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Past Car
Models no longer being sold by local distributors.
Model unavailable since Feb 2019
   Editor Review
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Car Review - Subaru Forester 2.0 XT (A)
03 May 2013  |  Subaru Reviews
The latest Forester remains fun-to-drive and potently powerful with its force-fed powerplant, but doesn't get away scott-free at the fuel pumps.
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vs
Comparison Tests:
Nissan X-Trail 2.0 Premium 7-seater (A) vs Subaru Forester 2.0i-L (A)
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Facelift

The Subaru Forester was facelifted on May 2016. Read more

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   Consumer Reviews of Subaru Forester
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OVERALL RATING
 
38 Reviewers
4 out of 5
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Comfort
4/5 Reliability
4/5
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Handling
4/5 Features
4/5
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Exterior Styling
3.5/5 Interior Design
3.5/5
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Value for money
4.5/5 Engine Performance
4.5/5
37 out of 38 (97.4%) reviewers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
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38 Reviews

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Fordred
Premium User Fordred
2nd Gear
2 reviews
105 points
64 forum posts Joined on 30-Jun-2014
Great drive. AWD makes the difference (FNA)  Posted on 07 Feb 2019
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 5/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 5/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
The Forester's drive is very engaging. I stretched my budget from a Korean 1.6 sedan got a FNA for 89k+ and it was worth it.
AWD and boxer makes a difference. The forester seriously corners like a sedan and is very agile for it's size.
Turning radius is comparable as well.
Engine is powerful even for the FNA. Can overtake on expressway easily.
Sound proofing is superb, makes for a quiet drive.
FC is decent as well. 10 to 12km/h depending on mood and route.

Can't comment about reliability yet as have only owned the car for less than 2 months.

What I like
Big interior space, big boot, 7 air bags, huge sunroof, very engaging drive.

What I do not like
No rear air con.

OnceInALifeTime
2nd Gear
2 reviews
191 points
375 forum posts Joined on 09-Apr-2018
A vehicle which is meant to be driven...  Posted on 08 Jan 2019
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 5/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 3/5 Interior Design 3/5
Value for money 4/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
The Forester XT is a reasonably powered vehicle for the roads. Although, there is no jet thrust feel during acceleration and when the turbo kicks in. It is quick and nimble. The direct injection turbo and the cvt is quite perfect for Singapore roads, where is it smooth enough without much lag. At the same time fast enough when the power is summoned through the accelerator to speed up the wheels! It might not be the most stylist SUV, might not have the most features, gadgets and best trim in the cabin. But it is certainly one vehicle that is very nice to drive. In fact, will be pleasantly surprised...

What I like
FA20 DIT Engine
Lineartronic CVT
AWD and it allows it to drive like a sedan
Height of the vehicle

What I do not like
It lacks options from the distributor. Hence, making it almost very basic.

Arondight
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
3 points
0 forum posts Joined on 07-Feb-2019
If you bought the naturally aspirated version you've bought the wrong Forester.  Posted on 07 Feb 2019
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 3/5
Value for money 4/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
Review after almost 3 years of ownership of my Forester XT. Changing to this after my FD2R took me awhile to get used to. I insisted on getting the boosted XT version to keep some semblance of "Performance".

I've also tested the naturally aspirated (NA) version of this car and its a car you drive with a long face :( there's nothing special about it.

The vehicle is quite well specced with a powered rear lift gate, keyless entry, integrated sat-nav, Harman Kardon infotainment system, motorized sunroof and front seats, dual zone climate control and even the hood is on dampers so you don't have to lift/prop it up.

Its great fun to drive especially when driving up north, its got the best 'power to $$' ratio of its segment. The engine is quite punchy especially if you're stepping on it enough that the turbo can generate boost, the CVT transmission keeps the power delivery smooth and constant although its a tad retarded and underwhelming at times. The Forester XT will easily run till 230km/h, but do invest in a good engine oil cooler to keep those temps down.

Ride quality is really comfortable though it could have been improved with a firmer suspension setup.Sound insulation is adequate for Singapore roads due to our speed limits and more crowding but road noise gets more noticeable when you drive up north on road trips.

The styling both inside and out could be seen as plain but its non-offensive and you could say its 'evergreen' as it'll still look good even after it's next generation goes on sale. IMHO I feel the SJ generation Forester still looks better than the new 2019 SK Generation ones.

What I like
- The boosted flat 4 engine

- Best 'Power to $$' ratio making it the odd ball out of all the SUVs in its price/size segment.

- One of the few SUVs at this price point with AWD. (whats the point of an SUV without AWD?! I could've bought a saloon or an estate)

- Well speced for its price

- Comfortable ride quality

- Great all round visability

- Boot space that can swallow up groceries, large items from Ikea and even more if you fold the rear seats down.

What I do not like
- I wish it had a 5AT or 6AT gearbox, the CVT is a tad underwhelming at times and its 0-60 times would probably be quicker with a conventional AT or manual.

- Fuel consumption isn't the best, but I don't care as its a boosted SUV, that power and practicality comes at a cost (which I can very well afford).

- Noticeable wind and road noise at >180km/h

- Powered lift gate opening/closing could be a tad quicker.

Sakurecca
Clutched
2 reviews
25 points
5 forum posts Joined on 15-Mar-2009
Reliable Value Worthy SUV (FNA)  Posted on 03 Aug 2018
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 5/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
First timer in upgrading to a SUV, and glad that I invested in Subaru. The drive was engaging, and sound insulation was there. Fuel consumption wise so far seems to be right as paper. Though there was no rear aircon but for a 5-seater SUV, the front air-con cool down the vehicle nonetheless effectively. The only downside is expectedly, the start-up is slow but as soon as you pick up speed, it is fine to me.

What I like
The rugged exterior look
The roof rails and sunroof
The height and size worthy of a SUV
The FC

What I do not like
The start up
The infotainment system

Lmy102
Premium User Lmy102
Neutral Newbie
5 reviews
12 points
1 forum posts Joined on 15-Mar-2009
Most Powerful car I have owned  Posted on 15 Feb 2018
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 3/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 4/5 Features 3/5
Exterior Styling 2/5 Interior Design 3/5
Value for money 3/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
After owning the Subaru Forester 2.0XT for more than 3 years, I have come to term with it and master the car's performance. I read about a number of owners complaining about this car. The exterior is not nice and could not match with other brands in the market, be it look or quality or the workmanship. Subaru, I know recently had tried to improve, but this is after a long time.
It takes time to get use to this car.I think the servicing and the kind of engine oil does play a part with our mileage. My guarantee period expired recently, so I took it to a friends workshop to get it serviced. After all the necessary filter and oil change out, my car is now averaging about 11-12 kilometers per litre. I use a better quality oil. I find that the engine performs smoother and get slightly better mileage. The car gives me a lot of pleasure especially driving it up country many times over the last 3.5 years. I read the reviews of owners of other brands, but Subaru, I find more compliments than complaints. Motor Image the local distributor can do better perhaps better quality engine oil during our service. We have a good car here but it must use the best engine oil so that we can get better performance and mileage out of it.

What I like
I like The turbo engine, but the CVT gear box does not bolder me much. I use a lot of paddle shift when I drive, giving me control over the car.
When driving at high speed, do not depend of the D mode as it can be very difficult to control the car in an emergency braking situation. Instead, use the manual mode and control the car speed with the paddle shift. When driving with the manual mode and paddle shift, the Forester 2.0XT does not jerk so much and the ride is smother. Of course in a tight traffic situation, the D mode or auto mode is unavoidable.when using GPS like Garmin and so on, it is best not to activate features such as speed warning or lane departing features, it will interfere with your driving.

What I do not like
The latest models in the show room has displayed better quality features but one should wait for the 2018, Forester to arrive if buying. The current models are only face lifted models of the 2014 models.
I have no dislike for this car although I think the body design should have been better a few years back.
I believe it is still the best performing SUV in terms of power and is sufficiently comfortable.

Savagetosh
Premium User Savagetosh
1st Gear
4 reviews
91 points
59 forum posts Joined on 25-Jun-2011
Powerful and affordable SUV!  Posted on 11 Feb 2018
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 3/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 4/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
I got the Forester XT 2015, and I must say, it's the best vehicle for someone who wants power, and at the same time, space and comfort for the family. It's like the "Family version" Of the Subaru WRX(except for lesser power and handling).

What I like
The powerful and responsive FA20DIT engine.
Considerably big- the amount of space seats 5 large adults very comfortably.
Large doors, for easy access.
Automatic tailgate.
Commanding driving position.
It's rugged looks.

What I do not like
CVT gearbox robs the fun out of the quick and nimble FA20DIT engine.
Seats have a soft but weird cushion.
Fuel consumption on the higher side.
Handling- too much body roll for my liking.

richard_crl032
Premium User richard_crl032
6th Gear
2 reviews
3,750 points
3994 forum posts Joined on 30-Aug-2014
Most Affordable Powerful SUV ... period but Caveats on Needing Fixes on Ride  Posted on 01 Dec 2017
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 3/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 3/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
- Value for money for 350Nm 240bhp at 120k
- Spirited drive - Took back 3k deposit for Harrier Turbo from BM cos tried twice but cannot compare on response
- Aesthetically need some work ... Colin rear lights, remove roof rack, body kits

What I like
- Easy and stress-free drive due to excellent response .. enhanced safety even due to predictability of response regardless from side road to main road, crossing traffic junction or overtaking
- Nice gadgets with 2nd multi-functional display, powered tailgate, powered front memory seats, moon roof
- FC of 9-10km/l for real life fuel consumption from 60/40 city/hwy is fine

What I do not like
- bouncy and side to side roll that needs/can be fixed by upgrade of rear sti subframe and upgraded rear/front anti-roll bars
- weak brakes that needs/can be fixed be after-market big brake kits
- missing rear aircon that can be fixed by some efforts/$
- missing eyesight safety suite from Subaru ... can be partially fixed with thinkware's lane departure and front collision fuctnion

Mervynwm
Premium User Mervynwm
3rd Gear
110 reviews
269 points
62 forum posts Joined on 15-Mar-2009
The XTreme Forester.  Posted on 05 Aug 2017
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 3/5
Handling 5/5 Features 3/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 3/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
Went to test this known powerful chap after trying the non turbo one...

1st looks clearly same as the less powerful variant other than the XT badge behind which sales person say is the aluminium roof rails can tell too which norm one is plastic looks.

Inside interior is plain simple as I believe Subaru focuses on performance and utility usage than gadgets and interior.

Test drive......Revving the engine feels you are in a WRX where the roaring of the engine telling you "Drive to feel my POWER" And ranging off you can feel its PUSH for speed and power.

At I or Intelligent drive is like Comfort drive modes in other makes, simple and nothing special where you can feel the smooth ride just like any other makes, so whether Comfort, Intelligent, Normal is merely a name for any makes.

Now for the best, SI drive where the boxer engine starts to ROAR into life and hungry to ask you PUSH to its limit which you can feel dampers are stiffen and drive ability is tightening and at this mode, overtaking is already so easy.

Now....For the excellent, S# drive where the engine ROARING in the TURBO portion and driving you to PUSH even further as the dampers and suspensions stiffens further and steering is hardened. At this mode, I tried tighter corners and it seems to me performing better than SI mode and the power engagement to overtake is even far faster than SI mode itself.

At turning corners with I or SI mode, you step on throttle not much feel and may tend to have understeer but at S# mode, you can hear tyres screech and no understeer but a sharp and smooth corner over with power.

Turning back to showroom, I missed the turn in S# mode, probably too fast drive and made U turn without on the brakes, merely let go throttle and step again, then sharp cut over and turn into showroom, I can hear the responsiveness of the AWD capability and the speed with tyres screeching over it.

Overall, if you are looking for a performance SUV with off-road capability (though didn't try the X-Mode) but at a fraction of a price comparing to the others, Forester XT is the only one for you.

If you are looking at SUV for space and urbanization use, then there are many other considerations around for this price range.

What I like
Powerful TURBO engine
Good pickup
Electric tailgate
Electric memory seats for both passenger and driver
Excellent S# drive handling
Responsive headlamps

What I do not like
Not sure of parts and repairs after warranty period
Options need to pay like dashcam, etc...
Solar film is local no state brand

Snowwgn
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
4 points
1 forum posts Joined on 06-May-2011
SJG5  Posted on 21 Feb 2017
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 5/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 4/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
Heard from most people the reliability of SJG5 and its performance. The drive is indeed smooth. On paper although the bhp is much higher than a Golf GTi, but the pick up doesn't deliver the kind of punch vs. GTi. Overall is a good car for a SUV. Anyone knows if our SJG5 is a JDM, EDM or USDM spec?

What I like
The power and front look

What I do not like
Rear look can be improved and no rear aircon.

Chucky2007
Premium User Chucky2007
NOS-ed
4 reviews
13,165 points
6250 forum posts Joined on 04-Apr-2007
Great sub 130k compact SUV in 2016  Posted on 30 Nov 2016
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 5/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 3/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
Reliable car, have driven Forester XT for past 14 months covering close to 40k driven the car to Malaysia, light off-road and also on track. Total confidence when in motion up to above 200kmh in rainy days and sunny days.

Have no complaints on the pickup, handling, and FC of the car. For 80% City driving the car returns a fuel economy of 1L=8-8.5km for rabbit hopping type of traffic light pickup.

What I like
Good real life FC.. not excellent like 12km/litre but for an AWD with strong pick up and torque, 8-9km/litre is respectable for a car that weighs 1620kg. Cheap in today's context.. in fact the cheapest if you compare the performance and what the car features across the 2Litre mini SUV category. Parts are also not as expensive which is the strong point. Stock sound system quality is also quite good.

What I do not like
If he price can be as cheap as possible such as 110k will be very ideal.

Kee2718
Premium User Kee2718
Neutral Newbie
6 reviews
11 points
2 forum posts Joined on 15-Mar-2009
Beyond expectation  Posted on 30 Nov 2016
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 5/5 Interior Design 5/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
Collected the Forester 2.0Li 2 weeks ago, has been eyeing the car since 2015. The facelifted model is definitely looks more attractive than it’S predecessor – My personal view.
It has almost everything that I wanted for my car, infotainment is not fantastic and lack of navigation system is not a problem to me though (I have mighxx mind singapore map and google map).
Fuel consumption wise, it’S consider doing very well for a AWD car (lowest 7.1L/100km and average 10L/km for the past 300km travelled)
The drive - quite punchy for NA engine that mated with a CVT gearbox, especially during moving off.
The ride – It’S comfortable for me and it absorbs bumps well compared to my previous ride – A continental sports sedan.
Hope this car will serve my family and myself well for the next years to come.

What I like
Relatively huge Sunroof that can be opened
Ample Leg room and head room
Electric seats for front passenger and driver (despite no memory seat for non XT model)
High sitting position
Large window panels – better view
Many features - Cruise control, auto headlight, auto wiper, climatic control AC, keyless system, slight reclinable back seats, one touch switch for rear seat folding, pin code access
Value for money – considering the equipment pack and loads of features listed above.

What I do not like
The new car smells bad and don't know how long it will last and whether it's toxic to human
Funny whining noise when the car cruising at low speed less than 15km/h

Joker2
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
5 points
0 forum posts Joined on 04-Apr-2007
Great value for the money  Posted on 16 Nov 2016
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
Purchased the Forester XT back in Sept 2015, the price hasn't fluctuated much since then. Unlike the luxury SUV's out there Subaru prices the Forester reasonably, in fact it's significantly less than a WRX too. Apart from the WRX being a 4dr Sedan and the Forester an SUV they actually have similar components, same engine DIT Turbo (wow), same interior fixtures etc. In fact the Forester has more room and panoramic sunroof for much less so huge value there.

The ride is typical SUV like, firm but not too harsh, it's incredibly practical. Holds a lot of stuff... The interior is very roomy and spacious feeling. I couldn't settle for a normally aspirated 2.0 from competitors having owned one 8 years ago, 150bhp is frustrating for heavy SUV's so I was sold on the Forester XT's 238bhp... For the price no competitors.

After a year I still love it, I would not have changed a thing. When I purchased the forester there was also a special 5 yr free servicing and enhanced coverage which is no longer available so got lucky.

Best of all the wife and kids love it... Airy, ruggedly built car.

What I like
Price is ok for Singapore
Powerful engine, good acceleration bit of a "sleeper" unbeknownst to the unweary drivers out there.
Nice upgraded interior
Gas mileage is acceptable
What's there not to like...?

What I do not like
After a year I'm hearing annoying rattles, not sure if it's the sunroof or rear quarter panels. I'm on a mission to sort that out... not that loud but it bugs me.

The ride can be a bit rough at times and does undulate up and down a bit on rough highways. But it's not enough to be a showstopper, it's an SUV and it's fine with me.

Maybe a little bit noisy but not that bad

Thundercats
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
3 points
0 forum posts Joined on 13-Sep-2010
The perfect entry point to the Subaru cult  Posted on 09 Nov 2016
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 4/5 Features 4/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 4/5 Engine Performance 4/5
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Review
Four generations of Subaru Foresters have all adhered to the same basic design you see here in this inexpensive all-wheel-drive box. Like all Subarus, the Forester is powered by a “Boxer” Engine, in this case either a 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 170-hp 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four. (This boxer/flat design, also employed by Porsche, orients each bank of cylinders parallel to the ground, 180 degrees opposite the other, with the advantage of reducing the engine’S height, and thus the car’S center of gravity.)

What I like
The Forester’s best attribute is its outstanding all-wheel-drive system. Drivers in particularly snowy parts of the country have long favored Subarus, and we are consistently impressed with how well a Forester with appropriate tires gets moving in low-grip conditions. The Forester’s roomy greenhouse offers an impressive view of the world outside, especially when equipped with the large two-panel sunroof. Outward visibility is a boon to safe maneuvering, while letting in more sunshine—often in short supply in regions where Subarus traditionally proliferate—which can improve the driver’s mood.

What I do not like
Compact-crossover shoppers are growing more sensitive to styling, and the Forester still offers as little of that as it ever has—and much less than some other brands. Even though the Starlink infotainment system is light-years ahead of what it replaced, it does not yet support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Continuously variable transmissions remain at the top of our list of technologies to avoid, and Subaru’s CVT isn’t any exception. It saps throttle response and causes the engine to drone under acceleration. You need to go for the priciest 2.0XT turbocharged model to get a more palatable CVT with simulated stepped-gear programming and shift paddles to give the driver more control. Worse, Subaru drives us crazy by offering a manual transmission but refusing to let buyers who choose it pick the most desirable options.

KhalidAbdullah
Premium User KhalidAbdullah
Neutral Newbie
1 reviews
7 points
1 forum posts Joined on 29-Nov-2013
I was knocked unconscious.  Posted on 11 Sep 2016
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 4/5 Reliability 4/5
Handling 3/5 Features 5/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 5/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
After 2 weeks of ownership and the first servicing, took the car for its first maiden trip up north. The car is a monster up there. I did not realise I was doing 150kph! Had to exercise a lot of control. It was easy to do any kind of overtaking without any lag.
I have a few things to worry about though. Its handling was a bit worrying. Many times I felt as though the steering was shaky. Had to maintain more grip on it than my previous rides. Like the cross winds were pushing it from its sides. The brakes need some work. I changed to a stainless steel one during the servicing. There was immediate response, better than stock. The GPS cannot stock alerting me to slow down. I had to do the settings everytime I started. Its quite irritating. With the dashcam warning me about the front vehicle and changing lanes, I was constantly bombarded with all sorts of sounds. While the dashcam can be set to be silent once and for all, the GPS in the infotainment system cannot! Fearing interference with immobiliser and possible void of warranty, I cannot add on an alarm. Even the SA advised me not to. That can be scary!
Otherwise, I am very happy with the purchase. The response and smooth ride and power made me enjoy the trip back to my kampong in Malacca. My family, most were sleeping most of the time, reflecting how smooth the ride was. And yes, the cargo compartment allowed me to bring back all the usual goodies and shopped items back with lots more room.

What I like
a. Power with control.
b. Room for passengers.
c. Infotainment system.
d. Massive luggage room.

What I do not like
a. Shaky handling at speeds.
b. Brakes.
c. Aftermarket add ons with void of warranty.
d. Fuel consumption(I am being petty... this is my third Subaru!)

kcng
Premium User kcng
1st Gear
6 reviews
83 points
48 forum posts Joined on 04-Aug-2016
Powerful SUV  Posted on 07 Sep 2016
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I will recommend this vehicle to a friend
Overall Rating
 
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Comfort 3/5 Reliability 5/5
Handling 5/5 Features 3/5
Exterior Styling 4/5 Interior Design 4/5
Value for money 4/5 Engine Performance 5/5
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Review
Test drive the FXT on 5 Sep 2016.

Exterior look fierce and definitely a man's car, 18' rim look cool. Interior very spacious, Harman/Kardon audio system is a big plus. Starlink infotainment system also provide a good enough features. Large sunroof will be big plus for kids. Due to the height of car, the visibility also as advantage of driving this car.

Driving is great, handling excellent, which you will not feel you are driving such a big monster. The turbocharging engine provide a very powerful surge when you step on the accelerator in S# mode. "I" Mode provide smooth and steady accelerating speed.

What I like
Powerful turbocharge engine.
Great visibility.
Good handling.
18" rim.
Harman/Kardon audio system.
Large sunroof.

What I do not like
Fuel Consumption due to AFW
Lack of backseat air-con vent.
Lack of front collision sensor.
Lack of blind spot sensor.
Only 3 times of free serving. (1K,5K,10K)

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Subaru Forester
4 stars - based on 38 reviews