Lots to offer in the improved Forester

Roseville, Calif.- Subaru owners are typically a loyal bunch. Once the initial purchase is made, the relationship with their vehicle is a long one – often lasting through roughly 200,000 miles. And when the union concludes, the next car purchase is often another Subaru.

At or near the top of Subaru’s most popular vehicle list is the Forester. The midsize crossover SUV is characterized by its low cost, high value, car-like drive, roomy interior, and standard all-wheel drive that makes it suitable for mild off-roading.

Redesigned

The company decided on an early release for the 2025 Subaru Forester, perhaps anxious to take advantage of its redesigned exterior and interior, along with updated technology and amenities. The difference from the recent past isn’t overwhelming; the Forester retains the same basic shell as previous ones.

interior cabin of the new 2025 Subaru Forester

The 2025 Forester has new LED headlights, front grille, and offers different color and wheel options. The company says the changes make the Forester more sophisticated and refined. But the SUV also remains rugged and practical, evidenced by its estimated $30,000 starting price.

For the past 11 years, the Forester has enjoyed high sales that haven’t dipped below 114,000. That span includes a record 180,179 sold in 2019 and 152,566 in 2023.

Before we go overboard with praise, let’s not forget that like practically all Subarus, the Forester has a history of uninspiring performance. However, the 2025 model felt slightly quicker, perhaps from what Subaru says is a 10% stiffer chassis.

The slightly modified engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that produces 180 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Forester still won’t win many sprints, due to its 0-60 mph time, a sluggish 8.3 seconds.

AT A GLANCE – 2025 SUBARU FORESTER

  • Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 180 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 26-33 mpg
  • Price estimate: $29,695 to $39,995
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years, 36,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

Off-road

The Forster has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and combines with all-wheel drive for solid off-road capability. Apart from the standard model, all Forester models come equipped with X-Mode, a traction system that provides additional control on slippery surfaces. It has two drive modes – Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud.

The Wilderness model has 9.2 inches ground clearance and is more suited for off-road journeys than practically any crossover SUV. In addition, the Wilderness has a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, twice the amount of other Forester models.

Some structural changes for 2025 give the Forester a quieter ride. Previous wind and road noise at highway speeds is no longer an issue. It handles well around town and provides good stability in most driving situations.

Infotainment

The upgraded cabin has a larger infotainment screen in all but the standard model, an 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen. Wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is standard.

Seating is more comfortable up front in the 2025 Forester, and the second row can accommodate three adults. The cargo area measures 29.5 cubic feet of space and expands to 74.2 cubes by folding down the rear seats.

The 2025 Subaru Forester is improved and has a lot to offer, including its ability to go off-road better than most competitors.

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