New for 2015The Subaru Forester adds a rearview camera and color multi-function display as standard equipment for 2015. XT models get the All Weather package as standard equipment, and manual-equipped 2.5i models with the Premium package get a moonroof.
Vehicle OverviewThe Subaru Forester is a two-row crossover that features lots of utility and sports a pair of flat-four engines paired with standard all-wheel drive. In price, the Forester fits alongside the XV Crosstrek but below the Outback.
SummaryThe 2015 Subaru Forester is powered by a 2.5-liter flat-four that produces 170 hp and 174 lb-ft, which is paired with a six-speed manual or a CVT. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22/29 mpg city/highway with the manual, and 24/32 mpg with the CVT. Drivers hoping for more “sport” with their sport-utility vehicle can opt for the turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four found in XT models, which produces 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is paired exclusively with a CVT.
The 2015 Forester's options includes heated front seats, one-touch folding rear seats, a power rear liftgate with height memory, hands-free keyless access with push-button start, dual-zone climate control, voice-controlled navigation, an eight-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, leather seats, and reclining rear seats. Subaru, however, has gone all-out in the safety department, with standard brake assistance and a rearview camera on all models, and the available EyeSight suite of safety tech that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure assist, and sway warning functions.
As you'd expect of a crossover with such so many available safety technologies, the 2015 Subaru Forester received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA and is considered a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS; the highest possible marks for both organizations.
What We ThinkThe 2015 Subaru Forester is a capable yet unassuming crossover. It’s not the prettiest vehicle on the road, nor is it the most exciting, but it’s consistent. In a review of a 2014 Subaru Forester XT Touring we said, “The driving dynamics are nothing to write home about, but they remain consistent no matter the weather or how much stuff you've packed inside.” One editor took another Forester for a longer drive (a 2014 Forester 2.5i Premium with a manual!) and said, “I got about 23 mpg on the first half of my 300-mile round trip last weekend and managed to get that up to 25 mpg on the return, going about 77-80 mph on the freeway. In addition to the excellent forward visibility … the rear visibility is also impressive, as is over-the-shoulder right rear visibility. This is most definitely not the case with most small crossovers. The seats are very comfortable, and the seat heaters are excellent.” The editor noted the rearview camera’s screen was rather small, but conceded “it’s better than nothing.”
Another editor commented on the Forester's improved interior and, for now, manual-transmission availability: “Both the materials and the fit and finish seem a step above what we've seen in the 2013 Impreza. As someone who lives on dirt roads, regularly encounters four-plus inches of snow in the winter, hauls a fair amount of cargo, but also needs an economical daily driver, a compact crossover makes a lot of sense. There are plenty of choices in this segment, but as an unabashed manual fan, the Forester may be one of the few to make my short list.”
- Available manual transmission
- Composed handling, no matter the conditions
- Great outward visibility
You Won’t Like
- Bland exterior
- CVT saps excitement from the available turbo engine
- Can get pricey with XT models
- Ford Escape
- Honda CR-V
- Kia Sportage
- Toyota RAV4
- Mazda CX-5