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#7

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 Interior

Most reviewers agree that the 2015 Subaru Forester’s cabin features a mix of materials that are soft or hard to the touch, and add that the design is fairly conservative. The Forester offers generous overall cargo space for the class, and reviewers write that the front seats are comfortable and the rear seats are spacious. Critics complain that the Forester’s available navigation system seems outdated compared to systems found in rivals.

  • "The various textures and accents dispersed throughout the 2015 Subaru Forester's interior deliver enough visual appeal to keep pace with other affordable crossovers. But make no mistake: The Forester maintains the simplicity of Subaru's design philosophy. Aside from three large climate control dials and steering-wheel-mounted multimedia controls, there's not a lot going on here unless you add the optional navigation system." -- Edmunds
  • "Soft-touch surfaces lend a premium feel, and the seats offer improved support and have been repositioned to grant better visibility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The same mix of hard- and soft-plastic interior panels is found throughout the cabin of any Forester, even the costlier models. Interior design hews more toward sturdy than stylish--all right for a serious sport-ute--but the Forester is a crossover that may draw consideration from shoppers who'll look at it as being something closer to a car." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "The interior bucks the predominant trend of materials that look premium but feel cheap, with surfaces that are soft to the touch, but blandly styled." -- Motor Trend (2014)

Seating

The 2015 Forester seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Seating options include heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and leather upholstery. Reviewers write that the Forester’s front seats are comfortable and have ample leg- and headroom, though critics note that side support could be better. Outward visibility also earns reviewer praise, and some reviewers comment that it is very easy to enter and exit the Forester. Test drivers say that the rear seats offer generous legroom.

  • "Elevated stadium-type rear seating enhances thigh support and affords a better view, while the Forester's rear legroom is only about an inch shy of what you'll find in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "Larger, wider-opening doors ease entry and exit, and legroom in the 60/40 rear bench is good, even for adults." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The front seats, while superbly comfortable, don't offer much lateral support, so you may be relying on your knee against the door panel or console for high-g support." -- Motor Trend (2014)
  • "The thing that struck me most about the Forester is its great all-around visibility at a time when views out of most new cars are restricted in one way or another. …" -- Cars.com (2014)
  • "Headroom and legroom remain generous, and cabin space has grown wider. There's also more space between front passengers and the dash. Entry and exit benefit from lowered side sills. All-around visibility remains excellent, too." -- Consumer Guide (2014)

Interior Features

Standard features on the 2015 Forester include a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a four-speaker audio system with a USB port. Optional features include navigation, upgraded audio systems, HD Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control and Subaru's EyeSight system, which features adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and pre-collision braking.

Many critics comment that the Forester's available touch-screen navigation system seems outdated compared to the systems found in rivals, saying the screen is small and that basic stereo adjustments are more complicated than they need to be. Others write that the gauges are easy to read and base models have easy-to-reach climate controls.

See full 2015 Subaru Forester specs »

  • "Unfortunately, that system's touchscreen interface comes up short in terms of both graphics and functionality when compared to today's best." -- Edmunds
  • "… there is still no denying how much the entire staff loathes Subaru's navigation system - which we've documented in our long-term BRZ coupe." -- Cars.com (2014)
  • "Clear, legible gauges and simple-to-use controls continue to be found in the Forester. In base models, audio and climate systems reside in the center dashboard stack within easy reach for driver and passenger." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "A new high-end Harman/Kardon surround-sound entertainment system is both iPhone- and Android-friendly and has voice recognition. However, its unshrouded touch screen is the same small, six-inch (measured diagonally) unit found in the new BRZ, which forces users to deal with aspirin-tablet-sized Chiclets, multistep station tuning, and screen washouts in bright sunlight." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • "The technologies housed in the center stack included two small screens. One was used for the navigation and satellite radio and the other charted out your fuel economy and provided average fuel consumption. The screens provided were pretty small and looked outdated to me, but everything worked and the navi/radio portion worked with knobs or as a touchscreen that was effective." -- AutoWeek (2014)

Cargo

The base 2015 Forester offers up to 34.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 74.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is good for the class. Cargo capacity in higher trims is slightly diminished to 31.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 68.5 behind the front seats. Test drivers are impressed with the Forester's cargo space and like that the available power liftgate can be opened or closed with the key fob. Others mention that the glove box and door pockets are a nice size.

  • "This sense of space is reinforced by a huge cargo hold that yields 74.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. That's nearly 4 more cubic feet than the Honda CR-V, which has traditionally been at the head of this class. The caveat is that you'll need to stick to the base model if you want the big number, as models with the panoramic sunroof drop to 68.5 cubic feet due to a lower roof height." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior storage is good, with useful door pockets and a generous glove box." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "Another handy shopping gadget is a power liftgate with memory function that can be opened, closed, and stopped at any point with the keyless remote." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • "As for cargo, the Forester sports a cavernous max cargo capacity of 74.7 cubic inches, up 9 percent from the previous model's 68.3 cubic inches. It's a capable gear transporter." -- MSN (2014)
Review Last Updated: 5/30/14

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