the Forester is the definition of sensible, offering plenty of practicality leavened by a touch of stylistic flair. There’s a four-cylinder engine under the hood, which delivers adequate power and decent fuel economy. The Forester’s key rivals—the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4—offer more powerful powertrains and more driving engagement, but the Subaru’s smooth ride and relaxed handling won’t offend buyers who fall for its other attributes. What’s New for 2021?Subaru has made adaptive LED headlamps and automatic high beams standard across the Forester lineup for 2021 while the Limited model now comes with a seven-speed manual mode for the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). A new rear center-console storage tray has been added to all but the base model.

Pricing and Which One to Buy Base: $26,000 (est) Premium: $29,000 (est) Sport: $30,000 (est) Limited: $32,000 (est) Touring: $36,000 (est)While the Limited and Touring trims are much fancier, we think the Premium model offers the best mix of value and features. The exterior upgrades—17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, and body-color sideview mirrors—make it look less like a rental car and the interior includes luxuries such as a panoramic sunroof, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, reclining rear seatbacks, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, and a six-speaker sound system. Engine, Transmission, and PerformanceAll Forester models are powered by the same 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder engine that makes 182 horsepower and can tow 1500 pounds. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) routes the engine’s power to Subaru’s trademark all-wheel-drive system. At our test track, our 2019 Forester Touring test vehicle required 8.5 seconds to reach 60 mph—not exactly thrilling performance, but it’ll meet the needs of most buyers. Those looking for more oomph should check out the Honda CR-V or the turbocharged versions of the Mazda CX-5 and the Kia Sportage. For an SUV without any sporting intentions, the Forester’s handling is competent. The ride is compliant and refined, the steering is accurate, and the brakes are adequately strong for emergency stops.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGWith EPA fuel-economy ratings that match much of the compact-crossover segment, the Forester will likely satisfy buyers seeking efficiency. In our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test, our Forester Touring test vehicle missed its highway-fuel-economy rating by 1 mpg, returning 32 mpg. However, that figure matches the result that the CR-V Touring and the Toyota RAV4 Adventure delivered.Interior, Comfort, and CargoThe Forester’s cabin is a straight-forward, frill-free affair with a good driving position and great outward visibility. Our Touring model’s interior was nicely finished with caramel-colored leather on the seats, door panels, and dash; textured plastic trim layered on the rest of the cabin looked and felt of high quality, too, while glossy-black plastic on the center stack and the chromed and matte-metallic plastic trims spruced things up quite well. The back seat is plenty spacious (there is no third-row option), and even adults should find the bench seat a comfortable perch for road trips. We fit 11 of our carry-on suitcases behind the back seat and a whopping 23 with the back seats folded. That’s more than either the CX-5 or the RAV4 could muster, but the CR-V maxed out at 25 carry-ons with its rear seats stowed.
Infotainment and ConnectivityAll Forester models come standard with a touchscreen infotainment system using Subaru’s latest Starlink interface. Base, Premium, and Sport models come standard with a 6.5-inch display, but a larger 8.0-inch unit is optional on the Sport and standard on the Limited and Touring models. Two USB ports are provided for front-seat passengers; two more are optional and reside on the back of the center console, giving rear-seat passengers a way to juice their smartphones. Navigation is available only on the Limited and Touring, but for those who decide to stick with a lower model, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are both standard and can provide turn-by-turn directions broadcast from the user’s device. Onboard Wi-Fi via a 4G LTE data connection is standard on all but the base Forester.Safety and Driver-Assistance FeaturesThe Forester earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for 2019. All models come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of camera-based driver-assistance features. Key safety features include: Standard automated emergency braking Standard adaptive cruise control Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assistWarranty and Maintenance CoverageThe Forester’s warranty is basic, and buyers will be paying out of pocket for maintenance visits. Rivals such as the Sportage and the Hyundai Tucson—both of which offer a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty—and the RAV4—which offers two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance—provide more value here than the Subaru. Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Specifications

Specifications
2019 Subaru Forester Touring
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED: $35,270 (base price: $35,270)
ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 152 cu in, 2498 ccPower: 182 hp @ 5800 rpmTorque: 176 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
TRANSMISSION: continuously variable automatic with manual shifting mode
CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): 12.4-in vented disc/11.2-in vented disc
Brakes (F/R): struts/control arms
Tires: Falken Ziex ZE001 A/S, 225/55R-18 98H M+S
DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 105.1 in
Length: 182.1 in
Width: 71.5 in
Height: 68.1 in
Passenger volume: 108 cu ft
Cargo volume: 33 cu ft
Curb weight: 3601 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 8.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 23.7 sec
Zero to 110 mph: 31.8 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.0 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.3 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.6 sec @ 86 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 127 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 168 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.83 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 23 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 29/26/33 mpg
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