The 2017 Subaru Forester Is a Modern SUV With Vintage Vibes

Back when it was new, the 2017 Subaru Forester impressed critics with its many practical features. The 2017 Forester is a capable performer and has modern in-car tech. And what you might especially like about this version is that it still shares the classic design of the first-generation Forester. 

Driving the 2017 Subaru Forester 

Generally speaking, the Forester is a great used car option if you value fuel efficiency. As a new model, Consumer Reports recognized the 2017 Forester for its class-leading fuel economy ratings. According to CR’s data, the 2017 Forester has a real-world fuel economy of 28 mpg overall. 

Base 2017 Foresters will have a 170-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic. For more passing power, you’ll want to shop for XT models with the turbocharged, 250-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder and CVT. CR especially likes the Forester’s turbo-four because it provides a smoother driving experience. 

What also separates the Forester from its classmates is its off-road capabilities. Models with a CVT are standard with all-wheel-drive. Upgraded versions will have an X-mode traction-assist system that makes hitting the trails even more accessible. However, the Forester is best for mild excursions, not super rough ones. 

On the inside 

A view of the 2017 Forester's interior from the backseat.
2017 Subaru Forester interior | Subaru

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The 2017 Forester is a comfortable five-seater. In addition to its comfort, the Forester also stands out for its excellent outward visibility. Some reviewers complained that the Forester’s standard cloth interior is too plain, but you might find its understated looks charming. For more amenities, look for models with leather upholstery and heated seats. 

Additionally, Subaru made modern technology a grander focus for the 2017 Forester. Standard infotainment features include a user-friendly touchscreen display and Bluetooth. Some models will have more gadgets, including a premium Harman Kardon stereo and satellite radio. If advanced safety is on your wishlist list, make sure to look for versions with Subaru’s EyeSight driver’s technology. The EyeSight package includes functions such as blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning. 

2017 Subaru Forester problems 

A 2017 Forester on the track
2017 Subaru Forester exterior | Car and Driver

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Overall, the 2017 Forester has proved to be a dependable used car. CR gave this Subie an average rating for predicted reliability. However, there are some potential trouble spots. In CR’s member survey, the biggest complaint 2017 Forester owners have concerns their vehicle’s climate system.

Some 2017 Forester owners said that the climate system didn’t do a good job of cooling the car cabin or that it leaked. A few other owners noted that their backup camera didn’t operate properly, so the dealer had to replace it. There were also complaints that Forester’s CD player didn’t eject properly, but not that many. 

At the time of this writing, there is one recall associated with the 2017 Forester. The recall relates to its passenger airbag sensor. Before you buy, make sure your dealer addressed this action. 


A Subaru Forester e-Boxer is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview
The Subaru Forester | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

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Despite its trouble spots, the 2017 Forester is a decent used car option. The number of complaints associated with this car isn’t significant compared to how many units Subaru sold. The average price for a 2017 Forester falls between $16,550 – $22,025.