The Subaru Forester is the closest thing Subaru has ever had to a home run in America. As others have already said, it's also about the most non-descript Subaru ever. This isn't a coincidence. Enthusiasts and Subaru owners may have loved the quirky looks and features of past Subarus, but the general public certainly didn't pay much attention. Now the Forester is a bit of a bore and it should be up for an award or two for improving sales so much during this economic disaster.
Why does it sell so well? Subarus are dependable, safe, affordable, and reasonably fuel-efficient given the fact every one of them is driving all four wheels all the time. There's also the backlash against SUVs for being gas guzzlers that are prone to roll over, yet a desire for the utility of such vehicles. This is Subaru's ace in the hole. With a variety of hatchbacks, wagons, and a pair of crossovers, the company has the right products at the right time. The Forester now looks like a mainstream crossover and is selling as such. The Tribeca is still a bit of an odd duck, as Don Sherman points out, and continues to sell as such. I can't wait to see sales figures for the redesigned Legacy and Outback after a few months.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor