Subaru Forester Review
The 2014 Subaru Forester ranks 4 out of 21 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 9 published reviews and test drives of the Subaru Forester, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Completely redesigned for 2014, the Subaru Forester trumps most competing SUVs with standard all-wheel drive, good fuel economy and a spacious, comfortable interior.
The 2014 Subaru Forester comes standard with a four-cylinder engine, which most reviewers say provides adequate power. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available, and some reviewers say that it makes the redesigned Forester one of the quickest SUVs in the class. The base Forester comes with a six-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional on the base Forester and standard on higher trims. Few test drivers have commented on the manual transmission, but many say that the models with the CVT are responsive, and at 24/32 mpg city/highway, they also deliver good fuel economy for the class. Most reviewers say that the 2014 Forester offers a controlled ride and accurate steering, and that the available X-Mode traction assist system improves grip if you venture off-road.
Most auto writers agree that the 2014 Forester offers an interior that’s built with quality materials. However, a few also say that the Forester’s interior prioritizes function over form, which may not appeal to shoppers who want a car-like crossover. The Forester earns praise for its spacious front and rear seats, and it offers more cargo space than most affordable compact SUVs. The 2014 Forester comes standard with a four-speaker stereo with USB and auxiliary inputs, as well as Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. Options and features available on higher trims include a backup camera, a panoramic moonroof, a power liftgate, push-button start with keyless access, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, an upgraded stereo with HD Radio and Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system, which includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning systems. Many reviewers write that the small touch-screen display on the optional navigation system can be difficult to use.
- "The Forester is a great flexible ride that offers interior space, powerful acceleration, AWD capability and rugged good looks." -- AutoWeek
- "Much of the Forester's enduring appeal lies in the fact that it offers most of the SUV attributes people really want and use -- full-time all-wheel drive, a little bit of extra ground clearance and hatchback utility -- without the dreadful fuel economy and bulk of a full-blown SUV." -- Edmunds
- "Whether you're a Subaru loyalist who appreciates the brand's character, or just want a roomy, reliable compact SUV, the 2014 Forester delivers. There may be cheaper or handsomer options in the class, but the Forester remains a solid all-arounder." -- Motor Trend
- "Building on its well-established reputation for capability, reliability, practicality and longevity, the new Forester now delivers even more comfort and convenience while offering the added benefit of standard fuel-efficient all-wheel drive - and does it at an outstanding price point." -- Kelley Blue Book
Other SUVs to Consider
The Honda CR-V earns a high safety score, and it has almost as much cargo space as the Forester. Reviewers also note that the CR-V offers a spacious interior and an impressive list of standard tech features.
Like the Forester and CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 also offers ample cargo space and a great safety score. The RAV4 also earns a strong reliability rating and gets good fuel economy for the class.
Details: 2014 Subaru Forester
The 2014 Subaru Forester seats five and has standard all-wheel drive. A total of six trims are available: 2.5i, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Touring, 2.0XT Premium and 2.0XT Touring. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission come standard in 2.5i models, while 2.0XT versions get a CVT and a more-powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Subaru Forester has been completely redesigned for 2014.
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