Why Is the Subaru Forester So Popular?

If you’re in the market for a compact crossover, then chances are that you’re deciding between stalwarts like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. But one rival in the segment that tends to fly under the radar, yet has almost a cult-like following is the Subaru Forester. And what’s not to like? It’s capable and spacious, and in its latest iteration, it has developed an even stronger customer base. But why is the Subaru Forester so popular?

The 2020 Subaru Forester received high marks from Consumer Reports

Consumer reports is a very reputable resource when it comes to researching new cars, and when it comes to the 2020 Subaru Forester, they had a lot of good things to say. First things first, the Forester received an overall rating of 84 out of 100, which is on par with competitors like the Mazda CX-5 and higher than the Honda CR-V (74) and Toyota RAV4 (72). Consumer Reports also gave the Forester a 90 out of 100 for the road test portion of their review and a 5 out of 5 for “predicted owner satisfaction.”

Their ratings are based on consumer surveys, as well as their own tests, so we can bet that the results listed for the Forester are pretty accurate. As far as driving impressions, Consumer Reports noted that the Forester’s 2.5-liter, the four-cylinder engine did make it feel much slower than its competitors, however, it has “enough power to pass and merge successfully.” They went on to note that the Forester is “adept at handling road imperfections, making it one of the better riding SUVs in the category.”

2019 Subaru Forester Sport parked in front of mountains
Subaru Forester Sport | Subaru

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

One of the main draws for almost every Subaru (except the BR-Z), is the brand’s incorporation of its Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system. In the Forester, the technology works perfectly when it comes to providing enough grip for the everyday driver as well as short stints on mountain roads and off the beaten path. It’s hard to compete with a brand that been making all-wheel-drive cars for the past few decades.

2020 Subaru Forester Limited driving down a gravel road in the woods
2020 Subaru Forester Limited | Subaru

The Forester has a spacious cabin and user-friendly tech

2020 Subaru Forester Touring interior is the most luxurious option to get/
2020 Subaru Forester Touring interior | Subaru

The 2020 Subaru Forester has plenty of room for five occupants and its dashboard layout is easy-to-use. We especially like the fact that the infotainment system’s 8-inch screen is responsive and neatly laid out, and there’s even a volume and tuning knob to make it controlling your tunes easier on the fly. Subaru also smartly laid out the cabin as the rear seats are easy to fold down with the pull of a knob and there are even rear step panels to stand on in case you need to access the roof area.

2020 Subaru Forester Rear Step Panel
2020 Subaru Forester Rear Step Panel | Subaru

Is the 2021 Subaru Forester Worth Waiting For?

The Subaru Forester is priced well

On top of it all, the 2020 Subaru Forester is priced well for the category that it is in. The base Forester starts at $24,795, while the more-rugged and aggressive Forester Sport starts at $29,395. If you want to go all-out, then you can opt for the top-trim Forester Touring, which is priced at $34,895. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are priced around the same in comparison, however, all-wheel drive isn’t standard on those two cars.