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2021 Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester OEM Exterior Primary Photo
OEM Interior Primary
OEM Exterior
OEM Exterior
OEM Interior
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Used Car Price Range
$17,995 - $29,701
$17,995 $29,701
Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2021 Base 4dr All-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $24,795
2021 Premium 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $27,795
2021 Sport 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $29,395
2021 Limited 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $31,395
2021 Touring 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $34,895
Expert Rating
3.4 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Overview

What's New


The 2021 Subaru Forester manages to stand out in the crowded compact crossover class for its standard all-wheel-drive system and lengthy list of standard features. For the new model year, the Forester gets adaptive LED headlights and automatic high beams as standard. The Limited trim now has a seven-speed manual mode for the continuously variable transmission (CVT). While not revolutionary, the changes help the Forester remain competitive.

Choosing Your Subaru Forester

Like last year, the Forester is offered in five trim levels: Forester, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring. Prices start at $25,845 including destination for the base Forester trim and go up to $35,945 for the Touring.

Engine Choices

Regardless of trim level, every Forester comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a CVT and routes power through all four wheels via a standard all-wheel-drive system.

Fuel economy checks in at an EPA-estimated 26 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 combined. When it comes to towing, it's rated at up to 1,500 pounds.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

All Foresters have seating for up to five. Cargo capacity behind the rear seats measures in at 35.4 cubic feet. That figure expands to 76.1 cubic feet with the back row folded down, making it one of the more spacious crossovers in the class.

Subaru Forester

Safety Features

Subaru's EyeSight suite of advanced safety features is standard on every trim. The suite includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning. Rear seatbelt reminder and automatic high beams are newly standard for 2021.

Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist are optional on the Premium and standard on higher trims. Reverse automatic emergency braking is also available.

Connectivity

The Forester, Premium, and Sport trims come with a 6.5-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and four audio speakers. Higher trim levels come with an 8-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, and wi-fi hot spot capability.

The larger touchscreen and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system are optional on the Sport trim. The Limited trim is available with navigation and the Harman Kardon audio system.

Subaru Forester

Forester - From $25,845

The base Forester comes with 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, and adaptive LED headlights as standard equipment.

The entry-level Forester only has one available package that costs $600 and brings 17-inch alloy wheels and roof rails.

Premium - From $28,845

The Premium adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a roof spoiler, a panoramic moonroof, roof rails, power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless access as standard.

Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a power rear liftgate are available as part of a $1,095 optional package.

Sport - From $30,445

The mid-level Sport features 18-inch black wheels, LED fog lights, sport cloth upholstery, a color multi-function display, and paddle shifters.

Reverse automatic emergency braking, the 8-inch touchscreen, the Harman Kardon audio system, and a power rear liftgate are included with one large package that’s priced at $1,645.

Limited - From $32,445

The Limited trim brings leather upholstery, a power rear liftgate, and dual-zone automatic climate control over lower models.

The Limited is available with one major package that adds a heated steering wheel and more tech features for an extra $1,695.

Touring - From $35,945

The Touring comes with every available feature as standard equipment, adding chrome exterior trim pieces, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, an eight-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat, a heated steering wheel, and one-touch folding rear seats as standard.

Compare Forester Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

We think the 2021 Subaru Forester Premium is the best value option in the lineup. The sole optional package that adds more safety features is worth the money. The Forester’s standard all-wheel-drive system is another one of its strong suits, which helps make lower trims better value choices.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Pros
  • Well equipped
  • Great off-road chops
  • Hauls all the cargo
Cons
  • CVT only
  • Dated looks
  • We miss the turbo engine
Expert Rating
3.4 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

A crossover that ticks nearly every box. The 2021 Subaru Forester is one of the more popular compact crossovers, especially in colder climates. With its standard advanced all-wheel drive, upscale features, and off-road chops, there’s a good reason for its popularity in these snowy areas.

Remarkably efficient but limited performance. The Forester has a single engine option: a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. This four-pot pairs with a continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive. The powertrain combination delivers outstanding on- and off-road traction and a surprising 29 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA.

While it’s efficient and has a legendary all-wheel-drive system, the Forester’s engine leaves a lot to be desired in performance. This deficiency is especially evident when comparing it to the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape, which deliver 252 and 250 hp, respectively. The Mazda CX-5 also gets a leg up with its optional 2.5-liter turbo engine that delivers up to 250 hp.

A few years back, the Forester had the peppy XT model with the WRX-sourced 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. Unfortunately, it garnered only a small cult following, so Subaru cut it.

Bring on the rugged terrain. The Subaru Forester has an advanced torque-vectoring AWD system that can handle the ugliest conditions. Plus, with its 8.7 inches of ground clearance, it’s got plenty of room to navigate moderately choppy trails.

Very few crossovers can match or beat it, but one that falls in the latter category is the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road with its torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, advanced off-road drive modes, and 8.6 inches of ground clearance. Plus, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road looks the part of an off-roader.


Subaru Forester

Loads of features and space but date looks. The Forester’s base trim has plenty of standard features, including 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a split-folding rear seat, adaptive LED headlights, and a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

This easily trumps the Honda CR-V’s 5-inch screen and lack of smartphone integration. It also beats the Escape’s puny 4.2-inch standard screen with no smartphone integration. The CX-5 has a larger 7-inch standard screen, but it lacks standard smartphone integration. The RAV4 manages to beat the Forester with its 7-inch screen and smartphone integration.

The Forester also has loads of space with 39.4 inches of rear leg room, 31.1 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats up, and 76.1 with the rear seats folded. The rear leg room beats the RAV4’s 37.8 inches and is consistent with all others in its class.

However, the Forester’s 76.1 cubic feet of maximum cargo room beats the Equinox (63.9 cubic feet), CR-V (75.8 cubic feet), RAV4 (69.8 cubic feet), Escape (65.4 cubic feet), and CX-5 (59.6 cubic feet).

The big downside to the Forester is its dated design. From the outside to the inside, it looks like it’s stuck about five to 10 years behind its competitors. However, some buyers may appreciate this simpler design.

Final thoughts. If you can look past its dated appearance and underwhelming powertrain, the 2021 Subaru Forester is a great do-it-all option for a family crossover. It can handle moderate off-roading, has good fuel economy, includes great standard features and premium options, and comes in at a fair price.

For buyers looking for something more modern, the Mazda CX-5, Chevy Equinox, or Toyota RAV4 all fit that bill. These three also work for buyers seeking more optional power.

Check prices for the 2021 Subaru Forester »

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Specs & Features

Highlights
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L H-4 / 182 HP / 176 ft.lbs.
Transmission
Lineartronic 7-spd CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Full-time Symmetrical All-wheel Drive All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
26 / 33 / 29 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
5
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.5L H-4 / 182 HP / 176 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Full-time Symmetrical All-wheel Drive All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
26 / 33 / 29 Mpg
Brakes
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Strut
Rear Suspension
Independent Double Wishbone
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
16.6 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
$63
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
74.3 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
112 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
182.1 "
Exterior Width
71.5 "
Exterior Height
67.5 " / 68.1 "
Front Headroom
41.2 "
Rear Headroom
39.6 "
Front Legroom
43.3 "
Rear Legroom
39.4 "
Front Shoulder Room
58.2 "
Rear Shoulder Room
57.2 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,449 Lbs.
Wheel Base
105 "
Turning Radius
17.7 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
Wheels
17.0 " Steel / 17.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum
Paint
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Bumpers
Body-colored / Front Body-colored With Metal-look Insert
Grille Moldings
With Chrome Bar / Black W/metal-look Surround
Rear Spoiler
Exhaust
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Seating
Passenger Capacity
5
Seat Trim
Cloth
Front Seat Type
Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
4-way
Front Armrests
6-way
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Radio
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
Speakers
4 / 4 Rockford Fosgate
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
3
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Eyesight Pre-collision Braking Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Eyesight Lane Keep Assist Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Lane Centering Hands-on Steering Assist
Pedestrian Detection
Eyesight Pre-collision Braking Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Eyesight Sway Warning Driver Attention
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
High Beam Assist (hba) Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Directionally Adaptive
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Immobilizer
Warranty
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

Used 2021 Subaru Forester for Sale

11 vehicles found within 50 miles of your area
Subaru
Sport
Color: White
Mileage

75,673 mi

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Norm Reeves Honda Superstore Cerritos (20 mi)

Phone: (562) 809-3722
Subaru
Premium
Color: White
Price

$17,995

Mileage

85,507 mi

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Pacific Auto Center - Costa Mesa (33 mi)

Phone: (949) 359-4135
Subaru
Base
Color: Gray
Price

$18,245

Mileage

50,897 mi

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Karplus Warehouse Inc. (23 mi)

Phone: (888) 559-8956
Subaru
Premium
Color: Black
Price

$24,006

Mileage

28,661 mi

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Honda World Westminster (27 mi)

Phone: (714) 902-9762
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