The original Forester was essentially a tall, all wheel drive station wagon. It came out in the late 90's to compete in what was then an up and coming segment called compact sport utility vehicles. Since then, Subaru has developed a loyal following for the Forrester. In 2009, the Forester got a complete redesign. This improved it in almost all respects. Larger dimensions in almost every direction were another outcome of the redesign. The Forester is a more car like SUV than some. It rides and handles well on the road, but the tradeoff is less off road prowess.
The current Forester is a 5 passenger compact SUV with two engine choices. The base engine is a 2.5 liter horizontally opposed four cylinder engine, which puts out 170 HP and 170 ft. - lbs. of torque. A turbocharged version of the same engine is also available. This one capable of generating 224 Hp and 226 ft.-lbs. of torque. The lower end models offer a 5 speed manual or a four speed automatic transmission. The higher end models only offer the automatic. All wheel drive is standard on all models.
Bodystyles: Crossover SUV
Engines: 2.5L H-4, 2.5L turbocharged H-4
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual
Models: 2.5X, 2.5X Premium, 2.5X Limited, 2.5XT Premium and 2.5XT Limited
For the 2011 Subaru Forester, the biggest news is addition of the slightly updated 2.5-liter H-4 to all 2.5X models, which has been massaged in order to slightly improve fuel efficiency. The engine's torque has increased slightly to 174 pound-feet, although horsepower remains the same at 170. The 2011 models also get a new audio system and backup camera setup depending on trim level, in addition to an optional, removable, 4.3-inch Tom Tom navigation system.
The Forester has always been a clean, sleek looking vehicle, but the most recent changes have made it even better. The Forester now has a slightly more rugged look while still maintaining the character it has always had.
The Subaru Forester's interior has a modern look and feel to it but some of the materials feel a bit on the low end side. The clever packaging gives you plenty of room for passengers and cargo. The 2011 models also get several new changes to interior entertainment, including a new audio system and backup camera setup which is available depending on trim level. A removable, 4.3-inch Tom Tom navigation system is also an option depending upon trim. Bluetooth is now standard on all but the base model
Performance & Handling
2011 Subaru Forester gets the slightly updated 2.5-liter H-4 for all 2.5X models, which has been massaged in order to slightly improve fuel efficiency. The engine's torque has increased slightly to 174 pound-feet, although horsepower remains the same at 170. The XT gets the turbocharged version of the same engine but power bumps up to 224 hp and 226 lb-ft. Unfortunately you can only get the outdated four-speed auto in the XT.
The Forester features four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist, dual front, side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, airbag occupancy sensor, stability and traction control, full time all-wheel drive.
EPA Fuel Economy
2.5X: 20-21 mpg city/ 26-27 mpg highway
2.5XT: 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway
- Nice styling
- Spacious interior
- Capable off-raod
- Smooth on-road
You Won't Like
- Four-speed automatic
- Average interior materials
- Acceptable fuel economy
Quality crossover needs a bit more improvement
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota RAV4
- Honda CR-V
- Nissan Rogue
- Suzuki Grand Vitara