The 2018 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 still feature a tilting and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, 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 both Premium and Touring form. Both get the powerful 250-horsepower engine, better brakes and more aggressive styling than 2.5i models, as well as a 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
The Subaru Forester returns for 2018 with a couple of minor updates and a new special edition. Touring models now come equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology as standard, while that EyeSight system now comes with both high beam assist and reverse auto braking features. Active torque vectoring has also been made standard on the 2.0XT Touring trim.
The new Black Edition offers many of the upgrades previously available only on the Turbo model on the 2.5i Premium trim, making it a great choice for anyone who wants all the bells and whistles but for $4500 less than the more powerful XT. The interior of the Black edition also gets upgraded upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with contrasting stitching and a gloss black center dash panel.
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. The Forester's stable and planted on-road handling is more car-like than others in this segment. The Forester starts at just under $23,000.