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Subaru Forester (2013–)

Last updated 13 May 2019

Kerb weight 1477–1622 kg
Warranty 5 years / 100000 miles
Servicing 12,000 miles

Full specifications


Subaru makes a big deal of its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which is standard on all Foresters. Not only does it provide some extra peace of mind in poor weather conditions, but it also works very well off-road, making the Forester a smart buy for drivers based in very remote, rural areas.

There are three engine choices – a 2.0-litre petrol with either 150PS or 241PS or and a 2.0-litre diesel with 147PS. The 241PS petrol is restricted to the high-performance XT model and only comes with a Lineartronic CVT, so is a very niche choice that some Subaru aficionados will appreciate, but that most are best off avoiding.

The entry-level 150PS petrol is a is a decent engine that comes with a manual as standard or with an optional CVT. It produces enough torque to keep up with traffic, plus it isn’t too bad when it comes to fuel economy and emissions when you consider its all-wheel drive capability – but the diesel is better.

It isn’t the quietest diesel engine in the world but with 350Nm of torque it’s responsive on the move, pulling well out of bends and making light work of overtaking. Official economy for the auto is 46.3mpg, while the manual is officially capable of 49.6mpg – and Subaru models tend to do well in Real MPG, so those numbers are realistic.

All of the engine variants are four-cylinder boxers – a Subaru trademark. The advantage of a boxer layout is its low centre of gravity, which helps improve handling through bends. It’s effective, giving the Forester very impressive levels of grip and excellent body control through corners despite its tall SUV body.

The ride quality is quite good, tackling potholes, speed bumps and uneven road surfaces without much drama – but refinement could be better. The diesel engine can be quite coarse when pushed and on the motorway the large mirrors create some wind noise. It’s not terrible but could certainly be better.

Capable though it is, it isn’t the most enjoyable car to drive – the steering isn’t very nicely weighted and lacks feel, while the manual transmission is quite clunky. The impressively smooth CVT improves things, though – and is easy to recommend, since it suits the Forester so well.

Unlike other CVTs, the Subaru Lineartronic has pre-programmed steps, so when accelerating hard it acts like a traditional torque converter auto. The rest of the time it behaves like a typical CVT. So when driving at normal town speeds or cruising the motorway it’s very quiet and relaxed, plus its effect on fuel economy isn’t huge. 


Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
2.0 D Automatic 46–50 mpg 9.9 s 117–119 mph 158 g/km
2.0D 50 mpg 10.2 s 118 mph 150–156 g/km
2.0i 41 mpg 10.6 s 118 mph 160 g/km
2.0i Lineartronic 33–44 mpg 7.5–11.8 s 119–137 mph 150–197 g/km
List Price from £25,380
Buy new from £24,046
Contract hire from £426.34 per month

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