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1998 Subaru Forester Review

The Car Connection Expert Review

Subaru of America is a car company on the move, and its all-new Forester is sure to move it even further down the road to success.

Internationally, this carmaker is well respected as a champion in the World Rally Cup races. In the United States, Subaru is respected as the manufacturer that now sells a lineup of all-wheel-drive models built for all-weather driving, recreational driving or performance driving. Record sales have been reported for the past two years, with Outback models the strongest sales leaders in its lineup.

Borrowing on this reputation and success, Subaru has successfully expanded its Outback line by creating what it calls the next "hybrid" of the world’s first sport-utility wagon: the Forester. A taller, stronger and more rugged-looking passenger car, the Forester is selling beyond Subaru of America’s wildest dreams and straining production runs.

With fewer rounded surfaces than the Outback, the Forester is essentially like its predecessor but supported by a shorter wheelbase that’s closer to that of the smaller Impreza Outback Sport. And further pushing the distance from the traditional SUV world is Forester’s government passenger-car rating, a certification that means it must pass much tougher side-impact crash tests that trucks and SUVs don’t have to meet.

Yet the Forester comes with the boxy looks and styling of the SUV class. For instance, it has a taller greenhouse which aids with visibility while helping it stand apart from its siblings with ease. It stands apart in other ways, too. Compared to the mini-SUVs, Toyota’s RAV4 or Honda’s CR-V, the Forester possesses a more affordable list price, better ride and drive, beefier engine output from the 2.5-liter (165 hp) four-cylinder boxer engine and many of the carlike attributes the competition tries to build into its cars. Helping to underscore the hybrid title Subaru employs is Forester’s 2,000-pound towing capacity.

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Sunday, July 3, 2016
2016 Subaru Forester 4-Door CVT 2.0XT Premium

Love at first sight.

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My first Subaru. While the MPG is low the 250hp makes it worth it. Very large moonroof. Backup camera is useful. Visibility is great. Quiet cabin.
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Thursday, March 10, 2016
2016 Subaru Forester 4-Door Manual 2.5i Premium PZEV

Very Likable Vehicle

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This is my first Subaru. I was convinced to give them a try by their winter driving reputation; their top rating on Consumer Reports; and the fact I could tow this manual Forester flat behind my RV... + More »
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Sunday, March 6, 2016
2016 Subaru Forester 4-Door CVT 2.0XT Touring

Great in Winter Driving!

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I have owned Foresters since 2003 and I can't say that the latest Forester is a total improvement. Yes, it's a bigger taller vehicle which can easily accommodate 5 passengers with lots of legroom (front and... + More »
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