2009 Subaru Forester Photo
Quick Take
It’s significantly improved this year, but the 2009 Subaru Forester remains a unique all-wheel-drive crossover with less power and fewer features, but better carlike handling, than its competition. Read more »
8.0 out of 10
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The Basics:

TheCarConnection.com’s editors read all the competitive reviews on the new 2009 Subaru Forester to produce this conclusive review, and to give our recommendations on it. Editors at TheCarConnection.com also drove the car to provide you an expert opinion on it, and to help you understand why other car reviews might differ.

Subaru’s Forester is one of the original crossover vehicles--as are all Subaru wagons. Derived in part from the Subaru Impreza, the Forester blends a useful, cargo-friendly body with standard all-wheel drive. It’s a bit more prosaic than its competition. It’s gotten better in this new edition, but the basic exterior and interior style are cautious updates of the previous edition.

The 2009 Subaru Forester comes in two editions: a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine puts out 170 horsepower, while XT models have a turbocharged four with 224 hp. A five-speed manual transmission complements the Forester’s user-friendly handling, but an available four-speed automatic seems a little behind the times, even though it works well enough. Handling is a strong point, and fuel economy is good. For those who value stability over style, the Forester continues to be a good choice in crossovers.


  • Improved styling
  • Reduced interior noise
  • All-wheel drive
  • Carlike handling


  • Still not a great-looking machine
  • No manual gearbox on turbo models
  • Only four speeds on automatic
  • Lots of silver plastic in the cabin
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
$5,994 - $18,998
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