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Subaru Forester Review

The 2015 Subaru Forester ranks 7 out of 19 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Subaru Forester, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Subaru Forester is ranked:

The 2015 Subaru Forester earns reviewers' praise for its standard all-wheel drive, large cargo space, decent fuel economy and abundance of legroom for back-seat passengers.

Critics think the Subaru Forester's standard four-cylinder engine offers plenty of muscle, and they add that the available turbocharged four-cylinder engine helps the Forester accelerate quickly. A manual transmission is standard. An automatic transmission is available, but reviewers comment that it can feel erratic when accelerating from a stop, particularly when the automatic is paired with the base engine. All-wheel drive is standard, and the Forester’s fuel economy is up to an EPA-estimated 24/32 mpg city/highway, which is good among all-wheel drive compact SUVs. According to auto journalists, the Forester has a comfortable ride and composed handling, though most agree that it isn’t especially sporty.

Test drivers report the Forester's cabin has a conventional design and is built with hard and soft plastics. They are impressed by the Forester's spacious interior, particularly its abundance of back-seat legroom and large cargo area. Less impressive to automobile journalists are the Forester's complex stereo controls and its antiquated navigation system. The 2015 Forester comes standard with a rearview camera, a four-speaker stereo system with a USB port and Bluetooth. Options include an upgraded audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation and Subaru's EyeSight system, which features adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and pre-collision braking.

  • "If you're seeking out a compact SUV, it's hard to beat what the Forester is peddling." -- AutoTrader
  • "Competitive fuel economy, a spacious cabin and available turbocharged power make the 2015 Subaru Forester a solid pick for a small crossover SUV." -- Edmunds
  • "Fully redesigned last year, the 2015 Subaru Forester boasts good fuel economy, advanced safety features, and numerous structural and chassis enhancements that help this 4th-generation model stand out. Where the Subaru Forester continues to one up rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape in the competitive compact SUV segment is with its standard all-wheel drive, a trait that helps the Forester remain sure-footed no matter the terrain or weather." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Suffice it to say that this vehicle nails all its intended targets." -- Car and Driver (2014)

Other SUVs to Consider

The Nissan Rogue was redesigned last year and also gets good fuel economy for the class. Auto journalists are pleased with the Rogue’s spacious cargo area and appreciate that its various infotainment controls are easy to use.

Reviewers like the Honda CR-V’s modern-looking, spacious cabin. They also praise the CR-V for its secure handling, comfortable ride and smooth automatic transmission.

Compare the Forester, Rogue and CR-V »

Details: 2015 Subaru Forester

The 2015 Subaru Forester seats five and comes standard with all-wheel drive. There are six trim levels: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring. Trims designated 2.5i have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. Trims designated 2.0XT have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and standard CVT. The Subaru Forester was redesigned for the 2014 model year and is largely unchanged for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 and 2015 model years.

See full 2015 Subaru Forester specs »

Review Last Updated: 8/24/15

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