More than most vehicles, the Forester, like other Subarus, has developed quite a loyal following over the years. Compact crossover fans often favor the Forester not just for its quality and sensible price, but for its endearing, even slightly off-kilter, character. Rather than a wagon aimed at families, the Forester tends to attract outside-the-mainstream individualists, qualifying as more of a lifestyle-focused vehicle than a strictly practical, all-wheel drive people carrier.
What's New for 2016
Not much has changed. Premium, Limited and Touring trim levels now have new Subaru Starlink Safety and Security features, including automatic collision notification, maintenance notifications, SOS emergency assistance, and a monthly vehicle health report. All 2016 Foresters get new Starlink audio systems. Models with Subaru’s optional EyeSight driver assist system now include steering-responsive foglamps.
Choosing Your Subaru Forester
Fully redesigned for 2014, the Forester ranks among the most capable crossovers in its class. As with all Subarus, all-wheel drive is standard. Owners also benefit from a class-leading 73 cubic feet of cargo space.
The standard engine is a flat (horizontally-opposed) four-cylinder, making 170 horsepower and mating with a six-speed manual gearbox; or with an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), which yields substantially better fuel economy. The CVT is mandatory with the more potent 250-horsepower, 2-liter turbocharged engine in 2.0XT models.
Fuel economy for the 2.5-liter engine is estimated at 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway with manual shift, or 24/32 mpg with automatic. The 2-liter turbo is estimated at 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway.
Six trim levels are offered, with two engine possibilities:
Premium trim level and above can have an optional EyeSight driver assist system, including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, sway warning, pre-collision braking, and steering-responsive foglamps.
If there’s a choice between manual shift and the smoothly efficient CVT, we definitely recommend the latter. Your best bet may be the 2.5i Premium trim, which offers plenty of useful features for a reasonable price. For safety’s sake, the available EyeSight system is worth considering.
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