Somehow the 2021 Subaru Forester Just Earned This Award for the First Time

It has been a long time coming. The Subaru Forester has been on the road since 1997. Yet, it hadn’t seen the respect it deserves until now. Subaru’s overall fleet of vehicles is long renowned for being sturdy and safe. There are more than 20 different compact sport utility vehicles on the market today. And finally, Consumer Reports has ranked the Forester No. 1 in its class.

Becoming the No. 1 compact SUV

According to Consumer Reports, the Forester “has had a winning formula,” for some time. Yet surprisingly it hasn’t placed it on top until now. Its overall score this year came in at 89. That’s six points above the second-place Mazda CX-5, and seven points above Honda’s CR-V, coming in third.

Some things mentioned as advantages this year are the vehicle’s reliability and overall satisfaction. Pluses include the driving experience and comfort zone. Braking is considered great. While the driver’s area and front seat are said to be comfortable, especially noted is the roomy rear seat section with easy access.

Consumer Reports is high on Subaru’s EyeSight suite with dual-mounted color cameras near the rearview mirror. Safety features with EyeSight include a forward collision warning system and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. New last year was Subaru’s lane-keeping assistance feature.

Forester mileage is “impressive” with 38 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in the city. 

The Consumer Reports road test

RELATED: 2021 Subaru Crosstrek vs. Subaru Forester: Which Subaru Should You Buy? 

The Subaru Forester has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The road test showed it is a bit slow on the update though. It takes 9.2 seconds from 0-60 mph making it more sluggish than some in its class. But it does have power, enough to pass and merge, the report said.

Other positives include management on the road with quicker steer than former models and a better ride than many in the compact SUV class.

The Forester offers great visibility. Another safety boost is standard automatic emergency braking. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration gives this SUV five stars on its overall crash testing. 

On the negative side, Forester engineers cannot seem to quiet the engine noise, which is said to be an annoyance for drivers.

The Subaru Forester offers longevity and safety

Despite the top ranking by Consumer Reports, U.S. News placed Subaru’s Forester ninth in its class this year. But you would be hard-pressed to find another safety rating as high as the Forester at 9.8. U.S. News only gives this SUV a 7.1 in performance. While it praises the SUV for comfort, it gives the Forester a reliability rating at “rock-bottom.”

Two years ago, J.D. Power said the Forester ranked eighth in popularity for compact SUVs and crossovers. The ranking was based on 2018 sales. Today, Consumer Reports gives it a 4/5 for predicted reliability and a 4/5 in owner satisfaction.

In 2019, the Forester saw some major redesigning with new tech features and exterior styling upgrades. Positives from everyone’s point of view. For those in the market for a formerly owned compact SUV, this would be a great choice.

According to Torque News, Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek owners are “fiercely loyal.” They enjoy driving their vehicles and believe there are no better safety systems made. Contrary to what Consumer Reports and US News have said, owners say they “can rely on them day in, day out.”

With fiercely loyal customers upgrading to newer models along with new Subaru shoppers investing in a Forester, we’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest that its popularity is growing. If J.D. Power runs another popularity report, Forester sales may just beat out at least a couple of others in its class over the past couple of years.