Flash Drive: 2010 Subaru Forester
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
A little goes along way with the new Forester. A little bigger, a little more stylish, a little less quirky all combine to make the Forester a real competitor in the segment. Interior design is clean, simple and well-executed, with a nice choice of materials to add a level of style but not at the expense of functionality. Everything is where it should be and easy to use. The Forester drives well, with a good balance of ride versus handling, and the 2.5-liter boxer engine does an adequate job, but it's hard not to long for the more powerful turbo version. The 5-speed manual transmission might be a good idea if you spend a lot of time on the road — it's rated at 2 mpg more than the automatic on the highway — but I would recommend the optional 4-speed automatic. Around town, the manual requires a lot of work to keep the engine in the power band, and the automatic is nearly as good on gas. I hope Subaru adds the excellent new continuously variable transmission from the Legacy as an option. –Mike Meredith
The Forester is all grown up — it's not just a wagon anymore. With higher ground clearance and plenty of space, it easily competes with other crossovers on the market, such as the Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-7. Our test Forester was the well-equipped Premium trim equipped with Subaru's fuel-efficient, clean-running 4-cylinder engine. While I averaged more than 21 mpg in mostly city driving, the 170-horsepower engine has to work pretty hard to move this not-so-small crossover. Our test car was equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission, which did manage to squeeze out as much performance as possible. Fuel mileage is even more impressive when you take into account the large cargo space and roomy rear seat, as well as the full-time all-wheel drive. Priced below $25,000, the Forester is an excellent value and should definitely be included on any crossover shopping list. –Perry Stern
The Subaru Forester is the most utilitarian offering available from Subaru. The spacious interior borders on sparse; the space between the seats and the "upright" feel give the impression that the Forester would be as comfortable on the farm as in the city. With so little upholstery, the Forester can be noisy on the inside. The engine is adequate to the task but sounds a little coarse when stretched. As the Legacy and Outback almost match the Forester feature-for-feature at the same price, only the extra storage space in the Forester causes it to stand out. I much prefer the extra sophistication and feeling of quality in the Legacy or Outback. –Paul Hagger