Skip to main content

A few attributes make an SUV better suited for students or young drivers. You want it to be safe, above all else, but also affordable and spacious. On the list of compact SUVs for students, the 2023 Subaru Forester checked all of those boxes. It might be practical enough for parents, but hopefully, it passes the most important category: is it cool? We think so.

What’s the best compact SUV for students?

This 2023 Subaru Forester is a great compact SUV
Inside the 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

If you have not considered the 2023 Subaru Forester as a great compact SUV, there are a few reasons why it should be on your list. When U.S. News selected some of the best new cars and SUVs for students, the Forester checked all the important boxes.

Though the 2023 Subaru Forester isn’t the fastest vehicle on the road, that’s probably better for your peace of mind. All trim levels come with Subaru’s 2.5L four-cylinder engine that gets 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. It is powerful enough to get the Forester up to speed but hopefully not enough to get into much trouble. Another benefit of that boxer engine is the 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Opting for the sportier Wilderness model drops the fuel economy to 25 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

With 28.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, Subaru’s compact SUV still has plenty of room for whatever your star student might be carrying around. That increases to 74.2 cubic feet of space with the seats folded, even more room for bikes and groceries.

How safe is Subaru’s compact SUV?

A light-green 2023 Subaru Forester compact SUV model parked on a open plaza surrounded by tall hedges
2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru of America, Inc.

The 2023 Subaru Forester is pretty safe for a compact SUV. It has many standard driver-assistance features, such as lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control with lane centering. Subaru also included adaptive headlights with automatic high beams and a rear-seat alert to remind your driver to check the second row.

These safety systems led the Forester to receive high marks from important safety groups like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Subaru’s compact SUV earned the Top Safety Pick award with high marks on most of the main crashworthiness tests. It also earned high marks for the standard LED projector headlights on all trim levels.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Forester a five-star overall safety rating, with high scores in all three main areas. Overall, Subaru made the compact SUV safe without sacrificing affordability.

How much is this compact SUV for 2023?

Pricing for the 2023 Subaru Forester starts at $26,395 for the base model and up to $36,495 for a fully-loaded Forester. The base model is still well-equipped with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and the safety features mentioned before. If you want more safety systems, higher trims come with more, but these can sometimes be added individually.

With Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive system, the Forester is even suitable for those in snowy areas. Plenty of compact SUVs are on the market right now, but not all offer the safety and affordability of Subaru.

Beyond its functional attributes, the Forester also has a comfortable and well-designed cabin packed with modern technology and convenience features that your teenager insists on having. Whether for daily commuting or weekend adventures, the Subaru Forester is an outstanding choice for those seeking a practical and enjoyable compact SUV.


This Compact SUV Delivers in 1 Unimportant Area