The 2017 Subaru Forester comes in a variety of different trims powered by one of two engines. The base engine is a 2.5L 4-cylinder making 170 horsepower. This engine is offered with a choice two transmissions -- a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable unit. The optional, turbocharged engine displaces 2.0L and makes a very healthy 250 horsepower. The turbocharged engine is only available with a continuously variable transmission, though the CVT does have a mode where it imitates a traditional manual, allowing upshifts and downshifts via paddles on the steering column.
2.5i Foresters come in four trims: Base, Premium, Limited and Touring. Base trims are stripped of most luxury items but still feature a tilting and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, a sunglass holder, a 4-speaker stereo with MP3 capabilities, a 4.3-inch color multi-function display, and a rear backup camera. Premium models get a body-colored spoiler, panoramic sunroof, roof rails, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, reclining rear seats and a 6-speaker stereo. Limited models come standard with the CVT transmission and with leather seating. Heated front seats, a power liftgate, fog lights, a rear spoiler and heated mirrors are also standard equipment on Limited Foresters. Top-of-the-line Touring models feature everything from the Limited trim plus a navigation system, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, a heated steering wheel, push-button start and 18-inch wheels.
Forester 2.0 XT models come in two trims: Premium and Touring. Both get the more powerful 250-horsepower engine, better brakes and more aggressive styling than 2.5i models, highlighted by the front fascia and 18-inch wheels. The Touring and Premium models are otherwise similarly equipped to their 2.5i namesakes. Torque vectoring, first introduced on the high-performance Subaru WRX, is standard on 2.0XT Touring models with EyeSight and provides improved handling in tricky conditions.
Accident avoidance and mitigation is covered by several safety systems. Symmetrical all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, several airbags, traction control and stability control are standard. All Foresters other than the Base model also benefit from EyeSight, a safety suite offered in a few variations. It includes devices like lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning with automatic braking.
All-wheel-drive, Practical, Good Mix Of Fuel Efficiency And Performance, Good Ground Clearance, Improved Interior Space
For 2017, the Subaru Forester receives several exterior updates, including a new front bumper, headlights and restyled grille. Taillights are also new and include LED illumination. A body-color spoiler is now standard on the 2.5i Premium.
Inside, saddle brown leather upholstery and trim is a new option, and a redesigned steering wheel across the range features controls for cruise, audio and Bluetooth. A heated steering wheel, keyless access, and push-button start are all standard on Touring models. Sound deadening has been improved, and torque vectoring is now available on models with the 2.0L turbo. Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology now incorporates improved, color cameras with a wider and longer field of view for improved responsiveness. The safety suite also now includes lane-keep assist, and on Limited, Touring and Premium models, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. Finally, the power lift gate is now standard on Premium trim.
The Subaru Forester has always been a great compromise between the practicality of a small hatchback or station wagon and the capabilities of an SUV. The Forester comes standard with all-wheel-drive, unlike most of its competition. Base-model Foresters perform similarly to competitors from Ford and Mazda, while turbocharged versions offer significantly more power, resulting in surprisingly sprightly performance. On-road handling is also a step above what is generally offered in this segment. The Forester starts at just over $22,000.