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If you’re new to the Subaru experience, you still likely know the brand’s reputation for building safe and capable vehicles. You probably also know just how loyal Subaru owners are to their beloved rides. But before you consider joining the ranks as a Subaru enthusiast yourself, you need to make sure you buy a model with enough room to seat everyone.

The 2021 Subaru Forester might have caught your eye, for example, but you need to know whether or not it offers a third row. So, how many passengers does the Subaru Forester accommodate? 

Have you met the 2021 Subaru Forester yet?

If you haven’t had a chance yet to take a closer look at the 2021 Subaru Forester, you might not know that this small SUV earns high marks with the critics, including the Edmunds team, who say they’re “pretty fond of it.”

The Forester is gaining in popularity for its convenient size, sliding in between the Subaru Crosstrek and the larger Outback. Like others in the Subaru family, the Forester comes loaded with standard driver aids, all-wheel drive, and healthy ground clearance.

Configuring your Forester with the extras you need is easy, too, with your choice of five trim levels: the base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and the Touring.

The Subaru Forester is lacking a third-row

The 2021 Subaru Forester has a maximum seating capacity of five. It may offer more room than its smaller Crosstrek sibling in terms of cabin and cargo space, but there won’t be room for a sixth passenger.

If you need a third row, the only Subaru equipped for the challenge would be the larger Subaru Ascent, which according to Car Buying Strategies, feels an awful lot like a Forester, with the exception of that additional third row.

When size and measurements matter

In comparison, the 2021 Subaru Forester leads its SUV segment in terms of overall maximum passenger volume. Subaru says the Forester offers 111.9 cubic feet, which is better than the 2020 Honda CR-V with 105.9 cubic feet, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 with 98.9 cubic feet, and the 2020 Ford Escape with 104 cubic feet.

This translates to a spacious front row feel with 43.3 inches of legroom and 40.2 inches of headroom for the Forester. There is impressive cargo capacity, too, with the Forester offering 28.9 to 31.1 cubic feet and 69.2 to 74.3 cubic feet, with the seating area included.

Hauling your favorite things probably won’t be a problem, and the five passengers you can accommodate will be pretty comfortable.

Why Subaru continues to build a loyal following


Subaru Had Two Cars Make the List of Best SUVs for 2021

People love their Subaru vehicles of every size for a number of reasons. The automaker has a reputation for protecting every passenger, regardless of what row they occupy. With tech like EyeSight®, SUBARU STARLINK® Safety and Security, and the DriverFocus® Distraction Mitigation System, you’ll feel safe behind the wheel of your Forester.

Subaru owners also champion the long-lasting vehicle life and often share high-mileage personal bests with their Subaru models. A third key reason people flock to Subaru is the nature of extreme capability with each vehicle. The higher ground clearance and standard all-wheel-drive make adventuring off-pavement far more accessible.

If you’re thinking about parking a Subaru in your driveway, you won’t be disappointed and may even become an enthusiast yourself. But before you make your selection, you’ll need to make sure your Subaru has enough room for everyone. The 2021 Subaru Forester is a top-pick for many families. But if you need to seat more than five, you may need to explore your options with an Ascent instead.