• Very versatile
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Lots of factory accessories
  • Navigation system isn't very good
  • CVT can be annoying
  • No stick shift with turbo

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Forester in 2014

The 2014 Subaru Forester is all-new. Although it's all-new, you've probably seen dozens of them driving around because this model went on sale in January of 2013, and Subaru can hardly build enough of them to meet demand...
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Vehicle Summary

Subaru's Forester is a bit of an unsung hero in the world of crossovers. Drivers looking for a basic vehicle with lots of safety equipment and space for the required gear of athletes or outdoor enthusiasts will be happy with a Forester. Subaru offers a variety of accessories to customize the Forester for tasks such as carrying dogs in the cargo area or attaching skis, bikes, or luggage to the roof rails. Everything inside is durable and easy on the eyes, and the controls for the radio and ventilation system are managed by buttons and knobs instead of the touchscreen interfaces that so many other utility vehicles rely on. Subaru completely upgraded the Forester for the 2014 model year with a new platform and transmission choices.

Overview

The base 2014 Subaru Forester makes use of a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission and a frugal 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that debuted last year. If you like driving, be sure to check out the XT variant and the 250-hp turbocharged engine that comes with it -- it's just too bad that the XT model uses only a CVT for now. At least every Forester still comes standard with all-wheel drive, which can be an expensive option on other vehicles. We may not enjoy driving the CVT as much as we enjoy shifting for ourselves, but the fact that the turbocharged engine mated to a CVT uses less fuel than does the normally aspirated engine with a manual transmission provides a little comfort.

Our main gripe with the 2014 Subaru Forester is the fussy, optional touchscreen infotainment system. We much prefer physical buttons for changing radio stations while the vehicle is moving. Thankfully Subaru offers steering-wheel-mounted buttons to control the audio system on the Forester. Those buttons don't make the navigation system easier to use, though. We suggest skipping the high-tech unit and sticking with the basic stereo offered on the base 2014 Forester. Even the standard audio system includes Bluetooth phone connectivity for 2014.

The 2014 Subaru Forester is adept at hauling everything from luggage to Labradors in the spacious cargo area, and the standard all-wheel-drive system means you'll be able to take your precious cargo pretty much anywhere you can imagine. Foresters can tow up to 2400 pounds, so anything that won't fit inside can be pulled behind the car.

It may not be the flashiest vehicle on the market, but the 2014 Subaru Forester is a great choice for anyone who needs a dependable crossover.

Key Competitors

  • Ford Escape
  • Honda CR-V
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Mazda CX-5

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