D XC Premium 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG47 mpg

this is a great car. Solid, reliable, comfortable, corners beautifully, handles potholes really, really well, economical-ish, and massive inside I tried towing with it last month and it was a revelation. the bad bits - the steering has almost no feel at all, the gearings a bit odd and it rolls in corners (but grips like you wouldnt believe). everyone should have one.

Mike Taylor, cambs, December 25th 2014

XT 5dr Lineartronic

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG33.2 mpg

This is my 4th Subaru in the last 14 years and my first Forester. It is by far and away the best car I have owned. Bought it in June 2014 only 5 months old and just 5k on the clock. It is truly an incredibly accomplished & enjoyable ride. Perfect blend of performance and function. I've had the Whiteline 20mm Sway bar fitted which now feels like a giant WRX on tight twisty highland roads. I run 17" Impreza WRX Alloys through the Winter months, fitted with very good Nokian WR SUV 3 Tyres. There are very few proper AWD's that can be so capable offroad and can do 0-60 in under 7 secs and cost less than Β£30k. Real world 35 MPG is comparable with diesel Audi Q5 (google honestjohns realmpg) . Subaru call the interior "rugged luxury" I see what they mean, comfort to sit on long drives but purposeful to throw a MTB in. I did flirt with Tiguan, Q5 & RR Evoque, but nothing comes close to Subaru for Full Time Permanent AWD and value for money with all of the great features included as standard. (Xenons, keyless entry, sunroof, etc) There's also paddle shift, 3 driving modes inc. Sport Sharp# that's on the STi! New offroad feature is X-Mode, Hill Descent control and Limited Slip Diff for climbing, see YouTube videos. XT also feels exclusive, hardly see any, its only been out a few months. 1st Service is Β£200.

Michael Sanderson, December 19th 2014

D X 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Like other readers I am at a loss to your two star rating, the Forester is excellent in just about all the important areas, Safety is top of it's class, visibility absolutely excellent and performance and handling well up with the best. Living with the Forester is easy, the interior is comfortable, roomy, practical and hard wearing and the whole car exudes an integrity of build that other makes sometimes struggle to emulate. Couple this with first rate fuel economy a true 48.9mpg after 10K and an excellent(if small) dealer network and this is vastly under rated car. Perhaps it fails on bling and soft touch plastics ( whatever they are!) but who cares?

Tony Bromley, November 5th 2014

XT 5dr Lineartronic

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

There are many so called professional reviews of this vehicle on the web and in the press and all I can say is that most of them clearly haven't driven or lived with the vehicle. It's different for sure. The 2.0ltr turbo is an excellent engine, smooth, refined, quiet and extremely rapid. It's almost too refined in a sense; it's one of those cars where you really don't feel like you're doing the speed. Handling is exceptional for a 4x4 with better ground clearance than a Freelander! Body role is minimal even at speed in tight corners and the ride, whilst active, some might describe it as alive, the seats and suspension really do isolate you from bounce. steering I'm not sure about. It's a nice practical interior, for a car of this nature - robust and durable, dependable. The power of the engine is immense; it's possible to spin all four wheels on tarmac (though not for long - the electronics soon get a grip) and in sport sharp mode, yes it's possible to feel a very small amount of torque steer under hard acceleration! The CVT Lineartronic gearbox is nothing like as bad as other reviews make out - it's just different. In fact once used to it, I think it's superb! Normal auto is relaxed and unfussy, sport mode is a good 6-speed auto or manual (flappy paddles make it fun) and sport sharp mode is an 8 speed manual. Good sat nav, the best wipers (small but important) and good headlamps. Only annoyance is wind noise around drivers door window. Otherwise, excellent sporty 4x4.

Nigel Smith, March 1st 2014

AWD 5dr [AWP]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG25 mpg

We bought our 2001/X reg Subaru Forester 2.0 AWD about three months ago. It had 133,000 miles on the clock and had a full service history(mostly Subaru). The car was in pretty good condition all round considering it's age and miles,and we decided, after two test drives, to buy it. Having previously owned a Freelander TD4,we knew the running costs would be higher on a 4x4,but so far taking into account it's a 2 litre petrol, it's been surprisingly economical. It drives extremely well,with good control through bendy roads,in fact it's as good as any car I've driven. What pleases us most about the car is the high spec,it has it all. Air con,cruise control,all electrics,heated front seats,and a huge panoramic sunroof - and the best bit is even after ten years it all still works perfectly.Try asking a Land Rover owner if they can say the same! It may not be the best looking car on the road,but who cares.It's a great family car and for less than Β£2000 you can't buy better.

paul rollings, dorset, September 10th 2011

D X 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Test drove the new Forester over the weekend. I've looked at most of the competition in this category recently and was extremely impressed. The cabin is roomy and the seats very supportive. Switchgear is clear and well positioned and feels good quality. There's decent room in the back and the back seats fold flat to increase the load space. On the road, the diesel engine pulls well up hills and there's relatively little road noise at 75mph on the motorway. The steering is a little light and there's some body roll through the corners, but otherwise it's a very comfortable ride. Overall, an extremely impressive vehicle for the money.

Martin Nunn, Lancashire, February 2nd 2009

X 5dr [AWP]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

looked for a very practical all purpose vehicle that would be usefu in London and in Wales fr a multitude of uses Tried a Subaru in N.Z. where they are really common -for obvious reasons, practical go anywhere cars. I was duely impressed. Purchased a Forester 2.0x all weather. Never looked back. The car has been totally reliable and offers safety, great load space, good performance and comfort. Servicing costs reasonable (after owning a Saab 9000). Fuel consumption is reasonable, but decided to get an LPG conversion - now does the equivalent cost wise to 50+ mpg, plus reduced parking fees and road tax! Have recouped the fitting costs in 2 yrs. A really reliable functional vehicle. Would certanly recommend and will no doubt replace with the same when the time comes.

Chris Hall, December 4th 2008

XT Cloth 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG26 mpg

This is my second Forester, my first was a 53 2.0X AWP which was brilliant this one a 56 plate has the Prodrive Performance Package. The review of this car is not entirely accurate the Forester has the same ground clearance as the Landrover Freelander. Running costs are acceptable when you consider the performance available. The car will leave any Porsche Boxster, BMW X5 in it's wake and any current "hot hatch" 0-62 comes in just over five seconds but to look at it you would never know a real stealth car. The radio in the later models is vastly better than the earlier models. The inside is not top class but it will last for ever unlike a BMW X5 it will not start to fall apart as soon as you leave the showroom. In terms of reliability it is bomb proof and the dealer I use CVC Cardiff are first class. If you are buying a car that you intend to hold on to for the long term it is one of the very few I would consider. Forget the premium brands. Take a look on www.honestjohn.co.uk and there is virtually nothing concerning faults on the Forester from 02-08. Look at the faults for the new Freelander and you would never consider buying one unless you are totally mad.

Jonathan Evans, October 10th 2008

X 5dr [AWP]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG33 mpg

Have had it fora year and put 26000 miles on the clock. Far morereliable than my Passat 1.9tdi 130, and despite the lowerfual economy, coss less to run as it's servicing is very reasonable, and as it's so simple and reliable, any problems are easy to fix and invariably cheaper than the main dealer issues with the techno hungry VW. I've a family - there's tons of room for 2 boys and a week worth of kit for a trip to Center parcs. I ski - and have made it to and from Glencoe on snowbound (and closed) roads. I commute and it's not an unpleasant placeto be for 120 miles a day (although not as good as my old Saab 9-5) Wind and type noise is a bit intrusive on the motorway so do yourself a favour and fit a good stereo with a decent set of speakers - the factory issue stuff is the pits.

Daryn Piper, Glasgow, October 9th 2008

X 5dr [AWP]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

I love driving this car - its smooth engine is a dream - I've thrown it around all over the place and it doesn't miss a beat. Some of the reviews have said it's got poor legroom in the back but I don't agree, they should see my husband's Audi A4 if they want lack of legroom! It's fantastic for carrying the kids and dogs around in a non-flashy, safe and ultra-reliable vehicle. It is a 4x4 but just looks like a good old estate. I've had mine for 18 months now and have only had routine services; nothing has needed replacement. Truly impressive.

Louise Butler, Somerset, July 1st 2008

XEn 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG26 mpg

Second review after 6 months and 5000 miles. Averages 25 - 28 mpg, which is mainly short urban commutes. 31-34 mpg on a good run. Everything still works well and the engine is loosening up. Feels a bit slow though next to my 2.2 Civic. The most irritating aspect of the Forester is a constant rattle from the boot area. It will be investigated at a dealer's soon. It spoils an otherwise great car

Stuart Walton, N Lincs, May 19th 2008

XT 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I love my Forester. Handles more like a sports car than a 4x4 station wagon. Roomy inside but small outside, actually shorter and narrower than a 3 series BMW. Looks big but easy to park and a joy to toss around on Hong Kong's twisty, narrow mountain roads. Lots of treats inside like a huge sunroof, conveneint in-dash 6 CD player, plently of storage, four cup holders, cruise and fully automated climate control. The mediocre Yokohama tires are the weak link. Get some good wheels and premium tires suited for the car's intented use. I have 235/50 Eagles on 17x7.5 wheels.

David Werner, December 30th 2007

XT 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is a fantastic car if you got the 2.5 turbo model. It is fun to drive and exremely fast, it is comfortable, it can use its 4x4 forrest, snow etc), it got a lot of extras included which cost a lot in other cars (sun roof, gps, cruise control, leather seats, clima control etc). It use a lot of gas - but if you consider it has 4x4 and its 5.9 sek/60 pph then it is fair. Subaru Forester 2.5xt - try it - I just love it.

Christian Christian, November 25th 2007

XC 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is the second one we've had from new - the first was faultless for 50,000 miles and the second has done over 80,000 (two lightbulbs have needed replacing and now one of the instrument panel bulbs needs replacing - not bad!). Great fun to drive on country roads, I suspect more fun than the turbo which may be too powerful to use the full performance. Brilliant day to day car, very flexible, great fun. The low range gears have been useful towing off road on occasion. Downsides - 4 wheel drive makes it fairly thirsty - about 28-30mpg, 350 miles or so range on a tank. Cruising at over an indicated 80mph (where legal of course) gets noisy and the engine gets more thirsty. My wife also finds the seats unsupportive on long runs. Overall much more praise than criticism though!

Mike Hargrove, November 13th 2007

X Plus 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I own this car and I love it. It is cheap to run, indestructible and above all fantastic fun to drive. I don't have the turbo 2.5, because I want to keep my licence. The steering is superb, it goes like it is on rails, and has never, ever missed a beat. If I compare this to our other car, an Audi A6 quattro, the A6 has better equipment and goes like stink, but the Forester corners better, and will keep going if a fuse or light bulb goes. All of this goes to show that the reviewer at What Car is biased against Subaru or the Forester, or cannot perform simple arithmetical calculations. He or she only gives it 2 x 2-stars, but 3 x 4-stars. The rest are all threes. How do you end up with a 2-star overall? Subjective points for style? A lobotomy? In addition, how can you give a 3-star for security to one of the few manufacturers to fit Thatcham grade-1 devices as standard?

ross denton, October 30th 2007

X 5dr [AWP]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Just bought my 05 plate Forester last weekend, with only 4000 miles on it from new, and I'm absolutely won over! Lovely to drive with a raised driving position, the turbine-like flat four spools up beautifully. Lots of kit and with that huge sunroof, the whole cabin is light and airy: the frameless doors are light to open yet shut with a satisfying thunk. Steering is light and the brakes are powerful. Plenty of cargo space in the rear and there are cubby holes everywhere. My advice is buy one!

Clive Pater, Ceredigion, September 9th 2007

XTE 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This car is quick and handles well but still has wheel travel, tows, self-levels, 4wd and is clean underneath (no suspension arms to hit rocks). It also carries lots of gear. Okay, the seats are short on cushion. Light foot fuel consumption is good, otherwise it's average. The steering wheel could do with extension adjustment. The delightful motor deserves another gear in both manual and auto. This car has engineering integrity and I cannot believe the two star rating.

Robert Black, July 7th 2007

X 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

First of all I have to say I am an Australian and our fuel prices are currently about 50 pence a litre and with fuel being more expensive in the UK this may be an important point for Uk people. We bought our X model Forester new in 2005 and we have previously owned a new E series Mercedes (which was awful), an Audi and various other cars. The Forester is a great car, it drives well, feels solid, and has been 100% reliable. With 45,000 kms on the clock it actually seems to be going better than ever, it feels more powerful. Nothing has fallen off or rattles (unlike the Mercedes). In Australia, Monash University looked at real fatalities from road accidents. The Forester was the car least likely to be involved in a fatal accident if one did occur (i.e., if an accident did occur the driver, passengers (and pedestrians if hit) were the most likely to survive) compared with all other cars in Australia. I only have two niggles. One, with a big child's car seat my son kicks the back of my seat. Two, it doesn't look pretty but in a way that adds to its charm, it has no pretentious side to it. I love it and will be replacing it with the 2008 WRX which is even ugglier- Subaru seem to want to test their buyers, if you care more about what you drive than how you look, they are great cars!

Mark Kebbell, June 10th 2007

XE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This car is superb to drive - it's an improvement on the previous 2.0 X All Weather (which was good). Handling is excellent and running costs are OK if you are careful. The interior is much improved, and the seven-speaker audio system with steering wheel controls is very good. The only downside for most seems to be the lack of a diesel option, which I feel somehow misses the point. Overall, it's a very good, highly individual car with a satisfyingly anonymous image. The two-star rating by What Car? seems somewhat anomalous, though.

Steven Brooks, Norfolk, June 5th 2007

X 5dr [AWP]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is not a 2.0X but an 02 2.0-litre Sport. I decided to change it as it was getting on a bit. It never let me down while I owned it, but I fancied a change. I now miss it as it was an excellent car (although fuel consumption wasn't great). It was very quiet at motorway speeds, and had excellent road holding for an estate 4x4. It was very torquey, with no need to change gears very often to overtake. It also had excellent luggage capacity. Make sure you get bonnet and headlight protectors as they get chipped with stones.

scott rae, June 3rd 2007

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