Best Road Trip Cars: Subaru Forester

When we think of cars meant for adventure, the Subaru Forester is one of the first that comes to mind. The Forester is roomy and responsive, making it an ideal option for a long road trip. Consumer Reports specifically loves the Forester because no matter the generation, the crossover delivers the same Subaru winning formula. Here’s what makes the Forester ideal for road trips

Subaru’s winning formula

According to CR, simplicity is at the core of the Forester’s winning formula. While the Forester isn’t at the top of its class, its comfort levels, safety features, and performance help it to stand out in the crowd. The thing you have to be wary of though depending on the version year is the predicted reliability ratings.

Performance and capability 

The 2020 Forester is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes a 182-horsepower. Fast acceleration isn’t the name of the game on the Forester but smoothness is. Whether you are driving around the city or in the country, you will find that the Forester is an enjoyable ride. Plus, the Forester is also capable enough for off-roading too. Aside from the base trim, every Forester comes with hill descent control and X-Mode which makes for better handling in slippery conditions. 

Excellent fuel-economy ratings are another major reason why drivers gravitate toward the Forester. The Forester gets 28 mpg overall, making it one of the most fuel-efficient options in its class. Its good ground clearance also contributes to its handling and overall performance. 

On the inside 

The Forester’s pristine car cabin balances out its rugged exterior. It can seat up to five comfortably and there’s a surprising amount of head- and legroom. Another notable feature here is excellent driver visibility.

We think that the Forester’s cloth upholstery does just fine but you can upgrade the interior with leather trimmings. The Forester is also considered as a solid family-friendly option. Installing child car seats are no problem thanks to the crossover’s two full sets of LATCH connectors. 

In-car electronics 

The Forester delivers well on both infotainment and advanced safety features. Standard infotainment features include a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. An 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, Bluetooth-powered text messaging, and a wifi hotspot are available as upgrades.

When it comes to safety and driver assistance features, the Forester is one of the best options to choose from in the crossover market. Standard safety features include a rear-seat reminder, pre-collision braking, lane departure, and sway warning, and lane departure prevention. The available safety upgrades include the DriverFocus system which can detect if the driver becomes tired or distracted, and blind-spot monitoring and lane change assists are additional options too. 


The 2020 Forester earned a decent predicted reliability rating from CR but there are definitely some model years that you should avoid.  CR gave the 2015-2018 Forester models decent reliability ratings too, but the models from 2013 and 2014 have considerably lower scores. Overall though, the Forester consistently earns high marks in owner satisfaction.