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2014 Subaru Forester Premium Review

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2014 Subaru Forester

2014 Subaru Forester Premium
By John Heilig

John Says; The 2014 Subaru Forester does almost anything you ask of it without a lot of fuss and bother. Who could ask for more?

Reviewed Model: 2014 Subaru Forester Premium

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged H4
Horsepower: 250 hp
Transmission: CVT
Wheelbase: 104.0
Length x Width x Height: 180.9 x 70.7 x 66.4 in.
Tires: P225/55R18
Cargo (2013 specs): 33.5/68.3 cu. ft. (rear seats up/down)
Economy: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway/20.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 15.9 gal.
Curb Weight: 3,296 lbs.
Sticker: $28,820 (includes $895 destination)

The Bottom Line: The Forester essentially defines the entire Subaru line. It is practical, offers good ride and handling, and is comfortable. It may not be the sexiest looking vehicle on the road, but here in the Northeast, it’s very popular because of its practicality and All Wheel Drive.

The completely redesigned Subaru Forester debuts with not only a slightly sleeker body, but also a new 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine. The engine offers decent power for the popular small SUV/station wagon, and actually puts it in the same power class as the 2.5-liter engine offere3d in the 2013 model. The engine complains a bit if provoked, but generally offers a quiet ride. On our one long ride with the Forester we couldn’t have asked for much better.

Forester is smaller than the Outback, but it is still a very nice size. Cargo capacity is 33.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 68.3 cubic feet with them down (2013 specs). In general, you don’t need a lot more than that. Under the cargo floor is a segmented area that is good for concealing smaller objects. There are four tie-downs in the cargo area that add to the practicality. The rear seats fold easily, but when they’re folded they’re higher than the cargo floor. The rear cargo area is lighted.

Subaru and the EPA call the Forester a small SUV. In reality, for those of us who remember them, it’s a station wagon. I guess the All-wheel drive pushes it The center console/arm rest has 12-volt and USB plugs. In addition, there’s a cubby at the base of the center stack. There is a switch on the center console that allows the driver to choose among the various AWD and drive variations.

Fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at 23 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Our test mileage was lower than expected because we didn’t get the opportunity to put many miles on the Forester thanks to a visit from Mr. Flu. I would think, however, that the highway mileage should be higher, considering the small engine.

Front seats are comfortable with minimal side support. There is excellent headroom, even with the sunroof, and good visibility all around. The rear seats offer very good leg and knee room. The center hump in the rear isn’t too tall, so it would be useful for a third rear seat passenger.

The interior has a touch of upper class with soft touch surfaces on the dash and trim. There’s an information panel in a nacelle above the dash that contains odometers and fuel, outside temperature, fuel economy, a clock and turbo output.

There’s a small color rear camera display. Despite its size, the clear color definition improves the visibility.

At times, I have casually described the Subaru Forester as almost an appliance. This is not to denigrate the car, but to compliment it. Foresters are so ubiquitous in the Northeast that you almost expect to see them in every driveway. They offer the practicality of mall-wheel drive, which is a definite asset, considering the quirky weather we have in this part of the country.

But still, this “appliance” is a fun driver that has the capability to do almost anything you ask of it without a lot of fuss and bother. Who could ask for more?

2014 The Auto Page