The Subaru Forester is a practical all-wheel-drive SUV with a good reputation for reliability. Despite the tall ride it has car-like handling but can negotiate tracks and trails better than most of its competitors. It received a facelift last year that includes new-look headlamps, tail-lights and bumpers.
The entry level Forester 2.0i-L has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and manual gearbox and features a good range of standard features, including a 7-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, dual zone air-conditioning, leather trim steering wheel, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels and roof rails.
The 2.5i-L has the same standard features but a more powerful 2.5-litre petrol engine with CVT auto. The provision of Subaru’s “X-mode” traction control helps when venturing off-road or driving in slippery conditions.
The 2.0D-L carries the same equipment as the 2.0i-L, but with a 2.0-litre diesel engine instead of a petrol. Transmission choice covers a six-speed manual or CVT auto, though manuals miss out on X-mode tech.
The mid-spec 2.5i-S brings satellite navigation, leather trim, heated and power-adjustable front seats, an electric tailgate, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, dusk-sensing LED headlights that swivel into corners and 18-inch alloys. It also comes with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system that includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and active cruise control. It’s powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine with CVT auto.
The 2.0D-S is the diesel version of the 2.5i-S and shares most of its features, however, none of the diesel variants come equipped with EyeSight – an unusual omission.
The Forester XT has a more powerful 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and shares the feature set of the 2.5i-L, including a standard-issue automatic gearbox and X-Mode. Other XT highlights include a power-adjustable driver's seat and the swivelling LED headlamps from the 2.5i-S.
The Forester XT Premium has all the 2.5i-S’s luxury features plus Active Torque Vectoring, which improves drive in corners by directing more power to the outside tyres to improve grip.
- Forester 2.0i-L petrol, manual - $30,340
- Forester 2.5i-L petrol, CVT - $33,240
- Forester 2.0D-L diesel, manual - $33,740
- Forester 2.0D-L diesel, CVT - $35,740
- Forester 2.0D-S diesel, manual - $39,490
- Forester 2.5i-S petrol, CVT - $39,740
- Forester 2.0D-S diesel, CVT - $41,470
- Forester XT petrol, CVT - $41,240
- Forester XT Premium petrol, CVT - $48,240
They’re all pretty good, but the 2.0D-L in CVT auto form is the pick of the range. It’s at home in the city and country and offers good performance with excellent average fuel economy of 6.3L/100km, which means greater range than its petrol counterparts. For a country cruiser, it’s the pick.
If you want more luxury inclusions then you can make a solid argument for the 2.0D-S, though the 2.5i-S is a better choice given its stronger suite of active safety features, not to mention its lower pricetag.
- Reverse sensors - $863.53
- Rear and front corner multi-function parking sensors - $1491.54
How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FWD vs RWD vs AWD – which is the safest kind of car?
With so many drivetrains in the market to choose from, powering either the front wheels, the rear wheels, or both ends... which setup is right for you?
Buying your first brand-new car from a dealer – the dos and don’ts
Buying a brand-new car from a dealer can be a daunting experience, so here's a few pointers
New electric vehicles coming to Australia in 2021
The EV revolution is gaining strength in Australia, which means greater diversity and choices