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Subaru Forester (2008–2013)

Last updated 7 December 2018

Good compromise between a station wagon and an SUV. Now available with 2.0 litre chain cam 'boxer' diesel engine.
New prices are expensive. Interior quality lags behind Volkswagen, Nissan and Ford.
Updated 7 December 2018

Report of failure of reverse gear of February 2011 Subaru Forester boxer diesel in July 2013, then again in June 2016.

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Third generation Subaru Forester is a 4x4 without the bulk. It strikes a great compromise between a traditional estate and a small off-roader, like a Toyota RAV-4 or Nissan X-Trail.

Take it off-road and you can see why it's so popular with buyers who live in rural or remote locations - it'll cope with just about anything that's thrown at it from icy or snowy roads to seemingly unpassable dirt tracks. 

Power comes from a pair of Subaru's legendary 'boxer' flat engines and - for the first time - one of them is a diesel. It's been worth the wait, too, as it pulls well, will return almost 50mpg on the motorway and still retains the chracterful 'boxer burble' that owners have come to expect from Subaru's engines.

Inside, it's spacious, there's a good sized boot and comes with all the creature comforts you'd expect from this sort of car, from climate control and heated seats, to satellite navigation on top models.

A mild 2010 facelift brought a number of small improvements, including a redesigned instrument cluster, instantaneous MPG display on clock, suspension upgrades for better roadholding, standard alloys on 2.0X, one-touch folding rear seats on XS and XC and a reversing camera and Bluetooth with handsfree connectivity on 2.0D XS NavPlus.

Read how the Forester performed when it was set a unique challenge

Owners' reviews

Highly recommended all-wheel drive for rough and every-day use, with comfort and economy.
subaru reputation for good towing and transmission ruined by an ill matched engine and gearbox
List Price from £25,380
Buy new from £24,046
Contract hire from £386.27 per month

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