It makes sense that the Subaru Forester is the brand's best-selling model. On the surface it's a mainstream crossover SUV, but underneath that conventional exterior the Forester's traditional functionality and meaningful off-road potential (and, with the 2.0XT models, rally-car moves) make it a strong contender against many show-over-substance rivals in a very popular market.
What's New for 2018
The 2018 Forester is all but unchanged from its 2017 predecessor. A few trim lines see minor equipment changes: Subaru gets on the blackout-trim trend with the Black Edition, a dress package available on the 2.5i Premium; the EyeSight active-safety package is now standard on the 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Touring; and the 2.0XT Touring also picks up an active torque-vectoring system to maximize grip in slippery conditions.
Choosing Your Subaru Forester
The Forester shares its basic platform with the previous generation of Subaru's Impreza. Power for the 2.5i models comes from, predictably, Subaru's 2.5-liter flat-four, which makes 170 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the 2.5i and 2.5i Premium and a continuously-variable transmission is optional. More upscale trim lines get the CVT as standard. The 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring use a 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four mated to a CVT, which can emulate upshifts and downshifts with the paddles behind the steering wheel. Regardless of powerplant or transmission, all Foresters use Subaru's signature all-wheel-drive system and are set up to provide almost nine inches of ground clearance.
EPA fuel economy estimates for manual-transmission Foresters are 22 miles per gallon city, 28 highway, and 24 combined. Foresters with the 2.5-liter and CVT see notable increases to 26 city/32 highway/28 combined. Turbocharged Foresters return 23 mpg city/27 highway/25 combined fuel economy estimates.
The Forester is offered in six trim levels:
The available heated seats, sunroof, and upgraded infotainment system in the 2.5i Premium make a fair case for moving up from the base 2.5i's comfortable standard specifications. If you're looking more at the top of the order, the Touring with its additional model-specific upgrades is very close to the asking price for a Limited with Starlink and EyeSight. Be advised that the next-generation Forester, based on the same platform as the recently revised Impreza, is due in 2019.
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