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Most critics don’t play when it comes to vehicle rankings, and the Subaru Forester is no exception. Each vehicle is thoroughly evaluated to determine its quality and reliability ranking. Against plenty of challenges, the 2023 Subaru Forester manages to contend as one of the best compact SUV models.

Why is the 2023 Subaru Forester one of the best SUVs? 

2023 Subaru SUVs: 2023 Subaru Forester Wild
2023 Subaru Forester Wild | Subaru of America, Inc.

According to Edmunds, the 2023 Subaru Forester is in the running for best compact SUV because it provides plenty of value. It has standard AWD and isn’t selling with astronomical price markups above MSRP. 

Despite having a limited vehicle inventory as interest in fuel-efficient vehicles increases, the Forester is only selling for about two to six percent above MSRP. 

For example, Edmunds recommends the Subaru Forester Premium trim level, which starts at $29,395. The average cost spent over MSRP is $1,592, bringing the average transaction price to $30,978. 

How many MPG does the 2023 Forester get? 

The 2023 Subaru Forester gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city, up to 33 mpg on the highway, and about 29 mpg combined. We would typically share that adding AWD could reduce this figure a bit, but this score includes AWD as every Subaru Forester has standard power to all four wheels.

This fuel economy rating is pretty average among rivals in the class. Also, the Forester could benefit from an increase in power. 

It has a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that churns out 186 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.3 seconds, which is far from sporty. Plus, it can only tow up to 3,000 lbs. These are the most significant drawbacks to consider. 

The Forester features responsive handling, confident brakes, and feels well-planted. The 2023 Forester provides a smooth ride over the pavement and wind, and road noise is kept at bay. The seats are large and supportive too. 

The Forester has above-average off-roading capabilities with an 8.7-inch ground clearance and innovative X-Mode software that optimizes its traction and response times for various terrains. 

Upgrading to the Subaru Forester Wilderness adds more ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and an off-road-tuned suspension. 

Other reasons to consider the Forester include its high owner satisfaction rating, top safety scores, and stout reliability ranking. 

What comes with the Forester Premium model? 

The interior and dashboard layout of a 2023 Subaru Forester compact crossover SUV
2023 Subaru Forester interior and dashboard | Subaru of America, Inc.

The 2023 Subaru Forester Premium trim is the second model in the lineup and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, push-button start, raised roof rails, foglights, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, tinted rear windows, multiple driving modes, and a six-speaker audio system. 

Plus, the standard all-weather package features heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a windshield wiper de-icer. Standard safety features consist of adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. 

Most of these options are reserved for higher trim levels, so the 2023 Forester does provide plenty of value. 

The Forester is one of the best small SUVs because it’s a well-rounded option. Sure, it isn’t exactly sporty and lacks some towing muscle. But it’s comfortable, efficient, affordable, and reliable. Plus, it’s safe and capable.


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