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STYLING | 7 out of 10
“more rugged stance and image”
“boxy charm has been toned down”
“goes from mutant station wagon to mainstream compact crossover”
Most reviewers are pleased with the 2010 Subaru Forester’s generous legroom, but the crossover’s styling can't escape some criticism from nearly all the road testers.
Last year’s introduction of the then all-new Subaru Forester saw the boxy crossover grow substantially in size over its predecessor, benefiting passengers with increased cabin space all around. Automobile Magazine points out that the newer body is 3 inches longer than the previous version, with a wheelbase that’s 3.6 inches longer, which goes to improving rear-seat room. Despite the chance to revamp the Forester’s style, it barely nudges its way “from mutant station wagon to mainstream compact crossover.”
“The old model's boxy charm has been toned down,” Cars.com notes, and its “creased headlights and stacked bumper looked a bit busy.” Edmunds.com agrees, and says that while the “front end of the new Forester isn't beautiful,” the look is “a bit more upscale and sophisticated than its predecessors.”
Some reviewers, on the other hand, find the styling to be very appealing. Popular Mechanics thinks the 2010 Subaru Forester “is the most handsome and stylish Subaru in years,” while Motor Trend goes so far as to predict that “it'll even catch the eye of the opposite sex in the room.” It’s a little ironic that these enthusiast publications find more to praise in its style than the mainstream car reviewers on the Web—more, even, than they praise the high-performance Subaru Impreza WRX.
Inside, the Forester’s interior is a myriad of modern shapes and textures, most of which have a quality and upmarket feel to them. However, you should like the look of metallic plastic, warns Jalopnik: “the brushed aluminum-look interior details come off as far more flash than rugged.”
TheCarConnection.com feels that the Forester’s styling, while a big leap forward in refinement for Subaru, is still too dull when compared to its rivals. This is especially true when you look at the wild style changes apparent on the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Saturn Vue; certainly, a flashy shape is becoming a selling point in the small crossover class.
While the Forester’s styling has improved greatly over the past couple of years, it’s still very boxy and utilitarian when compared to the competition.