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2015 Subaru Forester Quick Spin Review

William Maley
by William Maley
May 1, 2015
3 min. Reading Time

The Subaru Forester has been a stalwart in the compact crossover class since it was first introduced in the late nineties. Since that time, the Forester has garnered a reputation as being one of the best thanks to its clever all-wheel drive system, roomy cabin, and impressive fuel economy.

2015 sees Subaru improving upon that formula with the Forester.


Last year brought a redesign for the Forester that both sharpened its exterior profile and provided a bit more interior room. Outside, the 2015 Forester boasts a large glass area, body cladding in the front and rear, and a new grille that resembles the aesthetic found on other Subaru models. There are also a selection of wheel options ranging from 17 to 18-inches.

Inside, Subaru addressed one of the biggest complaints of Foresters past: material quality. Subaru has increased the amount soft-touch plastic used on the dashboard and door panels, creating a much more pleasant in-cabin experience. Interior capacity is also upgraded, and the Forester offers up 31.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up, and 68.5 cubic feet when folded down. 



The Forester is available with two different engines. The base option is the 2.5i boxer-four with 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or Subaru's Lineartronic CVT. Substantially more powerful is a the turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four option, which churns out 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque (available with Subaru's Lineartronic CVT only). No matter which engine you choose, Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system comes standard.

The EPA rates fuel economy for the 2015 Subaru Forester at:

2.5i Manual: 22 City/29 Highway/25 Combined 2.5i CVT: 24 City/32 Highway/27 Combined Turbocharged 2.0 CVT: 23 City/28 Highway/25 Combined



All Subaru Foresters come equipped with a full suite of airbags including a driver's knee airbag. There's also stability control, traction control, brake assist, anti-whiplash front seats, tire pressure monitoring and a backup camera. Optional on all Foresters is Subaru's EyeSight system. This system uses a stereo camera mounted at the top of windshield to provide information to the adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and pre-collision braking systems.

The Forester earned an overall five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests, the Forester earned the top rating of 'Good,' across the board. The Forester's optional EyeSight system also earned top marks in the IIHS tests for driver assist systems. All of this combined earns the Subaru Forester the most coveted award from IIHS: a top safety pick.


Pricing & Features

There are six trims available on the Forester; four equipped with the 2.5i and the remainder equipped with the turbocharged 2.0.

The lineup kicks off with the Forester 2.5i which starts at $22,195 for the manual or $23,195 for the CVT. Standard equipment includes 60/40 split rear seats, four-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD and USB; cruise control, multi-function display, power locks and winds, and remote keyless entry.

Next is the 2.5i Premium which kicks off at $24,595 for the manual or $25,095 for the CVT. On top of the base 2.5i, the Premium gets 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power driver's seat, HD Radio capability, and panoramic power moonroof. Standard on the manual and optional on the CVT is an all-weather package which includes heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer.

Then there is 2.5i Limited, which begins at $28,095 for the CVT. The Limited adds the all-weather package, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, power tailgate, and an upgraded instrument cluster.

Following the Limited is the 2.0XT Premium, which starts at $28,495. The XT signifies that you have the turbocharged 2.0L. Along with the more powerful engine, you get larger brakes, a high-torque CVT, sports tuned suspension, dual tailpipes, upgraded instrument cluster, and the X-Mode off-road assist system.

Finally we get to the Touring which is available with either the 2.5 or 2.0L turbo. Prices start at $30,095 for the 2.5i and $33,095 for the 2.0XT. Touring models get automatic dual-zone climate control, mirrors with integrated turn signals, HID headlights, an eight-speaker harman/kardon sound system, and one-touch folding rear seatback.



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