While more and more buyers seem to be opting for the functionality of car-based crossover vehicles every day, it's rare that your read much in the way of passionate praise for one. And, while Consumer Reports doesn't exactly lavish written paeans on the Subaru Forester in its latest review – that's just not its style – it did give the CUV a remarkably high overall score.

Praising its excellent fuel economy, visibility, roomy interior and a whole lot more, the testing publication bestowed an overall score of 88 out of 100 on the Forester. That's a really excellent number for just about any vehicle, but it's also a top-of-the-class mark for the Forester's small CUV division. Just about the only major gripe was that of ride quality.

Most of the direct competitors to the Forester have earned CR marks in the mid-70s. The Honda CR-V is some 11 points behind, for instance, while the Toyota RAV4 and the Mazda CX-5 earn scores of 75 and 74, respectively.


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  • 61 Comments
      Drakkon
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they do not like the ride, do what I did and replace the rear anti-roll bar with the WRX STI version. Amazing difference. The way they should have shipped it in the first place. Especially for the turbo models.
        Gordon Chen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drakkon
        Drakkon you seem to forget the demographic of this car. It's NOT canyon carvers.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drakkon
        I am going to guess that when CR said they didnt like the ride, they meant the ride was too rough. The addition of a thicker anti-roll bar would make the ride even rougher.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drakkon
        Why would they want to do that? You don,t buy a brand new car to start switching parts like that, especially on a family car. You want it to be perfect out of the box.
          E85 450HP Forester
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          I wholeheartedly disagree, I get everything, Z06 performance, AWD, utility.
        Steve
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drakkon
        The XT already has larger sway bars than the NA Forester. It also has pillow balls from the STi and a much better suspension than the NA model. I find it handles very well, your 05 would likely not have handled this well, even with mods. Right out if the box it has a lower center of gravity than any previous Forester.
      NightFlight
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well the new Forester just placed last in Car and Driver's most recent comparison test. The CX-5 with the new 2.5 Skyactiv won first place, and it would be my choice as well. The new Forester just doesn't do anything for me, it is the "Camry" of CUVs, even more boring than Toyota's own RAV4.
        Shahul X
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NightFlight
        It's what I just bought... not a fan of the CVT...Ive owned 3 Subarus before inclusing a Forester Sports XT manual and a Outback Xt manual.... so I like subbies but the new CVT kills it... I like teh way it looks though but in the end I will take the on road dynamics of the CX5
          godwhomismike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shahul X
          What dissuades me from the CX5 is the unknown about how it is in the snow. Seems like every single auto journalist only reviews the CX5 on curvy dry roads, and scores it high based on its sports car handling. I jumped into a \'11 Sportage SX (AWD) because it was the fastest ~ $30K small SUV on the road (260 hp and 269 lb ft torque in a 3400 lb vehicle). I can tell you from my personal experience that the Kia/Hyunda AWD absolutely sucks in the snow. Before the Sportage SX, I had a \'09 Forester XT Limited. I could drive the FXT through the worst of the worst of blizzards and it never once ever got me stuck for even a second. The Sportage has gotten me stuck on a bunch of occasions, even in 2-3 inches of snow. As much as I respect the Mazda for its sportscar handling, I need to know exactly what it is able to do and not do in the snow. I don\'t need another vehicle that is terrible in the winter in the mountains. Even on all of the miles of curvy roads begging to be carved, I still got 3-4 months of snow to contend with, and that is something I need to keep in mind as a shopper.
        dinobot666
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NightFlight
        The Forester wasn't even included in that test. http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2013-ford-escape-vs-2012-honda-cr-v-2012-hyundai-tucson-2012-kia-sportage-2013-mazda-cx-5-2012-toyota-rav4-comparison-test
          godwhomismike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dinobot666
          The June issue of Car and Driver issues includes the Forester. It scored last. Apparently, no consideration was given to its superior snow handling.
          NightFlight
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dinobot666
          Wrong comparo, guy. Check June's issue, it isn't online yet. No idea why people are upvoting you....
        Chris Bangle
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NightFlight
        The 2.5i placed 2nd in MotorTrend's comparison behind the CX-5 but ahead of the the Escape and Rav4. The XT placed ahead of the Escape.
        Lab Rat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @NightFlight
        The Forester is 100% about functionality. Have them test a stripper XT model against the rest of that schlock.
      Radioactive Flea
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah, there is nothing like CVT\'s, cheap interiors and razor thin sheet metal for 30k.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Radioactive Flea
        Come now- that could apply to pretty much every car on the market today.
      Jesus!
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is anyone really surprised? Does anyone really care CR opinion?
      Clock
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't get me wrong. Front wheel drive is disadvantageous in most situations. I still have to wince when see a 176 HP nearly 4,000 lb vehicle still finding it necessary to have all wheel drive. Its a brilliant car regardless, but without having a freaknish need for what the Forester offers, the Toyota Rav4 is suitable in almost every other aspect. Between the Forester and Rav4, no other 4 cylinder SUV/CUVs compare in practicality.
        dinobot666
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Clock
        Nearly 4000 pounds? You're just rounding up 3366 to the nearest number I take it? Even in its heaviest form, the XT, it tips in at a reasonable 3651 pounds, but with 250 hp on tap.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Clock
        The need for all-wheel drive has nothing to do with how heavy or light a car is. If the conditions require AWD, then you need AWD.
      the.fog
      • 1 Year Ago
      Of course they did! Subaru is controlled by Toyota now. Naturally their models get wrapped the "God's gift to all cars" CR verbiage that Toyota has enjoyed since their inception. I bet it's DAMN reliable too! (Mind you, before they even have stats to prove said claim)
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @the.fog
        nissan previusly own 20% it was sold , and Gm bought 20% and it was sold and now toyota owns 20%(actual 16.5%) they do not control subaru, subaru make their own engines and get auto transmission from Jatco a division of nissan.
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just wish Subaru would finally use a half decent NAV system.. the ones in their current cars are just so junky looking. Can't they design something half way decent!
        dinobot666
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        Agreed here 100%. I'd rather have a car without factory nav to be honest. Aftermarket systems are cheaper and are portable to other vehicles.
        EvilTollMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        It's called opt out of the overpriced $1500 nav option and just get a $80 nav unit or use your phone.
          piggybox
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EvilTollMan
          Google map is pretty awesome and free. I can't imagine anyone rational paying $1000+ for GPS nowadays.
          beman03
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EvilTollMan
          Depending on what trim level you want you can't opt out. If I want HID's on the Subaru I have no choice but to get Nav. Same with my CX-5.
          Lab Rat
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EvilTollMan
          beman: You'd be amazed what a good dealership will do for you if you ask.
        Seminole
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        Not that my CX-5's navigation system is "industry leading" by any stretch, but there is no way I could live with the radio interface in the Subaru. When I test drove both, the Subaru's touch screen felt like an after thought at best. The CX-5's was well designed and easy to use. MyFord Touch in the Escape was still the most visibly impressive, but even during the test drive it was a little laggy, and I decided I want to stay away from it considering all the issues that Edmunds has had with it in their long term cars.
      Boogaloo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just hate that the grey interior is now mostly black! If I wanted black carpet, I'd get a black interior. Can we go back to the all grey interior please - for those that want it, of course!
      mylexicon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Consumer Reports: Consummate Defenders of the Road-Going Toaster I'm sure the Forester is a good car and CR are on the money, but I've never seen any institution have such frequent have a cargasms over characterless, unremarkable appliances.
        Steve
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        I guess CRP just doesn't care so much about glitzy styling and would prefer to not die in a car crash, to each his own. Their slant is obviously safety and usability.
        Snark McGee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        they had a cargasm over the new boxster and it is their top roadster pick.
          Mike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Snark McGee
          I have one. Trust me. Every ounce a Porsche and more fun than the 911's I have had.
        blackhawk047
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        That's because they like PRACTICAL cars unlike those overpriced overpowered kiddie cars. You know the ones that give some guys erections because they can go 250 MPH even though there is NO where in the country you can DO that legally and only an IDIOT would try on public roads. I'll stick to my Outback, gets me there just as FAST as a Porsche, unless, of course, you are breaking THE LAW.
      Poughb
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have had the 2014 Forester XT for a month now. I was a loyal Toyota owner. It's a great car,tons of power and I average 24mpg. Can't wait for it to snow.
      Juan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have an 09\' Forester and this is by far the best vehicle I\'ve ever owned. In the past I\'ve owned Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Honda and Mazda (Mazda second best). For an all wheel drive the ride is smooth, I get about 22 mph in city and 27.6 mph hwy. I change the oil every 3 months if it needs it or not, I make sure I take it in for it services as schedule and this vehicle feels like I just drove it off the showroom. I don\'t recommend a Subaru for everyone but if you buy one you won\'t be disappointed.
      Steven
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wouldn't use Crp
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