Navigating in the Subaru Forester
The 2020 Forester is among the best compact SUVs of the year and is mostly unchanged for 2021. The 2020 model starts at $24,495. What sets the Forester apart from the pack is its comfortable ride quality and capability for off-roading. The Forester is also a great choice if you value fuel efficiency.
Subaru completely redesigned the Forester for the 2019 model year. With the redesign, the carmaker decided to drop the Forester’s previously available turbo-four. Now, there’s only one engine choice for the Forester, and that’s a 182-hp-2.5-liter four-cylinder linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission.
You’ll enjoy driving the Forester because of its overall smoothness. Plus, it has one of the best EPA ratings in its class, with 29 mpg overall. And unlike many rivals, the Forester is standard with all-wheel-drive. But while the Forester does most things right performance-wise, noise levels could be a drawback for some buyers.
As Consumer Reports highlighted, engine noise is the main drawback of the Forester. The Forester isn’t known for being quick to accelerate, and sometimes it gets a bit loud when pushed. CR notes that the Forester’s signature boxer engine typically makes a “coarse” humming sound that can be unpleasant.
Sometimes the Foester’s CVT magnifies the engine noise. CR reviewers found the transmission to be low-key for the most part. But when you “step on it” for highway merging or hill climbing, the Forester’s transmission heightens engine noise levels.
Is the engine noise a dealbreaker?
Like we mentioned earlier, the Forester does most things right. That said, the Forester’s engine noise doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. CR found that the Forester’s redeeming quality here is its well-insulated interior. The Forester does a good job of keeping out excess road and wind noise, contributing to a quieter experience.
Additional interior elements
Critics often praise the Foester for its remarkably comfortable and spacious cabin. It has seats for five, and there’s generous head- and legroom. Minimalists will like the Forester’s simplistic interior design. However, the Forester gets more lavish as you climb trim levels. You can upgrade the standard cloth upholstery with leather. Other convenience features include heated front and rear seats.
Additionally, the Forester provides plenty of in-car tech to make car rides more enjoyable. Standard infotainment features include a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. A wifi hotspot and navigation system are available as upgrades.
Subaru also loaded the Forester with many active safety features. These include pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. There are plenty of optional features here, too, such as blind monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.