Buyers in the market for a compact SUV have plenty of choices in today’s crowded automotive market. The Subaru Forester is a respectable design that will see a refresh late in the year. However, for 2018, it still brings a lot to the table. It features the major characteristics that an SUV driver is looking for, such as standard features that include all-wheel drive, ground clearance that assures you won’t bottom out on even the most treacherous off-road terrain, and a roomy passenger compartment with excellent visibility. The cargo area is cavernous for its class and more than adequate to stow mountains of gear.

What does 2018 Offer?

 The 2017 model was the mid-cycle refresh and the 2018 carries over the same features with only a few differences. There are new trim packages available to set the model apart, such as the Black Edition that features special blacked out wheels, body bolsters, and front grill. A new cargo cover is available on the Limited Trim, and the Touring Trim receives as a standard feature Subaru’s EyeSight Driver assistance package, as well as automatic reverse braking and automatic LED high beams.

The Subaru Forester comes in several trim levels to satisfy most budgets. The top of the line is the Touring Trim for $33,090 that includes as standard pretty much every item that can come with the vehicle. It features a gigantic sunroof, driver and passenger heated front seats, auto climate control, an upgraded infotainment touchscreen, Starlink Safety Plus telematics, and an excellent sound system that comes with satellite radio. All of this is accessible using voice commands, freeing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel.

Shoppers will appreciate the power liftgate when loading groceries and will be soothed by the supple Java Brown leather upholstery. Among the safety technologies included is a blind spot monitoring system and a rear cross-traffic alert that notifies the driver of oncoming rear traffic when backing out of parking spaces.

Completing the package are 18-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, mirrors with built-in turn signals, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, an upgraded sound system, navigation, and one-touch folding rear seatbacks.

A great standard feature on the Forester is the EyeSight Driver Assist package. EyeSight can process information using stereo cameras that identify vehicles, pedestrians, traffic lanes, and other objects forward of the car. EyeSight uses this information and can activate systems that will apply the brakes, bringing the vehicle to a complete stop if necessary, preventing an accident that might otherwise have occurred.

Inside the SUV

SUVs are no longer the strictly utilitarian vehicles they once were, and the Subaru Forester is no exception. The interior of the fully loaded Touring level comes with soft brown leather upholstery that cradles the driver in comfort. It features accents of light stitching that complement the leather. The premium feeling of the car is enhanced by the contrast of the black and silver trim components.

A new display in the center features valuable driver information showing mpg, current temperature, and distance until empty. The ergonomics of the car are excellent and oriented towards ease of use by the driver and passenger alike. The heated steering wheel and seats are a blessing for those familiar with bitter Kansas City winters.

Some comparable SUVs in this class make the driver feel like they’re driving in a claustrophobic tank. The excellent seating positions in the Forester put the occupants up high, giving them a great open view of their surroundings. The low windows allow the driver to rest their elbow on the sill and not end up with a crick in their neck.

Rear passengers have plenty of room to stretch out, plus easy entry and exit through the large doors. Cargo capacity of the Forester is a very generous 74.7 cubic feet when the 60/40 rear seats are folded flat. Even with the rear seats up, there is still 34.4 cubic feet available for cargo.

Powerplant and Specifications

Power is provided by a single engine through the entire line. A 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder Boxer engine coupled with a Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission that comes with a 6-speed manual shift mode makes for a solid 170 horsepower and 174 pounds per foot of torque. Mileage is rated by the EPA at 26/32 city/highway mpg and 28 combined mpg.

On the Road

The Forester may not satisfy the craving some drivers have for excessive horsepower; however, for most people, the 2.5-liter engine has more than enough power to accelerate through traffic and excel in city driving. Its fuel efficiency makes it a perfect daily driver and can get you to your destination in a variety of inclement weather conditions. If you are looking to get a little rambunctious on the weekends, engage the X-Mode off-road technology and set off to find some back roads to bump around on.

The Forester exhibits great driving characteristics compared to its competitors because the engine sits low in the chassis of the car and doesn’t exhibit the roll tendencies of taller SUVs when cornering. This also helps when making emergency maneuvers and lane changes.

The increased ground clearance helps the Forester navigate over some rough terrain and avoids scraping the underside of the SUV. The Forester is a lot of fun for those who like shifting the transmission manually. Its six-speed feels light to the touch and engages with very little lag.

Let’s Wrap It Up

For drivers who want the complete package in a small SUV, the Subaru Forester fits the bill completely. It is a time-tested design that has been refined to a tee, providing the buyer with great value, dependability, a roomy luxurious cabin with good visibility, advanced safety technology, and spacious cargo room. Come test drive a 2018 Subaru Forester in Kansas City and see for yourself.

Categories: New Inventory