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Plenty of popular small SUVs, including the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, battle for the top position in their segment. CNBC claims that only one small SUV made it to a list of top auto picks between $25,000-$35,000.

Experts recommend this small SUV for 2023

The front of a 2023 Subaru Forester small SUV.
The front of a 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

CNBC did a story on some of the top auto picks of 2023. The Toyota Corolla and Corolla Cross (subcompact) are its picks under $25,000. As for the $25,000-$35,000 price point, it recommends the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Maverick Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, and, drumroll please, the Subaru Forester.

The Subaru Forester is the Japanese automaker Subaru’s small SUV offering. It’s one of the most reliable small SUVs available, according to The rugged family SUV is designed for daily driving along with the occasional mild off-roading session.

Is the 2023 Subaru Forester a good SUV?

A blue 2023 Subaru Forester small SUV is driving off-road.
The 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

The 2023 Subaru Forester starts at $26,395. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. The small SUV gets 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive, brake assist, and a tire pressure monitoring system. In terms of value, the 2023 Forester is hard to beat because of its generous standard feature list. Kelley Blue Book praises its safety scores and spacious cabin. Car and Driver compliments its ride quality and practicality.

If you’re looking for a family SUV that’s sturdy and long-lasting, the Subaru Forester is a good choice. A new Subaru Forester should last the average driver for at least 14 years. The average new vehicle ownership period is only about 8.4 years, according to

What are the downsides of a Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester doesn’t produce as much power as rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. It can’t tow as much as some competitors either.

The interior of a 2023 Subaru Forester small SUV.
The interior of a 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

The Forester’s ride quality isn’t as smooth as more refined models. The Mazda CX-5 and CX-50 are snazzier small SUVs within the same price range. The Subaru Forester may be practical and affordable, but this small SUV is the polar opposite of classier, more modern SUVs like the Tucson and CX-50.

The decision to feature the Forester on a top auto picks for 2023 list is likely due to its dependability. Subaru’s SUV is great for long-term ownership. That being said, there are other SUVs that provide a more exciting and fulfilling short-term ownership experience.

The Toyota RAV4 is currently the most popular small SUV in America because it’s almost perfectly balanced and offers a wide array of trim levels that range from capable to luxurious. Models like the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V compete in sales because of their value proposition. The Forester is ideal for outdoorsy folks, but it doesn’t do much for consumers that subscribe to that lifestyle.

Let us know what you think of the Subaru Forester in the comment section below.


3 Best Used Subaru Forester Model Years Under $15,000 in 2023