Subaru Forester (2008 – 2013) Review

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Subaru Forester (2008 – 2013) At A Glance


+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.

Insurance Groups are between 19–24
On average it achieves 95% of the official MPG figure

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

Looking for a Subaru Forester (2008 - 2013)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Subaru Forester (2008 – 2013)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–55 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Why does my car stall when I slow down?
"I have a 2010 Subaru Forester diesel. It sometimes stalls when I'm slowing down. My local garage cannot find a fault. I started using Esso supreme diesel which seemed to work for a while but it has done it several times recently. Any ideas of possible causes?"
Reads like a blocked fuel filter.
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you suggest a second-hand, cheap, small 4x4 to tow a trailer?
"Can you suggest a second-hand, cheap, small 4x4 to tow a trailer? The car will be used for infrequent short journeys to pickup furniture, logs and building materials with the occasional longer trip. Ideally, I wish to spend less than £5000 and would like a car that has some interest with the potential to become a "classic"."
It sounds like a Land Rover Defender would tick all the boxes, but it has potential to be a money pit for £5000. A Subaru Forester would be an interesting alternative.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What is the best and cheapest DAB replacement for my present radio?
"What is the best and cheapest DAB replacement for the present radio in my Subaru Forester?"
Pulling your current radio out and replacing it isn't the best idea, so we'd go for an aftermarket DAB unit like the PURE Highway 600.
Answered by John Slavin
Brake discs and pads replacement after just two years?
"I have been advised that my two year old Subaru Forester's two year service that the brake discs and pads are in need of renewing as the discs are pitted. I have never had this problem with other motors. Can you advise me if this is acceptable or could there be a parts fault?"
Discs have been softer and pads harder with metallic content ever since asbestos was banned from brake pad material. That's why the discs are more prone to corrosion.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Subaru Forester (2008 – 2013) cost?