Earlier examples of Subaru's venerable Forester enjoyed and struggled with one issue: a cult-like following. When manufacturers or critics refer to such a following, they're inferring that the vehicle was much-loved by few and bought by those very same few. Now, to be honest, the Forester sold in relatively healthy numbers. Subaru was looking for something more with the latest Forester. No longer indirectly competing with the Subaru Legacy-based Outback, the Forester is more SUV-like in its styling and design.
Attempting to appeal to the masses hasn't been one of Subaru's fortes. Fortunately, Subaru didn't leave their genuine specialties behind. Strong on-road dynamics are paired with a unique engine configuration. All-wheel drive isn't an option - how disgusting would that be? Equipment levels aren't luxurious, but at a base price under $20K, you best not be expectin' hedonism. Nay, gaining pleasure from the Forester is a process best discovered in using the Forester. Load it up, exit the driveway, and head for a twisty road if you please. No joke.
Turbocharge your Forester if you like. Fuel economy is barely altered but power jumps way up to a level that seems appropriate for a vehicle in this class. In fact, Forester horses are significantly more powerful beasts than expected. Truthfully, the Forester is still a tall wagon. Subaru brought the Forester into the mainstream this time; but hasn't completely turned off the taps in the sub-stream.
Engines: 170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque from a 2.5L boxer four-cylinder or 224 horsepower and 226 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged 2.5L boxer four-cylinder
City Mileage: 19-20 miles per gallon
Base USD Price: $19,995
Cargo Capacity: 63-68.3 cubic feet behind front row
Towing Capability: 2,400 pounds