2018 Subaru Forester Review

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2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor
May 28, 2017

The 2018 Subaru Forester continues to offer top safety scores, remarkable space inside, and all-round versatility; it’s still one of the best small SUVs, and a good value for money.

The 2018 Subaru Forester blends crossover capability, the handling and ride of a car, and the year-round security of standard all-wheel drive. The compact utility wagon is practical, offers more off-road capability than you’d expect, and remains an excellent choice in a very competitive category.

It won our Best Car To Buy 2014 award the year it launched, and it’s Subaru’s best-selling line. The four trim levels are base, Premium, Limited, and Touring.

We think the Forester is one of the segment’s best all-round cars, with our assessment confirmed most recently by spending a few months with a turbocharged Forester 2.0XT across a variety of terrains and driving cycles. Even in its fifth model year, it easily earns its rating of 6.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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The Forester has a traditional, upright shape without the flourishes found in some crossovers. Inside, it’s functional, and easy to understand. Subaru’s improved the noise suppression in recent years, so it’s quieter than before, and it’s surprisingly spacious inside for its length—especially for rear-seat passengers.

Two engines are available, a 2.5-liter flat-4 and a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-4. Most will be fitted with Subaru’s very good continuously variable transmission, although a manual gearbox can be ordered on base models. Handling is good for a crossover, and standard all-wheel drive makes driving even in bad weather confident and sure-footed.

The 2018 Forester gets excellent ratings and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. Its forward-collision warning system in particular works well, and it has acquired more capabilities in the last couple of model years.

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$22,795
MSRP based on 2.5i Manual
 
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6.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 4
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 9
Features 8
Fuel Economy 7
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2018 Subaru Forester Pricing Insights

  • 2017 Forester selection remains robust; 2018s arriving
  • No factory rebate, but dealer discounting possible
  • Lease a 2017 from $209 for 36 months
  • Get 0% APR for up to 48 months on 2017s
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