One of America's favorite midsize SUV crossovers, the Subaru Forester has been very lightly redesigned for 2015, with virtually all of the same features as the 2011. It is still a top choice for those who want the ruggedness of an SUV without compromising the amenities and handling of a vehicle for the city. With its 8.9-inch ground clearance, the Forester can still take you off the road and into the wild. It comes in a choice of six trims: The 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited, 2.5X Touring, 2.5XT Premium, and 2.5XT Touring; all models are priced between $20,000-30,000.
Forester's Engine, Efficiency and Safety
The Forester is available with either 4-cylinder or turbo 4-cylinder BOXER engines. The BOXER is specially designed to be horizontal and lower in the car, making the wheel base more stable, and therefore less likely to roll due to the lower center of gravity. The 2v5X models offer 170 horsepower and 21/27 mpg city/highway; the 2.5XT turbo models come with 224 horsepower. The tradeoff for the turbo's more robust performance is a slightly lower fuel efficiency of 19/24 mpg city/highway.
All 2015 Forester models come with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), a state-of-the-art system that helps to correct the course of the car based on steering and braking inputs. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system helps the Forester hold steady on wet roads. In the event of a collision, the Forester's ring-shaped reinforcement frame re-directs the force of impact away from the passengers. These are all great safety features, which family-oriented buyers will be especially pleased with.
Tiny Tweaks in the Forester
For the first time, the height of the front seat in the Forester is manually adjustable. The Limited and Touring models now feature optional touchscreen GPS and HD radio. And the carpet of the cargo area is now black no matter what the exterior color (go figure). The rear seats still fold down flat in a 60/40-split, expanding to a cargo area that is the envy of small SUVs.
The factory stereo system can be upgraded to a premium sound system featuring a USB port to plug in your favorite portable entertainment device, integrated iPod controls, Bluetooth wireless audio and phone capability, and up to seven speakers.
All in all, there have been few adjustments this year to what has long been a solid choice for drivers who, when it comes to deciding between a car and an SUV, simply refuse to choose.