Spending as little as possible will get you a Forester 2.0i-L, which has the 2.0-litre petrol engine, cloth seat trim, a manual gearbox, and 17-inch wheels.
Spend more for the 2.5i-L and you get the bigger petrol engine with an automatic gearbox. You also get X-Mode, which optimises the Forester’s stability and traction controls for driving at low speeds on loose and slippery surfaces. X-Mode will even restrain the speed of the car on steep downhill slopes, without help from the driver.
Spend more again for a 2.5i-S and you get, in addition, two suites of driver aids: EyeSight, and Vision Assist.
EyeSight brings you adaptive cruise control (which will slow you from your set cruising speed to follow slower vehicles on the highway, resuming when the way is clear). As well, you get auto emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, among other features.
Vision Assist helps you understand what is going on around your car. It includes a blind-spot monitor, a rear cross-traffic alert, and a side-view monitor.
The 2.5i-S also has satellite navigation, leather trim, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a driver’s seat that remembers your setting, and a tailgate that raises and lowers at the press of a button. Windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains. Headlights use very efficient and long-lasting LEDs, and switch on automatically when it gets dark. They also swivel to shine into corners as you turn the steering wheel. A smart key can be left safely in your pocket or bag while you unlock and start the car. And the wheel diameter rises to 18 inches, with the tyre sidewall shrinking to compensate.
You can also spend money on a diesel engine. The 2.0D-L is similarly equipped to the 2.0i-L. The more expensive diesel, the 2.0D-S, has most luxury features of the 2.5i-S. However, only automatic gearbox diesels have X-Mode, and only the 2.0D-S automatic has EyeSight and Vision Assist.
Finally, you can purchase a Forester with the most expensive engine, the very powerful turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol. The Forester XT has this engine and the features of the 2.5i-L, including the automatic gearbox and X-Mode. It also has a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and swivelling LED headlamps from the 2.5i-S.
The Forester XT Premium has the turbo petrol engine and all the features of the 2.5i-S. In addition, in February 2016 it became the only Forester to use Active Torque Vectoring, which improves drive in corners by directing more power to the tyre with more grip.