2018 Subaru Forester

Buyer's Guide

There continues to be big money available to car manufacturers who have a vehicle in the compact crossover segment, but only for those willing to keep these hot-selling models up to date with the latest technology.

That's what Subaru's up to this year with its Forester, which gets a few new standard features, and updates to others carried over from the 2017 model.

Subaru says all Forester trims get new child seat anchors and better seatbelt reminder warnings; the other safety-related addition is the availability of the EyeSight active safety suite in the entry-level turbocharged 2.0XT model, a package whose lane keep assist system functions over a wider speed range. That basic turbo trim also gains a standard windshield wiper de-icer, and the 2.0XT Limited trim with EyeSight now comes with automatic high beams.

In the less-potent 2.5i model, the Limited trim's navigation system now incorporates new connectivity apps, including Yelp, Best Parking and Glympse.

Building on 2017 changes that made the Forester's cabin notably quieter, this year's update takes the Forester a little more closer to the core of the mainstream, a fact that will be good for sales, but will probably disappoint the handful of Subaru fans who wish it was still the quirky brand it used to be.

That said, Subaru still caters to buyers who want something more than basic performance in their crossovers, hence the 2.0XT models' use of a 2.0L turbocharged engine derived from that used in the WRX sports car. Its 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque don't make the Forester as quick as that little sedan, but it does make this boxy vehicle satisfyingly responsive. For the most hardcore of enthusiasts, it's only too bad the turbo motor comes exclusively matched with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

That said, Forester is one of the few vehicles in its class that can be had with a manual transmission at all, that being a six-speed offered in the 2.5i and 2.5i Touring trims, where it's lined up with a 2.5L four-cylinder good for 170 hp and 174 lb-ft. Truth be told, the Forester is actually at its most refined with the CVT, which brings with it a more sophisticated AWD system.

At the entry level end, the Forester gets a 6.2-inch infotainment touchscreen; it grows to a seven-inch unit with navigation in Limited models; the sound system contained in that screen powers four speakers in base models, six in Touring trim and eight in the Limited.

Other tech items include passive keyless entry, which is standard in Touring and Limited models with the EyeSight package.

All Foresters get air conditioning, which becomes dual-zone automatic climate control in the 2.5i Touring and all turbocharged trims, and a heated steering wheel is included in all Limited models. Heated seats are standard across the board; leather upholstery comes on line in Limited models; and all the but the absolutely base model get a 10-way power driver's seat.

Fuel consumption estimates are 9.2/7.4 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 2.5L engine and automatic transmission, while turbocharged models are rated 10.2/8.6 L/100 km.

2018 Subaru Forester Specifications

There are 12 available trims for this model. View a specific trim for more precise information.
Overview
Specifications
From $25,995 MSRP
9.6
Fuel Economy City/HWY combined
170 hp @5800 rpm
Number of seats 5
Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
Body style SUV
Trim MSRP Number of seats Body style
Trim Horse Power Torque Transmission Drivetrain
Trim Length Body Width Body Height Wheelbase
Trim AUX Input Satellite Radio MP3 Play Bluetooth Connect
Trim Standard Seat Trim Heated Front Seats Heated Rear Seats Power Driver Seats
Trim Traction Stability Brake Assist ABS Blind Spot Sensor
Trim Back Up Camera Parking Distance Sensors AC Power Windows Navigation
2.5i Manual $25,995 5 SUV
2.5i Manual 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm 6-Speed M/T All Wheel Drive
2.5i Manual 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i Manual
2.5i Manual Cloth Seats
2.5i Manual
2.5i Manual
2.5i CVT $27,295 5 SUV
2.5i CVT 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.5i CVT 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i CVT
2.5i CVT Cloth Seats
2.5i CVT
2.5i CVT
2.5i Convenience CVT $29,195 5 SUV
2.5i Convenience CVT 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.5i Convenience CVT 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i Convenience CVT
2.5i Convenience CVT Cloth Seats
2.5i Convenience CVT
2.5i Convenience CVT
2.5i Touring Manual $30,495 5 SUV
2.5i Touring Manual 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm 6-Speed M/T All Wheel Drive
2.5i Touring Manual 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i Touring Manual
2.5i Touring Manual Cloth Seats
2.5i Touring Manual
2.5i Touring Manual
2.5i Touring CVT $31,795 5 SUV
2.5i Touring CVT 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.5i Touring CVT 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i Touring CVT
2.5i Touring CVT Cloth Seats
2.5i Touring CVT
2.5i Touring CVT
2.5i Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg $33,295 5 SUV
2.5i Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.5i Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.5i Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg Cloth Seats
2.5i Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.5i Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.0XT Touring CVT $33,995 5 SUV
2.0XT Touring CVT 250 hp @5600 rpm 258 ft-lb @2000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.0XT Touring CVT 180.9" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.0XT Touring CVT
2.0XT Touring CVT Cloth Seats
2.0XT Touring CVT
2.0XT Touring CVT
2.0XT Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg $35,495 5 SUV
2.0XT Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 250 hp @5600 rpm 258 ft-lb @2000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.0XT Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 180.9" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.0XT Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.0XT Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg Cloth Seats
2.0XT Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.0XT Touring CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.5i Limited CVT $35,795 5 SUV
2.5i Limited CVT 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.5i Limited CVT 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i Limited CVT
2.5i Limited CVT Leather Seats
2.5i Limited CVT
2.5i Limited CVT
2.5i Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg $37,295 5 SUV
2.5i Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 170 hp @5800 rpm 174 ft-lb @4000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.5i Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 181.5" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.5i Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.5i Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg Leather Seats
2.5i Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.5i Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.0XT Limited CVT $37,995 5 SUV
2.0XT Limited CVT 250 hp @5600 rpm 258 ft-lb @2000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.0XT Limited CVT 180.9" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.0XT Limited CVT
2.0XT Limited CVT Leather Seats
2.0XT Limited CVT
2.0XT Limited CVT
2.0XT Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg $39,495 5 SUV
2.0XT Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 250 hp @5600 rpm 258 ft-lb @2000 rpm CVT Transmission All Wheel Drive
2.0XT Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg 180.9" 70.7" 68.3" 103.9"
2.0XT Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.0XT Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg Leather Seats
2.0XT Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg
2.0XT Limited CVT w/EyeSight Pkg

Expert Review Articles

by Justin Pritchard
April 26, 2018
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by Stephanie Wallcraft
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by Greg Wilson
April 19, 2018
Fuel savings, yes, but drives different too.

Owner Reviews: 2018 Subaru / Forester

Average Rating

2007 Subaru Forester

by laoyeong on 10-15-2012
Great all year round car
Comfortable for both driver and passengers. I love that this car is great for driving in the snow, especially for snowboarding in the winter. The exterior styling isn't as nice as the newer models. Very reliable car and lots of trunk space.
Overall
4.5
Comfort
4/5
Performance
5/5
Fuel Economy
4/5
Interior Design
4/5
Exterior Styling
3/5
Reliability
5/5
Is this review useful?
Yes No

2003 Subaru Forester

by Subaru_Forester on 10-15-2012
Fuel efficient, reliable car
Very satisfied. Fuel efficient and reliable car. Great on the highway and city. AWD can go through anything. Also feels very stable on the highway.
Overall
4.5
Comfort
4/5
Performance
4/5
Fuel Economy
5/5
Interior Design
4/5
Exterior Styling
5/5
Reliability
5/5
Is this review useful?
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2010 Subaru Forester

by Myotis on 10-13-2012
Fun, Functional, and Safe
I don't really have any caveats or cons for this car. I'm not trying to say that it's mind-blowingly fantastic, but it's very solid. This car has a surprising amount of cargo space. It also performs very well.

We have a turbocharged version, which makes for fun driving. It also has a sport mode for extra fun and in sport mode you can choose to perform your own gear changes. There are only 4 gears to go between, and you have to time your downshifts, because it doesn't have autoblipping to rev-match or anything to smooth the shifts for you like some other cars do nowadays - but it's still fun.

The main thing about this car for us is the safety. This is actually our second Forester, as our first one was taken out in a highway collision where an oncoming car lost control and veered sideways into our lane and hit us head on at highway speeds. Although the car was toast, we walked away without a scratch and didn't hesitate to replace it with the exact same model.
Overall
4.5
Comfort
4/5
Performance
4/5
Fuel Economy
4/5
Interior Design
5/5
Exterior Styling
5/5
Reliability
5/5
Is this review useful?
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