For The Forester offers genuine off-road capability, plenty of space and a generous standard equipment list. It rides also well on faster roads.
Against It’s more expensive to buy than rivals, and uses more fuel and emits more CO2. The entry-level petrol engine is weak and the turbocharged version is very thirsty.
What Car? says
The Subaru Forester makes most sense if you’re after something rugged and reliable. It’s also good off-road, roomy and well equipped. Rival SUVs are cheaper to buy and run, though, and more refined, so will make more sense for more people.
What Car? readers say
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There are 6 Subaru Forester versions available
Target Price team says:
The Subaru Forester is available with a 148bhp non-turbo or a 237bhp turbocharged petrol engine, or a 145bhp diesel.
The non-turbo petrol feels weak, and is noisy at high revs (it’s even worse when coupled with the CVT automatic gearbox), while the turbocharged version is quick but extremely thirsty. The diesel is the best bet – it’s strong, smooth and you rarely have to work it hard.
Entry-level X trim is available only with the diesel. It has plenty of equipment, including air-con, heated front seats, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a USB socket. It’s our pick of the range, although it’s a shame the manual-only diesel doesn’t come with the sophisticated off-road aid X-drive, which includes hill-descent control and is included on automatic petrol Foresters.
XC and XE cars get an electric driver’s seat, automatic lights and wipers and a rear-view camera, while XC Premium and XE Premium models add sat-nav and leather seats.