2014 Subaru Forester Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.Video: Forester Performance
Test drivers say that the redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester offers a composed ride, impressive all-wheel drive grip and an available turbocharged engine that provides plenty of power.
- "On pavement, the ride of 2.5i models is comfortable, with harshness noticeable over only larger road imperfections. Rutted off-road trails can set the Forester to rocking, though." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Forester has always had a reputation for being fun to drive, and the new model, especially in XT form, carries forth the tradition. But the fact remains it's a tallish SUV with a high ground clearance. As long as you're not expecting STI levels of at-the-limit handling, you'll probably find the performance plenty rewarding, but the Forester definitely is not a sports car." -- Motor Trend
- "Boasting a stronger, more rigid central structure, wider track dimensions, longer wheelbase and a retuned suspension to complement Subaru's signature Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the 2014 Forester deports itself most impressively and predictably on or off road." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Bottom line, the on-road performance and off-road durability of the 2.0XT provide an intoxicating drive, and its kick-in-the-pants acceleration seems to belie its commuter-friendly fuel efficiency." -- MSN
Acceleration and Power
The base Forester 2.5i is powered by a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. Upgrade to the 2.0XT model, and you’ll get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 250 horsepower and a standard CVT. The EPA reports that the base Forester earns 24/32 mpg city/highway with the CVT, which is quite good for the class, but still slightly behind the fuel economy of a comparably-equipped Mazda CX-5.
Reviewers say that the XT model offers plenty of power, and that its turbocharged engine is well-matched to the CVT. While one test driver says that the base Forester is far from quick, another notes that it accelerates just as well as the CX-5 and Honda CR-V.
- "The 2.0-liter turbo and CVT combo works great; the Forester is deceptively quick. Certainly quicker than the CX-5, though it takes a hit in fuel economy with an estimated 25 mpg combined." -- AutoWeek
- "Subaru didn't make a six-speed manual Forester available to drive, but we can say that the 2.5-liter boxer four with CVT vehicle had no trouble keeping up with a Honda CR-V or out-drag-racing a Mazda CX-5 brought along for competitive purposes." -- Car and Driver
- "With a little extra weight than before, the all-new 2014 Subaru Forester isn't going to set any speed records with the 170 hp that comes from its standard four-cylinder engine." -- Edmunds
- "The 2.5i with CVT delivers 24 mpg city, an impressive 32 mpg highway and a combined 27 mpg from its 2.5-liter 170-horsepower boxer engine. Among all-wheel-drive nonhybrids in the Forester's segment, only the Mazda CX-5 compares." -- MSN
Handling and Braking
One test driver says that the 2014 Forester has a soft ride, and other reviewers appreciate its precise steering and composed handling. The Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive, and one critic notes that the available X-Mode traction assist system makes it more capable off-road than many affordable compact SUVs.
- "It rides rather softly and there's some body roll, but recalling previous Forester drives, I expected that. No surprises in the ride/handling mix." -- AutoWeek
- "The electric-boosted steering, while not hugely communicative, nevertheless was reasonably weighted, quick enough for Pier 1 runs, and linear in its response." -- Car and Driver
- "The new Forester continues its predecessors' car-like characteristics, with responsive and well-weighted steering and acceptable control of lean in cornering." -- Consumer Guide
- "In normal day-to-day use, the Forester provides stable and composed handling. But its trump card remains its extra dollop of off-road capability, which comes via its higher-than-normal ground clearance and new ‘X Mode’ that adjusts the Forester's stability control, gearing and throttle response to maximize traction in the dirt." -- Edmunds