How Much is a Subaru Forester?

How Much is a Subaru Forester?

What's to love about the Subaru Forester? Plenty. Take your pick:

Its standard all-wheel-drive, its class-topping cargo space, a stellar fuel economy despite the fact that it’s an AWD vehicle and its versatility and reliability whether on or off the road.

Now in its fifth generation, over the years since its release in 1997 the Subaru Forester has trailed its way up the proverbial path to become one of the most popular models to come from the Japanese carmaker around the world.

Fun fact: Subaru actually is the oldest of all Japanese carmakers, having been founded in the early days of the global economic boom to follow World War II, in 1953, specifically. That means the company and its legacy predates domestic rivals like Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota.

Compared to its siblings, the Forester is a tad larger than the Subaru Crosstrek and slightly smaller than the Subaru Ascent, so if you're looking for a safe, reliable SUV that's neither micro nor macro, the Forester may be the perfect option for you.

The obvious selling points of the Subaru Forester include plenty of room for passengers and cargo, its easy-to-use infotainment system, exceptional fuel efficiency ratings and the fact that, as is the case with most Subaru models, all-wheel-drive is standard across the board.

In addition to achieving good gas mileage, the Forester also gives a polished ride and performs decently if and when the time comes to trail off the paved path.

And perhaps one the most iconic design features of the Forester is its raised ground clearance that measures close to nine inches. That's substantially higher than most other compact SUVs of its size, which means it's better suited than its rivals for off-road scenarios, especially when combined with the Forester's hill descent control and X-Mode traction enhancement features that are as available as optional add-ons.

What sort of engine options does the Subaru Forester offer?

Regardless of the trim, under the hood all Foresters sport the same equipment: a 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine with an automatic transmission. It provides sufficient pickup to reach the speed limit quickly enough but it's no power monster or anything. 

The Forester gives a smooth and poised ride, steers sharply and precisely and brakes responsively, but it's not as playful or perky as other compact SUVs.

It's important to remember that all Foresters feature AWD, as do most vehicles that wear the Subaru name badge, and that usually lowers a car's fuel economy by a mile or two per gallon. Nevertheless, as far as gas mileage goes, the Forester is actually on par with many of its FWD competitors and even outperforms many of its AWD rivals, with a fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the freeway.

What are the different trim options of the Subaru Forester?

Subaru offers the Forester in five different trims: base, Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring. With a starting price of $24,795, the base model Forester is neither the least nor the most costly option when compared to other compact SUVs.

It's worth noting that Subaru includes AWD as a standard feature on all Foresters regardless of their trim. That’s a perk for which other automakers usually charge extra, on average at least $1,000 if not more. 

The Premium trim starts at $27,795 and includes a panoramic roof, heated front seats, alloy wheels, reclinable back seats, push-button start, Subaru's X Mode with hill descent control and impressively ingenuitive smart headlights that pivot along with the steering wheel, allowing for better vision when taking turns after dark.

Next in line is the Sport trim, which starts at $29,395 and features paddle shifters, blind spot monitoring, lane change assistance, rear-cross-traffic alert and an additional two USB ports to make for a total of four connectivity docks in the cabin.

Stepping up to the $31,395 Limited edition brings leather upholstery, a power liftgate, dual-zone climate control and an enlarged 8-inch touchscreen.

Then there’s the top-tier Touring edition, which starts at just under $35,000. The price is slightly steeper than its competitors but includes the Forester's entire menu of otherwise add-on options, including heated back seats, a heated steering wheel, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and reverse automatic automatic braking. The Touring trim is also intelligently engineered to detect driver drowsiness, too.

What sort of interior cabin does the Subaru Forester have?

The Forester features a stylish cabin with plenty of high-quality materials. Although there are some harsh plastics in the mix, they don't dampen the car's overall sleek yet functional aesthetic.

The Subaru Forester accommodates up to five passengers comfortably without feeling crowded. Its cabin is fairly spacious for the class, with plenty of headspace and legroom in both rows that includes leeway for the driver to see clearly both in front of and behind the car. The Forester sports wide-opening back doors for getting in and out easily, too.

What's more, the Forester also boasts the most cargo space of any other contender in its class. The standard model is the most spacious, with 31.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats and 76.1 cubic feet with the back seats folded down. Other trims of the Forester come with cargo bays that are a tad less roomy, with 28.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 70.9 cubic feet with them folded down.

Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring (from $19,300)

Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring (from $19,300)
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Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring (from $19,300)
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What kind of tech features does the Subaru Forester have?

Standard on the Forester is Subaru's Starlink infotainment system, which is simple to use thanks to its 6.5-inch or 8-inch touchscreen and makes it quick and easy to access Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, HD radio, Bluetooth while behind the wheel. 

Other add-on features available on the Forester are a panoramic sunroof, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, a Wi-Fi hotspot and push-button start feature.

Subaru Forester Premium (from $26,500)

Subaru Forester Premium (from $26,500)
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Subaru Forester Premium (from $26,500)
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Free 7-day trial return
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How does the price of new Subaru Foresters compare to used ones?

These days, depending on the trim level, new Subaru Foresters start at just less than $25,000 but can cost up to about $35,000, such as is the case with the fully loaded Touring model.

Depending on the year and mileage, used Premium-level Foresters hover around the $25,000 mark but can start as low as $18,000.

Earlier-model Touring editions of the Forester can even go for less than that, often as little as $17,000.

So essentially, going the used route allows you to have an upper-tier Forester for significantly less than the price of a new base model.

If you’re still not sold on the Subaru, consider checking out the Jeep Cherokee, the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. All offer similar features and performance quality, albeit not necessarily all-wheel-drive. 

If you do decide to opt for the value of a used Forester after shopping around a bit, remember that Shift provides best-in-class service contracts at a fair price with no pressure to buy. That means you get the fantastic pricing and value of a used car with the same level of bumper-to-bumper protection of a new car, all with the click of a button from the comfort of your home.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team