in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $22,195 - $33,095
Invoice: $20,995 - $30,927
MPG: 22 City / 29 Hwy
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Subaru Forester Review

The 2015 Subaru Forester ranks 6 out of 24 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:

According to reviewers, the 2015 Subaru Forester’s generous cargo space, ample rear-seat legroom, good fuel economy and standard all-wheel drive make it a highly appealing compact SUV.

The 2015 Forester has a standard four-cylinder engine that test drivers agree has sufficient power in most situations. Still, many say the available turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers livelier acceleration. A manual transmission is standard, and reviewers find that the Forester’s available continuously variable transmission makes acceleration from a stop somewhat jerky, especially in models 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.

Reviewers agree that the 2015 Forester’s cabin has a conservative design and is built with a mix of hard and soft plastics. Most are impressed with the spaciousness of the interior, saying the cargo area is generously sized, the front seats are comfortable and the rear seats offer great legroom. Critics write that the Forester’s stereo controls are more complicated than they need to be and the navigation system’s touch screen looks small and outdated. 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)

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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: 5/30/14

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