2014 Subaru Forester
A longtime sales leader for the brand, the 2014 iteration of the Subaru Forester aims above and beyond its crossover rivals, hoping to be the new benchmark for the car-like crossover segment it helped pioneer.
Hitting a growth spurt in its fourth generation, the all-new Forester grows almost everywhere, making it quite large by compact crossover standards. While size adds weight, it also means more cargo room and passenger comfort. Rear seat legroom jumps nearly four inches! No worry if you miss calling shotgun.
The carry over 2.5 liter, 4 cylinder boxer still serves as base engine, rated at 170 horsepower. Base transmission is an all-new six speed manual, though a CVT automatic replaces last year’s 4-speed. More exciting, and also all-new, is the Forester XT’s 2.0 liter turbocharged Boxer 4, pumping out 250 horsepower, and mated to a high torque paddle shift CVT.
Despite added size, weight and standard all-wheel drive, the CVT helps push Forester fuel economy to the head of its class. Estimates are 27 Combined MPG with the 2.5 liter and 25 Combined MPG for the turbo XT.
A new “X-Mode” with Hill Descent Control aids Subaru’s already impressive all-wheel drive system on high end CVT models, providing engine, throttle, brake, and transmission management in low speed, low traction driving.
The look of the Forester is more of the same, though subtle changes abound. A sleeker profile for aerodynamics, unique front fascia and rear cladding for the XT, and styling cues throughout both models keep things fresh. Interior design continues in no nonsense fashion, though the addition of a dash mounted info screen above the center stack is a welcomed touch.
On sale later this spring, the 2014 Subaru Forester starts around $23,000, with the turbocharged XT around $29,000.
Engine: 2.5 liter
Price: Starts around $23,000