SCHEDULE TEST DRIVE

What's New?

The Forester receives a couple of changes for 2018, the most significant being that the Eyesight® active safety package is now standard on top-of-the-line Touring models. Automatic high-beam headlights and reverse automatic braking are included on models with Eyesight®.

The other noteworthy changes are a part of the new Black Edition package, which is a $1,150 option for the 2.5i Premium model. The package includes 18-inch alloy wheels, black exterior and interior trim, and adaptive LED headlights. The package is also available with gray, white, or silver paint.

Overview

We’re all familiar with Subaru’s iconic tagline, “Love. It’s what makes Subaru, a Subaru.” Well, the automaker certainly put special care into the 2018 Forester, because there’s a whole lot to love.

Crossovers are all the rage now, but some companies have more experience with them than others. Subaru started out selling all-wheel drive sedans and wagons as alternatives to gas-guzzling SUVs, and introduced the original Forester in 1998 as its first dedicated utility vehicle. While other carmakers are just now entering the segment, Subaru has almost two decades of experience to pour into the 2018 Forester.

The 2018 Forester is available in six trim levels starting at $22,795.* 

The Perfect Ride for…

Drivers seeking a compact SUV that's as capable off-road as it is on city streets. With a roomy cabin and good fuel economy, the 2018 Forester is a solid choice for a compact SUV. Add standard all-wheel drive, an optional turbocharged engine, and high ground clearance and you get a crossover that’s ahead of the pack.

Drive & Handling

The 2018 Forester sticks to the same reliable Subaru formula of standard all-wheel drive and boxed-four engines paired to either a six-speed manual or an optional CVT.

Base models still come equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The standard 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER® 4-cylinder is now rated at up to 24 mpg combined (22 mpg city/28 mpg highway) with the manual transmission and 28 mpg combined (26 mpg city/32 mpg highway) with the automatic.**

Channeling the spirit of Subaru’s sporty WRX, the Forester also has an optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Available only with the CVT, this engine produces 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. 2.0XT Forester models are rated at 25 mpg combined (23 mpg city/27 mpg highway).**

The turbocharged engine is paired with the more sophisticated all-wheel drive system introduced in 2018. Based on technology developed for the WRX, the optional system uses torque vectoring to improve handling. Torque vectoring shunts power side to side to help turn a car into corners. Other hardware changes carried over from last year include quicker steering and an available X-Mode traction assist system on certain models.

Key Features

Subaru STARLINK™ Multimedia

STARLINK™ Multimedia, which comes standard on all Forester models, connects you to music, news, navigation, podcasts, weather and more. Wireless pairing capability and hands-free smartphone operation allow you to safely access your favorite content through Pandora®, SiriusXM® Satellite radio, Aha™, and a host of new and fun STARLINK™ apps. 

Forester 2.5i Premium Black Edition 

The Black Edition package proves the Forester has a dark side, but it’s also the brightest option available for the 2018 model. Sleek, blacked-out trim runs from the mirrors to the 18-inch black-finish alloy wheels and throughout the interior for an eye-catching effect. Responsive LED headlights improve safety and visibility, making sure the view ahead of you is always clear. Upgraded interior material and style are also a hallmark of the Black Edition. A standard All-Weather Package—with heated front seats, heated mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer—keeps you comfortable and safe, no matter the conditions outside.  

Alternative Options

While the Forester receives a few noteworthy updates worth paying attention to, Subaru offers several other options to meet different price points and driving needs. If you appreciate the cargo space and capability of the Forester, but are looking for even more, the Outback may be for you. It’s longer, better performing, and more substantial that the Forester and starts at $25,895.*  Another option would be the Crosstrek, which starts at $21,795.* The Crosstrek shares the same chassis as the Forester, but the Forester is bigger, inside and out. Despite this, the Crosstrek looks sportier and is a great option for singles or couples.  

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*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.

**EPA-estimated fuel economy. Actual mileage may vary.

Image Credit: Chevrolet, Subaru, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen