The 2021 Subaru Forester Has 1 Annoying Flaw Keeping It From Perfection

Subarus are cool. This isn’t based in fact and can’t be back up with evidence, but telling someone you drive a “Suby” seems cool. They make the most recognizable rally car, and that’s very cool. Now that doesn’t mean that every model is cool. Some of the less cool models get away with their lack of coolness by just being good cars and SUVs. If you can’t be cool, be good. The 2021 Subaru Forester is one such vehicle. It is great, but if it didn’t have this one flaw, it might well be perfect. 

The 2021 Subaru Forester rocked the Consumer Reports road test

We reference Consumer Reports a lot around here. They are completely unaffected by coolness, which makes their assessment of the Subaru Forester perfect. The Forester hasn’t seen much of an exterior change if any at all. But, below the surface, there is plenty of great stuff going on and one not so great thing. 

The Forester has a noisy issue 

Part of what makes Subaru’s so cool is the same thing that makes the Forester slightly annoying. The Boxer flat-four is a hallmark of the Subaru line. It is a really great motor that the company has built a long race history upon. These motors can sound a little coarse and raspy. Typical Subaru fans might hate me for calling it annoying, but without a sporty tuning and exhaust, it tends to sound a little naggy. This is literally the only outright con that CR found for the 2021 Subaru Forester. 

2021 Subaru Forester at the beach
2021 Subaru Forester | Subaru

Annoying noise or not the 2021 Subaru Forester is great

CR recommends going with the Premium trim. This gets you power seats, rear air vents, sunroof, and the all-Weather package. Packages aside, the 2021 Subaru Forester is reliable, comfortable, sturdy, and easy to drive. CR gave it an overall score of 89. Some cars beat that score, but not many, and none from Subaru. 

The Driveline and handling for the SUV Suby

2021 Subaru Forester almost nails Consumer Reports review
2021 Subaru Forester | Subaru

RELATED: Best Road Trip Cars: Subaru Forester

That good ol’ 2.5-liter flat-four hooked up to a CVT found a few extra horses from the previous year’s model at 182 hp. Although it has more power, it really isn’t any faster. The 0-60 mph time is a lumbering 9.2 seconds, which isn’t really a mark against the Forester; it’s not meant to be fast. That being said, CR reports that it still feels responsive and has enough power for every-day driving. Even with the added power, the 2021 Subaru Forester is getting an impressive 28 mpg. 

The handling is another place where the new Forester really shines. It is said to take corners flat and balanced, minimizing body roll to very little. Even on rough surfaces and bumpy corners, the 2021 Subaru Forester feels planted and safe. The emergency maneuvers and braking both earned top marks from CR in both dry and wet conditions. 

We can’t talk Subaru without handling the off-road features

The Forester may not be a rally car, but it has some cool off-road features like the standard-issue X-Mode. When X-mode is kicking, it optimizes the AWD system for better grip on loose surfaces. It also engages the hill descent feature, which electronically limits the speed to go down steep grades. 

2021 Subaru Forester
2021 Subaru Forester Sport | Subaru

The Interior has also stepped its game up

The 2021 Subaru Forester sports a nicer interior than the last model. Subaru has added more soft-touch surfaces and improved the plastic areas as well. The buttons and switches have also been upgraded to feel nicer than before. 

The infotainment lives on an 8-inch screen and on higher trims is controlled by touch or voice commands. It pairs easily with phones and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The 2021 Subaru Forester deserves the solid rating from Consumer Reports

The Subaru Forester is a strong move. It ticks every box that needs ticking for a good car. Plus, you get the added benefit of telling people you drive a Subaru. Not to mention, you have full license to put as many hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and state initials stickers as you want on there. I’m not sure what that’s worth, but it’s something.