One of the most true-to-life car stereotypes is the idea that Subarus and their owners were made for the outdoors. The automaker has naturally leaned into that stereotype, and many of the brand’s vehicles are well equipped for adventuring. But some of those outdoorsy features don’t come standard. That’s the case with the 2021 Subaru Forester.
Overview of the standard 2021 Subaru Forester
Starting around $25,000, the Forester is a good compact SUV, according to U.S. News. There are two main reasons. The first is the engine. The Forester has the same motor on all trims, and though it’s not especially powerful, it’s good at doing what it’s supposed to do.
All Forester trims come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Though there aren’t any other engine options, all Foresters offer standard all-wheel drive. That’s highly useful for off-roading and navigating rough terrain. So the fact that all Foresters come with AWD is great. Not all other manufacturers can say that about their SUVs in this segment.
The other reason why the Forester is a good SUV is because of its cargo space. Without its rear seats folded, the Forester offers about 31.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity, according to U.S. News. With the rear seats folded, space jumps to 76.1 cubic feet. The Forester’s premium trims have less cargo capacity, but not by much. Plus, the Forester boasts more cargo space than most competitors.
The 2021 Forester doesn’t have many fun standard features, though
That impressive cargo capacity allows the Subaru Forester to hold almost everything you’ll need for camping, but it doesn’t offer many standard features that’ll make driving and camping fun. The Forester comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display and run-of-the-mill features such as automatic climate control and satellite radio, but not much else in terms of fun features.
However, the Forester boasts an impressive suite of smart safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, forward automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist. But those smart safety features aren’t exactly fun. Like other cars on the more practical side, the Forester charges extra for fun features.
You’ll have to pay $3,000 to get a panoramic sunroof, but there’s more
One fun feature that isn’t available on the standard Subaru Forester is a panoramic sunroof. To get that feature, you’ll have to upgrade to the Premium trim. And it costs $3,000 more than the base model. Though a sunroof itself isn’t worth $3,000, Subaru offers many other features with this upgrade.
For example, the Premium Forester trim offers power-adjustable front seats that are also heated. Those are nifty features that might come in handy for a trip to the outdoors. The Premium trim also adds other convenient features, such as a push-button start, Wi-Fi hotspot, and additional speakers.
The 2021 Subaru Forester’s Premium trim also unlocks other options unavailable on the base model. They include blind-spot detection, a trailer hitch cap, and a power rear gate. So although Forester’s sunroof alone isn’t worth $3,000, the Premium trim’s other perks make it worth the upgrade.